Due to its strategic location near the mysterious Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) and the stunning beaches of Tayrona National Park, Santa Marta has a booming backpacker industry with plenty of funky hostels to boot. From buzzing party hostels to ex-narco houses and plush colonial mansions, let’s take a look at the hippest backpacker haunts in the city.
Fancy sleeping in a former kingpin’s mansion? Then live out your narco fantasies for real in this funky hostel that was once used as a hideout by Santa Marta’s most nefarious crime lords. Drug trafficking aside, the hostel is a hit for its super comfy beds, swimming pool and sociable vibe.
La Brisa Loca
Set in a 100-year-old mansion, this beautiful hostel is famous for its wild parties. With space for almost a hundred backpackers throughout the plush complex, the fiestas at La Brisa Loca are undeniably loca (crazy). The best action takes place on the buzzing rooftop terrace, although guests love hanging by the stylish indoor pool amid a lush ivory clad courtyard as well.
Calle 11 Hostel
Travelers looking to spend some time relaxing by the beach should opt to stay in the glitzy El Rodadero, and there’s no better hostel in this fashionable seaside suburb than the uber chic Calle 11 Hostel. Adopted from a former mafioso mansion, this affluent whitewashed building is set around a tranquil garden which overlooks an extravagant pool. Inside, the facilities are well above par, cementing its place as being among the fanciest hostels in the city.
The Dreamer Hostel
Despite being located on the outskirts of the city, the Dreamer is a hit among backpackers for its super social vibe and fun recreational activities. This is definitely a party hostel so don’t come expecting any peace and quiet. But then again, those looking to escape the mayhem can jump on a bus just meters away en route to the pristine Tayrona National Park.
Backpacker’s hostel or plush vacation resort? The difference is barely distinguishable in what might well be the most lavish hostel in Colombia. With no less than two swimming pools, an indoor cinema, an open area kitchen and loads of funky decor throughout, the impossibly stylish Masaya Hostel takes flashpacking to a whole new level.
La Galeria del Arte
Bed and Breakfast
More of a Bed and Breakfast than a hostel per se, La Galeria del Arte is a hit with more mature budget travelers who seek quiet and friendly accommodation in the heart of the city. As the name suggests, the complex is adorned with fancy modern art courtesy of the talented owners who love to share their craft. Best of all, delicious home-cooked Italian cuisine is offered nightly to guests in an intimate setting.