With its beautiful beaches, stunning colonial architecture, and lively nightlife, Cartagena is many a traveller’s favorite in northern Colombia.
As Colombia’s most iconic tourism destination, it’s known to be a bit more expensive than other places, though it’s still very easy to be a budget backpacker in Cartagena.
If you’re looking for the best hostel to stay in Cartagena, Colombia, look no further! We’ve compiled a list of top-rated hostels located either within the old town or the Getsemani district — all excellent options that we know you’ll love.
Where to stay in Cartagena
There are really just two neighborhoods that are most worth staying in — and they are within walking distance of each other. So you don’t have to worry too much about your location in Cartagena.
The Old Town is within the old city walls of the beautiful colonial centre of Cartagena. It’s become a bit more bougie with a lot of boutique hotels with flowery balconies and artisanal shops, though a number of budget-friendly hostels can also be found here.
The Getsemani neighborhood is the street-arty and trendy nightlife area of Cartagena. This up-and-coming neighborhood is where you can find plenty of unpretentious restaurants and bars and lots of local vibes. It’s where most backpacker hostels are based.
It’s about a 20-minute walk between these two areas, so it’s still easy to meet your friends even if they’re staying elsewhere.
Best Hostels in Cartagena
Viajero Cartagena Colombia
BEST OVERALL HOSTEL
Viajero is a chain that has locations all over Latin America. Their Cartagena location has modern, colorful interiors and a great pool area. It’s just a few blocks from the Old Town, making it easy to explore the city.
Being the highest-rated hostel, the Viajero does often book out fully, so be sure to check availability here.
It’s a bit more of a premium choice offering good value if you’re looking for a unique and stylish place to stay.
The rooms all have air conditioning which is a lifesaver on those hot, sticky Cartagena days. It also has a great open-air bar giving travelers a great opportunity to meet on the road. The hostel also hosts plenty of events like salsa nights, trivia, and some great pool parties.
La Buleka Hostel
BEST QUIET HOSTEL
This family-owned hostel feels almost like a guesthouse, offering some small private rooms as well as several dorms.
It’s perfect if you’re looking for a budget-friendly (and just generally friendly) place to stay, but not necessarily wanting to party or have other events every night. That said, there is a nice rooftop bar and breakfast area.
I was based at La Buleka on my second visit to Cartagena and loved my stay. The location right at the heart of the Getsemani neighborhood is unbeatable: you’ll be within walking distance of numerous restaurants and the lively Plaza de la Trinidad, where street bands perform and where there’s always a great atmosphere.
This hostel is perfect for couples or travellers wanting a more peaceful hostel stay.
Media Luna Hostel
BEST FOR PARTY VIBE
While it’s not strictly just a party hostel, there is definitely a social vibe at Media Luna Hostel and there are regularly parties. Being located in the heart of the Getsemani district, it’s close to everything from restaurants, bars, and the main nightlife area.
Based in a beautiful colonial mansion, the rooms are basic but clean and air-conditioned providing a much-needed break from the hot Cartagena days. You can savor an ice-cold beer with your friends, bask in the sun on the inviting patio, or take a dip in the pool to break up that Caribbean heat.
I once stayed here with my travel crew when we really wanted a fun place after many days of sailing to Colombia from Panama. While the reception staff may not be always the most efficient, as some reviews will note, this hostel is really more about the lively atmosphere.
Don’t miss out on the incredible Media Luna Mega Party every Wednesday night.
Casa Zahri Boutique Hostel
BEST FOR FLASHPACKERS
Budget-friendly and fabulous, Casa Zahri Boutique Hostel is an excellent choice for those looking for a stylish yet affordable stay in Cartagena. The interior decoration is definitely on another level with some gorgeous tiling and murals.
Surrounded by pink walls and views of the Caribbean Sea, this hostel is a great option for those looking to mix and mingle with other travellers in a welcoming atmosphere. The rooms are large and comfortable, perfect for a good night’s rest after a long day of sightseeing. Air conditioning keeps you cool during the hot days, and the free Wi-Fi lets you stay connected.
While Casa Zahri is a stylish boutique hostel, dorm beds are actually priced a bit cheaper than in most Cartagena hostels.
República Hostel Cartagena
BEST FOR WORKING REMOTELY
Calling all digital nomads: get ready to socialize at the Republica Hostel. With over 100 beds, this three-story colonial building offers an abundance of lodging options and opportunities to meet others while working “from home”.
While Selina hostel is usually tipped for digital nomads, República is a more original choice in Cartagena.
The hostel boasts one of the most spacious courtyards in the Old Town, and it’s a beaut! From a ground-level pool and bar to a second-floor air-conditioned lounge area and a rooftop deck complete with a hot tub, this hostel is packed with social spaces.
Republica’s prime location allows especially easy access to great restaurants, specialty coffee places, and other comforts nearby.
Casa Movida Hostel
Newly renovated, and picturesque, Casa Movida was created for travelers who want to experience the best of Cartagena all in one place. Located in the Old Historic district, it’s just a few blocks from Bolivar Park and a short walk from some of the best restaurants and clubs in town.
This hostel is perfect for those looking for a bit more space along with some peace and quiet. The rooms have private bathrooms, and the dorms are spacious and bright, making it feel as if you have your own space in a room full of people. You’ll be able to enjoy a free breakfast and they have a yummy pizza restaurant on-site.
The downside to Casa Movida is its lack of common areas, this can make it difficult to connect with others but if you hang around the pool long enough, you are bound to meet a group of people.
Santuario Getsemani Hostel
Santuario Getsemani Hostel is the perfect place for a chilled-out stay in Cartagena. Located in the Getsemani district, it’s close to all the main attractions and nightlife spots without being too loud or overwhelming.
The hostel has private rooms but also offers comfortable dorms. The dorms are cubicle style giving you some more privacy than typical dorm bunk beds. The outdoor bar and patio area is a great space to hang out in the evening, and they also offer free breakfast!
The friendly staff makes sure everyone feels right at home here. They even have some coworking spaces for those needing to take a Zoom call or catch up on some emails. Santuario Getsemani is the place where comfort and convenience meet!
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