Vibrant cities, soaring Andean summits, lush green forests, friendly locals and beaches to die for make Colombia our top-pick for a first-time South American adventure.
Because we believe where you lay your head at night is just as important as what you do during the day, we’ve handpicked some of the best boutique hotels in Colombia. Each of our chosen hotels offers unique design features, fantastic amenities, outstanding service and, most importantly, a great night’s sleep to ensure that you’re well rested for the next day’s adventures.
Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia Hotel
On arrival in Bogota you’ll be transferred to the first hotel on our itinerary, the multi-award winning Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia. This 5-star hotel was designed by Colombian architect Miguel Soto, and blends beautiful Colombian features with the traditional French luxury synonymous with the Sofitel brand.
This boutique hotel is tucked away on a quiet street north of the city centre, in Bogota’s trendy Zona T - one of the safest neighbourhoods in the city. Zona T is a lively commercial district packed full of shops, bars and restaurants offering everything from cheap local eats to haute cuisine. If you’re into seafood our top tip is the ceviche tigre mixte at Central Cevicheria, less than 100m from the hotel, but if you’re feeling tired after your journey and would prefer to stay at the hotel, chef Mauricio Rodriguez cooks up some delicious treats at in-house restaurant Basilic.
Why we love it
The staff at the Sofitel Victoria Regia are an amazing team who will make sure that your every wish is catered for. From greeting you with traditional coca tea on arrival to help you to acclimatise to the altitude to recommending the best places to eat and drink in the area, the concierge team will make sure that your memories of your stay in Bogota last a lifetime.
Casa San Carlos Lodge Pereira
Next we’re off for some outdoor adventure in the heart of Colombia’s coffee region, and what better base than the beautiful Casa San Carlos Lodge? Not only is this a luxury base for our exploration of the area, but you can also feel great about its commitment to caring for the planet. Casa San Carlos is constructed from local bamboo, incorporates reusable materials, and they are in the process of replanting 400,000 trees.
Originally a home for a coffee growing family, the lodge has been redesigned and developed by more than 140 local craftsmen, while still retaining many of its original features. After exploring the fincas and hiking in Los Nevados National Park you can relax in the outdoor swimming pool or the hot tub and steam room before enjoying an amazing night’s sleep in your uniquely designed bedroom.
Why we love it
The views! The hotel is nestled in the mountains, meaning you will enjoy spectacular 360 degree scenery from just about everywhere. Casa San Carlos has beautifully designed outdoor spaces that are perfect for you to get closer to nature - a huge porch seating area overlooking stunning gardens and, of course, the pool. This is really a place for you to disconnect, unwind and enjoy the moment.
Click Clack Hotel Medellin
Click Clack Medellin is located on a quiet corner of the chic El Poblado neighbourhood, walking distance from a myriad of coffee shops and restaurants. New to the Click Clack family, the hotel has been purposefully designed and fits seamlessly into the barrio, artfully blending the indoors and outdoors through gardens, terraces and spaces like the lobby, which somehow manages to straddle both!
Your base for the next three nights is brimming with bonuses - a luscious green courtyard lined with restaurants; stylishly designed rooms with a free minibar stocked with coffee, cookies and local nuts; and last but by no means least, a stunning rooftop pool and bar with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
Why we love it
The in-house restaurants and bars are street-side and open to the public, making Click Clack the perfect place on our trip to get to know the locals, who regularly stop by in the evenings to enjoy a coffee or a cold cerveza. The venue is cool without being pretentious, meaning that you could be hanging out with a tattooed Colombian one minute, and a European hipster the next.
Tayrona National Park
Villa Maria Tayrona
A world away from the fast-paced city of Medellin, Villa Maria is based around a 200 year-old colonial house in a lush jungle oasis. The original plan and walls of the restaurant have been preserved wherever possible, and guest rooms are in bamboo villas constructed by local craftsmen.
Although we’ll be spending lots of time in nearby Tayrona National Park, there are also lots of opportunities to explore in and around the hotel. Enjoy wandering along the peaceful jungle trails, marveling at the tropical flowers and fresh fruit growing inches from your face - one of the trails even leads directly to the beach!
After our day exploring Tayrona National Park, you’ll be able to cool off in the hotel’s shaded pool before sitting back and unwinding in a comfy hammock.
Why we love it
Rooms feature patio doors that look out onto either the beach or jungle, so you can roll out of bed, push back the curtains and step out onto your own private balcony to enjoy the view and the beautiful morning song of tropical birds - what better way to wake up?!
Santa Catalina Cartagena
Last but not least is Santa Catalina - a boutique hotel in the old town of Cartagena on Colombia’s Carribean Coast. Old town it is, but old it is not! Rooms are elegant and modern and feature exposed brick walls and muted colours - the perfect place to relax between activities on this part of the trip. The hotel has a rooftop pool where you can cool off from the heat of the day, or lie back on a sun lounger with a cocktail and enjoy stunning views across the city.
Why we love it
Location, location, location! Santa Catalina is located right by the old clock tower, which marks the entrance to the walled city of Cartagena. This is the perfect base for our group’s daily activities as well as being ideal for you to explore the city’s quaint streets at your leisure. You’ll be a stone’s throw away from a world of flavours at one of the many restaurants serving up the day’s catch, or maybe you’d rather head to a bar and join the locals with some late night salsa. Santa Catalina is also only a short walk from the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Getsemani, where you can soak up authentic local culture and admire the amazing street art featured on many of the walls.
This post was written by Kay Bee. Kay is an international teacher, currently living in Yangon Myanmar. She blogs about travel and expat life in El Salvador and South East Asia.