Where We Slept is our hotel roundup from our time on the road. We hope it helps budget travelers see how far their dollar can go—even though sometimes, it's not far enough!
Despite the few tourists, finding accommodation in Palomino can be more difficult than you imagine, especially if you want a view of the (sometimes) blue water. There are several options on the lower end—beach hammocks and hostels—and some on the higher end, but the best hotel we found was right in the middle. (Cue the "Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears"!)
La Sirena Eco Hotel is next door to the popular Finca Escondida, but it's a world away in terms of food and lodging. I kid you not when I say that our breakfasts and lunches here were some of the best food I've had in a long time. Honestly, even if you don't stay here, eat here. It's that good!
I mean, this plate is the "pancake" breakfast...
We stayed in a Seaside Casita room, complete with an open air shower with a view of the palm trees and beach.
And a comfortable bed with sheets from IKEA. (In Colombia, that's a good thing.)
The typical rate is about US$80, although La Sirena graciously comp'ed our stay. Breakfast is included in the room rate, as is unlimited coffee and tea and filtered water. That's pretty awesome (and convenient) for a beach town!
Towels were fluffy, the mosquito net was beautifully done, and our room was cleaned daily—also a rarity in Colombia. The only negatives we found was that the fan was a cheap floor fan that took away from the prettiness of the room. It also failed to oscillate. Also, our room had large wooden windows that opened out to the ocean, but they didn't have screens or bars on them, so we were too nervous to leave them open at night, both for the bugs and theft reasons.
The grounds of La Sirena are peaceful, with a few hammocks and a beach swing set up amid the numerous palm trees.
The other nice thing about La Sirena is that it offers daily yoga classes ($15.000COP). Unfortunately, our first morning class was cancelled. We attended class the second morning and I wasn't too impressed. The location was stunning, but the 1.5 hour class involved about 20 minutes of the teacher talking, five sun salutations, and one basic balancing pose. The resort has different teachers daily, so I'd still recommend trying a class if you're in the area. I think we just got unlucky with the teacher. And who knows... perhaps other students liked her? It is just a perfect location for yoga though!
Final verdict: If you can afford it, splurge for a private room at La Sirena. Yes, it's expensive, but everything costs more in Palomino and at least here you can feel the difference. If you can't afford a stay, absolutely grab a meal or a yoga class!
You don't go to Palomino to do much, but for some tips on how to best spend your time, check out our Palomino travel guide!