The Best Resorts 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
Photo of Alex Robinson
12 January 2021

Caribbean islands fringed with pearl-white beaches, sleepy colonial towns with Spaghetti Western bell towers, condor-patrolled Andean valleys, ruined pre-Columbian cities… The landscapes alone will have you falling for Colombia. And that’s before you get the colourful 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.

Hotel Tamacá Beach Resort

Resort
4.1/5 (205 Reviews)
Hotel Tamacá Beach Resort
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 do-able on day-trips.

More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff
Bar/Lounge

Hotel Estelar Playa Manzanillo

Resort
4.2/5 (679 Reviews)
Hotel Estelar Playa Manzanillo
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-sized 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.

More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Full-service spa
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff
Bar/Lounge

Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena

Hotel
4.7/5 (517 Reviews)
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 Garcia Marquez’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.
More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Outdoor pool
Full-service spa
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff

Conrad Cartagena

Resort, Chain Hotel
Map View
Conrad 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 colour 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.

Hotel Las Islas

Resort
4.4/5 (61 Reviews)
Hotel Las Islas
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 snorkelling over the coral, to heli-trips to ruined pre-Columbian cities in the mountains.

More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Outdoor pool
Full-service spa
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff

Irotama Resort

Resort
4.2/5 (404 Reviews)
Irotama Resort
Courtesy of Irotama Resort / Expedia

Towering over a Caribbean beach just south of Santa Marta town, this big resort is a favourite among Colombian partygoers and families. It’s got 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.

More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Full-service spa
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff
Bar/Lounge

Hotel Punta Faro

Resort
Map View

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 to day-trip. But the sea is bath-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 snorkelling right off the shore.

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  • Blue Apple Beach House

    Guesthouse
    Map View
    Blue Apple Beach House
    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 Bogota 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 snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking in between drinks.

    Hotel El Amargal Reserva Natural

    Resort
    Map View
    Hotel El Amargal Reserva Natural
    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.

    Ecohotel Tierra de Agua

    Resort
    Map View
    Ecohotel Tierra de Agua
    Courtesy of Ecohotel Tierra de Agua / Expedia

    White-water 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.

    Aité Eco Hotel Resort

    Resort
    Map View
    Aité Eco Hotel Resort
    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 coloured floral cushions, overlooking 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.

    These recommendations were updated on January 12, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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