We are all dreaming of spending cheap Caribbean holidays. Every time I’m thinking about it, I’m under a palm tree, watching my imaginary girlfriend – she is a mermaid – swimming in the crystalline blue water, my feet half buried in the white sand and a half-finished cocktail in my right hand. A few meters away, there is my other love waiting for me below the roof made of bamboo, my hammock.
Most of us are making a mistake to associate the word “Caribbean” with “Luxury; Expensive; Resort, SPA, private yacht.” I agree it’s easy to explode your wallet if you’re thinking like that.
But fellow travelers, I’ve got great news. We can have a significant slice of this paradise! You can also spend cheap Caribbean holidays with a mix of adventures, jungle, islands, white beaches, desert.
How is it possible?
The answer is in one word.
As you probably know, Colombia is becoming safer and safer every day, and it’s THE rising star in tourism.
Which are the different places?
How much do you need?
How long should you stay?
How to get there?
Let’s go together to the fantastic and cheap Caribbean Coast of Colombia. I’m going to explain to you how you could travel 26 days on the Caribbean coast with your lover for less than 3 000$.
The Table of contents
- Reason 1: To Receive A Life Lesson
- Reason 2: Beaches are Boring
- Reason 3: Caribbean Holidays in Colombia are not famous yet
- Where on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia
- Attempted graph
- Example of itinerary: 26 days on the Caribbean Coast
- Numbers and charts
Why spending ones Caribbean Holidays in Colombia
Have you been to Brazil? Could you visualize smiley eyes and dark shapes of people dancing sensually together? Do you feel the pulsation of the music on your skin?
Now imagine the Neverland described by J.M. Barrie – Peter and Windy. People are laughing and happy to spend the day together. They will think about tomorrow later, probably the next day.
Add some lush vegetation, coconuts, and hammocks in front of the sea. Perfect, now you have an accurate representation of the Caribbean coast in Colombia – at least to me.
I’m not saying that Colombians are little kids chasing Pokemon naked in the forest. But they have this ability to keep intact in a part of their brain the little child of their childhood. The child who is excited to get fun times with his friends, curious, playful and who loves his mum and dad. The one who has helped us to become the adult we are now. Most of us – Western people – are killing this little dude and our dreams because everyone tells us to grow up.
Colombians are proud of their country, and after many years of conflicts, they believe it’s time that the world find out the real Colombia – Not the one from Netflix and newspapers. Their way to deal with life is fantastic. Come and observe.
The best way to get cheap Caribbean holidays is to lay down on the beach and be cooked by the sun. But here are the hitches:
- You can cook in your garden for cheaper
- Sunscreen can be expensive if you’re as white as Casper
- Your boyfriend gonna be bored and will start throwing sand on you – Am I the only one doing that?
- Nothing will be exciting to tell your friends about your Caribbean holidays
Fortunately, in Colombia, you can alternate your cooking sessions with other activities. Near the border with Panama, there is the Darien Gap. There are waterfalls and lovely towns to explore. Then you can play the pirates on unknown islands.
Need to get back to the civilization and enjoy a romantic evening in an old city center? Easy, have a break in Cartagena. Then you can decide to become an adventurer for a few days in the Sierra Nevada and look for monkeys and birds. Or you could kitesurf in the desert. And because you’re doing different activities, you have the feeling that your Caribbean holidays last forever!
Be ready to show hundreds of pictures to your family!
Because of its bloody past, most of the people are scared to travel to Colombia. They think they will be kidnaped by the FARC or killed by narcotraficantes. However, the public opinion is evolving thanks to the social network, blogs, and other travelers. And, in the end, the only danger is that you might stay in Colombia.
For now, you won’t find many tourists during your cheap Caribbean holidays in Colombia, especially if you’re going to a place off the beaten track – We will talk about it later
Another advantage is that Colombians are not annoyed about tourism – yet?-. They are proud to show the best sides of their country!
I agree it can be a little complicated to travel to Colombia, as you need time to find the information you wish. But once you know how to do it, it’s a lot easier! Don’t forget to check my guide about traveling to Colombia and my fantastic detailed articles to help you to discover Colombia.
And you know what? The experience will be more authentic, and there is always a Colombian around ready to help you.
Are you looking for more reasons? Read my article explaining why I fell in love with Colombia
Check the map at the beginning of this article to visualize the different places or check my Colombian Map here.
So, where can you go on the Caribbean Coast? Every year, new places are popping up, and the public transport between them are improving – sometimes.
I’ve made a list of the places I’m sure you will enjoy discovering. They are all different from each other. I’ve written a short description and a provisional budget. So, it will be easier for you to decide where you want to go.
Did you just say “all of them”?
My figures are for a couple (PRICE FOR 2 people) who likes the intimacy of a private room in hostels, to drink a few beers, cocktails and are willing to do many activities.
It’s a little green paradise near the border with Panama. There is no road to get access to Capurgana and Sapzurro. It’s only by flight or boat. Thereby, they are living in their little bubble world. Every morning, inhabitants are waiting on the dock, to discharge the tiny boats which bring all the foods and furniture from the more important towns around. And mountains of beers too -Like an ephemeral Great Wall made of beers boxes.
Nothing is perfect there. Streets are flooded when it’s raining, and electricity stops working because of storms. Then, generators are taking the relay, because the music has to stay on. It brings the heartbeats that make life simple and festive in Capurgana.
The town is tiny. In 10 mins, you know all the streets. Where can you buy a delicious doughnut, where is the best juice or cocktail in front of the ocean?
I love when the jungle is meeting the sea. You walk under the shades of the palm trees to the next waterfall or beaches. The blue of the water is playing with the reflection of the sun, and your steps scare the little yellow frogs on the path.
Budget for Capurgana and Sapzurro – For one Couple
There are different places where you can sleep 1 or 2 nights (Capurgana, Sapzurro, Aguacate). I would suggest you stay 5 nights.
5 Nights in private rooms: 5* 70 000= 350 000 COP
[5 Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner] * 2 pers: [10 000*5 + 15 000*5 + 20 000*5]*2= 450 000 COP
Beers: 3 000 COP | Water 1 L: 2 500 COP | Juice: 4 000 COP | Coco Loco: 10 000 COP
25 000 * 5 * 2 pers: 250 000 COP
There is no taxi, but you can take boats to move from one place to another. Or you can walk.
2 one way* 2 pers: 10 000*2*2= 40 000 COP
Most of the activities are for free. Or, you will only have to pay a small entrance fee (2-3000 COP).
10 000* 2 pers= 20 000 COP
TOTAL= 1 110 000 COP for 2 people (Around 380 $)
More information about Capurgana and Sapzurro
Isla Fuerte is an island closed to Monteria. The place is not famous – even for most of the Colombians – and I love it. Once there, nothing matters. Every morning, you wake up in an excellent hostel named La Playita. You eat your breakfast in front of the ocean, surrounded by palm trees and lulled by the noise of the waves crashing on the private beach.
Then, It’s time to find out the different exciting places offered by Isla Fuerte. Look for the sloths, organize a boat trip around the island – Don’t forget your snorkel -, chill at the beach or take selfies with fantastic/weird trees. Or maybe would you like to surf?
There is also a famous reef – Bushnell – where you can dive.
At dusk, book the party boat. Music, cocktail, and sunset are ideal for creating a fantastic memory. Isla Fuerte would be an excellent option for your future cheap Caribbean Holidays.
Budget for Isla Fuerte – For one Couple
In 2 days, you can do most of the activities. However, the main pleasure on an island is to chill. So I advise you to stay 3 nights.
3 nights in a private room: 3 * 100 000 = 300 000 COP
3 Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner: [ 10 000+ 18 000 + 20 000]* 3 * 2 pers = 288 000 COP
Beers: 4 000 COP | Water 1 L: 2 500 COP | Juice: 4 000 COP | Cocktail: 10 000 COP
40 000*3 *2 pers = 240 000 COP
It’s always tempting to get a drink when you’re on an island.
None, it’s not a big island
If you want to surf/paddle/rent the party boat or snorkel around the islands
100 000 * 2 pers= 200 000 COP
TOTAL= 1 028 000 COP for 2 people (350$)
More information about Isla Fuerte
Easy! I have written a detailed guide about La playita and Isla Fuerte in Colombia
The Archipelago of San Bernardo is a set of 9 coastal coral islands between Isla Fuerte and Cartagena de Indias. Some of them don’t allow visitors – Private hotels – but they’re boring anyway ^^.
It’s quieter than Isla Fuerte as most of the inhabitants are living all together on a tiny island – It’s the most densely populated island on earth with 0.12 km square and more than 1200 inhabitants. I guess it’s like restaurants; the crowd attracts people.
I’m sure you will be subjugated by the beauty of this place. Each island is different, but they have one main characteristic point, there is crystalline blue water all around.
Find a calm accommodation on Isla Mucura, snorkel around Isla Palma, relax on the beautiful beach on Isla Tintipan, have fun in Casa en El Agua and visit the village of Santa Cruz Del Islote.
Take the speedboats to realize your islands hopping experience.
Budget for San Bernardo Archipelago – For one Couple
All the islands are close to each other. It’s a fantastic place, but there are not many things to do. You can be bored after a few days – Except if you love to do beach/beach/Cocktail and beach. In my opinion, 3 nights are enough.
3 nights in a private room: 3 * 200 000 = 600 000 COP
3 Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner: 40 000* 3 * 2 pers = 240 000 COP
Beers: 5 000 COP | Water 1 L: 3 000 COP | Juice: 5 000 COP | Cocktail: 12 000 COP
50 000*3 *2 pers = 300 000 COP
The boat drive to the different islands costs 15 000 COP per person
15 000* 5 * 2 pers= 150 000 COP
A snorkeling tour or a bioluminescent plankton tour around the Mangroves by night.
35 000* 2 pers= 70 000 COP
TOTAL= 1 360 000 COP for 2 people ( Around 460 $)
More information about San Bernardo islands
You’re lucky! I have written a detailed guide to discover Isla Mucura, Casa En El Agua and around.
The Heroic city is one of the most famous places in Colombia. Even when the country was unstable with the FARC, Paramilitaries, and Narcotranficantes, many tourists came to visit and party in the old city center. And, the government put many resources to keep the place “clean” – Rich Americans = Lots of money.
By visiting Cartagena de Indias, you realize there are 3 wealthy districts – Boca Grande, Walled city, and Getsemani – surrounded by the chaos and the poverty.
It was one of the first colony established by the Spanish in South America. And they had to defend themselves from many other countries – the rest of Europe – and pirates. Hence, they built many fortifications.
In the old city center, there are flowery balconies, fancy restaurants, and fantastic architecture. It’s delightful to walk and be lost belong the colorful streets.
Then, during the evening, Getsemani rises with the laugh of the backpackers, the different shows on Trinidad square and the nightclubs.
Budget for Cartagena de Indias – For one Couple
Cartagena de Indias is a very touristic place. There are not enough lovely Colombians to compensate the number of annoying and noisy tourists. And the beaches around are ugly. You have to get to the islands to chill under a palm tree.
In my opinion, the old city center is worth it, but there are other places to spend your cheap Caribbean holidays.1 full day is enough.
2 nights in a private room: 2 * 220 000 = 440 000 COP
2 Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner: 60 000* 2 * 2 pers = 240 000 COP
Beers: 3 000 COP | Water 1 L: 2 000 COP | Juice: 4 000 COP | Cocktail: 12 000 COP
30 000*2 *2 pers = 120 000 COP
There are different castles that you can visit if you wish to learn more about the history of the city. But a free walking could be perfect too.
40 000* 2 pers= 80 000 COP
TOTAL= 880 000 COP for 2 people ( Around 300 $)
More information about Cartagena de Indias
Abracadabra – a magic wand – Tadaam! I wrote a detailed guide for visiting the walled city in less than 48 hours.
On the Caribbean Coast, there is an isolated mountain range separated from the Andes. The highest summits are above 5700 m high! And all around, the lush vegetation is a home to indigenous people and many animals, especially birds.
Minca is 30 min away from the coast. The town itself has nothing extraordinary, but accommodations are marvelous. Many hostels are outside Minca, sometimes far in the jungle. They are well established, respect the environment, cook tasty vegetarian meals and have astonishing views of the sunset.
Wander through coffee plantations and trees, look for unusual birds and swim in cold waterfalls. And stop at the bakery to eat their bread!
For me, Minca is a smart mix of hippie-yoga vibes and nature.
Budget for Minca – For one Couple
It’s a pleasant place to stay, and you will cry when you will have to leave to continue your cheap Caribbean holidays. To minimize the pain, I recommend you to stay 2 full days minimum.
3 nights in a private room: 3 * 90 000 = 270 000 COP
3 Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner: 50 000* 3 * 2 pers = 300 000 COP
Beers: 3 000 COP | Water 1 L: 2 000 COP | Juice: 4 000 COP | Cocktail: 10 000 COP
30 000*3 *2 pers = 180 000 COP
I hope you’re not afraid of Moto-taxi 😉 – Around 8 000 COP one way
8 000*3 * 2 pers = 48 000 COP
There is a great organic coffee farm you can visit.
20 000* 2 pers= 40 000 COP
TOTAL= 838 000 COP for 2 people ( Around 285 $)
More information about Minca
Guess what? I also have a detailed guide to travel to Minca and Casa Loma (best hostel ever)
The Sierra Nevada is a sacred green ocean for the Tairona – Indigenous people. For this reason, the National Tayrona park has been one of the first to be protected by the government.
There are many endemics species and a few ruins in the vicinity – Tairona people were living in basic huts, surrounded by many stone paths and terraces for their ceremonies. To discover the surroundings, you can book a tour for the lost city or hang out in Tayrona.
The national park is a mix of trails in the jungle and idyllic beaches. There are many basic accommodations – mostly hammocks – and a few restaurants. Moreover, you can hike with a day bag as you don’t have to carry bottles of water and food – only your wallet.
Cabo San Juan is the most famous beach, and it’s an unforgettable scenery. But as a victim of its success, it can be crowded.
Fortunately, there are different paths to enjoy a solitary adventure. But you will have to walk more. As you know, no pain no gain.
Budget for Tayrona Park – For one Couple
One day is not enough, and you will miss 2/3 of the experience. If you don’t have enough time or if you want to chill, you should go somewhere else. 1 night is great but 2 nights are perfect ;).
2 nights in hammocks: (15 000 + 30 000)* 2pers = 90 000 COP
2 Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner: 50 000* 2 * 2 pers = 200 000 COP
Beers: 5 000 COP | Water 1 L: 3 000 COP | Juice: 4 000 COP |
25 000*2 *2 pers = 100 000 COP
The entrance of the park: 43 000*2 = 86 000 COP
TOTAL= 476 000 COP for 2 people ( Around 160 $)
More information about Tayrona Park
Would you like to know where the secret beaches are? Check my detailed guide: How to hike in Tayrona Colombia Park
The backpacker community has decided that Palomino would be the new chill place on the Caribbean coast. Don’t expect to get an exciting nightlife. There is a more significant chance for you to finish your dinner by candlelight – Such a romantic moment!
Let your flip-flop at your hostel and walk in the direction of the beach with a cold beer in your hand. Alternate with sunbaths and quick dips – Or longer if you like to have fun with the waves – then take a nap under the shade of a palm tree. But don’t forget to check if you’re not sleeping below a heavy coconut => #RiskOfDying
If you decide to walk a little, you will discover on both sides, a river that ends its route in the Caribbean sea. Freshwater is pleasant to clean the salt and sand on your skin.
In Palomino, the traditional activity is the tubing. Get an inner tube and ask a moto taxi to drive you to the starting point. Be ready for 2 hours of pure happiness as you will go down the river, surrounded by majestic trees, without much effort.
I had loads of fun there but take waterproof things only. Let your phone at your hostel and be generous with the sunscreen.
Budget for Palomino – For one Couple
If you want to avoid spending tons of money during your cheap Caribean Holidays, Palomino is a good option. It’s perfect to end a trip and do nothing in particular – Except hammock, book, beach, and beers. 2 nights is a good option.
2 nights in a private room: 120 000* 2pers = 240 000 COP
2 Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner: 50 000* 2 * 2 pers = 200 000 COP
Beers: 3 000 COP | Water 1 L: 2 000 COP | Juice: 4 000 COP | Cocktail: 10 000 COP
35 000*2 *2 pers = 140 000 COP
Tubing: 20 000*2 = 40 000 COP
TOTAL= 620 000 COP for 2 people ( Around 210 $)
More information about Palomino
Are you looking for tubing information? Check my detailed guide to learn everything about Palomino
The northernmost point of South America is also on the Caribbean Coast. However, the scenery is different from the other places. Cabo De La Vela and Punta Gallinas are in La Guajira desert.
The contrast between the blue of the ocean and the yellow/orange of the desert is astonishing, and it’s one of the best spots to admire fantastic sunsets. In this unfriendly environment – it’s not easy to live in the desert -, the indigenous named Wayuu subsist with their sheeps, the sells of their handicrafts -mostly bags – and tourism.
In Cabo De La Vela, a flat sea and a permanent wind provide the best conditions for Kitesurfing. Ready to fly above the water? Once there, it’s easy to find a tour to travel to Punta Gallinas and sleep one night in a rancheria. Take the chance to try the best hammock on earth, the chinchorros. It’s better than a bed.
And they serve delicious lobsters for lunch and dinner.
It’s a unique experience that allows you to realize that water and electricity are a luxury we should not waste.
Budget for Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas – For one Couple
There are many tours you can book from Santa Marta or Rioacha. But it’s easy and cheaper to do it by yourself. If you start from Palomino, 3 nights is a right amount of time.
3 nights in hammocks : 45 000* 2pers = 90 000 COP
3 Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner: 50 000* 3 * 2 pers = 300 000 COP
Beers: 4 000 COP | Water 1 L: 3 000 COP | Juice: 5 000 COP | Cocktail: 10 000 COP
30 000*3 *2 pers = 240 000 COP
In Cabo de la Vela, you can take moto-taxis to get to the different highlights.
5000*4 *2 pers= 40 000 COP
Punta Gallinas tour: 120 000*2 pers = 240 000 COP
TOTAL= 910 000 COP for 2 people ( Around 310 $)
More information about Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas
Check my detailed guide to learn how you can travel to Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas by yourself
San Andres and Providencia are two islands near Nicaragua. Back in time, both had a bad reputation. The legend says it was the home base for the famous Captain Morgan, so it could efficiently attack the Spanish colonies.
Funny fact, the islands were England’s proprieties, so English is the official language. As you may know, the inhabitants considered themselves more as Caribbean than Colombian.
San Andres became a Luxury touristy place for Colombians. Resorts, buildings swimming pools are popping everywhere. You can still find some lovely isolated spots, but it’s getting harder and harder.
Fortunately, Providencia has been spared – For now – as it’s more complicated to get there. Once you put your feet on the dock, you can feel the Rastafari vibe with the Reggae music resonating through your flesh and bones.
Swim in the ocean, made of 5 different blue colors, and look for the many turtles, sharks, and other sea life around. Also, I like to get up high to admire the view. It helps me to realize where I am. Go at the top of Crab Bay to get the best picture of the island.
Both islands can be a little over budget for your Cheap Caribbean holidays. And you also pay another round flight ticket to travel to San Andres: Around 120 $ per pers.
Budget for San Andres and Providencia – For one couple
You can’t compare San Andres and Providencia. If you have plenty of time to do both, great! Otherwise, you should focus your time on Providencia. You have to land in San Andres first. So I would recommend you 1 night in San Andres then 5 nights in Providencia.
For the following budget, I’ve used the fantastic article written by Chloé about Providencia
6 nights in a private room : 120 000* 6 = 720 000 COP
6 Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner: 50 000* 6 * 2 pers = 600 000 COP
Beers: 5 000 COP | Water 1 L: 3 000 COP | Juice: 5 000 COP | Cocktail: 10 000 COP
40 000*6 *2 pers = 480 000 COP
You have to take a boat or a plane from San Andres to get to Providencia. And it’s around 5000 COP for a moto-taxi
280 000*2 + 5000*6*2 = 620 000 COP
There are many boat tours, snorkeling activities, caves and you also have to pay an entrance fee (130 000 COP).
From what I’ve heard, you should expect to spend around 350 000 CPOP each if you want to do the cool activities of the islands – And more if you’re planning to dive there.
130 000* 2 + 350 000*2 = 960 000 COP
TOTAL= 3 380 COP for 2 people ( Around 1 100 $)
More information about San Andres and Providencia
I haven’t been there yet, but I can recommend you three fantastic articles:
Yes, I know. It’s loads of information.
But hey, the Caribbean Coast in Colombia is vast! I love to make graphics to summarize cool articles. It helps me to have a better understanding of the situation.
Would you like one?
After my job in Capurgana- as a guide for San Blas Adventure -, I’ve decided to travel along the Caribbean Coast with a friend.
It was a great journey!
From the Darien Gap, we traveled by boats and buses to arrive in Isla Fuerte. Then, we became pirates, and we went from island to islands until Cartagena with our Rum and a fake dead parrot. During 2 nights, we wandered between the colorful streets of the walled city – Cartagena.
Then, it was time to find out the secrets of the Sierra Nevada. We Swam in waterfalls near Minca and explored Tayrona Park.
After these activities, We chilled in Palomino a few days before attempting to our last adventure in the desert to the northernmost point of Colombia.
Different sceneries, loads of memories and experiences, it was one of the best time in my life. Would you like to do the same?
Here are the different steps of our Cheap Caribbean Holidays in Colombia!
Let’s start in Capurgana. To know how to get there, you can read this article
Trying every hammock of your hostel was great. You even saw a monkey, and you named it “Ingrid” like your stepmother – Yep, you love her.
Sapzurro was a lot quieter in comparison with Capurgana. You ate loads of homemade ice cream, but you don’t remember how many – Or you prefer to forget. But thanks to you, Chila (The icecream lady) bought a new speedboat. And the snorkeling near Playa Tiburon was fantastic. Lionfishes are dangerous but so cool!
For your last night, you said goodbye to Capurgana like a real Colombian. You drank beers and aguardiente near giant speakers – now you’re deaf – and you moved your butt in the Salsa Reggae club.
Now you’ve got a hangover, and it’s time to get your boat.
Direction to Isla Fuerte
Day 6: Departure to Monteria
Boat Capurgana to Necocli. Departure 10 Am: 60 000 COP – 1h30
Bus Necocli to Monteria: 15 000 COP – 2 hours
Once in Monteria, you have to find a hostel to spend the night. Feel free to explore the city and the park. You can find a private room for 50 000 COP in the center.
A budget for Lunch, dinner, and Breakfast: 40 000 * 2 pers= 80 000 COP
A budget for Beverage: 20 000* 2 pers= 40 000 COP
A budget for the taxi: 10 000 COP
Day 7: Departure to Isla Fuerte
In the morning, take the bus to Paso Nuevo: 17 000 COP – 2 hours
Then A Moto taxi to get to the dock: 2 000 COP
The last effort, take a boat to Isla Fuerte: Departure 1 pm: 15 000 COP – 30 min
Total Travel Cost: 388 000 COP for TWO people (132 $)
You didn’t find Morgan’s treasure, but it’s okay. Sloths, weird trees, and party boat are better than gold coins anyway – Ok maybe I’m lying, but it’s not bad either.
You met many friends. La playita has a bar, a volleyball court, a ping-pong table and a private beach – Such a great time.
Oh, you’ve almost been killed by a coconut. It fell 10 cm from your head. Always check the palm tree.
I hope you had withdrawn loads of cash before going to Isla Fuerte. I know the plan is to have cheap Caribbean Holidays, but you can’t pay people with coconuts, and there is no ATM on the islands.
And don’t expect to get soon to a big city. Now you’re a pirate, and you’re taking another speedboat to discover San Bernardo’s Archipelago.
Direction to San Bernardo Archipelago
Day 10: Take the speedboat La Playita – Casa En El Agua. You should book it a few days in advance so they can group people. 70 000 COP – 2 hours
Speedboat Casa En El Agua – Isla Mucura: 15 000 COP – 10 min
Pretty simple, no?
Total Travel Cost: 170 000 COP for TWO people (56 $)
Casa En El Agua is always fully booked, and it could be a paradise if you were in a party mode. But for the next days, you had decided to live healthy – What a weird idea.
Isla Mucura was an excellent choice. You walked around the island, pick up a new beach and a new island every day but your best activity was to contemplate the sunset from the beach – With a cocktail, healthy life is boring anyway.
The inhabitants are so packed in Santa Cruz Del Islote! You swear to stop complaining when your best mate is taking up too much space in your bed. Why is it so hard to respect the imaginary line? Sleep straight!
Direction to Cartagena de Indias
Day 13: Departure to Cartagena de Indias
Speedboat Isla Mucura to Casa En El Agua: 15 000 COP – 10 min
Speedboat from Casa En El Agua to Cartagena de Indias: 100 000 COP – 3 hours
Then you can easily walk to your hostel.
Total Travel Cost: 230 000 COP for TWO People (78 $)
Your three days in the walled city was a huge contrast in comparison with the two last weeks. Streets are flat and clean, luxury shops are everywhere, and there are horse-drawn carriages! – With an ingenious system at the back of the horses to collect their poop. Crazy!
Nevertheless, you had the pleasure to wander between the flourish balconies, colorful streets, and the many sculptures. The sunset from the wall was a great memory to share with your lover.
And you had fun in Getsemani. The nightlife was more vibrating, authentic, and cheaper than in the old town.
Now you’re missing the calmness of nature, let’s continue your Cheap Caribbean Holidays tour to Minca.
Direction to Minca
Day 15: Departure to Minca after a late breakfast
Shuttle from Cartagena de Indias to Santa Marta: 48 000 COP – 4 hours
Ask the driver to stop you at the market Calle 11 con Carrera 13
Take the shared taxi to Minca: 8 000 COP – 45 min
Total Travel Cost: 112 000 COP for TWO People (38 $)
Surrounded by nature, you had a great time in Casa Loma. And you’ve learned that vegetarian meals can be delightful.
You ate loads of Humus, chocolate bread, cafe… Food had an important place in your daily life, especially when you’re traveling.
And a mixt of waterfalls, birdwatching, and coffee tours are perfect to feel less guilty. You need the energy to hike in the Sierra Nevada, don’t you?
For the sunset, everyone from the hostel was going uphill to get a better view of the sun dipping in the green ocean of the vegetation. And it was happy hour with the bar! – Ok, I have to admit I’m a big fan of sunsets and cocktails. But who isn’t?
After these special moments, let’s organize a 3-days trek in Tayrona Park.
Direction to Tayrona National Park
Day 18: Departure in the morning
Shared taxi Minca to Santa Marta: 8 000 COP – 45 min
In Santa Marta buy some snacks and water (2 L per person) for the trek. Read my guide to know what you have to think about.
Go to Calle 11 con Carrera 11 to get the bus in the direction of Tayrona. The plan is to stop at a hostel near the entrance of the park to have a good night sleep before the adventure! I recommend you Eco Hostal Yuluka or the Journey Hostel – Cf our guide about Tayrona.
Bus to the hostel: 7 000 COP – 1 hour
Private room for 2 people: 120 000 COP
Lunch and dinner for 2 people: 40 000*2 = 80 000 COP
Day 19: Calabazo entrance Early in the morning
Total Travel Cost: 230 000 COP for TWO People (78 $)
You didn’t find a caiman near the beach, but I don’t think you want to see one when you’re taking a sunbath. It’s better to focus on monkeys; they’re harmless. Howling monkeys were hanging out near Pueblito. It’s insane how these small creatures can make such noises.
Tayrona park is a touristic place, but you have been agreeably surprised to meet almost no one on the first day. It was a good choice to start by the Calabazo and hike to Playa Brava.
It was such a pleasure to jump in the ocean after the 4 hours walk. Tayrona is humid, and you sweated a lot. It was like if someone throws on you a bucket full of water, and then another one just in case.
But the effort was worth it. What a great experience to sleep in a hammock near the sea. You were lulled by the waves,
murdered by mosquitos and awakened by the morning pinky sky.
But now you want some rest. Let’s go back to beach + sunset + cocktails.
Direction to Palomino
Day 21: Once you get back your backpack, take a bus on the main road in the direction of Palomino.
Bus Tayrona to Palomino: 7 000 COP – 1 hour
Moto taxi to Palomino beach: 2000 COP – 4 min
Total Travel Cost: 18 000 COP for TWO People (6 $)
Doing absolutely Nothing was fantastic. Even the main activity in Palomino is effortless. Do you know the tubing? You just have to seat on an inner tube and let the river carry you during 2 hours.
Beach, pool, sunset, cocktails and one night you had a candlelight dinner because there was no electricity. It was a hilarious moment because it was written “Simple life, happy life” on the wall in front of you.
Now, you’re ready for the last adventure of your Cheap Caribbean Holidays. Do you wonder how the northernmost point of Colombia looks like? Let’s find it out!
Direction to Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas
Day 23: Departure to Cabo de la Vela after breakfast.
On the main road, take the bus to 4 VIAS: 15 000 COP – 2 hours
Shared taxi 4 VIAS to Uribia: 5000 COP – 1 hour
Shared truck Uribia to Cabo de la Vela: 15 000 COP – 3 hours
Total Travel Cost: 80 000 COP for TWO People (27 $)
Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas belong to a different world. It’s not easy to take a shower there. But you have mastered the bucket shower.
The desert scenery is moving. The uniformity of the landscapes and the colors bring to light details like the indigenous’s houses or the kitesurfers flying on the ocean.
You realize that we are lucky to be born with a silver spoon in our mouth. We don’t have to worry about the basic needs like water or food. And the most important is that we can choose to live the life we want. It’s a rare privilege. Don’t let it go without you.
Ready for the next adventure?
Did you ever imagine to spend 26 days on Caribbean coast with your lover for only 2875 $? Me neither, before I travel to Colombia.
Caribbean holidays don’t mean 5-stars resort and dull SPA. And you don’t have to be rich to sleep in private rooms, eat delightful dinners and have fun for 1 month. From the jungle in the Darien Gap to the desert of La Guajira, you can live a one life experience in Colombia.
Everyone knows Aruba, San Martin or Cayman. And I love to drink cocktails on the beach too. Then I’m bored like when I’m playing Bingo with my Grand Ma, so I’m drinking more.
But if you switch between adventures and chill moments, you will always be excited, even when you’re burning like a snail on the grill – So Frenchy. Your camera and your brain will be full of memories.
And you can adapt your itinerary. The one I gave you is just one of many options. You could choose to get to Providencia, hike 5 days to the lost city or visit Mompox during the Jazz festival.
Don’t be scared to get out of your comfort zone. Colombians are fantastic and it’s why Colombia is the perfect playground to be a little more adventurous.
So, ready to grab your backpack and travel to Colombia?
Keep smiling and have fun!
Do you have friends who could be interested in this adventure? Don’t hesitate to tattoo the itinerary on their body when they’re drunk.
Or you could share it on your social network.
This entry was posted in Colombia, Travel advice