Cartagena de Indías is not for the faint of heart. It’s a bustling city with an intense energy that can be hard to get used to during your stay.
If you’re looking for hostels to stay in during your time in Cartagena, I’ve rounded up eight of my favorites, with a specific hostel for every kind of traveler. I stayed more than 2 months in the city! I aspire to use this experience to help you choose the ideal hostel for your upcoming stay.
My top choices, and their award categories, include:
- Hostel in Cartagena with the best pool: Casa del Puerto Hostel & Suites
- Best hostel in Cartagena to meet other travelers: Viajero Cartagena Hostel
- Best hostel in Cartagena for tight budget: Quintas by Maos
- Best hostel in Cartagena to enjoy Getsemani: Casa Del Pozo Boutique Hostel
- Best hostel in Cartagena to stay by the beach: Zion Beach House
- Hostel in Cartagena with the biggest dorm: The Clock Hostel And Suites
- Hostel in Cartagena with the best courtyard: Republica Hostel
- Best hostel in Cartagena for digital nomads: Selina Hostel
Do you want to learn more? Read on below to find out more about the best hostels in Cartagena de Indías!
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Best hostels in Cartagena: Mini-reviews
Whenever you travel to a new city or country, it is imperative to get detailed information regarding the area you will be visiting and the establishment you will be staying in. You want to be sure to stay in a place with positive reviews and helpful amenities.
Hostel in Cartagena with the Best Swimming Pool: Casa del Puerto Hostel & Suites
As the winner of the best swimming pool category, Casa del Puerto Hostel & Suites is an excellent option for those looking to explore and want an area to come back to for relaxing and decompressing. Part of a chain of different hostels throughout Cartagena, guests enjoy many additional amenities. It’s one of the best hostels in Manga.
Depending on the group of travelers present, owners can organize a pool party.
- The pool is perfect for swimming or playing volleyball.
- The bar is next to the swimming pool, and the hostel provides inflatable buoys to the guests.
- You can enjoy the game room, and you’ll find the facilities very clean.
- There are many positive comments regarding the safe location surrounding the hostel.
- Private rooms have a unique decoration and a friendly atmosphere.
- One thing that reflected negatively on the hostel was that none of the dorm doors had locks.
Price dorm (4 people): from 65,000 COP | Price private room: from 195,000 COP/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: none | Location: Manga | Accommodation type: Hostel
Best Hostel in Cartagena to Meet Other Travelers: El Viajero
As the winner of the social award and an excellent option for those looking to get to know new people, the Viajero Cartagena Hostel provides a great place to stay long and short-term. Between the free dance lessons, the beautiful exterior, and the abundant nightlife, you won’t want to leave when your stay is up! It’s one of the best hostels in San Diego.
- The Viajero Cartagena Hostel has a magnificent rating, mainly because of the good vibes and the friendly staff.
- The hostel offers women-only dorms.
- You should not stay at this hostel if you desire to go to bed early, as it wins the social award for a reason! They turn off the music at 11h30pm.
- Local beers at the bar are pretty expensive.
- Some private rooms don’t have a private bathroom.
Price dorm (6,8,10,12 people): from 41,000 COP | Price private room: from 177,000 COP/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 1 day | Location: San Diego| Accommodation type: Hostel | Free breakfast in private room only.
Best Economic Hostel in Cartagena: Quintas by Maos
The winner of our most economical option category, Quintas by Maos, provides a comfortable place to rest your head at night without breaking the bank. The hostel is centrally located and occupies a large, well-kept home in the Manga neighborhood.
It’s not a party place.
- Those who have had an opportunity to stay at Quintas by Maos rave about the flexibility the staff at the hostel provides with last-minute travel changes.
- The made-to-order breakfast and the comfortable beds make every traveler happy.
- Some guests took issue with the small size of the private rooms and wished they could have been bigger.
- Manga is a district where it’s easier to find affordable restaurants. And you can still walk to the getsemani neighborhood in 5 min.
- The staff won’t speak English.
Price dorm (4,6,8 people): from 57,000 COP | Price private room: from 120,000 COP/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 4 days | Location: Manga | Accommodation type: Hostel | Free breakfast
Epic Hostel in Cartagena to Enjoy Getsemani: Casa Del Pozo
Known for its great location in Getsemani, the Casa Del Pozo Boutique Hostel offers excellent accommodations in a unique and fun neighborhood. Owned by the same company as Casa del Puerto Hostel, the establishments share many similarities but are located in different areas of Cartagena — also, the pool is a lot smaller. It’s one of the best boutique hostels in Cartagena.
- There is a security member at the front of the building at all times. Visitors also appreciate the helpfulness of the front desk and the concierge services provided to them.
- The hostel is located in a quiet street.
- You’ll be nearby the best restaurants and bars of Getsemaní. The same goes for the Trinidad square (2min walk).
- There is a cool cafe/bar to hang out and relax. This is where the hostel serves delicious breakfast.
- You won’t have access to a kitchen.
Price dorm (6 people): from 60,000 COP | Price private room: from 264,000 COP/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 4 days | Location: Getsemaní | Accommodation type: Boutique hostel | Free breakfast
Best Hostel in Cartagena to Stay by the Beach: Zion Beach House
As the award winner for the peacefulness category, you won’t find a better option for a relaxing vacation than at Zion Beach House. With direct access to the beach, you can spend your days lounging by the water and taking in all the sun and heat that Cartagena offers.
- The hostel is located on Playa Manzanillo, one of the best beaches near Cartagena. You will wake up facing the sea!
- There are fewer street vendors on the beach.
- The hostel offers great activities to explore the surroundings of Cartagena.
- For those who have booked and stayed at the Zion Beach House, one of the things that people loved the most was the food. Guests appreciated the different dietary options and enjoyed a lot the on-site restaurant.
- Many also spoke about the close-knit bonds they developed with the staff, who treated them like family.
- You won’t be close to many of the restaurants and activities that Cartagena provides. However, the hostel can book you a swift and inexpensive taxi ride to get to those spots.
- There is no drinkable water — you’ll have to buy expensive water bottles.
Price dorm (4,8 people): from 65,000 COP | Price private room: from369,000 COP/4 pers | Cancellation Policy: 4 days | Location: Manzanillo (30 min by taxi from the old city) | Accommodation type: Hostel | Free breakfast
Hostel in Cartagena With the Biggest Dorm Room: The Clock Hostel And Suites
Known for its proximity to the historic center of Cartagena, The Clock Hostel and Suites is an ideal place for those looking to be close to the rich culture and history of the city and Colombia. The proximity to a large assortment of restaurants and shops is another benefit to the location.
- The dorm is a massive room for 40 people. The space is well arranged, and you can choose between different types of beds (single bed, cubicle, semi-private room with double bed).
- Visitors also raved about the customer service and the hot tub that the hostel had.
- It’s a nice steampunk-themed hostel in the heart of the old city of Cartagena.
- Many guests compliment the privacy at the hostel, with each person getting a semi-privative bed in the dorm.
- However, there were also many negative complaints regarding the bathrooms and that there were only three toilets and showers available for 40 people.
Price dorm (40 people): from 50,000 COP | Price private room: from 190,000 COP/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 3 days | Location: Old city | Accommodation type: Hostel | No Free Breakfast
Hostel in Cartagena With the Best Courtyard: Republica Hostel
For those coming to Cartagena to relax and chill out, the Republica Hostel is the accommodation they need to book. With a large courtyard, several in-hostel bars, and a pool, you will enjoy every minute of your stay and come back refreshed (or with a hangover).
- Guests who have spent time at the Republica Hostel thoroughly enjoy the look and charm of the hostel, which is located in a three-story Colonial building.
- Thanks to the courtyard, natural light illuminates all floors. It is ideal for relaxing on the various sofas, loungers, and armchairs.
- The swimming pool on the first floor is small but allows you to cool off from the Cartagena heat. I recommend ordering a cocktail at the bar and sunbathing on one of the lounge chairs before enjoying the music on the rooftop.
- Depending on the vibe, it can become a party hostel. Travelers looking for fun will love it. However, others might be bothered by the noise levels at night —especially for the 2 private rooms.
Price dorm (4,6,8 people): from 56,000 COP | Price private room: from 260,000 COP/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 4 days | Location: Walled city | Accommodation type: Hostel | No Free Breakfast
Top Hostel in Cartagena for Digital Nomads: Selina Hostel
If you are a digital nomad who can work from anywhere, then Selina is a place where you can enjoy your stay while getting the job done simultaneously. Selina offers daily yoga and a two rooftop pool full of unique amenities.
Selina’s hostel is not for everyone. You either love it, or you hate it.
- Those who have come and gone from Selina have fallen in love with the coworking area within the hostel. Selina provides excellent free wifi, one of their most significant interests.
- Great rooftop with a pool and bar to relax after your working hours.
- Selina has enlisted the help of many local artists and a designer to add character to each hostel room.
- Good parties on weekends.
- Facilities are excellent, but dorm rooms & private rooms need improvements.
- It’s more expensive than most Cartagena hostels. Your stay WON’T include the coworking area. Breakfast is not included either.
- It will be noisy.
Price dorm (4,6,7,8,10 people): from 81,000 COP | Price private room: from 283,000 COP/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 4 days | Location: Getsemaní | Accommodation type: Hostel | No Free Breakfast
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What you must know about Cartagena de Indias
Traveling to Cartagena is a great time that many enjoy. However, certain things need to be considered before picking your hostel.
👉 Want to know everything about Cartagena To learn where are the best places, and avoid tourist traps and beginner’s mistakes? Nothing could be easier. I put it all together in our guide to Cartagena de Indias.
What Are The Advantages of Staying In Each District Or Outside The City?
→ The old city is the safest district of Cartagena. You can decide to stay in El Centro (Clock hostel) or the quieter area of San Diego (El Viajero). In both cases, you’ll be near to some of the best restaurants in South America.
→ Travelers who prefer more authentic vibes and cheap beers will love Getsemaní. Graffitis cover the narrow alleys, locals play dominos on plastic tables, and the doors of the inhabitants are opened to make a draught. Casa del Pozo will be an excellent fit.
→ Manga is a wealthy residential area next to Getsemaní. You can still walk to the old town (about 30min walk), and you will find some cheap restaurants. It is not in this area that you will party. Stay at Quintas by Maos to save money or Casa del Puerto to enjoy a relaxing outdoor swimming pool.
→ Finally, you can decide to stay on the beach of Manzanillo. If this is the case, try to plan your day well in Cartagena because it is at least 25 minutes by cab. The advantage is that you will be able to enjoy a quiet place on the beach. I recommend staying at Zion Beach House.
Best Tips And Interesting Facts About This Colombian Destination
Cartagena is a vibrant city that always has a lot going on. With avid nightlife and beautiful islands, many visit the city for the sole purpose of partying and chilling at the beach. Cartagena is also known for its colonial roots and city walls.
You should know that Cartagena is not cheap — compared to the rest of the country. The dorm rooms in the old city will be priced at an average of 55,000 COP and private rooms at around 220,000 COP. If you’re traveling on a tight budget, you should consider staying in Getsemaní or Manga.
Compared to Bogotá and Medellín, Cartagena is an uncomplicated city to visit on your own. The tourist sites are concentrated in the same area and within walking distance. You can book a private or free walking tour to save time. This will allow you to find your way around the city and pre-select your bars and restaurants.
What Type Of Travelers Will Like This Place?
As mentioned above, Cartagena is well known for its active nightlife. Therefore, many college-aged individuals and young adults visit the area. Most families will also enjoy the city as it’s safe to wander in the colorful alleys.
Cartagena is also an excellent destination for lovers who wish to celebrate a happy event. There is plenty to create unique memories between the paradise islands, the upscale restaurants, and the sunsets on the rooftops. Staying in a private room in a hostel will be an excellent way to save some $$.
How Do You Come To Cartagena?
Many buses serve the city of Cartagena. The only problem is that the terminal is 50 minutes by cab from the old city. To avoid this, you can use the door-to-door shuttles available between Cartagena and Palomino — Berlinastur or Marsol.
The other option is to arrive by plane. The small international airport is only 15 minutes by cab from the historical center.
How Long Should You Stay In Cartagena?
Cartagena is a smaller-sized city but is an excellent location for those looking to branch off and visit the Rosario Islands.
If you’re on a tight budget, 2 nights will be more than enough to stroll among the colonial buildings and Cartagena street art.
Travelers with a larger budget should love the city. In this case, I recommend staying 4 nights; 1 night in Cartagena, 2 nights on Isla Grande, and another night in Cartagena.
Weather and Tourist Season
The summer season of Cartagena is from December to April, coinciding with its tourist season. Visiting outside this time frame will bring occasional rain and higher humidity.
Hostels in Cartagena with air conditioning and an outdoor swimming pool should be on your list.
How to pick your hostel in Cartagena
There are many questions that travelers have when considering a trip to Cartagena. Here are some of the most common ones that we get asked.
Best Hostels In Cartagena For Solo Travelers
Out of all the hostels listed above, the Zion Beach House is likely the best option for solo travelers. People seem to love the chill-out vibe present in this hostel. Another great option would be El Viajero, as the hostel organizes many events.
Best Party Hostels In Cartagena
From experience, we can say that the best party hostels to stay at in Cartagena are the Republica Hostel, Selina, and the Viajero Cartagena Hostel. They offer late-night entertainment, bars, and great music.
How Safe Is Cartagena, Colombia For Tourists
All the districts mentioned in this article are safe to visit during the day but beware of pickpocketing and snatching. While many hostels have security measures in place, traveling in a group or with another person is preferable when exploring the town late at night. Additionally, you will likely be approached by individuals selling drugs.
Don't hesitate to ask the hostel's front desk to understand what areas to avoid.
How Much Do Hostels In Cartagena Cost?
The cost of a hostel per night will depend on whether you choose dorm-style accommodations or a private room. You can often book a dorm for around USD 15 or less per night. However, a private room can cost from 50 to 80 USD.
Do All Hostels In Cartagena Offer Free Breakfast?
No. If a hostel does offer free breakfast, it usually is with very few selections and small portions. If you consider breakfast the most important meal of the day, then stay at Zion Beach House or Casa del Puerto.
Bottom Line: Best Cartagena hostels
Picking a hostel for your time in Cartagena will boil down to what you want to get out of your trip. If relaxation and quiet is the top item, then a place like Zion Beach House is fitting. However, if you are looking to meet many new people and enjoy yourself, then Republica Hostel or Viajero Cartagena Hostel is a better fit.