Best Hostel in Colombia: Staying at The Fort Hostel Colombia
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.
Read more: Palomino Colombia: The Definitive Travel Guide
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.
↠ Location– A prime location right in the middle of everything you’ll want to experience on this stretch of the north Colombian coast from Minca and Tayrona National Park to Palomino.
↠ 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.
Book The Fort Colombia for your next Colombia trip direct through their website here.
You can also book through Hosteworld here.
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.
Click here for more information and to book a bed in the main dorm
BOOK THE FORT THROUGH HOSTELWORLD HERE
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.
Nestled on a hilly outcrop facing the ocean is Casa de Moncoro, a stand-alone, lux cabin that’s fully equipped with its own kitchen, private rooms, bathroom, terrace, outdoor dining and barbecue area.
Casa de Moncoro sleeps up to 6 people but can easily be rented by just a couple looking for some more privacy and access to their own kitchen and bathroom. There is one double room and another room with two single beds. There are two more single beds in the upper, roof part of the cabin.
The cabin is also far enough from the main hostel building that noise doesn’t carry here and you really are left to your own stay- the perfect little Colombia Airbnb. The views from Casa de Moncoro are amazing and time really does stand still here while you live out your jungle cabin dreams.
It’s the perfect place to lounge in a hammock with a coffee and the morning breeze, cook slowly for friends, have a bbq at sunset, do some yoga on the deck or just get the best night’s sleep of your life to the sounds of nature.
Click here for more information and to book Casa de Moncoro
The Tree House
Further up the hill at the highest point of the property, there’s also a tree house, the perfect place to come and relax with a morning coffee, read a book or have a few beers with new friends.
The views from the tree house are epic and you can see the ocean and the whole jungle in front of you.
The Hostel Shop
Staying at the Fort means living closely with nature. Most of the Colombian coast in fact is still very far from seeing any real development apart from Santa Marta and Palomino and the villages along the highway in between. While there are a few local restaurants and markets everything else is hard to come by.
The Fort Hostel shop makes things a lot easier. Stocking all the food basics as well as fresh fruit and vegetables from the land means that you won’t need to go far to get what you need to cook a simple meal in paradise. The hostel is pretty much self-contained.
In the shop you’ll also find vintage clothes from around the world, proceeds of which go to help children in local schools get a better education.
One of the things that really makes the Fort the best hostel in Colombia is the wide range of activities they offer both on the property and in the local area allowing you to experience the best of Colombia.
At the hostel, you can get involved in learning more about the local wood and fruit, cacao processing, liqueur tasting and get a tour of the local ginger beer brewery.
Also on offer are cooking classes where you can learn to make Colombian food with local ingredients as well as get involved in some daily yoga and fitness classes.
The Fort also organises tours to all the well-known spots in the area such as Tayrona National Park, Cabo de la Vela and Palomino as well as local viewpoints and waterfalls.
You can also go tubing on the Don Diego or Buritaca rivers, go on a horse-riding tour with an expert guide or visit an indigenous village to learn more about the indigenous culture and way of life in the area.
During our stay, they organised a half-day trip to Palomino as well as a tubing trip to the Buritaca river and it was the perfect day out exploring the local area. We just had so much fun.
Favorite Features of The Fort Hostel Colombia
We stayed at The Fort for almost a week and truly didn’t want to leave the place in the end. Our time there gave us the opportunity to slow down, relax, connect with nature and meet some really lovely people.
The Fort is set up in a way that you can get everything you need out of your stay; a sense of home and belonging, connection to nature and the local culture, and sustainable practices among others.
We stayed at the Casa de Moncoro, the Fort’s tiny jungle cabin which felt like a slice of paradise in the jungle- nothing but nature around us, spectacular views yet super comfortable and self-sustaining. I think the cabin had to be my favourite spot on the property.
Another spot we loved spending time in was their bar and garden. The bar is simply beautiful, with ocean views on one side and a fairylight-filled, tropical garden on the other. We had the best time grabbing a beer here after a day of exploring and meeting other people to exchange Colombia travel stories.
Nothing, however, beats the vibe and the atmosphere at The Fort. The staff are welcoming, helpful and super-friendly and everyone is just relaxed and really lovely.
Heading to Tayrona National Park? Read Tayrona National Park, Colombia: Your Essential Guide
A Few Top Travel Tips for Your Stay
↠ The hostel has two lovely and friendly dogs and two cats which freely roam the property. They keep themselves to themselves generally and are well-behaved but this hostel is probably not suited for those who are scared of dogs or cats.
↠ During the rainy season this area of Colombia can see massive amounts of rain. The rains tend to unleash all sorts of issues including mosquitoes and bugs and can put a dampener on your days of exploration. I highly recommend visiting during the dry season for a better all-round experience. This goes for the whole of Colombia.
↠ You are living in nature so that means some bugs (the levels of which vary throughout the year). Make sure not to leave home without good bug spray.
↠ The main building and dorm are some distance away from the road along an uphill path. You’ll need to be in good physical condition to walk up it. Backpacks could be taken up to the main building by quad bike but not up to the dorm- you’ll need to carry them. For the same reason, this hostel isn’t suitable for those with reduced mobility.
↠ Rolling luggage is pretty unsuitable for the Fort due to the uneven paths and stairs. I highly recommend taking a backpack for your trip to Colombia rather than rolling luggage. Get my favourite travel backpack here.
↠ Make sure to bring quite a bit of cash with you. ATMs are non-exist in the area and businesses here work cash-only. The nearest ATMs are Santa Marta and Palomino.
↠ The Fort has a very relaxed vibe and works best for travellers looking for connection, good vibes, nature and a place for community. This isn’t really a party hostel as such so if you’re looking to party hard every night this probably isn’t the spot for you.
↠ The Fort provides free wifi that’s good enough for basic tasks but not suitable for digital nomads or those heavily reliant on the internet. Unfortunately, the communications infrastructure in this part of Colombia just isn’t developed enough to provide high-speed internet. Take this as your sign for a welcoming digital detox.
To book The Fort Colombia for your next Colombia trip check out their website here.
You can also book via Hostelworld too.
Have any comments or questions about your stay in the best hostel in Colombia, The Fort? Leave them below, I’d love to hear from you.
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Related posts you might like:
Palomino Colombia: The Definitive Travel Guide
The Best Beaches in Colombia (on the Caribbean Coast)
Tayrona National Natural Park: The Perfect Two Day Itinerary
Unmissable Things To Do In Cartagena Colombia
13 Famous Places in Colombia You Don’t Want To Miss
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