I have spent an entire week in Santa Marta and brought back the best hostels in town for you. I actually visited them all personally – oh what a cool research this was. You may be about to have your socks blown off. For this collection on the Caribbean Sea of northern Colombia is very cool, indeed.
Oh, and make sure you check my guide to the coolest hostels in Colombia. Up the coast near Tayrona Park there is an epic hostel waiting for you.
There’s no shortage of swimming pools – each hostel has one. And that goes too for social vibes and relaxing spaces.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
Safety in Santa Marta: Santa Marta has some safety issues, yes. Do not be that person running around at 2am, drunk with your phone and wallet in your hand. You can end up being robbed. The streets #11, #12 and #18 are known for being hot spots for robberies in Santa Marta. We had no issue, but felt uneasy when sun set. Best idea to stay in your hostel or at the main strip to have a drink at the bar. You can get a cab back home; they are cheap.
Lost City/ Ciudad Perdida: We highly recommend to take the tour to Lost City. However, our recommendation is NOT to go to any busy place when coming back from the Lost City. I felt completely overwhelmed by the music, dances and ambiance of Santa Marta after 4 days in the Jungle. Best idea would to go to Palomino, Costeño Beach or El Viajero Hostel in Buritaca.
Location: Most likely you already noticed, there is “three city names”; Taganga, Rodadero and Santa Marta. Santa Marta is really the main part. Rodadero is a district in the South, the safest place to stay in Santa Marta. Taganga is in the North and a backpacker hotspot. Make sure you pick your right location with the hostel.
2 Days in Santa Marta: Santa Marta itself has not too much to offer from the tourism point of view. The old town is very beautiful, and the main street is super cool to go out and have a drink. You will find many fantastic restaurants. I especially enjoyed the Lasagne at Bistroveg; highly recommended! 2 days are enough. Then most people move on to Tayrona Park, Minca or Palomino.
Immerse in the local life and culture of Santa Marta during your stay at Republica Hostel.
The centerpiece of this accommodation is a lovely pool, quite literally in the middle of the property.
Furthermore, you will find a neat on-site bar playing great music to set the mood. As the reception is open 24 hours a day, friendly staff are at hand to welcome you at whatever time of the day you arrive. They’re very knowledgeable, too.
Staying on the weekend? Excellent!
Make sure you have your favourite swimsuit at the ready for the pool party.
Note that you might have a tough decision when it comes to choosing which room to sleep in. There are so many options…
6, 8, 14 and 16-bed mixed dorms
Deluxe double room
Superior double private
Both of the private options come with an en-suite.
Opt for a shared room and be surprised by the amount of privacy that can be enjoyed behind your curtain. Plugs, a light and locker is included.
Location: 3-minute walk from the ocean boardwalk of Parque Simon Bolivar. There are many bars and restaurants surrounding the hostel.
This is one of the best hostels in Santa Marta for
Swimming, sunshine and snoozing is the motto of this beautiful hostel.
Take a Spanish lesson and improve your ‘hola’, before heading to the Coelhos Bar for a refreshing drink.
Get chatting with other travellers at Mexican Night and laugh a lot as you try your feet at salsa and afro-latin dance classes.
The terraced garden and hammock is an ideal place to chill if you want to wind down by yourself.
On the other hand, the pool and on-site restaurant are good places to meet others.
End the day in either a shared dorm or private room. Either way you won’t be disappointed.
Location: The airport is a 20-minute drive, and the train station a 5-minute drive. The immediate area doesn’t offer a great deal, so we suggest taking a taxi to nearby Rodadero. This place is also accessible to Tayrona National Park and the Lost City.
Listed above are the 3 best hostels that are carefully reviewed and handpicked by our team.
best areas to stay in Santa Marta. We know that this list may not work for you. So, we saved you the hassle of checking the Santa Marta Expansion map and look for other hostels manually.
That’s how much we value you! Below is a list of outstanding hostels that you can find in Santa Marta.
La Brisa Loca Hostel is built in a century-old colonial mansion that has been renovated to show the Caribbean spirit.
This place provides adult-only accommodation with a restaurant, bar, shared lounge, and a shared kitchen. This hostel also has a sun terrace with an outdoor and indoor swimming pool.
Right next door you find a coworking space. We have worked here for 2 weeks; a great place for digital nomads. However, you should be only sleeping here if you are okay with people partying until 2am.
I also want to give a shout-out to the indoor restaurant at La Brisa Loca. The prices are low and the quality is high: Best combo ever! You have vegetarian options, local foods etc. And again, very tasty!!
Perks at La Brisa Loca Hostel:
2 swimming pools
Restaurant (super tasty and on a budget!!!!)
Location: Located in the middle of Santa Marta, this place is a 2-minute walk from the atmospheric beachfront. This place is also near Santa Marta Gold museum, Simon Bolivar Park, Santa Marta Cathedral, and the neares airport is Simón Bolivar International Airport which is 19km from the hostel.
Cacao Hostel Santa Marta is one outstanding Santa Marta Colombia hostel. This place features an open patio with swimming pool, bar, fully equipped kitchen, laundry services and free breakfast.
This hostel has 4 dorm rooms and 2 private rooms and all rooms have air-conditioning. They also offer free parking for motorcycles.
Perks at Cacao Hostel:
1 swimming pool
Location: Located in Santa Marta, this place is accessible to all the city’s attraction such as Santa Marta Cathedral, Santa Marta Gold Museum, and Simon Bolivar Park. Nearest airport is Simon Bolivar International Airport which is 18km from the hostel.
Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Santa Marta.
Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Santa Marta
add your dates
Order the listings by price
Simple as that.
Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.
Another smart Tip: Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.
We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of Santa Marta best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish and good hostels, secure your room/ bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.
The coolest Hostel App you need comes as well from Hostelworld. It gives you super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app
You're worried about Santa Marta Colombia safety. Well, here's the truth of it. Not all hostels in Santa Marta are necessarily safe, especially the one that offers the cheapest price in sketchy areas. It might be an illegal hostel, without proper license to run and safety measures.
So in all fairness, it is best to check out Hostelgeeks.com because we feature safe hostels in Santa Marta. You can find backpacker hostel with top ratings! Keep a close eye on the overall ratings on booking platforms!
If you are not secure, you can also send us an email and ask us!
What are the best hostels in Santa Marta?
You can find the best Santa Marta Colombia hostels in this article!
We actually never took a flight to Santa Marta, is is not that common. Usually travelers fly into Cartagena de Indias and then take the buses up the coastline towards Santa Marta, Tayrona Park, Minca, Palomino and finally Riohacha.
Yet, it is always worth to check out options. Maybe there are new connections now that are convenient for you.
We use Skyscanner and Omio.com to find cheap flights and good connections all over the globe.
Skyscanner has a bunch of cool features like Multi-City Trip. Instead of doing this research step-by-step, Skyscanner offers this flight planning tool.
Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!
Your question will help us to improve this Santa Marta guide.
Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.
Safe travels, The Hostelgeeks
– – – pin it for later
CLOSED: Calle 11 Hostel – Former Mafia House (Rodadero)
Update: Our former 5 Star Hostel and #1 hostel in Santa Marta has permanently closed its doors.
The story goes that this old villa was once owned by the Colombian cartel. Once abandoned, Calle 11 Hostel Santa Marta transformed in to an instagrammable hostel.
And now it’s a highly recommended 5 star hostel in Colombia!
Located in the safest area of the city, El Rodadero, you can wind down with ease. This hostel is NOT directly in Santa Marta.
It’s really not very hard and won’t take long once you dip your feet in to the pool with a glass of wine!
Need more reasons to stay? Well, okay, we needed a reason to show off the amenities:
Pool side bar
TV room & lounge
Hammocks dotted around
Fully equipped kitchen
Helpful advice & tour info
Nightly social calendar (trivia night, sangria party)
By now you might have guessed that party is on the menu. The bar and pool were a giveaway, right?
Sure, you’re encouraged to have a good time. But what’s good is that Calle 11 is close-by to great nightclubs and bars. So enjoy the 2 for 1 happy hour cocktails, and then move the party to town. That way non party animals can rest in peace, and you’ll appreciate the quiet setting when you return!
And boy will you enjoy flopping down on the bed. Air-conditioning, privacy curtains and a personal light create a spot-on experience.
Privates range from superior suite and a garden double, to basic single and budget double options.
If you prefer sharing, choose between 6, 8 and 10-bed rooms all of which have an en-suite bathroom.
Location: A few minutes away from 3 of Santa Marta’s best beaches. Is Marta safe? Once again, Santa Marta Rodadero is the safest neighbourhood in Santa Marta.
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