With its warm people and colorful culture, it’s no wonder an increasing number of adventurous travelers are packing up their bags and heading to the beautiful country of Colombia. From the colonial charm of Cartagena to the picture-perfect beaches of Providencia Island, whatever your idea of the perfect vacation may be, it’s likely you’ll find plenty to swoon over as you travel through the country. And if you’re interested in saving a few dollars, I can’t say enough about the option of staying at hostels versus traditional hotels. While they certainly don’t offer luxury resort amenities, they provide everything you need to get a good night’s sleep. Here are a handful of my top picks that I encourage you to check out if you’re planning a Colombian vacation:

Cartagena [Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons 2.0, Norma Gomez]

Cartagena [Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons 2.0, Norma Gomez]

Hotel El Viajero in Cartagena

Conveniently located in the heart of Cartagena’s historic district, you just can’t get any closer to all the action. The rooms are simple and clean–the essentials when it comes to any good hostel. They even have air conditioning, lots of shelf space, and flat-screen TVs, plus many have private bathrooms. The rooms and bathrooms are tight on space, but the tidiness and affordability of the place make it a non-issue. A small onsite computer room is available to guests along with free coffee service throughout the day. The reception is open 24/7–a big perk for backpackers who may be arriving on a late bus.

Hostal Mar y Mar in Isla San Andres

You’ll want to spend all your time on the beaches while visiting Isla San Andres, so why pay a fortune for a hotel? The Hostal Mar y Mar features a white-washed, contemporary design, and spacious rooms come furnished with air conditioning, mini fridge, and microwave. Private bathrooms even have warm water showers–a luxury not always guaranteed in this corner of the world! The beach and downtown are both just a 5- to 10-minute walk away, and the hostel offers airport pick-up for about 6 dollars.

Medellin [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 2.0, seth pipkin]

Medellin [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 2.0, seth pipkin]

Urban Buddha Hostel in Medellin

Brightly colored murals and an eclectic collection of artwork set the scene at this energetic and welcoming hostel in Medellin. If you need a place to meditate or decompress after a few busy days on the town, grab a siesta in the peaceful garden, complete with pond, hammocks, and plenty of greenery. The helpful staff is always on hand to set you up with tours or offer advice on where to go next.

Hostal Encuentro in Cali

First, it’s worth pointing out that dorm rooms at the Hostal Encuentro feature individual beds laid out in an large rooms. No bunks, which means no worrying about whether you’ll get the top or bottom bed! But the real selling point of this homey, family-run hostel is the rooftop terrace, which offers fantastic views of the city and surrounding mountains. The location is ideal for walking around Cali and discovering its beautiful parks, restaurants, shops, and more.

You’ll quickly discover the warmth and hospitality of Colombian people after arriving. To make the most of your trip, we invite you to sign up for private Spanish classes. Being able to communicate with front desk staff, taxi drivers, and other locals will open new doors and lead you to even more exciting opportunities to learn about the local way of life. Call or email us today!