Globe Trotting

Palomino, Colombia: Where to Stay and What to Do

If postcard worthy caribbean backdrops and frozen daiquiris is what you crave, then Palomino is an essential stop for your Colombia adventure.

We transferred our stay from The Dreamer Hostel in Santa Marta to The Dreamer Hostel in Palomino, and while Santa Marta was lovely… the hostel in Palomino offers an unparalleled paradise.

Little ‘towns’ drifted by during the two hour van ride with intermittent ocean views peeking through
the thick brush.  Palomino is no different than these towns, which are only distinguishable by the half mile stretch of dusty shops and stands lining the main road we traveled upon.

Down a quiet dirt road we rumbled, inching closer and closer to the beach until screeching to a halt in front of The Dreamer’s sign.  The air was thick and sticky, weighing us down with each step, but the light breeze kept us trekking on.  The dirt road led us to a giant kidney shaped pool, lightly shaded by palm trees stretching high into the cloudless sky.  The front desk, lounge and bar were housed under an enormous thatched roof.  Beyond the bar, we discovered a little restaurant (which was unbelievably fresh and delicious) with al fresco dining under a flowery terrace.  Further was a volleyball net, a stretch of hammocks and a thin path leading out to the beach.

Our room, which cost approx $10 USD, had 20 feet thatched roof ceilings and slept 8.  We had a private bathroom, private front porch with a hammock and table and plenty of open space and storage to feel comfortable.

This was far from typical hostel living.  Resort atmosphere aside, the Dreamer Hostel is beachfront, with the most gorgeous pristine white sand stretching in both directions as far as we could see. Backpacks discarded, we ran past the beach bars, and the brightly coloured fishing boats all prepped with Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo, perched on sand dunes and dove into the refreshing clear waters. The riptide pulled as I jumped over and dove under the enormous crashing waves. All of my senses felt heightened as I fought the powerful sea, yet I concurrently felt eerily calm as I let myself surrender to the tide.    I felt truly overwhelmed with gratitude, even blessed.  A word I try to use sparingly, but feels so fitting when I reminisce about Palomino.

This hostel is the perfect place to gather your thoughts, clear your head, and do some soul searching.  It might not be the best place for a party, but you’re bound to encounter some lovely travelers, enjoy the freshest fish and most delicious watermelon juice, and recharge your mind.

Dreamer Hostel – Palomino
Price: Ranges from 10 USD to 50 USD depending on the room


You can rent tubes and tube down the river to the ocean (half day trip).  I suggest bringing beers and going with friends! Just walk to the end of the dirt road and you’ll see the tube rental store.

-Bonfire on the beach at night

-Yoga on the beach! an instructor is at the end of the path most morning, the schedule will be posted regardless, just keep your eyes peeled.

-Horseback riding in the Sierra Nevada

The restaurant at the hostel is divine.  Breakfast options of fresh fruits and eggs, perfectly crispy pizzas and lightly dressed salads for lunch, and the catch of the day with a garlic sauce or passionfruit sauce for dinner.   There are also a number of great seafood shacks and restaurants lining the beach in both directions, most attached to a neighboring hotel or hostel. If you walk up to the main street you will find traditional meats and fishes cooked curbside. Do not leave the hostel without trying the fresh watermelon juice.  I will never be satisfied by another juice again!

Internet: Palomino does not have internet access, but you can purchase half hour increments from the front desk to use their very slow private connection.  I recommend skipping it, and enjoy being off the grid for a few days.

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