[NEW TRAVEL GUIDE] Palomino In Colombia, A New Popular Destination

[NEW TRAVEL GUIDE] Palomino In Colombia, A New Popular Destination

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Palomino in Colombia was like many other small towns on the Caribbean Coast. Shops, bars, and restaurants were concentrated on the main road for the few cars and buses going to Rioacha.

There was nothing special to do except going to the beach.

However, little by little, the backpacker community decided it was a perfect place to chill. Locals started to open hostels and develop the tubing activity.

Despite its small fame, Palomino has kept its simple charm. Electricity cuts are common at night – especially if a party is going on  -, there are not many things to do except chilling at the beach with a bonfire, and big resorts are nonexistent.

For me, it’s like a friendly hippie version of Taganga. And, it’s still out of the gringo trail in comparison with Cartagena or Tayrona park

 

Palomino in Colombia - Summary

 

 

 

10 Things To Decide If You Want To Travel To Palomino

 

 

  1. You can’t swim far away from the coast because the current is strong
  2. There is almost no internet
  3. There is no party, except on weekends
  4. It’s out of the gringo trail
  5. The main activity is the tubing
  6. There are sandflies
  7. It’s a simple life where you chill 12 hours, and you sleep 12 hours
  8. There is a hippie vibe
  9. Yes it’s safe
  10. It’s a raw beauty

 

 

 

 

Table Of Contents

 

 

    1. A little story
    2. How to get to Palomino in Colombia (With a Map)
    3. Where to sleep in Palomino
    4. Things to do in Palomino and how to go tubing like a king
    5. Where to eat and drink
    6. I answer all the questions you could have – Almost all
    7. Where to go next
    8. Conclusion

 

 

 


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I) A Little Story To Put You In Situation 

 

 

 

Once again, your butt is on a plastic seat. The Air-con is working – or more exactly the driver has opened the bus’ back door. Warm air is blowing on your face like a hairdryer, but you don’t give a shit. You’re already thinking about the next adventure waiting for you. Palomino in Colombia has been mentioned a few times during your last two days in Tayrona Park. It’s funny because you’ve never heard about it before – Is there something more important than the National Park and Cartagena? Oh wait a minute, yes there are a lot! – and it seems to be a chill place.

Click HERE to read the story

The bus stops at a gas station. “Palomino!”, says the driver.

You grab your big bag which stayed in front of the bus and have a look around. There is no hostel, no beach, and no tourist. It’s only a long road with some restaurants and locals on motorcycles. The bus leaves, letting an ephemeral dust cloud as the last memory.

In this kind of situation, your first thought is always -“Did I understand correctly? Did he say Palomino or was it Bambabino, Palanto , Vambino?”. Fortunately, a local is already coming to you. 2 min later, you’re sitting at the back of a motorbike, your backpack on the handlebar, in the direction of the beach of Palomino.

 

Hammock Tankos in palomino in Colombia

After 124 small bumps, he drops you at Takos Hostel. The owners are an Australia-Colombiano couple named Natasha and Franco. Dogs and cats are sleeping under the shades and a little further you can hear an acoustic guitar playing “Clandestino” by Manu Chao. The hostel is mainly made of wood, and you decide to sleep in one of the hammocks upstairs.

Then, a cold beer in your hand, you start socializing with the few people around – I always found it was simple to make good friends in small hostels. Progressively the sun is going down and Clement, your new Austrian buddy, offers you to watch it from the beach.

Barefoot and topless, you avoid the small “rocks” on the path as your feet are not used to this bohemian life yet. The training is of short duration as you reach the beach 2 min later. There is a safety wood tower like in Baywatch and a few hippies selling bracelets and other handicraft products. It seems you need to have dreadlocks to be part of it.

 

sunset Palomino in Colombia
Credit: @NataliaHarkerm

Strong waves are hitting the beach of Palomino, and the noise adds some paradisical vibes to the scenery. You notice some people are coming back from the left with big inner tubes. Their red faces are speaking for themselves: “Why did I forget to put my fucking sunblock again…”.

They went down the river for 2 hours, carrying away by the current till their arrival in the Caribbean Sea. It will be your only activity tomorrow. As you’re finishing the last warm sip of beer, you hope that you will not belong to their goldfish skin clan.

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II) How To Get To Palomino in Colombia

 

 

 

There is only one road leading to Palomino in Colombia, so you can’t miss it. Once you’re in Palomino, you have to walk 20 min to arrive at the beach or take a moto-taxi for 2000 COP.

 

 

A] How to get from Santa Marta to Palomino

 

 

To Travel from Santa Marta to Palomino, you have to take the bus from Calle 11 con Carrera 11.

Price and Time: 9 000 COP / 2 hours

 

 

B] How to get from Minca to Palomino

 

 

To Travel from Minca to Palomino, You should ask the driver to stop you at La Bomba. It’s a gas station outside of Santa Marta. From there, you can catch a bus to go to Palomino.

Prices and time:

  • Collectivo Minca to la Bomba: 8000 COP / 45 min
  • Bus Bomba to Palomino in Colombia: Around 15 000 COP / 2 hours

 

 

C] How to get from Cartagena to Palomino

 

 

1 – Fastest option: Cartagena – Palomino

 

 

You have a tight schedule, and you wish to stop at Palomino in Colombia before going to Cabo de la Vela.

Marsol is doing a door to door service from Cartagena to Palomino. Shuttles are less comfortable than buses, but it’s a lot faster. (5 hours instead of 7-8 hours; there is no direct public bus)

Prices and time: 75 000 COP / around 5 hours.

 

WhatsApp contact:

-Barranquilla: +57 319 760 1810
-Cartagena: +57 319 691 9185
-Santa Marta: +57 319 637 7288
-Rodadero: +57 319 773 0428

I Invite you to check their facebook profile if you need extra information.

 

 

2- Cheapest option: Cartagena – Palomino

 

 

There are no direct buses from Cartagena to Palomino. If you want to use the public transport, you will have to stop in Santa Marta first:

  • Bus Cartagena – Santa Marta: 6 hours | 22 000 COP
  • Bus Santa Marta – Palomino in the direction of Rioacha: 2 hour | Around 14 000 COP

 

friend Palomino in Colombia beach

 

 

D] How to get from Tayrona to Palomino

 

 

If you’re already in Tayrona National Park or another hostel on the coast, you have to stop a bus on the road. It’s easy, do like the song “Put your hands up” and ask them to stop in Palomino.

The price will depend on the type of buses. The nice ones are around 10-15000 COP and the other ones a little less.

There are also taxis from Tayrona to Palomino. It takes almost the same time but costs 40 000 COP. It’s up to you.

 

 

E] How to get from Punta Gallinas to Palomino

 

 

If you’re doing the 2-days tour in Punta Gallinas, you will be dropped at Uribia. From there, you have two options

Prices and time:

  • You can find and bargain a car going directly to your hostel in Palomino: Around 160 000 COP (In total) / 2 hours

 

Or, you can take a taxi to go outside of Uribia. The buses are not coming to town.

  • Bus Uribia to 4 vias (It’s a crossroad): 6000 COP / 1 hour
  • Bus 4 vias to Palomino: 12 000 COP / 2 hours

There is also a town named Rioacha between 4 Vias and Palomino. Sometimes you have to stop/change buses there.

 

 

F] How to get from Cabo de la Vela to Palomino

 

 

You didn’t do the tour to Punta Gallinas. It means you have to come back to Uribia first. Most of the jeeps are going to Uribia between 3 am, and 7 am to drop the workers in the Indigenous Capital. Ask the owner of your hostel to fix the appointment. Once in Uribia, you have to follow the instruction above.

Prices and time: 

  • Jeep Cabo de La Vela to Uribia: 15 000 COP / 1 hour 30

 

 


Other Fantastic Destinations Around Palomino


 

 

Map of Palomino

Map Around Palomino in Colombia

 

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Bonfire on the beach Palomino Colombia
Credit: @aluna.adventures

 

 

 

II) Where To Stay In Palomino

 

 

 

We can divide Palomino in Colombia into three zones. The cheapest accommodations are around the main street. Most of the inhabitants and shops are there.

The second zone is along the road going down to the beach. Many hostels and restaurants have been built recently.

Then there are the hotels/hostels with direct access to the beach of Palomino.

As you can imagine, the closer you’re from the beach and more expensive it is. However, it’s not 100% the case.

 

 

A] Accommodations near the main road of Palomino

 

 

There are many cheap accommodations. There are private rooms for 50 000 COP and dorms for 20 000 COP. It’s the best place to find inexpensive restaurants because the locals are eating there too.

 

 

B] Hostels On the road leading to the beach of Palomino

 

 

As I said, there are many hostels. However, there are some periods where there is almost nobody in Palomino in Colombia. So if you’re looking for some social events and friendly talks around a beer, I advise you to look for a hostel near the beach.

Furthermore, as the main pleasure in Palomino is to hang out like a hippie barefoot on the sand, I don’t see the point to stay in town.

My recommendations are the following (From the farthest to the closest to the beach):

 

 

1 – Tribe Guesthouse

 

#Couple #Romantic #Pool #Ecological #Expensive #FreeBicycle #FriendlyOwnersAndPets

 

The owners have built this place on their own. There is a nice garden with a big pool and green plants. They have used lots of bamboos to build the walls. The bedrooms are simple, but it’s perfect with the romantic vibes of the Guesthouse. The place is 10-15 min from the beach. Hannah and Dan were more than happy to stay in this place.

Price:

  • Private room: Around 140 000 COP (45$)

 

The tribe hostel in Palomino in Colombia


 

 

2 – Prima Luna Hostel

 

#Internet #GreatBreakfast #Pool #Billard

 

It’s a nice and big hostel. There is a restaurant, and the food is tasty. The breakfast is good and free. There is a chill vibe. It’s your best chance to have a “correct” internet – It’s still shit. It’s 5 min walk from the beach.

Price:

  • Dorms: Around 35 000 COP 
  • Private: Around 160 000 COP

 

PrimaLuna Hostel Palomino in Colombia

 


 

 

3 – The Dreamer hostel in Palomino

 

#Amazingfood #Swimming pool #Sociablehostel #NearTheBeach #Yoga #Bar #Happyhour #Expensive

 

The most famous hostel in Palomino. There is everything you need: Restaurants, Billard, Swimming pool, etc. It looks more like a resort place than a hostel, and you can feel it in the prices. As it’s near the beach, there is sand everywhere, but hey it’s Palomino. It’s 2 minutes walk from the beach of Palomino. The Wandering blonde has enjoyed this place.

Prices:

  • Dorms: Around 40 000 COP
  • Private: Around 160 000 COP

 

The dreamer Hostel Palomino in Colombia

 


 

 

4 – Tankos Hostel

 

#nicevibe #Chill #Cheap #Nearthebeach #Lovelyowners

 

There is no huge party in this hostel – I mean it depends on you. The owners Franco and Natasha are always ready to follow the move. I loved this place because they keep it simple. Some private rooms at the back and a dorm + Hammock near the entrance. There is a mutual trust with the clients, and it’s pleasant. They serve great food at a fair price. It’s 2 minutes walk from the beach.

 

Tankos Hostel Palomino in Colombia

 

You can’t book in advance because they like to see their guests first. And you can see if you like it or not ;). They are easy to find. It’s just in front of the Dreamer, on the other side of the road.

Prices:

  • Hammock: 15 000 COP
  • Dorm: 25 000 COP
  • Private: 60 000 or  80 000
  • Tent: 10 000 COP

 

 

C]  Accommodations on the Palomino Beach

 

 

1 – Camping

 

 

Once you arrive at the beach, turn left and walk 5 min. You will see a written sign: Camping Allowed. I don’t know if it’s free and the problem is everyone is passing in front – As it’s on the beach. If you did it, tell us about your experience!!!

 

 

2 – Finca Escondida in Palomino

 

#PerfectSpot #AccessToTheBeach #GreatFood #Friendly

 

If your dream is to live on the sand of Palomino in Colombia, the place is perfect for you. There is direct access to the beach. The restaurant serves delicious food. Life is better when you start your day with a tasty breakfast in front of the Caribbean Sea.Le Cocotier Dorée felt in love with this place.

Prices:

  • Hammock: 20 – 25 000 COP
  • Dorm: 30 – 35 000 COP
  • Private: From 110 – 130 000 COP

Website: Finca Escondida

 

Finca Escondida Palomino in Colombia

 

 

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III) Things To Do In Palomino In Colombia

 

 

 

I have to admit, there are not thousands of things to do in Palomino. It’s more a place to relax and to enjoy your last days on the coast. Pick up an easy mission like to drink a margarita for sunset, to work on your tan to make your friends jealous, to nap in a hammock, etc.

If you’re only coming for the tubbing, 1-2 nights are enough.

However, if you’re staying longer, there few other activities you can do

 

tubing kid in Palomino Colombia

 

 

A] How to do Tubing in Palomino in Colombia

 

 

So let’s start with the most famous activity. You’re going down the river on an inner tube for 2 hours, and you end in the sea.  I know you love bullets, so bullets I will do to explain to you how to do it well. There is deeper water during the raining season. It’s faster and funnier

 

  • First, you have to know that everything will be wet. So you should take only things you don’t care. – I’m an idiot that never listen, and I lost a speaker, two lighters, cigarettes, and rolling papers…
  • You will stay in the sun for 2 hours. Take a hat, tee shirt and apply some sunscreen on your face before you go
  • Take your Flip-Flop and a thick plastic bag
  • Ask the dudes just before the Dreamer or in front Takos hostel. They are easy to find, and they look like a friendly version of Son of Anarchy.
  • Some of them are younger than your socks but trust them; they can drive with their eyes shut.
  • You don’t need a guide for the tubing activity. It’s safe, even during the raining season except if you don’t know how to swim. In this case, don’t do it.
  • You will be on the back of their motorbike for 10 mins. Ask them to stop on the way to buy cold Aguila beers
  • Then you have to walk 30 min – You need to follow the path. It’s up and down, not hard but it’s fucking hot. It’s better with flip-flop than barefoot
  • Now you deserve your tubing session. Have fun and keep all your trash!
  • In the end, you have to walk for 30 min on the beach to bring back the inner tube to the Colombians Son of Anarchy gang

 

Price: 20 000 COP

Time: Around 4 hours (in Total)

 

 

B] Chill between swimming pool, sea and river

 

 

Your hostel doesn’t have a swimming pool? You don’t care! Finding one is possible. After your morning beach session, you can have lunch at the Dreamer Hostel.

It’s a little expensive for Colombia (like most of the restaurants in Palomino if you’re not taking El Menu del Dia – Menu of the day), but it’s tasty. And most important, they let you use the swimming pool. It’s perfect to relax before another beach session at the end of the afternoon.

Lunch: Around 25 000 COP

 

Then you can decide to walk on the beach of Palomino. If you’re going to the right, you can reach another river. There is nothing Whaou, and it’s a long walk in the sand, but you will be alone, and you can have some fun in freshwater.

Time: 1 hour one way

 

river palomino in Colombia

 

 

C] Flamingos Sanctuary

 

 

It’s a not THE highlight of the Caribbean Coast, but it’s something fun to do if you like birds or if you want to go off the beaten track. Take a bus direction Rioacha and stop at Camarones – It’s a town which means shrimp – then go to Boca de Camarones.

From there, you can book a boat tour to observe the birds in the lagoon, especially the flamingos.

Time and prices:

  • Bus to Camarones: 45 min / 7000 COP
  • Boat tour: Around 2 hours / 10 000 COP if you bargain well

 

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IV) Where To Eat And Drink In Palomino

 

 

 

As any respectful “hippie place,” the food is good and healthy. However, it’s not super easy to bring all the food they need in Palomino. So more healthy means also more expensive.

 

 

A] Where to Eat In Palomino

 

 

  • Looking for a cheap place? Check out in town and order the menu of the day
  • The closer you come to the beach of Palomino, more expensive it is.
  • I love the hummus in the restaurant between Prima Luna and Tankos
  • Tankos has good pasta for an acceptable price: Around 17 000 COP
  • Prima Luna has incredible Pizza and Breakfast but is ready to pay it: Around 30 000 COP for the pizza
  • The Dreamer also serves tasty food, and you can use their pool.
  • La Frontera has a reputation for having the best pizza in town
  • If you wish to have breakfast on the beach, go to hang out to La Sirena Eco Lodge

 

 

beach Palomino in Colombia
Credit: @Minimii1993

 

B] Where to Go Out in Palomino

 

 

  • There is an “expensive” bar on the beach
  • You can check out the happy hour at The Dreamer. You will see, they have a weird and long way to take your orders. I let you the surprise
  • On weekends, there is a “party.” There are two hostels on the way to the main road (Near the town). You have to follow the music
  • Also, once a month, there is a full moon party. It’s not in Palomino, but it’s somewhere around. Last time, we did it at CasaGrande Surf (Near Costeño beach)

 

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Other Fantastic Destinations Around Palomino


 

 

 

V) Frequent Questions

 

 

 

Does anyone know how if Tayrona park/palomino areas are safe now?

Yes, it’s safe. You can hang out in Palomino during the day and at night. But like everywhere else, I recommend you not to be wasted alone at 2 am in a dark alley.

 

Is Palomino in Colombia worth the trip?

It depends on what you’re looking. For me, it’s not a MUST to do on the Caribbean coast if you have a tight schedule. And it’s the same beach than Brisa Tranquila. However, if it’s on your way because you want to go to Cabo de la Vela, yes you should stop. Organize your excursion to Cabo de la Vela and let your Backpack at the hostel.

It’s also a perfect place if you’re looking for a chill place to do nothing except to read, sleep and tan.

 

How do I get from Palomino in Colombia to Cartagena?

As I said, you can take a shuttle with the company Marsol (5 hours) or consider a bus to Santa Marta then another bus to Palomino

 

How long should I stay?

I think two nights are perfect

 

Palomino or Taganga?

Palomino is a chill version of Taganga. You go to Taganga if you want to party “hard” on the weekend at the nightclub The Mirador or if you want to dive. However, it can be touristy and a little dangerous at night. So Palomino is a good alternative if you’re looking for a quiet place.

 

Is there an ATM in Palomino?

No, there is no ATM in Palomino. You can take a shared car on the main road to go to the next town, Mingueo. It’s 4000 COP. 

 

Where can I get the internet?

The Internet is shit in Palomino. Your best chance is in Prima Luna or some restaurants on the main road.

 

Can I swim in Palomino in Colombia?

You can have fun with the waves, but you will not be able to swim far. It can be dangerous because of the currents

 

How is the weather in Palomino?

It’s hot and humid. As everywhere on the coast, it can rain quite a lot but never for a long time. Then the sun is out again. Don’t trust the weather on your iPhone. The raining season is from April to December.

 

big tires Beach Palomino in Colombia
Credit: @Adnvideotv

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VI) Where To Go After Palomino

 

 

 

Check out our selection of hostels and hotels near Santa Marta and Tayrona

 

 

A] Costeno Beach/ Brisa Tranquila/ El Rio

 

 

Do you want to chill at the beach and do nothing? Eat a delicious meal while your feet are playing in the water? Between Santa Marta and Palomino, you have plenty of hostels on the coast to grant your dreams. You should think to take a repellent; you’re in nature ????

 

How to get there: Take the collectivo on the road direction Santa Marta

Prices and time: Bus from Palomino: Around 7000 COP / 1h

 

 

B] Minca

 

 

Do you want to enjoy more the Sierra Nevada, swim in waterfalls, tasting an organic coffee and eat delicious food?

Minca is a great destination for that.

 

How to get there: Go back to Santa Marta then take a shared jeep in Calle 11 Carrera 12 to Minca

 

Prices and time: 

  • Bus Palomino to Santa Marta: Around 10 000 COP / 2 Hours
  • Jeep Santa Marta to Minca: 8 000 COP / 45 min

 

The best-detailed guide to discover Minca, Casa Loma, and Casa Elemento

 

MINCA Colombia view

 

 

C] Cabo de la Vela / Punta Gallinas

 

 

Would you like to go to the most northern point of South America? A desert with a fantastic landscape, a strong indigene culture and perfect to practice your kitesurf skills?

 

Follow the road in the direction of Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas!

 

How to get there: Take a bus in the direction of Rioacha or directly to 4 Vias if you can (It’s a crossroad). Then you have to catch a shared-taxi to go to Uribia. From there, you will have the possibility to opt for a jeep in the direction of Cabo de la Vela

 

Prices and time: 

  • Bus to 4 Vias: Around 15 000 COP / 2 hours
  • Shared taxi to Uribia: Around 6 000 COP / 1 hour
  • Jeep Uribia to Cabo de la Vela: Around 15 000 COP / 1h30

 

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VII) Conclusion

 

 

 

Palomino in Colombia has a special vibe that is maybe not for everyone. However, I’m not saying that you need to be “special” or a “hippie with dreadlocks taller than me” to like it.

It depends on your expectations. Palomino in Colombia is small, not touristy (most of the time), pretty dead at night and you can’t swim far in the sea. There are few shops in town and some restaurants along the dirt road going to the beach. The internet is a billion times weaker than in my lost city town in the South of France and electricity shortcuts are not rare.

It makes me smile to write that, but it explains to you why I like this place. It represents the perfect Caribbean town where nothing is perfect, but nobody cares because the site is quiet, lovely and the vibe peaceful. It’s Capurgana’s sister. It’s raw beauty, and you have to accept it how it is, or it’s not worth it to come.

 

tubing friend in Palomino Colombia

 

 

Essentials about Palomino in Colombia

 

 

Time: 2 nights

Budget per day: 100 000 COP

Weather: Hot and Humid

Best time to visit: Mid-December to April; July to August

Backpacker profile: Chill traveler who has maybe a secret baby dread and likes to have fun in the waves and the rivers

 

 

Other Fantastic Destinations Around Palomino

 

 

More Information About Cartagena And Colombia

Why Colombia is safe now

The Bible for Backpacking in Colombia

24 interesting facts to reassure your Grand’Ma

40 reasons that made me fall in love with Colombia 

14 highlights in Colombia you could add to your Itinerary

Explore the famous Tayrona National Park

The best activities in Palomino: Tubing

 

 

I Receive My Free Colombia Travel Guide

 

 

 

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How to visit Palomino in Colombia Tubing and Budget

PALOMINO in Colombia Things to do

 

 

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2 comments

  1. Cris says:

    Just one tiny detail, the ATM info. The closest ATM is in Mingueo, not Rioancho, the cost of the trip in car is 4000 COP. I wouldn’t recommend at all use a mototaxi to go to Mingueo, they are just reckless drivers, and they will charge you whatever they want.

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