Continue going east from Santa Marta and you’ll stumble across the gem that is Palomino — a small, laidback beach town situated on Colombia’s north coast.
Colombia can be a hectic place, but Palomino is a much welcome escape from that. As soon as you start walking down the dirt road, you feel the change in atmosphere and vibe.
Palomino feels safe, ‘tranquillo’ and a place where there’s nothing to worry about. A place where your days are spent eating delicious food and relaxing on the beach.
Get your bucket list ready. In this guide, we’ll show you the best things to do in Palomino and how to experience them.
Need help planning your trip? Check out our guide to visiting Palomino — you’ll find the best restaurants, where to stay, how to get around and more!
#1 Chill on Palomino’s beach
We’re going to put it out there straight away, Palomino’s beach probably isn’t going to be the best beach you’ve seen in your life. Due to erosion, the beach is slowly getting thinner and thinner.
That being said, it’s still a wonderful place to soak up the sun, relax and read a book.
Where to go on Palomino beach
With your back to Palomino town, head right along the beach. When you first enter the beach from the town it’s likely to be pretty busy with locals, vendors and sunbeds.
If you want to enjoy the true tranquillity that Palomino has to offer, then walk 10 minutes right along the beach.
Here, you’ll find some of the nicest stretches of beach with fewer people, more sand and plenty of shade.
#2 Take on Palomino’s waves
Palomino can be the perfect place to stay for a few weeks, learning how to surf. All throughout the year, but particularly in autumn, you’ll find some great waves in Palomino — whether you’re a pro-surfer or a beginner.
Dreamer Hostel offers surf lessons with a professional and experienced teacher. (It’s also an amazing hostel to stay in).
#5 Catch the best sunset at the mouth of the San Salvador River
Sunset anywhere along Palomino beach is beautiful. The sky lights up a vibrant orange and a peacefulness enfolds across the sand.
If you want to find the perfect spot for sunset then head down to the mouth of the San Salvador River. It’s likely that there won’t be many people here, so you can get the sunset all to yourself.
The walk to the mouth of the San Salvador River takes around 50 minutes. It’s a stunning and relaxing walk along the beach.
Top Tip: Bring bug spray! As soon as the sun begins to set in Palomino, the mosquitos come out in full force.
Our favourite places to stay 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 — Treat 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.
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!
Now you’ve picked the best things to do in Palomino, it’s time to start ticking off that bucket list. Not sure how to plan your trip? Our guide is here to help! You’ll find out how long to stay in Palomino, where to eat, how to get around and more. Happy planning!
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Kate is a writer, (ex)Management Consultant and avid traveller. She recently returned from a 2-year career break exploring the world and decided corporate life wasn’t for her. She’ll soon be testing life as a digital nomad. She’s visited over 40 countries and fell in love with Latin America in particular. Her travelling has inspired a passion for yoga, salsa, hiking and Spanish.
Aleksandra is a writer and editor who recently moved from Hong Kong to London. She’s worked and studied in four countries (and counting) and picked up a new hobby in each of them. She’s a big fan of long train journeys so you can count on her to take the scenic route, finding a few hidden gems along the way.