Looking for the best hostel in Colombia?- Discover one of the best hostels in Colombia, The Fort. Located on Colombia’s stunning north coast find your perfect stay in Colombia today.
Colombia is a country renowned for its beautiful scenery, nature, and culture and if you’re reading this because you’re already planning your trip- good for you! Colombia is a huge country in South America with so much to offer from the Amazon jungle in the South East to pristine, white sand beaches on the Caribbean Coast. There are mountain ranges, national parks, deserts, and cosmopolitan cities all waiting to be explored.
The country also has a variety of different accommodation options from luxury yet affordable hotels and resorts to lively backpacker hostels. On my recent trip, I visited and stayed at quite a few upscale hostels to see which one really managed to make it the best hostel in Colombia.
For those of you who come to Roam & Thrive often, you’ll know that we don’t really write about hostels, they just aren’t our thing, but The Fort was just so great of a spot we had to make an exception just this once, a testament perhaps to how great our stay here really was.
If you’re after the best hostel in Colombia then look no further than The Fort Colombia. Located in the middle of the jungle in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range on Colombia’s north coast near the town of Buritaca, this rustic-chic property has all you need for an incredible stay.
It’s in the jungle yet close enough to get there with ease, it has dorms and a private cabin to share with friends or your other half and the views and facilities are unmatched. Not only that, the Fort is completely off-grid relying on solar power for the entire property so you don’t have to worry about your environmental footprint.
*This ‘best hostel in Colombia’ post contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with top-quality content for free. This post is sponsored by The Fort Hostel however all words and opinions are my own.
The Fort Hostel Location
The Fort Colombia is located on Colombia’s north coast near the city of Santa Marta. It’s right in the middle of two of the must-see destinations on Colombia’s North Coast. Santa Marta is the closest airport to the hostel.
This part of Colombia is already well-trampled and a firm favorite on the backpacker trail. Highlights of this area include Tayrona National Park, one of Colombia’s most beautiful national parks and Palomino, a hip backpacker town. The Fort is located smack dab between the two right off the main highway, the Troncal del Caribe.
It makes the perfect base to enjoy Tayrona National Park, Palomino and all the secret waterfalls, rivers and beaches in between. This part of Colombia is pretty spread out so it helps to have a base from which to see it all.
Getting to The Fort Hostel
Air – The closest airport to the Fort is Santa Marta Simon Bolivar International Airport. While it is an international airport, most flights arriving and departing are domestic. You’ll probably need to connect in Bogota or even Medellin when flying into Colombia.
Avianca, Viva Colombia, LATAM and Wingo all have flights to Santa Marta from other major Colombia cities. Find your flights to Santa Marta below.
From the airport take a taxi to the Mamatoco roundabout and change for the local bus. The bus is a local blue white and green mini-bus. A taxi from the airport to Santa Marta takes about 20 minutes and costs 30,000 pesos.
Bus from Santa Marta – To get to the Fort hostel you’ll need to jump on the local bus heading towards Palomino. From wherever you are in Santa Marta catch a taxi to the ‘Mamatoco’ roundabout just outside the city. Here you’ll be able to get on a blue, white and green bus- the local mini-bus heading towards Palomino
Bus from Tayrona National Park or Palomino – From here jump on the main bus that travels the Troncal del Caribe Highway and tell the driver you’re going a few kilometres before or past Buritaca.
Bus from Cartagena – When coming from Cartagena take a bus to Santa Marta then take a taxi to Mamatoco roundabout and transfer to a local bus.
Once on the bus have your phone and Google Maps ready to see when it’s time to get off- The Fort Hostel is pinned on Google Maps. It’s a few kilometres past the town of Buritaca (heading east). Once it’s time to get off simply shout for the driver to stop.
Private transfer – Alternatively you can also book a transfer with The Fort directly and they’ll come out to pick you up from the airport or bus terminal. Prices depend on the number of travellers but I highly recommend it if you have a lot of luggage or you’re desperate to relax. Get in touch with The Fort here to book a transfer directly.
Why You Should Stay at the Fort Hostel
↠ Supports local projects and the Community – since the very beginning The Fort has supported the community and local projects by hiring locally and creating opportunities, investing in the people and supporting projects in education and conservation.
↠ Green & Sustainable – The Fort was built mostly by hand and using local materials- much of which was found on the land itself. This best hostel in Colombia is solar powdered and entirely off-grid, helping to make your travels a little more sustainable.
↠ Rustic-lux Jungle Vibe & Boutique Hostel feel – High-quality and great design makes this hostel feel like the ultimate luxurious, rustic, jungle cabin stay. With a capacity of only 10 people in the main dorm, it doesn’t ever feel over-crowded.
↠ Contact with Nature – Nature is everywhere you look at the Fort and is perfect for those craving an escape to it. You can birdwatch the many resident tropical birds here including toucans and other wildlife that pops in from time to time.
The Fort Hostel Colombia
Spread out over two hectares of land, the hostel is comprised of many different buildings and elements. It’s been carefully built combining rustic-chic living with nature and staying at the Fort means that you’re always outside and connected to nature.
The land is full of tropical fruit trees including mango, papaya, avocado, pineapple, cacao and tamarind, endemic trees and plants and the gardens are full of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Whatever is in season is available for purchase at their main store.
Reception, Kitchen, Bar & Dorms
Walking up the main path from the road to the heart of the property you’re greeted by the main reception area, guest kitchen and bar, a hilltop area with stunning jungle and ocean views as far as the eye can see.
This is where you’ll check-in and spend quite a bit of time- I know we did. The kitchen is brand new, it’s clean and airy and the perfect place for cooking some light and simple meals. We found we did this a lot as there aren’t too many restaurants nearby. A free breakfast is provided in the main kitchen in the morning.
The bar is also one of the best hostel bars around. With a beautiful bar made of the region’s endemic ‘purple’ wood and surrounded by gardens, jungle and ocean views, there’s no better spot to grab a cold beer, relax and make new friends. There are plans for a swimming pool in the bar area in the future too.
The Fort Hostel Colombia also make their own liquors from ingredients from the land on site which make pretty delicious and unique cocktails. I highly recommend giving them a try.
Moving further around, on the adjacent hill there’s the main dormitory building that currently sleeps up to 10 people. The spacious building means that beds are placed quite far apart from each other so you never feel like there isn’t enough space and each person gets their own privacy. There are also double dorm beds for couples on a budget wanting to share a bed.
The entire space is open-air with beautiful views of the property and the dorms have a seating area to relax in too.
The main dorm also has its own ensuite shower which is always welcome, especially in the tropics.
Casa de Moncoro
If sharing dormitories with strangers isn’t quite your thing or you’re looking for a bit more privacy then don’t worry there is another option.