The Coolest Wilderness Stays to Book in Colombia

Colombian treehouse living: truly uplifting
Colombian treehouse living: truly uplifting | © Chris Bell
Alex Robinson

In this wildly beautiful, Caribbean-nuzzling part of South America, it’s easy to find peace in the middle of nowhere and recharge your batteries.

Wilderness travels in Colombia invariably involve rainforest: Andean foothills swathed in tropical trees, sprawling Amazon jungles, and lush coastal forests backing pearl-white Caribbean and Pacific beaches. Whether you check in at a treehouse-like hotel or opt for al fresco glamping, you’ll be immersed in nature. Settle in for dawn and sunset views of beautiful landscapes, as birds and primates come out to feed and play. These special places are all bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Glamho Resort

Resort

Glamho Resort_61066b3a
Courtesy of Glamho Resort / Expedia

Stays at Glamho are in tiny geodesic domes on wooden terraces. They’re fronted by trampoline-springy nets, perfect to lounge in while observing the tree-topped hills over Medellín. The domes are giant air bubbles – held up by pumped pressure – and are transparent, meaning you can see the stars as you settle down to slumber. Skies are also visible from the ensuite bathroom – and there are big unheated outdoor tubs, too. Don’t fret about food – there’s a restaurant, and breakfast is included in the nightly rate.

2. Bethel BioLuxury Hotel

Luxury

Bethel Bio Luxury Hotel_4b90f40b
Courtesy of Bethel BioLuxury / Expedia

Bethel’s palm-thatch, wattle and stone cabins overlook the cactus-filled valleys of Colombia’s Tatacoa Desert. However, the reason you come here is the night sky. Thanks to the clear air and dearth of nearby towns, the Milky Way is so clear that it looks like a white lick across the sky. Rustic rooms are positioned to make the most of this incredible display: walls are optionally open-sided, meaning the stars are with you when you sleep, and you wake to dawn over the desert. There’s a pool, a modest spa and a bar with a DJ – in case you thought things would be too quiet.

3. Qji

Hotel

Qji Bio Hotel Glamping_708060ce
Courtesy of Qji Bio Hotel Glamping / Expedia

Set over the rippling Tatacoa Desert, Qji is all about nights under the stars. Accommodation is shack-simple – in tall, stilted huts made of bamboo and raw wood – and the stars feel close enough to touch, from the net beds or the hammock on the al fresco decks. The hotel has a small outdoor pool, organizes walks and activities in the desert and provides a decent breakfast – included in the price. For more astral gazing, the astronomical observatory is a five-minute drive away.

4. Villas del Rio

Glamping

Finca Villas del Rio_c0729913
Courtesy of Finca Villas del Rio / Expedia

A 90-minute drive from Bogota, with rooms on tall stilts in the foliage, this weekend escape feels utterly at one with its tropical, tree-filled garden. Accommodation is simple, comprising wooden shacks with mosquito-net-draped beds. Stealing the show are the balcony views over rolling hills and thickly forested valleys. Blue morpho butterflies float through the woodland, and a mountain river rushes through the grounds. Head out by cab to find local restaurants in tiny San Francisco town.

5. Hotel PietraSanta

Eco Hotel

Hotel Pietrasanta_21b582a0
Courtesy of Hotel Pietrasanta / Expedia

East of Medellín, on the vast Peñol reservoir, complete tranquillity exists in the shape of eco-minded Hotel PietraSanta: a clutch of floating cabins, chalets and bungalows suitable for couples, families and groups of friends, with all meals included in the nightly rate. It’s only accessible by boat, a 10-minute transfer from the town of Guatapé. Quiet it may be, but there’s plenty on offer, from kayaking to guided eco-walks and fishing with bamboo rods. For a special occasion, book an à la carte Fantasy Dinner and you’ll dine out on the lake, among candles, flowers and stars.

6. One Santuario Natural

Eco Hotel, Luxury

Private thatched cabin with a lawn, plus a hammock set among the trees at One Santuario Natural
Courtesy of One Santuario Natural / Expedia

Paying gentle homage to the local Kogi people, the Santuario sits in beautiful natural surrounds. It’s thatch-roofed and boutique-hotel-comfortable, placed next to a mountain river as it widens towards the Caribbean. The rainforest and snowy Sierra Nevada – where the Kogi live – form the backdrop. Rest up in a hammock and watch the mesmerizing Heart of the World documentary about the region, then get lost in nature on the numerous trails. You’ll leave this place spaced-out – and utterly invigorated.

7. Entre Palos

Eco Hotel

Entre Palos_1759264c
Courtesy of Entre Palos / Expedia

Entre Palos hides among the trees of recuperating secondary forest: accommodation in huts, raised on stilts towards the canopy. This allows them to be bigger than typical cozy-but-cramped treehouse cabins. The resort consists of ensuite bedrooms – with workplaces a visiting research scientist could use – featuring sink-into sofas and comfortable double beds. Bogotá is just under two hours’ drive from here, and dinner is served in the restaurants of San Francisco, 20 minutes away in a cab.

8. TEVA Retreat

Glamping

TEVA Retreat_a1a7fb53
Courtesy of TEVA Retreat / Expedia

Elegant stilted bungalows strike a pose at this glamping retreat, their canvas sides swathing minimalist pentagonal frames. Rather than red, raw wilderness, the surrounds comprise atmospheric woodland and lawns in the hills above Medellín, from where tired urbanites arrive to de-stress – it’s an easy Friday escape. Decor inside is casually diverse, with minimalist creams and polished woods brightened by Thai fan art, Turkish cushions and gold-tinted lampshades.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Chris Bell.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

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