Palomino, Colombia, a small beach town on the northern Caribbean coast, has become a popular destination, especially for backpackers.  Sporting a laid back vibe, it is practically an obligatory stop on a tour of Colombia’s Caribbean.  In this travel guide to Palomino, Colombia, you will learn how to get there, what to do, and where to stay in Palomino along with practical travel tips and a suggested packing list for Palomino, Colombia.

*Info on 2020 reopening: Palomino officially reopened to tourists in early September (source here). Beaches are open Visitors are expected to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols, and not all restaurants or hotels may be open yet. The hotels listed below all are currently accepting reservations online, but you should double check they are open before booking, and I have not verified the restaurants noted below.

*Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program as well as other affiliate programs and may earn a commission on qualifying purchases made after clicking links from this site.  There is never any additional cost to you.  For more information, please consult my Disclosure Policy.

Photo of the beach in Palomino, Colombia.
Palomino is Colombia’s hippest little beach town. Read on to learn all you need to know to plan a visit in this Practical Guide to Palomino, Colombia. Image Source: DepositPhotos user StreetFlash.

Why You Should Visit Palomino, Colombia

Located about 90 minutes north of Santa Marta, Palomino is a cool place to hang out for a few days by the beach, meet some fellow travelers, enjoy some chilled out nightlife, and eat some good grub.

Right at the border of the Magdelena and La Guajira provinces, Palomino is also a gateway to explore more of Colombia’s La Guajira Peninsula.

My wife and I stopped at Palomino for two nights in July 2018 on our way back from Punta Gallinas.  It was a nice respite from the more roughing it style of travel we did there and in Cabo de la Vela.

I also spent a night in Palomino with my friend Brian in April 2019.  It was the cool vibe and food that drew me back more than anything.

Palomino has in many ways replaced Taganga as a cool stop off point for backpackers, and it reminded me quite a bit of the vibes in Taganga years back, basically a quiet beach town that has been turned into a destination with a proliferation of trendy hostels and restaurants/cafes/bars.

In my opinion, there are prettier beaches on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, like those in Tayrona National Park or at Costeño Beach.

Still, Palomino’s laid-back vibe and cool restaurants and bars make for a nice happy medium between the city and nature and a cool way to spend a couple days.

It is the perfect place to stop, chill out, and enjoy some drinks and good food if you are touring Colombia’s north coast between Santa Marta and La Guajira.

Here, I will give you a run down of my experiences in Palomino.

In this practical travel guide to Palomino, you will learn how to get there, what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in Palomino, Colombia along with some useful tips and a suggested packing list to help you plan your own travel to Palomino.

Photo of palm trees on the beach in Palomino, Colombia.
Besides the pretty scenery, Palomino, Colombia has a cool, laid back vibe.  Image Source:  DepostPhotos by user STYLEPICS.

Travel Guide to Palomino, Guajira, Colombia

  • Safety in Palomino
  • How to Get to Palomino
  • What to do in Palomino
  • Where to Eat in Palomino
  • Nightlife in Palomino
  • Where to Stay in Palomino
  • Travel Tips for Palomino
  • Packing List for Palomino

Is Palomino Safe?

The times I have been to Palomino, I felt plenty safe.  It’s fairly well traveled and like much of small town Colombia, all the residents know each other and crime is generally low. 

That being said, you should still follow some basic tips for safety in Palomino.

It is a small town where most of the residents are borderline impoverished, and many of the businesses that have come in are not owned by locals.  Now their formerly quiet little beach town is overrun with foreigners.  I found locals nice, but not overly friendly.

Of course the influx of tourists brings its own set of problems anywhere.  Doing things like buying drugs is done at your own risk engaging with people who are, by nature, criminals.

Petty crime can also happen, so besides that, I would be wary of walking around at night, especially off the main road and alone.

There was a murder on the road in late 2019, where a robber was stealing the car of a couple, and the town of Guachaca to the south has experienced paramilitary and drug trafficking incursions.  I would discourage traveling from elsewhere to Palomino at night and check local news to ensure there has not been any recent problems.

Maybe that’s sounds alarmist, but always better safe than sorry.  In all likelihood you’ll be just fine as long as you stick to these basic tips on safety in Palomino, Colombia.

How to Get to Palomino, La Guajira, Colombia

*Prices are updated as of February 2020 unless otherwise noted.

How to Get to Palomino by Bus

You can reach Palomino by bus from Santa Marta, Tayrona, or Riohacha.

How to Take the Bus from Santa Marta to Palomino:

  • From the market in Santa Marta, there are buses that leave every 15 minutes (they are the same buses that go to Tayrona).  The cost from Santa Marta to Palomino is 10,000 pesos.  *Pro tip:  get a window spot on the coast side as you can get some great views of the ocean as you approach Palomino.

How to Get the Bus from Tayrona to Palomino or Costeño Beach to Palomino:

  • Catch them on the main road heading north (far side of the road), the cost should be 2,000 pesos to get to Palomino from Tayrona or Costeño Beach.

How to Get the Bus from Riohacha to Palomino:

  • Get the bus from Riohacha to Palomino at the terminal in Riohacha.  The cost should be approximately 15,000 pesos.  You can get tickets online at

Marsol also offers charter van service to Palomino and can be taken from Cartagena, Barranquilla, or Santa Marta.  Cost will depend on where you get the van.  

From elsewhere, I’m not sure if there are buses directly to Palomino from other cities in Colombia, so you will most likely have to bus into Santa Marta, then hop the bus from Santa Marta to Palomino.

Photo of the beach front in Palomino, Colombia with people sitting and standing on the beach and palm trees in the background.
The beachfront at Palomino is nice but does get a bit crowded right around the main entrance from town.

How to Get to from Cartagena to Palomino

You have a couple options to get from Cartagena to Palomino, Guajira.

Charter Bus to Palomino from Cartagena


Marsol has two daily direct buses to from Cartagena to Palomino.  The depart from Cartagena to Palomino at 6 am and 10 am and have a cost of 80,000 pesos.  (last price check:  February 2020)

They also have buses to Santa Marta.  There are direct buses at 8 am, 10 am, noon, and 2 pm, and semi-direct buses (they make a stop in Barranquilla) at 6 am, 4 pm, and 6 pm.  The cost is 56,000 pesos.  (last price check:  February 2020).

Note for both buses to Palomino or Santa Marta, Marsol will pick you up from your hotel or hostel starting approximately an hour before.  If you’d prefer to just head to the office in Marbella you can do that as well.  For the bus to Santa Marta, you’ll save 8,000 pesos (about the same as a price of a taxi) if you go direct to the office.  For the direct bus to Palomino, it’s the same price regardless (I know it doesn’t make sense), so you might as well take advantage of the door to door service, unless you’re pressed for time.  If you do go direct to the office, be sure to be there at lest 15 minutes before the departure time.

Once in Santa Marta, follow the above directions to travel from Santa Marta to Palomino.

*Note:  if you are planning to visit Tayrona as well, Marsol also has direct buses from Cartagena to Tayrona.  See more at my complete guide to Tayrona.


Berlinas does not have a direct bus from Cartagena to Palomino, but you can take them from Cartagena to Santa Marta.  Once in Santa Marta, follow the instructions above.

The price is 48,000 pesos (last price check:  February 2020) with departures every 40 minutes starting at 4:40 am (or 6:00 am on Sundays and Monday holidays).

I’ve found Berlinas to generally have better service than Marsol, but Marsol does have the added convenience of a direct bus, so if you’re going from Cartagena to Palomino and not stopping elsewhere, it is a pretty solid choice.

If you are planning to travel to Palomino from Cartagena, I highly recommend that you also check out the gorgeous mountain town of Minca and Tayrona National Park before or after Palomino.  Santa Marta is also worth checking out for a day or two.

From the Bus Terminal

You can also take a bus from Cartagena to Palomino from the main bus terminal.

It should cost 30-45,000 pesos depending on company.  You can check prices and reserve online at, although in my experience they only have a fraction of the actual buses listed there.

Generally, I would recommend using Marsol or Berlinas to get from Cartagena to Palomino.  While a bit pricier, their offices are a 5 minute rather than half hour plus taxi ride from the Walled City, not to mention the price of a taxi to the terminal will more than offset the savings on the cheaper bus.

However, if you’re in a group and not pressed for time, you can save a few pesos by taking your bus to Palomino from Cartagena from the terminal.

To return from Palomino to Cartagena, you can use any of the above options as well.

Can You Fly to Palomino?


There’s no airport in Palomino.  If you want to arrive to Palomino by air, you will have to fly into Cartagena or Santa Marta.

You can check out flights into both cities on Colombia’s flagship Avianca airline or compare flight prices across airlines at Jetradar.  Follow the instructions above to get to Palomino from either city.

Photo of a few people sitting in the sand on the beach in Palomino, Colombia.
While you may have to spend some time on buses, chilling out with laid back vibes as one of the top things to do in Palomino, Colombia is worth it.

What to Do in Palomino
Top Things to Do in Palomino, Colombia

Wondering what to do in Palomino, Colombia?  There are a number of fun things to do in Palomino.

Here are some the top activities in Palomino.

Go Tubing on the Palomino River

This is probably the most popular of the things to do in Palomino.

The Palomino River is an offshoot of the Magdalena.

Honestly, I haven’t done it either time I’ve been to Palomino.  I know, I know, just what kind of travel blogger am I?

The truth is, the first time I was there, we were worn out and by the time we got moving on our full day, we didn’t want to brave the sun after several days in the desert of La Guajira.

The second time, I was only in Palomino for a day.  My friend Brian and I preferred to enjoy the food and drinks in Palomino rather than do the tubing.

That being said, tubing on the Palomino River seems like a great way to spend a few hours , and I am going to have to make a point of doing it next time I visit.

I’ve heard from several friends that it is totally worth it.  The river is calm and shallow throughout the float down, and the guides make sure you don’t get hung up anywhere. 

Tubing down the river seems like a great way to spend a few hours while getting some great views of the nature and scenery of the lush forest of the Sierra Nevada.

I did ask around, and the price for tubing in Palomino should be around 40,000 pesos a person and includes the tube and a guide to make sure you don’t get lost and guide you along the river. 

The trip should take 3 hours:  about an hour hike and 2 hours down the river.  I’d recommend going early before it gets too hot and sunny.

People floating on inner-tubes down the river, a popular option for what to do in Palomino, Colombia.
People tubing down the river, one of the top things to do in Palomino, Colombia.  The scenery of the Palomino forest river is terrific!

I’ve read elsewhere that you can solely rent the tube and do the tubing in Palomino independently, but we were told that wasn’t allowed.  Rather that is something that had changed or good salesman gamesmanship, I’m not sure.

It is probably worth asking around.  By the same token, it’s worth keeping in mind there aren’t many opportunities for people in the town, and 40,000 pesos is the price of 2-4 cocktails at most places in Palomino or Colombia.  For 3 hours it seems like a fair price.

Visit the Quebrada Valencia Waterfalls Near Palomino

The Quebrada Valencia are the waterfalls near Palomino. 

When I was there, it was reportedly dried up due to lack of rain, so we didn’t go, but pictures online make it seem worth it if the falls are flowing.

You can take a mototaxi from the main road there and hike up to the falls.  It is worth asking around before you go to make sure they aren’t dried up.  I haven’t made it to the Quebrada Valencia in my two visits, but it seems like a cool way to spend half a day if you can and one of the best things to do in Palomino.

Chill on the Beach

As I said earlier, the beach in Palomino is nice but not spectacular (then again, maybe I’ve been spoiled).

The waves and currents are strong (swimmers beware of riptides) and the beach isn’t as wide as in other nearby places. 

Note that there are surf lessons on the beach in Palomino, so check those out if you want to learn to surf.

Given the how popular a destination the town has become, it also can get crowded around the main exit, but a short walk either direction sees the crowds thin out considerably.

Photo of the beachfront in Palomino, Colombia, with some people wading in the water and clouds and palm trees in the background.
While there may be prettier beaches in along the coast, the beach at Palomino, Colombia still ain’t too shabby.

That being said, you can’t go to Palomino and not at least check the beach out.  It’s about a 10 minute walk from “downtown” Palomino, and if you walk down a ways it is nice once the crowds dissipate.

So, check out the beach, have a piña colada there, and go for a wade.  However, in my opinion at least, it’s better to spend more time hanging around town and if you’re up for it, head to the beach for the afterparty.

If you want to really beach it, I’d recommend checking out Tayrona or Costeño Beach.

Enjoy Some Great Food
Where to Eat in Palomino, Colombia

As noted above, grubbing out is my favorite of the things to do in Palomino.

Here’s a rundown of my favorite restaurants in Palomino, Colombia.

Suá – Best Restaurant in Palomino

I’ve had lunch in Suá both times I’ve been in Palomino.  It is delicious, has a cool vibe, has good drinks, and is well worth checking out!

The cool outdoor wooden tables, and frequent daytime live music sums up the entire allure of Palomino for me.  But what really makes it special is the excellent fare on offer at Suá.

The food, in addition to being super tasty, just has that fresh taste to it. Especially good is the make your own plate option, that allows you to make your own combo from several protein, sauce, and side options in addition to a salad.

Collage of photos showing the outdoor seating area and a plate of food at Suá one of the best places to eat in Palomino.
A cool and pretty restaurant, Suá also has great food, making it one of the best restaurants in Palomino.

While there are beef and chicken on offer in the make your own plate, its pretty hard to resist the shrimp or prawn options.  I absolutely loved the coconut, orange, and ginger sauce on prawns, and I can’t complain about the tastes I had of the curry and garlic and butter sauces (there are also a blue cheese sauce and another one I can’t recall). 

The first time we were there, I also had a bomb chicken sandwich, and the last time I went, my friend Brian also got the Cazuela de Langostinos of prawns in a delicious tomato sauce.

There are also good drinks on offer, including great limonadas de coco and the delicious craft beer from the Sierra Nevada Brewery, located in nearby Minca.

Turcolandia – Best Pizza in Palomino

Photo of the Turcolandia Pizza Sign in Palomino, Colombia
I love the pizza at Turcolandia.

This is possibly the best pizza I’ve had in all of Colombia!  Seriously, this was one of the main reasons I wanted to go back to Palomino. 

Thin, but with a good rolled up end crust and loaded with toppings, the pizza at Turcolandia is awesome!

But even better is watching the owner and cook at work.  A bald guy (is he a Turk, an Italian, I don’t even know or care), you can see him shoveling pizzas in and out of the ovens like a madman.  He does a fair bit of yelling as well, but there’s something neat about seeing him at work, and the pizza reflects his energy.

The tree stump seats and trunk tables just adds to the great vibe.  You can even get some homemade whiskey (it’s ok, not great, but cheap) here.  Be sure to try the homemade sauces as well to top off the tastiest pizza in Palomino, Colombia. 

Definitely a cool place that I made a point to get back to when I returned the second time (and hopefully will again).

*Check out Turcolandia’s Reviews on Trip Advisor

JUntos – Great Burgers and Bar in Palomino

JUntos is one of the coolest bars in Palomino.  The first time we visited, they had a Noche Azul (Blue Night).  They periodically have them (about once a month) during the year.

There was a DJ visiting from Trinidad and Tobago, and it made for a great place to spend the night having some drinks and dancing.

But even if you can’t enjoy a Noche Azul, JUntos would be a great place to have dinner and drinks.

The burgers were absolutely delicious, and there’s a good happy hour with reasonable beer and cocktail prices.

Photo of the front of JUntos Bar and Restaurant, another one of the best places to eat in Palomino, Colombia.
Not only one of the best restaurants in Palomino, Colombia, JUntos is also a good place to have some drinks in the evening.

My second time in Palomino, we just happened to be there the day of the week they were closed, unfortunately.  However, I’d highly recommend Juntos as a place to get some tasty burgers and have a few drinks in the evening.

Bonus if you get lucky like we did and are there during a Noche Azul.

*Check JUntos’s Reviews on Trip Advisor

Frontera – More Good Pizza in Palomino

The first time my wife and I stopped in at Palomino, we had lunch at Frontera fresh off the trip back from Punta Gallinas just at the beginning of “downtown” Palomino.  It was one of the first places we came to and we had quite the appetite.

Ok, my wife loves super thin crust pizza and liked this pizza better than Turcolandía.  I like a good, solid crust and liked Turcolandía better (in case you didn’t get that from above).

So our pizza disputes aside, Frontera’s pizza was still very good and it is another great option for where to eat in Palomino.  It also has a cool vibe with wine bottle candleholders and a neat courtyard outback. 

If you’re looking for a good thin crust pizza, then Frontera is another one of the good options among the best places to eat in Palomino, Colombia.

*Check Frontera’s Reviews on Trip Advisor

Other Places to Eat in Palomino

Those are the places I’ve been tried in my two trips to Palomino, but there are a number of other good looking places.  There’s a shawarma and falafel place, and several vegetarian friendly places.

There’s a place coming in to town that says they have wings and have a great tag line telling you to impregnate yourself with flavor.  There are also places serving up traditional Colombian fare, and standard beach fare like fried fish.

All in all, there are lots of good options for places to eat in Palomino, and enjoying all the good fare on offer is one of the best things to do in Palomino.

*See the top restaurants in Palomino on Trip Advisor

Street-side huts housing the restaurants and cafes you will see if you visit Palomino, Colombia.
“Downtown” Palomino, a view of the strip where you will find many of the restaurants and the best bars in Palomino, Colombia.

Enjoy the Nightlife

Part of the reason Palomino has become popular backpacker and hipster traveler town is the vibrant and hip scene.  Therefore enjoying a night on the town is undoubtedly one of the things for what to do in Palomino, Colombia.

While not exactly nightclubbing, many of the bars and restaurants in Palomino have frequent live music and/or DJs.

As I said, we got lucky and the first night we were there, Juntos Bar and Restaurant had their Noche Azul.  They do it every few weeks (*check for dates at their facebook page).  The place got hopping and both the band and DJ were good.

On my second visit, Suá also had a cool little band in the evening, and there were a couple other places that had live music.

Maria Mulata, seems like a hopping place that also has good food and frequent live music.  It is a place I’d like to check out next time I’m in town.

So, you will undoubtedly have the opportunity to get your groove on in Palomino.

One note:  since Palomino is still a small town at heart, by law the bars in Palomino have to close down at 11 pm.  The beach seems to the place for the afterparty if you want to continue your partying afterwards.

Where to Stay in Palomino, Colombia

There are a lot of options for places to stay in Palomino.  There are a number of hostels and hotels in the town itself as well as hostels, hotels, and lodges along the beach or in the forest outside of town.

I’d recommend staying in town so you have easy access to the restaurants and bars but can still walk to the beach.  For those that want the beach, there are also some nice beach front hotels in Palomino.

Here I’m going to run down some suggestions for where to stay in Palomino for all budgets. I’m going to split these best places to stay in Palomino into two parts:

  1. Best Beachfront Hotels in Palomino
  2. Best of the Rest Hotels in Palomino
  3. Best Hostels in Palomino

In a hurry to book where to stay in Palomino?

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5 Great Beachfront Hotels in Palomino

Hotel Chiniu – Beach Escape in Palomino

Hotel Chiniu is located just off the beach and has a gorgeous and large property covered in palm trees and sporting a nice pool to boot! It has an onsite lounge, bar, and even karaoke. Located just a bit off the main area of town, it would be perfect to treat yourself to a nice romantic escape or for a family getaway. Note that it does have a 2 night minimum stay.

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Aite Hotel Beachfront Bungalows – Palomino Beach Bungalows

Aite Hotel is among the best hotels in Palomino.  It does offer nice standard rooms, but if you opt to stay here you have to go for one of the bungalows!  There are larger bungalows for groups up to 4 or or standards for couples.  With two pools and a fabulously rated restaurant on site, you may never want to leave.  This would be the perfect place for a romantic get away in Palomino with your special someone.  If you do decide to stay on the beach itself, treat yourself to staying here!

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Hotel Casa Coraje – Beachfront Modernity

Hotel Casa Coraje has a trendy modern look to its very nice rooms but manages to still fit the Palomino vibe perfectly. It has an onsite bar and pool and is located just off the beach. It would also be a great option for where to stay in Palomino for a couple.

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Hukumeizi Hotel – Secluded Luxury

Located down the beach after most of the other hotels, Hukumeizi Hotel is the Palomino beachfront hotel for those looking to get away from it all. A gorgeous and large property, it has beautiful grounds, and a nice pool along with a beach that is sure to have hardly anyone there. Although on the high end price wise, it would be great for a relaxing escape whether it be for couples or families.

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Makao – Beachfront Value Hotel in Palomino

If you want to stay at one of the beachfront hotels in Palomino for a friendlier price, then check out Makao.  The rooms are gorgeous and there’s a great private beach front sitting area and bar.  There is also a restaurant and even surf board and bike rental available for guests.  This would be another great place for couples.

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Non Beachfront Hotels in Palomino

ONE Santuario Natural – Amazing Mountain Lodge

Located in the mountains above Palomino, ONE Santuario Natural (previously known as Reserva One Love), has a beautiful property with a stunning view.  It is all inclusive and offers that special type of natural, escape it all luxury.  If you’re looking for a great Palomino hotel outside of town proper, look no further.  While on the higher end of prices for hotels in Palomino, ONE Santuario is an absolute excellent place to spend a few days taking in the beauty of the area and disconnecting from the world at large.

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Casa del Pavo Real Boutique – Sweet Beach Town Lodge

Casa del Pavo Real Boutique Hostel, despite the hostel in the name is really more of a luxury boutique hotel. It does offer family rooms and a bungalow, but there are no dorms, and there are standard private rooms on site too. With a neat beach but modern vibe, it has a gorgeous pool on site and is just a bit off the main road to the beach, offering easy access to both town and the beach.

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Casa Chapolin – Great Bang for Your Peso Just off the Beach

Casa Chapolin is a nice property that offers nice rooms and even bungalows nestled among the palm trees not far from the beach. A family run establishment, it has a nice, relaxed vibe, and would be another great choice for couples on a budget in Palomino.

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Luz de Luna and Spa – Nice Lodge on the Edge of Town

The Luz de Luna and Spa is located just on the edge of the main strip in town and is still within a short walk to the beach. There is a nice pool on site here and the rooms are nice. It’s a good value for couples in particular who don’t want to splurge for the nicer places on the beach itself.

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Casa Kai – Terrific Value

Located a couple blocks off the main strip in town, Hotel Casa Kai is a great budget option. There is a nice garden area, and even a tiny pool. The accommodations are also very nice, making this all in all a terrific value place to stay in Palomino.

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5 Great Hostels in Palomino

Dreamer Hostel Palomino – Most Popular Palomino Hostel

The Dreamer Hostel Palomino (sister property of the hostel in Santa Marta), has a beautiful property with a pool, bar, and restaurant.  There are dorms and private rooms available, and it has the perfect location on the main road in town just off the beach. That makes it the perfect happy medium between town and the beach.  It is among the most popular places to stay in Palomino, so you will definitely want to make reservations here before hand.

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Primaluna Hostel – Nicest Palomino Hostel

Primaluna also has a terrific pool and cool vibe, making it another one of the best hostels in Palomino.  Located on the main road, it is about a 3 minute walk to the beach.  There are dorms, family/group rooms, privates, and even a small private bungalow available.  There are also a bar and restaurant on site.  A great place for solo or group travelers and for couples.

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Tiki Hut Hostel – Best Value Palomino Hostel

Tiki Hut Hostel is a great value. It too sports a nice pool in addition to the restaurant on site, garden lounge, and game room with a pool table.  There are dorms as well as privates, and the prices here, especially for dorms, are among the most budget friendly in town.  That makes it one of the best value hostels in Palomino.

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Palomino Hostel – Cheapest Hostel in Palomino (allows camping)

I spent a night in Palomino Hostel the first time I visited.  We stayed in a group private room.  Nothing spectacular here but it was clean, and it was cheap, being close per person to dorms in the nicer hostels.  There are also standard privates, dorms, and tents available.  It is centrally located in town near lots of restaurants.  A great option for visiting Palomino on a budget!

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Bikini Hostel – Decent Hostel (where we stayed, mixed experiences)

We spent a night at Bikini Hostel back in 2018 when I visited Palomino the first time in a group private, liked it, and I decided to return when I visited again in April 2019.  It is a pretty little property, has a nice little pool, and it has good prices. Two things will most likely lead me to look elsewhere next time.  First, the dorm I stayed in the second time was an oven at night and the fan didn’t work.  Second the owner was quite rude to us on our second visit when we didn’t immediately chug drinks they had just sold us happily at full price with no warning at closing time.  Still, the private and group rooms are decent and the property is pretty, but I would definitely avoid the dorms and not buy drinks near closing time.

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Want to check out more places to stay in Palomino?

See More Options for Places to Stay in Palomino on See More Options for Places to Stay in Palomino at See More Options for Places to Stay in Palomino at See More Options for Places to Stay in Palomino at

Travel Tips for Palomino

  • There is no ATM in Palomino.  While most hostels and hotels in Palomino should take cards for payment, you should make sure you take plenty of cash.  If you do run out, you may be able to visit an ATM in a nearby town, but best just to hit one in Santa Marta at the latest.
  • There is also no proper supermarket in Palomino, although you can get basic goods in tiendas in town.
  • Keep in mind this is a small town that became a tourist destination.  Hence why the bars close at 11.  Have fun but try not to make a fool of yourself.
  • Crime doesn’t appear to be an issue and Palomino is very safe, but I would still avoid wondering around off the main strip at night.
  • Budget:  I would budget for 100-150,000 pesos a day in addition to what you pay for accommodation.  You could do it cheaper, but that will give you plenty for food and drinks.
  • You can get the bags, or mochilas, made by the Kogi indigenous people in Palomino for much cheaper than in Santa Marta or Cartagena.
  • Speaking of the Kogi, they consider the entire Sierra Nevada coastal mountain range to be sacred, so don’t litter!
A view of the river with a small sandbar in the middle that you can see if you visit Palomino.
Another shot of the Palomino River showing off the scenery of Palomino, Colombia.

Packing List for Palomino – What Should I Pack for Palomino?

Wondering what to wear in Palomino?

You’ll want to dress comfortably as it is hot and humid. Palomino has a relaxed, beach town vibe so there’s no need to bring anything formal, even for going out.  A pair of jeans and possibly a long sleeve shirt or light jacket would be good to have in the off chance it gets chilly in the evening, but you could probably get by without it.

What to Pack for Her

What to Pack for Him

Travel Gear to Pack for Palomino

  • Dock and Bay’s Microfiber Travel Towels dry quick, are easy to pack, and have a cool retro style.  If you’re looking for something more plain, Rainleaf’s Microfibers are the best in the biz.
  • I love my Roam collapsable day pack.  It is sturdy but packs up nicely to be carried in another, bigger bag (see review here).
  • Speaking of bigger bags, the Osprey Farpoint 40 holds a ton but is still small enough to be easily carried, packed on buses, or used as a carryon.
  • If you’re backpacking and staying hostels, then a good lock for your bag and locker is important to have.  This Masterlock lets you set your own combination so you don’t have to worry about a key and is TSA approved for use on luggage.
  • For even more security, consider getting a Pacsafe, nearly impossible to open up, it will keep your cash and valuables secure.
  • There are sometimes power outages in Palomino, so if you rely on your phone for pictures or will need other electronic devices, consider packing a Anker Powercore 1000 backup battery and charger.

Accessories to Pack for Palomino

  • These RawWood Bamboo Sunglasses are not only snazzy, they also float, making them perfect for tubing in Palomino.  I recently got myself a pair and love them (see review here).
  • If you do go tubing, you will want to keep your money and phone dry.  This 3 piece dry bag set has a phone pouch, a smaller bag, and a larger one.
  • Some shops have water bottle refills for cheap and most hostels in Palomino will let you refill a bottle free.  Having a good water bottle is therefore not only environmentally friendly, but budget friendly as well.  This Nomader collapsable water bottle would be perfect for travel.  If you’re looking to drink tap water in Palomino or anywhere, you might also consider investing in a Steripen.
  • You’ll definitely want plenty of sunscreen.  It can be found at shops in Palomino, but at a premium.  In fact, it tends to be expensive in all of Colombia.  If you decide to bring some from abroad, I recommend Coppertone Sport, which holds up well through sweat, river, and ocean.
  • Finally, mosquitos can get bad, especially in the evening, so you will want some bug spray.  If you pick it up in Colombia, I recommend Stay Off Amazonic.  You can also find natural repellent for sale in some of the shops in town.  If you bring it from abroad, I recommend OFF! Deep Woods (also available in towelettes) or check out OFF! Botanicals for an all natural option.  If you want a sunscreen/repellent combo, check out Avon’s Skin so Soft Bug Guard.

Ready to go to Palomino?

In conclusion, Palomino is definitely worth taking a night or two there to chill out during a visit to Colombia’s Caribbean coast.  It’s especially a good place to relax if you have been roughing it in Tayrona or La Guajira.  More power to you if you can enjoy the tubing and see some of the surrounding scenery. 

You can enjoy some luxuries like hanging by the pool at the hostel, getting some tasty grub, and going out dancing while still having easy access to the surrounding nature of the river, waterfalls, and mountains.

There you have it, a complete travel guide to Palomino, Colombia.  If you do decide to go to Palomino, I hope you find this guide useful in planning your trip.

Cheers and Happy Exploring!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Matias

    Hi Adam, do you have an email where I can write a proposal to your consideration? Thank you.

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