Budget-savvy travelers no longer have to sacrifice nice accommodations to save while traveling the globe. A new breed of boutique hostels have been emerging throughout the world that have been offering guest upgraded hotel-like amenities with the social atmosphere of a hostel. I spent months scouting out the best hostels in Colombia to share with you. These are the 6 Best hostels in Colombia that will upgrade your budget travel lifestyle without burning a hole in your pocket.
Medellin is a haven for digital nomads, city lovers and travelers looking to immerse themselves in Colombia’s vibrant culture. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the popular Parque Lleras you’ll find one of my favorite designer hostels, Hostel Rango. Hostel Rango’s modern decor, onsite bar and restaurant offer guest an upscale experience for less than $18 a night.
Hostel Rango has noteworthy beds that feature electrical outlets, a reading light, lockers and a bedside organizer to put things you’d like quick access to such as your travel guide or toothbrush. For travelers looking for a little more privacy, the hostel offers large private rooms, equipped with a private bathroom, television, mini fridge and a telephone to order room service. That’s right you can order food from Rangos onsite restaurant and bar and have it delivered straight to your door. Rango offers rainfall showerheads in each bathroom throughout their property so whether you’re staying in the dorms or in one of their private rooms you are guaranteed to have a great shower. To top it off they give each guest a bar of soap and a towel to use during their stay so that you don’t have to bother unpacking yours. Every reservation at Rango includes a delicious European style breakfast and freshly baked bread from the local Swiss bakery.
Hostel Rango has an industrial chic bar with a speakeasy feel that serves up some tasty concoctions such as their Medellin mule or their popular Lulo mojito. Rango’s restaurant offers great munchies for you to nibble on when you start feeling those hunger pains. Try their famous truffle fries and handmade sliders. Rango’s bar and restaurant is open to the public and host nightly events to get the party started. It’s defiantly a great place to pregame before hitting the clubs.
One of our favorite things about Hostel Rango is their rooftop patio. You don’t have to stray far from your bed to get a memorable view of Medellin. This is the best place in town to have a cold beer and watch the sunset. They have a cute rooftop kitchen perfect for cooking with some new travel buddies. The icing on the Rango cake was their staff. They are incredibly friendly, attentive and go out of their way to make sure you’re comfortable. They were so friendly I found myself extending my stay on a daily basis. Hostel Rango sure knows how to class things up.
Barrio Manila in Medellin is a quaint, quiet tree-lined neighborhood speckled with cute eateries and ice cream shops located just about a quick 5-minute walk from Parque Lleras and about a 15-minute drive from Envigado. Here you’ll find Los Patios hostel, a hostel offering travelers an innovative concept of an onsite Spanish school, communal garden, rooftop bar and co-working space with the perks of upgraded hostel amenities sure to make any backpacker feel right at home.
The rooms at Los Patios are well thought out with travelers in mind. Most dorms offer epic patio views and two ensuite bathrooms, to make it easy for multiple travelers to get ready at the same time. The rooms offer towel hooks for each guest, electrical outlets, shelf space to keep your favorite things, and a private fan to cool you down during Medellin’s warm summer nights. I really adored the bunks at Los Patios because the frame of the bunks are made out of concrete so you don’t have to worry about your neighbor shaking the bed while trying to get onto the top bunk in the middle of the night.
Los Patios offers a large and well organized onsite kitchen for guest to use. No need to buy spices because they allow guest to use herbs that they grow on their rooftop garden.
One thing that sets Los Patios apart from most hostels is they have an onsite Spanish school to allow travelers who are staying with them the ability to learn Spanish. The entire staff assists guests with learning Spanish terms to ensure that guests have the skills they need to communicate with other Spanish speakers.
When you’re done exploring and just want to chill, you can hang in one of their modern communal areas such as their lobby, tv room, or their rooftop tiki bar. Their tiki bar is the perfect place to sip on budget-friendly, tropical-inspired drinks while schmoozing with other travelers or working on your tan lines. They even offer a rooftop shower to rinse off if the Medellin heat gets to you. If you’re looking for a spot with upscale amenities and bunk privacy this is a great place to catch some zzz’s.
El Pit is located in the neighborhood called La Macarena, no it’s not the dance we all know from the early 90’s that we wish we could forget. The neighborhood of La Macarena is centrally located to many tourist attractions and home to some of Bogota’s best gastronomy.
Tucked away off of a busy street corner you’ll find El Pit hostel. Walking into El Pit is like walking into the warm embrace of your grandmother’s hug. When you walk in the staff instantly greets you with the warmest smile that makes you feel as if they’ve known you forever.
The owners of El Pit converted an old elementary school into a homey hostel and restaurant. The brick exposed walls and antique wooden doors add a charming flair that sets you back in time. Aside from the amazing staff El Pit has by far the best mattresses I’ve ever slept on in a hostel. Their super comfy orthopedic mattresses and fluffy down comforters keep you warm during Bogota’s chilly nights. They are so comfortable it makes you feel like you are sleeping on a cloud of happiness. Some days I was so cozy that I barely woke up in time to indulge in their free breakfast.
El Pit is one of the few hostels in Bogota that serves up made to order breakfast consisting of your choice of omelet, toast, tea, and coffee. At night you can sip on authentic pisco sours made by the bar staff while playing Jenga with other travelers or check out Bogota’s booming nightlife. El Pit proves to be a good landing spot that you can call home when you arrive in Bogota.
If you’re looking for a clean, quaint and safe place to stay in Bogota 1212 Hostel is right up your alley. Upon entering the hostel I was impressed with the design concept. The high ceilings and skylight provide natural sunlight making the property seem spacious and immediately welcoming. The attention to detail on the design is the best I have seen in Bogota. The walls are decorated with used books creating a beautiful wallpaper motif that will make you start questioning your use of all of your old books back home. Bicycles hang on the walls like scones creating a hip and funky environment for eclectic travelers.
1212 hostel offers a huge kitchen to show off your iron chef skills or to cook a group dinner with your new found friends. The hostel offers a beautiful patio for smokers and sun worshipers to chill at and the best part it has a retractable roof so you can sit outside even in Bogota’s unpredictable rainy weather. I absolutely loved sitting on the patio and listing to the rain tap on the rooftop while still being able to enjoy myself.
The shared rooms are perfectly designed for privacy and efficiency. Each bed is equipped with outlets for charging all of the electronics so you can stay connected to the world, a reading light and a privacy curtain to keep the lights glare out of your roommate’s eyes. I think one of my favorite things was the blackout shades making it easy to sleep anytime of the day. So even if you landed midday from a 30-hour flight from the other side of the world you know you can rest easy here. The bathrooms reminded me of bathrooms in upscale gyms in the United States loaded with toilet paper, changing room and rainfall showerheads.
This hostel is comfortable and defiantly encourages socializing, however, it is on the quieter side meaning lights out at midnight. You don’t have to stop the party but they do ask you to simmer down in consideration for other travelers. On the upside, there are local bars within 10-15 walk or a quick uber ride away.
If you are cruising down Colombia’s infamous backpacker trail then Palomino, Colombia is defiantly on your list. Here you’ll find Dreamers Hostel, a hostel offering a resort-like amenities for a fraction of the price of a resort. Dreamers hostel really steps it up a notch by offering in-room massages to help you veg out after your adventures, a breakfast buffet that offers made to order eggs, and all of your breakfast favorites, an onsite bar with killer happy hour deals, and a restaurant that serves some of the best carbonara on the Colombian coast.
Dreamers hostel has beautiful tropical plants scattered throughout the property and large pool to relax by that will instantly put you in vacation mode. Each room has its own patio with tables and a hammock for you to lounge on when your done tubing down the Sierra Nevada river. The beds are comfortable, clean and most of all spacious. If you’re looking for a nice place to crash while visiting the rustic town of Palomino this is it. We highly recommend making a reservation because this place books up fast.
Escape the heat of Cartagena when staying at Bourbon Street Hostel located inside the historic walled city. Bourbon Street Hostel offers guest large bunk beds spacious enough to make you feel as if you are in your own private capsule. Each bed has electrical outlets, shelving, hooks to hang your towel and blackout, privacy shades that you can roll down when you’re just too tired to socialize with anyone or nursing your epic hangover from dancing all night in Cartagena lively nightlife scene. If you’re traveling up and down the Colombian coast you’ll get use to hearing people tell you “there aren’t hot showers available in any hostels along the coast” but to our surprise, Bourbon Street Hostel offered piping hot showers. So ladies and gents with long hair to wash and legs to shave, this is the place for you. All of Bourbon streets hostel bathrooms are private so that you don’t need to listen to anyone doing their business and you can get ready in peace.
Depending on what time of year you are visiting, Cartagena can get scorching hot to the point where sweat will drip down your back in a matter of minutes after going outside. Bourbon Street blast the AC all day long so that you can stay cool when lounging on their property. To top it off they have a small pool where you can happily sip cocktails while watching tv.
Bourbon Street has an onsite restaurant that is open to the public. They offer hostel guest a discount on food and some of their beverages. One of the best things about the hostel is that you don’t have to go too far to be part of the action. Just walk outside the hostel property and you will be smack dab in the middle of all of the best things Cartagena has to offer. We stayed in many hostels in Cartagena and this was one of our favorites.
Riohacha is an up and coming destination for backpackers because of its the last true jump off point for travelers before heading to Colombia’s popular windsurfing town Cabo De La Vela and the gorgeous Punta Gallinas sand dunes.
Bona Vida Hostel is situated just a stone’s throw away from the beach in Riohacha near the popular boardwalk area where you can view fisherman leisurely sell their catch of the day to locals and watch Wayuu women craft colorful eye-catching purses as you stroll by. This comfy hostel is known for its hospitality, great location and delicious pancakes that are included with every stay. Bona Vida’s staff members are extremely helpful and are more than happy to give their advice on the best ways to see the beautiful seaside sand dunes and what to pack for your journey.
While there we met many travelers who used Bona Vida hostel and a resting point to catch up with friends and family online before going deep into the desert and being cut off from civilization aka wifi. Bona Vida hostel offers chill communal areas strung with hammocks for you to relax and read the book you’ve been meaning to finish. If you’re looking for a place to post up and take a break from your wild adventures Bona Vida is your jam.
Whether you are traveling on a budget or just looking for a great place to stay where you can meet like-minded travelers and digital nomads, boutique hostels prove that you can travel in style without dropping tons of money.