To avoid the heat and a long queue with tourists in flip-flops, there is only one solution: leave early.
To do this, make your life easier and choose a hotel not too far from Tayrona Park.
Besides, resting on the beach with your back leaning against a palm tree is much nicer than sweating in the streets of Santa Marta.
There is a very nice offer of hotels and hostels close to the entrance of Tayrona Park. Which ones are worth it? Where should you spend your Colombian pesos?
We will tell you everything in this article.
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Hotels near Tayrona: what you must know
Where is Tayrona: it is a national park located between Santa Marta and Palomino.
How to enter the park: There are two entrances to Tayrona – El Zaino and Calabazo.
Park opening hours: 8 a.m. for El Zaino and 6 a.m. for Calabazo.
Closure periods (2022): the park is closed from 01/02 to 28/02, from 01/06 to 15/06 and from 19/10 to 02/11.
How to get to the park entrance: the hotel can arrange a taxi for you. If not, you just have to stop a bus on the side of the road (there is only one). There are also many motorcycle taxis.
What are the areas where to book your hotel: near the entrance El Zaino, Playa los Naranjos (5 min), Costeño beach (20 min), Buritaca (25 min). Each area has a different atmosphere!
My favorite hostel: Eco Hostal Yuluka (El Zaino)
My favorite hotel: Quetzal dorado (El Zaino)
My favorite boutique hotels: Senda Casa Tayrona (Los Naranjos) or La Mar de bien (Buritaca).
How to get to your hotel: take the bus that leaves for Tayrona from the Mercado Municipal in Santa Marta. Tell the driver the name of your hotel so that he thinks about pulling over (and double-check your GPS). You can also take a taxi (1 hour) for about 120,000 COP.anta Marta.
How many days: ideally, 2 nights (1 before Tayrona and 1 after Tayrona). You can also stay an extra night if you plan to go tubing at Palomino.
My favorite advice:
- The lodgings close to the park are a little noisier because of the road.
- There are no ATMs in the area.
- There are sandflies on the beach. The coconut oil keeps them from eating you.
- The current is dangerous. Be cautious when swimming in the ocean.
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Hotels next to the entrance of Tayrona Park
The small problem with these hotels is that they are close to the main road that connects Santa Marta to Riohacha. This is not unbearable, but it can be a problem for some people.
However, you’re less than three-minute drive from Tayrona Park. This is convenient if you are in a hurry and want to return to Santa Marta quickly to catch your plane.
$$ – Eco Hostel Yuluka – Economic
The outer gate doesn’t look like much, but everything changes once you’re inside. The mix of lush plants, stone steps, and individual huts built of bamboo and palm leaves is entirely successful. You will love the large bathtubs available in some of the rooms! The jungle atmosphere and the waterfall sound make you quickly forget the outside world. There is a restaurant with good food and prices, and you won’t find a better place to dine in the surrounding area.
$$- Quetzal Eco Lodge – Breathtaking view
Beautiful facilities are down the road so you can barely hear the noise of cars. A stone staircase crisscrosses the property to bring guests to simple but comfortable rooms brightened by large windows. The view from the pool over the immensity of the Sierra Nevada is captivating. This is also the case in the restaurant. Take the opportunity to order one of their delicious dishes.
Hotels in Playa Los Naranjos
The setting is idyllic, with upscale establishments between the edge of Tayrona Park and the long beach of Playa Los Naranjos.
This is the ideal option to easily visit Tayrona Park and recharge your batteries before continuing your adventure to other paradisiacal places in Colombia.
You can’t expect to party or go out looking for a little restaurant. Also, don’t plan on using the internet to watch Netflix on your phone.
Each hotel offers a quality restaurant and bar service.
These hotels are 5 minutes from Tayrona.
$$$ – Casa Bambu Tayrona – In a little committee
With only 8 bungalows for 2 people, Casa Bambu Tayrona is the ideal hotel to come and relax in a quiet and pleasant place. A wooden deck makes it possible to walk barefoot and to move easily to the swimming pool and the restaurant (which serves delicious small dishes). The entrance to Tayrona Park is a 5 min drive away, and there is only a 10 min walk to a semi-private beach.
$$$$ – Maloka Barlovento – Along the river
This Eco-lodge was built at the junction of the Rio Piedra River with the Caribbean Sea. There is a magnificent view of Tayrona Park and direct access to the beach. The buildings blend into the scenery, and moving from one location to another is delightful. Take advantage of the many hammocks and deckchairs at the pool’s edge to nap, lulled by the sound of the waves. Meals are served on large tables so that you can socialize with other travelers.
$$$$ – Senda Casa Tayrona – Caribbean Delight
Casa Tayrona is a boutique hotel by excellence. It is difficult to find a more magical place in Colombia. There are only 5 rooms, two of which have a 180-degree view overlooking the sea. You can also admire a magnificent sight from the deck and the large L-shaped swimming pool. And, if you get tired of the freshwater, you just have to go down the stairs to get to the beach and pretend to be a dolphin in the waves. Don’t forget to take a look at the restaurant’s menu. The dishes are to die for.
Hotels in Costeño beach
If the hotels in Playa Naranjos exceed your budget or you want to exchange with other travelers, the accommodations on Costeño beach should appeal to you.
It’s more of a backpackers’ and young adventurers’ corner. You have to take a motorcycle taxi from the roadside to get there. Traveling with a backpack rather than a suitcase on wheels is much more convenient.
Don’t expect 4-star hotels with personalized customer service. On the other hand, if you like coconut flavors, cocktails, music, and beachfront cabins, you should find what you need.
You can also stay around Palomino if you want this type of vibe.
Each establishment offers a restaurant and bar service.
These hotels are 20 minutes from Tayrona.
$$ – Costeño Beach – Surfing Paradise
Costeño Beach is one of the first hostels in the area (and probably the best known). The establishment was built in the middle of the coconut trees and extends over a large part of the beach. There are many facilities to occupy yourself between your excursions to Palomino or Tayrona. Organize a beach volleyball tournament, improve your balance on the slackline or refresh yourself in a beautiful swimming pool surrounded by tall trees. It’s also the perfect spot to learn to surf. You can rent a lot of boards, and there are group lessons!
$$ – Blue Mango Beach hotel – Colourful houses
Located about 100 meters from the Costeño beach hostel, Blue mango is a hotel for those who travel as a couple and want to enjoy a pleasant setting on a reasonable budget without being surrounded by a horde of party backpackers. The wooden cabins are painted in different colors, and the swimming pool faces the sea. Meals are served on small tables scattered in the shade of the trees. Please note that not all rooms have private showers.
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Hotels in Buritaca
Buritaca is a small fishing village. Some very pleasant establishments lead to the beach that surrounds the village. There is something for every budget.
In the end, it looks like a mix between Playa Naranjos and Costeño beach. The beach is more easily accessible than Playa Naranjos, but there are not as many backpackers as on Costeño Beach. Hotels are of better quality (for higher prices).
Be careful, the currents are quite strong in the ocean. Don’t go too far away.
Each establishment offers a restaurant and bar service.
These hotels are 25 minutes from Tayrona Park.
$$ – Rio Hostel – River and parties
Rio Hostel is a meeting place for travelers willing to sacrifice a lot of comforts to live in the woods, with plastic buoys to float on the river and party. The beach is a 30-minute walk away, but you won’t feel the need to go there. Every Saturday, Hostel El Rio organizes unforgettable parties. And on the other days of the week, travelers can rest, enjoy nature’s tranquility and participate in some activities like yoga, rubbing, and kayaking. Get there before 6 pm otherwise you will have problems finding a motorcycle taxi. It’s not easy to drive on a dirt road when it’s dark.
$$$ – Viajero Hostel Tayrona – Pleasant Resort
Hostel Viajero has all the necessary facilities to make your stay pleasant. Many travelers can be there simultaneously since there are 4 dormitories. So don’t expect fast and personal customer service. But it shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t mind waiting with your feet in the pool or in the sand. The private cabins are huge and secluded, so guests can enjoy their privacy. During the day, you can rent a surfboard or get a massage before you wiggle your hips on the dance floor at sunset.
$$$$ – La Mar de Bien – Haven of peace
Come to Hotel La Mar de Bien if you want to be pampered by the attentive staff and if you like to eat delicious dishes. This establishment with only 6 rooms is away from other hotels, and travelers can enjoy a beautiful beachfront property with a swimming pool, sun loungers, and coconut trees. Customer attention is excellent and Sergio, the owner, will be able to give you lots of tips on how to visit the area. This is the ideal place to rest after an adventure to la Ciudad Perdida or Tayrona.
In short, where to stay near Tayrona?
To put it simply:
- If you’re looking for an affordable and convenient place (because you don’t want to stick around), then the hotels near El Zaino will be very good.
- For upscale accommodation with an almost private beach fringed by forest, choose a hotel in Playa Los Naranjos.
- If you want to visit the area and meet other travelers, you can set your sights on a hostel on Costeño beach.
- And for a mix of both atmospheres, the Buritaca corner will do the trick perfectly.
Don’t choose your hotel randomly anymore
I have a question. If I am arriving at the airport into Santa Marta at 6pm (Sunsets at 6:20pm), do you suggest I book a hostel or hotel and go directly there instead of heading to the places that you suggest that are outside of the city and head out of SM the next day?
I believe the last buses leave around 7pm. Moreover, you could have to walk a bit if you pick a place around Tayrona. It’s not the best when it’s dark 🙂
So yes , I would choose an hostel in Santa Marta for the night.
Enjoy the Caribbean Coast!!
Hello, Im arriving to Santa Marta around 11pm (we want to go to Cabo de Vela and Punta Gallinas next day) do you know if there is a public bus to go to Riohacha in the early morning? we want to start our journey around 4am. We want to go by ourselves, no tour here.
Any recommendations for us?
And your blog has been so useful! Thanks and keep going!!
Sorry for the late answer, we were on the Pacific coast without wifi.
I think the bus should start around 6 am. Maybe 5? At what time did you catch it finally?
Also, I wrote a cool travel guide about Cabo de la vela and Punta Gallinas, https://www.tomplanmytrip.com/la-guajira-colombia-guide-cabo-de-la-vela-punta-gallinas/