The Best Resorts to Book in Colombia

Experience barefoot luxury and Caribbean views at this mangrove-nestled resort
Experience barefoot luxury and Caribbean views at this mangrove-nestled resort | Courtesy of Hotel Las Islas / Expedia
Alex Robinson

Caribbean islands fringed with pearl-white beaches, sleepy colonial towns with Spaghetti Western bell towers, condor-patrolled Andean valleys and ruined pre-Colombian cities. The landscapes alone will have you falling for Colombia. And that’s before you get the colorful carnivals, the scent of tropical flowers and the nocturnal beat of salsa spilling into the streets. Where to relax when your senses need a reboot? We know the best resorts in Colombia – bookable on Culture Trip.

Keen to visit Colombia but not sure where to stay or what to do? Consider joining Culture Trip’s specially curated eight-day Colombian Andes adventure or our epic eight-day Colombian Caribbean trip – both led by our local insider.

1. Tamacá Beach Resort Hotel


Outdoor courtyard with a small, decorative pool and tile stepping stones, at Hotel Tamacá Beach Resort, Colombia.
Courtesy of Hotel Tamacá Beach Resort / Expedia

We’ll be frank: there are more beautiful hotels than Tamacá, with its old-fashioned concrete-block design and its rooms sporting functional wood veneer. But sometimes what you need is an undemanding, non-extortionate base. There are also prettier towns than Santa Marta, the town it’s in. But you’re here for the wildly romantic beauty all around: golden beaches, the Sierra Nevada mountain range, rising from the coast to icy peaks, and indigenous villages lost in rainforested valleys. It’s all doable on day trips.

2. Hotel Estelar Playa Manzanillo


Outdoor pool with sun-lounging facilities and lush palm trees at Hotel Estelar Playa Manzanillo, Colombia.
Courtesy of Hotel Estelar Playa Manzanillo / Expedia

Cartagena, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, is one of South America’s more enchanting colonial cities: set behind cannon-encrusted walls, it is cut by cobbled streets of ochre and lemon Spanish mansions, with spicy smells wafting from seafood restaurants and vibrant with bars and salsa clubs. This old-fashioned all-inclusive (with family-size pools and balcony rooms squeezed into concrete annexes) sits on a broad sandy beach a 20-minute shuttle ride away from the city, just close enough for you to dip from day to nightlife, with disco naps in between.

3. Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena


The stylish El Coro Lounge Bar at Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena.
Courtesy of Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena / Expedia
Built inside a renovated 17th-century convent set into the fortifications of historic Cartagena, the Legend steeps guests in the city’s Pirates of the Caribbean colonial charm. The best of the beautiful baroque churches, museums and restaurants are a stroll from your room. Gabriel García Márquez’s former home is practically next door. Enjoy a neoclassical jewel of a pool – shaded by palms and with generous sun lounger space – in the hotel’s al fresco atrium.

4. Hotel Conrad Cartagena,

Resort, Chain Hotel

The spacious and contemporary lounge/lobby at Conrad Resort Cartagena.
Courtesy of Conrad Cartagena / Expedia

You couldn’t accuse the Conrad of hemming you in on holiday – not given those awesome expanses of turquoise Caribbean Sea. Check out the vast complex of swimming pools for all ages. Wander the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course. And rest awhile in your cavernous balconied room, enjoying its meditative contemporary white palette, lent splashes of color by locally sourced art. The only downside? The secluded beach is tennis-court tiny. That and the fact that Cartagena – the jewel in colonial Colombia’s crown – is a half-hour drive away.

5. Hotel Las Islas


Spacious room with four poster bed and private balcony at Hotel Las Islas, Colombia.
Courtesy of Hotel Las Islas / Expedia

On a beach edged by wild forest an hour from Cartagena, this jungle hotel lays on Robinson-Crusoe-barefoot luxury. Rope-floored, palm-thatched cabins have mosquito-netted four posters and Caribbean-view balconies. Some are conjoined – ideal for families. Cartagena is an easy day trip away, and you’re never lost for things to do, from glass-bottom sea kayaking and snorkeling over the coral to heli-trips to ruined pre-Colombian cities in the mountains.

6. Irotama Resort


Outdoor pool with sun-lounging facilities at Irotama Resort, Colombia.
Courtesy of Irotama Resort / Expedia

Towering over a Caribbean beach just south of Santa Marta town, this big resort is a favorite among Colombian partygoers and families. It has a pool, tennis courts and a golf driving range; what it won’t deliver is quiet intimacy – even in the garden bungalows. The rooms to book are the balcony suites on the upper floors of the main building – for their sweeping, sunset-over-the-ocean views. Best of all are the Sierra Nevada mountains a half-hour drive away, fringed with the gorgeous, empty beaches of Tayrona National Park.

7. Hotel Punta Faro


Hotel Punta Faro
Courtesy of Hotel Punta Faro /

The small-scale Punta Faro is for young families after a gentle beach, sunset cocktails and a rest. The setting is a white-sand-fringed coral island lapped by turquoise Caribbean shallows, in the heart of the Islas del Rosario National Marine Park. Activities are limited (kayaks cost extra), while Cartagena is too far away for a day trip. But the sea is calm, and the palm-thatch bungalows with chunky beds and balcony hammocks will have you curled up with a book. The junior suites are best, with ocean views and coral-reef snorkeling right off the shore.

8. Blue Apple Beach House


The glass-fronted Manzana cabaña with an outdoor plunge pool at Blue Apple Beach House in Bolívar.
Courtesy of Blue Apple Beach House / Expedia

DJs and live salsa. A handful of chic-shack thatched bungalows with outdoor bathrooms and plunge pools. A young hipster crowd on holiday from Bogotá or Barranquilla. The Blue Apple is the Colombian Caribbean, Ibiza-style, which means it’s not a place you’d come to rest, soothed to sleep by cicada song and waves. But it’s great for a long weekend dance party, with snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking between drinks.

9. Hotel El Amargal Reserva Natural


Two surfboards on an outdoor deck, looking out to the ocean waves at Hotel El Amargal Reserva Natural, Colombia.
Courtesy of Hotel El Amargal Reserva Natural / Expedia

It’s not all about the Caribbean. Colombia straddles two oceans. El Amargal belongs to the wilder, wetter Pacific – squeezed between forests of waterfalls and rocky shoreline broken by long, broad coves. It’s fabulous for wildlife: hummingbirds and eagles in the rainforests, manta rays and whales plying the ocean. The wilderness is spectacular, the accommodation jungle-camp simple: open-sided huts with marine breezes for air-con, bare wooden floors and foamy mattresses. Remember, you’re here for creatures rather than creature comforts.

10. Eco Hotel Tierra de Agua


Outdoor decking with two jacuzzi tubs, surrounded by lush palm trees at Ecohotel Tierra de Agua, Colombia.
Courtesy of Ecohotel Tierra de Agua / Expedia

Whitewater rafting, waterfall hikes, hang-gliding, fly fishing – the village of Cocorná, in the Andean foothills east of Medellín, is an under-the-radar light-adventure destination. Tierra de Agua’s open-sided bamboo bungalows cascade down a hillside of re-planted tropical forest, and you’re here for gentle immersion in nature. Sounds of cicadas and flowing water lull you to sleep. You wake to breakfasts of tropical fruit and spend days hiking, swimming in the clear-water river or dozing in the hammam and the spring-water hot tubs.

11. Aité Eco Hotel Resort


Exterior of Aité Eco Hotel Resort, against a backdrop of forests and mountains.
Courtesy of Aité Eco Hotel Resort / Expedia

Aité means barefoot, under-thatch relaxation on one of the least-spoilt stretches of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Accommodation is simple: fresh, whitewash-and-tile bungalows, with hammock-slung balconies, brightly colored floral cushions and views of the sands shaded with coconut palms. Toucans flit in the trees, turtles clamber over the beaches and – making your visit truly special – nearby are the wild forests of Tayrona National Park, as well as the flamingo-filled wetlands of Los Flamencos wildlife sanctuary.

Looking for more great place to stay in Colombia? Check out our pick of the best hotels in Colombia for every traveler, bookable on Culture Trip.

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