Palomino is a small, laidback beach town situated on Colombia’s north coast. Continue going east from Santa Marta and you’ll stumble upon the gem that is Palomino.
Colombia can be a hectic place, but Palomino is a much welcome escape from that. You can feel the change in atmosphere and vibe, as soon as you start walking down the main road.
Palomino feels safe, ‘tranquillo’ and a place where there’s nothing to worry about. A place where your days are consumed with eating delicious food and relaxing on the beach.
It almost feels like a less touristy and more rustic version of the very popular beach town Puerto Escondido in Mexico.
However, after the sun sets, Palomino comes alive. There are a number of bars lining the streets, a few clubs and spontaneous house parties hosted in local’s houses (which they charge entry for).
If you’re visiting Palomino soon, you’ve come to the right place. After reading this guide, you’ll know which area to stay in, where to find the best restaurants and how to get around this relaxing beach town in Colombia.
Also, check out our list of the best activities in Palomino!
One thing to know about Palomino is that due to erosion, Palomino’s beach is slowly disappearing. Over the years, the beach has sadly continued to get thinner and thinner.
There are still nice areas to relax on and go swimming. But unless there’s an intervention soon, these might be harder to find.
Don’t let this put you off. It’s still an ideal place in Colombia to soak up some sun and enjoy some beach days.
How long should you spend in Palomino?
The answer depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re tight on time, you could spend just 2-3 days in Palomino. This gives you enough time to relax on the beach, go tubing and eat some tasty food.
For those needing some time to just relax, Palomino is the perfect place to spend a week or more. It’s easy to slip into a routine of going to the beach, chilling around your hotel’s pool and making your way through Palomino’s restaurants.
We loved this place and didn’t want to leave!
Top Tip: There are no ATMs in Palomino. The closest one is in the next town 20 minutes away, but it often runs out of money. Make sure to get cash out before you come to Palomino. It’s a cash-based town, so you’ll pay for most things with cash.
Where to stay in Palomino
This part is pretty simple: in Palomino. It’s a small beach town, with one main road running down the middle of it.
Most of the accommodations are situated close to this main road or along the beachfront. Wherever you choose to stay in Palomino, you’ll always be within walking distance to whatever you need.
Private rooms in Palomino start at around $15 per night.
Best cafes and restaurants in Palomino
For such a small town, Palomino has an exceptional range of restaurants, cafes and cuisines. You can spend the entirety of your days simply eating your way through Palomino.
Here are our 3 favourite places to eat in Palomino:
Casa Cocotte — new and delicious menus every day
You can’t come to Palomino and not visit Casa Cocotte. This place is incredible. As well as supporting the upskilling of locals, you’ll get to enjoy some delicious food. Every day the menu changes, so you could actually eat here every day that you’re in Palomino.
Their three-course menus offer fresh and top-quality food. Being so close to the ocean, you can also count on amazing seafood. The ambience of the restaurant is tranquil and intimate.
Casa Nostra — delicious pizza in a great spot in town
You may not expect to find great pizza in Colombia, but Casa Nostra has every component of a pizza spot on. The sourdough base is cooked to perfection, the salsa is flavourful and the toppings are plentiful.
Their pizza-style wraps are also delicious, and even better enjoyed in Casa Nostra’s vibrant atmosphere. You don’t want to miss out on one of the best pizzas in Colombia.
Cafe Holss — a vegetarian and vegan paradise
This place really feels like a hidden gem. You have to wander through the hotel’s tropical gardens to find Cafe Holss. It’s a paradise for healthy vegan and vegetarian food lovers.
Their breakfast and lunch selection is delicious, and their menu del dia is very good value for money. It’s really interesting to see how they’ve experimented with traditional Colombian dishes to make them vegetarian — try their avocado on arepa to see what we mean.
How to get around Palomino
Palomino is a tiny town, consisting mainly of dirt roads and the main road going to Santa Marta.
This makes getting around Palomino super easy! Here’s how:
You can walk from one end of the main street to the other in 15 minutes. That’s how small Palomino is!
The best way to get around Palomino is by foot. This way you can explore all of the delicious pastry shops, cafes and restaurants along the way.
By moto taxi
If you arrive with your luggage, or you simply don’t fancy walking, then you can hop on a moto taxi. There are plenty of them waiting all along the main street, but particularly at each end.
As well as a form of transport, they also feel like an adventure. It’s quite thrilling speeding along the dirt road.
A trip from one end of the main street to the other should cost around 3,000 COP ($0.70).
How to get to Palomino
|Leaving from||Duration||Prices from||See details|
|Cartagena||5.5-6 hours||from 37,000 COP ($9.00)||Cartagena to Palomino|
|Santa Marta||1.5 hours||from 12,000 COP ($3.00)||Santa Marta to Palomino|
Now that you’ve finished reading this guide, you’re almost ready for your adventure in Palomino. The next step is to create your personalised itinerary with our top picks of things to do in Palomino. Simply choose your favourite activities and places to visit, and you’re all set to make lasting memories in Palomino.
For a small beach town, Palomino offers some incredible accommodation options. Lots of them are situated right on the beach, so you can wake up to the sound of waves.
The most popular hotels do get booked up quite quickly, so if you find somewhere you like, better book it straight away.
Let’s check out some of the best places to stay in Palomino:
Senda Casalina Ecolodge - Treating Yourself
When you think of luxury, a place like Senda Casalina pops into your head. The huge canopy bed, waking up to the sound of waves and nature all around you. You can have that at Senda Casalina!
The onsite restaurant serves some of the best food that you’ll try in Colombia. They even make their own homemade bread every morning for breakfast. Make sure to book this place in advance because it’s pretty high in demand.
- Moments from the beach
- Outdoor bathrooms in beach bungalows
- Incredible onsite restaurant
- Delicious breakfast included
Double rooms cost $80+ per night
Casa Chapolin - Mid Range
Staying at Casa Chapolin feels like more than just sleeping in a room, it’s an experience. Whether you stay in a beach-front bungalow or a luxury double room, you won’t want to leave.
The hotel is only moments from the beach and also has its own restaurant and fitness centre. The owners add a personal touch to the hotel, instantly making you feel at home. This is a must-stay in Palomino!
- Minutes from the beach
- Beachfront bungalows
- Fitness centre
- Exceptional breakfast included
Double rooms cost between $40-$80 per night
Villa Eden Palomino - Budget Friendly
Book Villa Eden in advance and you can get an incredible deal to stay here. Rooms start from $30 per night if you book early.
The whole hotel oozes tropical vibes, with the thatched roofs and natural decor. The refreshing pool and garden area are the perfect places to spend the day relaxing.
You’ll be excited to return to your room each night because they are so beautifully designed and tranquil.
- Stunning outdoor pool
- Less than 1 km from the beach
- Beautiful rooms
- Delicious breakfast included
Double rooms cost between $20-$40 per night
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