STAY: CASA PESTAGUA HOTEL BOUTIQUE SPA
With its cocaine days long gone, Colombian tropical city Cartagena is one of the most exciting destinations today. Welcome to Casa Pestagua - a boutique hotel known as "the most beautiful house in Cartagena" with its colonial architecture, exotic garden and lagoon pool. Enjoy 11 spacious rooms with elevated ceilings, featuring a mix of antique and modern décor with a romantic charm. Take in the old city, the churches and the ocean from the rooftop.
SEE: PLAYA BLANCA
STAY: PLAYA MANGLARES, ISLA BARU
It is hard to do Playa Manglares justice solely with words and images. You realize how special this place is once you step out of the cab and get a warm embrace from your host Olga. The feeling you get when at a family cottage mixed with wild outback lodging in a remote untouched paradise describes Playa Manglares best. The Eco-lodge is located on a bay surrounded by mangrove and palm trees and full of wildlife. There are 3 floors with a different beautifully designed room on each floor, suited for the needs of a family, a couple, or friends traveling together. Little touches like a hammock in the room overlooking the bay or intricately tiled outdoor shower amidst a lush jungle make Playa Manglares unforgettable.
SEE: TAYRONA NATIONAL PARK
STAY: JABA NIBUE, PLAYA GRANDE, TAGANGA, SANTA MARTA
Jaba Nibue is situated a short boat ride away from Taganga fishing village on the beautiful and remote Playa Grande. Built on the side of the mountain, the ecohabs follow an ancient design that is sustainable yet visually pleasing. The view from your personal ecohab is simply surreal with surrounding red mountains and emerald sea. The landscape is hard to pinpoint and constantly changing - looking one way you imagine eastern Africa - another way, the view is very Mediterranean. While there is a lot to see in this region, it is important to take a day to simply enjoy the scenery from your window.
Jaba Nibue sits on the outskirts of Tayrona National Park - one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. The best way to explore it is arriving by bus or taxi and leaving by boat - the chariot is half the adventure. Once you enter the park, you are advised to ride a horse through the rainforest, before entering one of the most unique and breathtaking beaches - Cabo San Juan. Imagine lush jungle spilling out onto the perfect white sand, surrounded by large smooth rocks. You will leave Tayrona with unforgettable memories and photographs. Another great day trip is to Playa Christal - a deserted beach with the clearest water and a beautiful mountainscape.
SEE: THE ISLAND OF PROVIDENCIA
STAY: DEEP BLUE HOTEL
3 hours away from the Colombian island of San Andres, lays one of the last untouched Caribbean retreats - Providencia. Deep Blue is a boutique hotel with 12 spacious rooms and suites facing the mysterious Crab Caye Island. Enjoy casual luxury atmosphere, the tropical forest and turquoise sea, as well as the unparalleled view. Deep Blue is privileged to be sitting on the border of the McBean Lagoon National Park and is perfect for underwater exploration. Take advantage of the hotel’s free kayaks as well as scuba and snorkeling equipment. Kayak to Crab Caye Island. Explore the island on a golf kart ('Mule'). Go scuba diving through the world’s third longest barrier reef. Discover the caves and pristine coral at Tete's Place as well as the German tanker shipwreck Planchon. Take out Deep Blue’s 18 foot boat and explore Providencia and the neighbouring Santa Catalina Island. Arrange a picnic on a deserted beach.