4 Things to Know Before Visiting Palomino
Palomino, Colombia is truly a unique destination along the breathtaking Caribbean coast. While many beach vacation spots throughout the world are riddled with soaring condos and 5-star hotels, Palomino projects a humble, backpacker vibe.
It’s definitely a place to visit during a trip through Colombia, but I wish I had a better idea of what to expect before arriving in Palomino. I’ve been traveling in Colombia for almost three years and I still was caught off guard by a few of the area’s unique quirks. Read these four things I wish I knew before going to Palomino, Colombia, so you can have the best experience possible:
It’s Easy to Get to Palomino from Santa Marta
Before my trip along the Caribbean coast, I was a little stressed about how I would get from Santa Marta to Palomino, but it wasn’t difficult at all. The ride takes 1.5 to 2 hours and there are public buses and private vans that take the route. In fact, hostels like The Dreamer set up transportation for guests between Palomino and Santa Marta for a reasonable price. It’s nice having someone else take care of the logistics.
Normally, it’s not recommended to travel with stacks of cash, but you’ll need some cold hard pesos if you’re heading to Palomino. The area is basic and isn’t extremely commercial, which means there are no ATMs. Think you’re covered because you have an international credit card? Not so fast because even the restaurants and shops who say they take plastic might not actually have signal to run your card at that moment. I found a little shop that gave me cash back with my Colombian debit card, but that system only works when the shop owner is willing to part with the money in the register.
Things Get Quiet at Night
Part of the draw of Palomino is its relaxed, tropical vibes and that ambiance doesn’t disappear just because the sun goes down. Don’t expect to get wild and crazy at a club in Palomino! For this reason, it’s important to pick the right hostel in Palomino if you want to be social at night. The Dreamer Hostel in Palomino offers a communal dining area, a delicious (and long) happy hour, movie nights, billiards, a bar and a pool for people who don’t want to hit the hay just because the sun went down.
Moto Taxis Are Normal
I don’t know about you, but I was taught never to jump on the back of a stranger’s motorcycle. But in Palomino, it’s the norm thanks to moto taxis. Most rides cost 3,000 pesos, which is less than 2 dollars. If you want to feel the wind in your hair, look for drivers wearing shirts or jackets that say “Moto Taxi.” You can also go to one of a few “taxi stations” (which are actually just a bunch of guys with motorcycles waiting around) so at least you’re not hailing a ride from a random person who may not be a taxi driver. While I felt like the prices were cheap when I visited Palomino, it’s always best to ask for a price before you hop on.
If you are looking for the buzz of a city, Palomino will give you a different experience. But if you enjoy tranquility and simplicity with a beach backdrop, then grab your swimsuit and flip-flops and head to Palomino. At The Dreamer Hostel, where you’ll enjoy the personal connection of a hostel, with the comfort of a hotel.
This guest post is written by Anneliese Delgado, who moved to Colombia in 2016 from the United States. To read more content from Anneliese, you may visit her blog "Abroad in Colombia!"