Cartagena is one of South America’s top backpacking destinations and for good reason. In fact, for the TBB crew, it’s one of our favourite places in the whole world and where a few of us met and spent a fair bit of time. With a mix of colonial architecture, epic beaches and a modern outlook, it’s one of the must visit cities in Colombia and we’re sure you’ll fall in love with it just as we did!
However, picking the right place to stay can be a hassle! For those on a budget the city offers some great affordable accommodation. With this in mind we’ve made this list of the 20 best hostels in Cartagena, Colombia, so you can relax and plan your trip without a worry.
With so many different options, including many that we’ve personally stayed in or know someone who has, we’ve also organized them into different categories (like the best party hostels in Cartagena), so you can easily find and book the hostel that best suits your travel style.
Whether you are looking to party all night Colombian style, or get some work done as a Digital Nomad, our list of the 20 best hostels in Cartagena is arranged to help you book your hostel with ease. Not only that, but with out insider knowledge you can have complete confidence you’ve booked the right place too!
The 20 Best Hostels in Cartagena
Backpacking Cartagena is going to be a real adventure. In order to enjoy the city the fullest, you need to have a safe place to recharge at night. To rest your head and keep the travel costs low, check out the best hostels in Cartagena below.
If you’ve never been to the city before, doing a bit of research on where to stay in Cartagena can really pay off when it comes to booking your accommodation. You don’t want to end up miles away from the things you want to explore… but that is where we come in with our insider knowledge!
And as a side note: If you want to find even more epic hostels, have a look at HOSTELWORLD. You can also filter all of your personal travel needs and find the perfect place for you.
At the 2019 Hoscars Republica Hostel was voted as the most popular hostel in Cartagena. Firmly placed as one of the best hostels in Cartagena, so you better book your spot at Republica ASAP!
They have their own outdoor swimming pool complete with sun loungers, the perfect place for you and your crew to hang out in for an afternoon. Everything about Republica Hostel is charming, from the courtyard to the dorm rooms, from the bar area to the private doubles.
Personally, I have stayed here several times and just love the vibe, it’s got to be one of the best hostels around the world for sure. Whatever your reason for coming to Cartagena and whoever you’re travelling with, chances are Republica Hostel will tick all the boxes for you!
Wonderland Party Hostel – Best Party Hostel in Cartagena
The best party hostel in Cartagena is Wonderland Party Hostel and what a wonderland of partying it is! With their own bar and outdoor swimming pool, Wonderland is officially party central in Colombia! Easily the coolest hostel, and best party hostel in Cartagena, Wonderland host local DJs throughout the week and run pub crawls on the weekends. If you’re looking for explore the vibrant nightlife scene in Cartagena be sure to book a bed at Wonderland Party Hostel as the team will point you in the right direction of the city’s best party hotspots. No curfew is an added bonus!
Media Luna is an awesome Cartagena backpackers hostel perfect if you wanna party hard! Not only does Media Luna have their own swimming pool, ideal for pool parties, but they have their own buzzing bar and cafe too. Seamlessly bringing chilled out hostel vibes with a real party atmosphere, Media Luna can be found in the vibrant Getsemani neighbourhood. Make sure you’re here on a Wednesday, this is the big party night!
El Viajero is the perfect place for solo travellers who like to put themselves out there, meet new people and make great memories on the road. El Viajero is a super popular youth hostel in Cartagena and the sister of the other El Viajero hostels you find throughout South America. The Cartagena edition of El Viajero lives up to the brand’s good name and offers guests incredibly clean and comfortable dorm rooms, access to free WiFi, a free breakfast and air conditioning too. For solo travellers who want to find a crew head to the El Viajero bar at sunset, that’s where you’ll find the gang!
Casa Torices Real – Best Cheap Hostel in Cartagena
Easily the best cheap hostel in Cartagena is Casa Torices Real, they have dorms beds for less than $6 throughout the year! With both dorm rooms and private ensuite doubles too Casa Torices Real is a superb hostel for any kind of traveller on a shoestring budget. Whenever I find myself in town and needing to keep things cheap, it’s my go-to hostel.
Whether you’re travelling with bae, on your own or with your crew chances are Casa Torices Real will be your saving grace if you’re starting to run low on the old pesos. Set in a quaint Cartagena family home Casa Torices Real is a great budget hostel in Cartagena just 1km away from the beach.
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Quintas by Maos is a much-loved budget hostel in Cartagena offering great value for money for backpackers like you. Quintas is a simple kinda hostel but offers everything you could need, free WiFi, free breakfast, and use of the community kitchen too. Perfectly placed just 5-minutes walk from the Old City and 15-minutes walk away from Bocagrande Beach Quintas is a solid all-rounder. What’s more, Quintas is located in the super safe and welcoming neighbourhood of Manga which you’ll no doubt come to love too.
Most people think that digital nomads spend their days on their laptop from the comfort of a hammock or even in a hot tub. Although that’s not strictly true at Life is Good you can indulge in the stereotype for a few days, and why not?! Life is Good is a top hostel in Cartagena and is ideal for digital nomads.
Super chilled and incredibly welcoming Life is Good has plenty of space to work in and decent internet connection too. I’ve always found it to be a great hostel for digital nomads. The dorm rooms are perfectly designed and each bed has its own privacy curtain, reading light and plug socket.
One Day Hostel – Overall Best Hostel in Cartagena
The overall best hostel in Cartagena is One Day Hostel, travellers can’t get enough of this place! As the best hostel in Cartagena in 2021, One Day offers guests a wholesome free breakfast, use of the free WiFi and plenty of communal areas to hang out in. Closer to lively Getsemaní neighbourhood than it is the historical centre of Cartagena, One Day Hostel puts you right at the heart of the action. Homely and cosy are the words that spring to mind when thinking about One Day Hostel, it’s a really chilled out hostel where everyone gets greeted with a smile. The beds are uber comfortable and there is air conditioning in the dorm rooms; such a bonus! The staff at One Day Hostel speak good English and are always around to help guests when needed.
Makako Chill Out Hostel – Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Cartagena
The best hostel for solo travellers in Cartagena is Makako Chill Out Hostel. The hosts Jacqueline and Jennifer go out of their way to make everyone feel completely welcome and solo travellers instantly have a pair of friendly faces to chat to. Make sure to book your stay on a Wednesday or Friday night (or both!) to be involved with the free cocktail party! What easier way to make friends as a solo traveller than at a free cocktail party! As a top hostel in Cartagena Makako Hostel is set in a gorgeous colonial building in the heart of the Old Town within the Walled City.
Mystic House Hostel – Best Hostel for Couples in Cartagena
The best hostel for couples in Cartagena is Mystic House Hotel, there’s such a wonderful vibe here and the private rooms are super cute! As a highly recommended hostel in Cartagena, Mystic House offers a free walking tour of the city that’s not to be missed. If you and bae fancy a few ‘hostel days’ Mystic House is perfect for you. They have a lovely little community lounge complete with big TV and Netflix too! You and your lover won’t have far to walk to get to the bohemian Getsemani neighbourhood as Mystic House is located on Backpackers Street.
Hostal Getsemani is a simple, budget hostel in Cartagena, ideal for travelling couples. Set in the famous Getsemani neighbourhood Hostal Getsemani has a range of lovely private rooms, with air conditioning and ensuite bathrooms. The staff at Hostal Getsemani are really wonderful and have all the time in the world for their guests. If you and your lover are keen to meet other travellers be sure to head to the hostel bar or hang out on the big patio area of an afternoon and get swapping travel stories!
El Arsenal Boutique – Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Cartagena
The best hostel for digital nomads in Cartagena is El Arsenal Boutique as they have everything the modern nomad needs. Whether you prefer to work at the bar, poolside or from the comfort of your bunk you can work wherever you like at El Arsenal as the free and reliable WiFi works throughout the hostel complex.
El Arsenal Boutique is just 150m from the Clock Tower, 300m from Plaza Bolivar, the Cathedral and Inquisition Palace. For digital nomads looking for a top hostel in Cartagena that ticks all the boxes El Arsenal is the place and a few members of the team, including myself tend to stay here whenever they visit.
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More Best Hostels in Cartagena
Mi Llave is a great budget hostel in Cartagena and ideally located in Getsemani, just a 5-minute walk from the Plaza de la Trinidad. Mi Llave is a colourful and quirky youth hostel in Cartagena that overlooks the water. The dorm rooms are cosy and comfortable and the ceiling fans are a real blessing in the hot season! There are plenty of communal areas to chill out in, including the rooftop lounge with super squishy, comfy sofas!
If you’re looking for a great budget hostel in Cartagena be sure to have a look at Tu Onda Beach Hostel. Did you know that ‘tu onda’ translates to ‘your vibe’? This is a super relaxed hostel with great party vibes, their own bar and swimming pool. TBF, the pool is like a posh paddling pool but for the budget price, you can’t complain! Tu Onda is a great hostel for couples as they have affordable private double rooms. The dorm rooms are great too, ensuite with air conditioning and plenty of space to spread out.
Hostel Mamallena is a top hosel in Cartagena ideal for solo travellers, chilled out nomads and anyone who wants to find a new crew in Colombia. It is the staff that make Hostel Mamallena a much loved Cartagena backpackers hostel, they’re keen to share their local knowledge and will help in any way they can. The air-conditioned dorm rooms are a real treat, they’re super clean, the beds are comfy and there’s minimal noise disturbance. Hostel Mamallena is a chilled out kinda hostel were the good times roll on and on!
Hostel Green House Coffee Bar is an ideal hangout for digital nomads, remote workers and online entrepreneurs. They have a decent internet connection, a sociable vibe and are located in the Old City. Although a simple hostel Green House Coffee Bar is great for travellers who like a low-key affair. Quiet and cosy, Hostel Green House is a lovely youth hostel in Cartagena with reasonably priced double rooms and comfortable dorms too.
Hostal Santo Domingo Vidal is a smart, bright hostel in the Getsemani neighbourhood. Being one of the best budget hostels in Cartagena Hostal Santo Domingo Vidal offers a free breakfast each morning of your stay. To help keep the food budget under control guests are welcome to cook their own meals in the communal kitchen. They have both private rooms available and dorms too. If you’re looking for a cosy, bright and happy youth hostel in Cartagena take a second to check out Hostal Santo Domingo Vidal.
Who likes the sound of free coffee all day? If you said yes then you better get yourself to Tree House Hostel; they have a great free breakfast too! Tree House Hostel is a simple and cheap Cartagena backpackers hostel that caters for everyone. With both private rooms and dorms, with an onsite cafe and a late check-out too, it’s hard to think of a kind of traveller who wouldn’t feel at home here. FYI Cafe Habana, a top club in Cartagena, is just two streets away!
Should you be looking for a real home from home in Cartagena make sure you check out Mama Waldy Hostel. Super cosy, quaint and relaxed Mama Waldy Hostel is perfect for travellers who like their home comforts. Mama Waldy’s is a family run youth hostel in Cartagena located within walking distance of Plaza de la Trinidad and Parque Centenario. For digital nomads seeking a cosy place to base themselves for a week or more in Cartagena, you’ll be chuffed in your choice of Mama Waldy Hostel. P.S. they have an amazing hot tub!
Bourbon St Hostel Boutique is a wonderful Cartagena backpackers hostel for travellers who like a touch of the high life. If you’re more of a flashpacker than a super budget backpacker you’ll love Bourbon St Hostel. Not only do they have their own swimming pool but their own hostel restaurant too. The communal spaces are bright, modern yet rustic. There’s a definite Instagrammable charm to Bourbon St Hostel! You’ll find them in the downtown of the Old Town, in front of Santo Domingo Plaza. Putting you at the heart of the action!
What to Pack for your Cartagena Hostel
Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.
Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.
Hanging Laundry Bag
Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.
Sea To Summit Micro Towel
Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
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Grayl Geopress Water Bottle
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Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for our top packing tips!
Why you should travel to Cartagena
Colombia is an amazing destination, and if you book one of the best hostels in Cartagena, it can be done super cheaply. Trust us, when we first found ourselves in the city we were pretty piss poor and we had a great time!
With the help of this guide, you’ll be able to easily find a hostel that fits your travel-style, so you can book, and focus on enjoying your time in Colombia.
Still can’t pick ONE hostel? We get it, there’s a ton to choose from. Just go with our top pick for best hostel in Cartagena Colombia 2021 – One Day Hostel.
FAQ about Hostels in Cartagena
Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Cartagena.
How much does a hostel cost in Cartagena?
This all depends on whether you would prefer a private room with an ensuite bathroom, or a bed in a shared dorm. The average price starts from $22-$27+.
What are the best hostels in Cartagena for couples?
Mystic House Hostel is a highly recommended hostel in Cartagena for couples. It has super cute private rooms.
What are the best hostels in Cartagena near the airport?
Hostal El Bando is the highly rated hostel near the airport in Cartagena, it’s just a 5-minute walk.
Travel Safety Tips for Cartagena
ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.
They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.
SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!
Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.
If you’re concerned about your safety, then be sure to check out our Cartagena in-depth safety guide, which is full of real-world advice and useful information.
More Epic Hostels in Colombia and South America
Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Cartagena.
Planning an epic trip all across Colombia or even South America itself?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!
For more cool hostel guides around South America, check out:
Over to you
By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Cartagena has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!
If you’re planning on travelling further, you can be sure that you’ll always find a place to rest your head. There are amazing hostels all over Colombia, each offering a safe home-away-from-home, a chance to meet like-minded travellers and an affordable price for the night.
If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!