Our next stop after Santa Marta, on our way to Rioacha, was Palomino.

This beach-side village was unknown to many people until a few years ago, but it has become an increasingly popular destination for backpackers. Even though this town is incredibly small, there is a lot to see and do here.

Palomino River

We enjoyed it so much that we ended up extended what was supposed to be a two-night stay to a full week here.

Things to see and do in Palomino:

  • Go river tubing;
  • Enjoy its Caribbean Beach;
  • Walk bare foot through the town

One of the backpackers’ favourite activities in Palomino is the river tubing. This is a fun and cheap activity and you will see a lot of different amazing landscape, from the mountains of Sierra Nevada to the beautiful white sand beach.

View from the top of the trail

The activity starts with a short jeep ride to the trail head, followed up by a short 30 minutes hike. On the top of the hill, you can see the snowy summit of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Once you get here, you can go on your tube and will spend approximately one hour descending the river.

Just relax there and enjoy the landscape changing, the wildlife – we were able to see monkeys and parrots – and get off your tube from time to time to say hello to Kogi people, the indigenous ethnic group that lives in the Sierra Nevada.

There are a lot of companies that do it and you shouldn’t pay more than 30,000 COP – they always start with a higher price.

Palomino Beach

A day on the beach is another nice way of spending your time in Palomino. You can take a walk there at night time as well, to listen to people playing music and look at the stars.

One of my favourite parts of the stay in Palomino, however, was simply walking around the small village sandy streets, watching local artisans making bags and bracelets or simply visiting the small food markets.

Where to stay and eat

Despite Palomino being small, there are several options for accommodation. There is a Dreamers Hostel, like the one we stayed in in Santa Marta. However, tired of the week of partying we had in Santa Marta, we decided to stay in a smaller and more relaxed hostel called Casa Colibri.

We really loved this place and it’s one of the reasons we extended our stay. Why staying here? Rooms are cheap – around 15 euro a night for a double room – there is a big garden with hummingbirds flying around and they serve the most amazing vegetarian food!

Trying aguardiente for the first time

Other food places we loved are SUA and La Frontera, where we also tried aguardiente for the first time.


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