Best things to do in El Rio Hostel, Colombia
Is there anything I should do to prepare for this trip?
You should be checking in with your travel doctor in order to get the appropriate vaccinations for the travel in South America. I would also be getting clothes that would suit this environment. I have made a checklist below:
- Hiking boots
- Backpack - Try not to get the biggest backpack and buy a smaller one. I traveled with a 40L pack and that was enough for 2 years worth of clothing and gear.
- Water bottle. Make sure this water bottle is not just a plastic bottle. I made sure I could pour boiling water in it, as in some parts of Colombia and South America it is not safe to drink the water unless boiled.
- Rain jacket. There will be days when it does not stop raining and there is no shelter to get under, so having a good waterproof jacket is essential.
- Sunglasses. Try to get a good pair, but beware you are likely to lose them/break them if you are on a long backpacking trip.
- Snacks. Always take supplies for the day, some days you can spend hours on the bus without having a stop.
- Wallet. Always best to not carry all your cards in the same Wallet. I carried a wallet that had room to store coins and notes as almost every transaction was done in Cash. Make sure that you have a spare debit/credit card in case it gets stolen/lost.
What was your favorite travel gadget during this trip?
My favorite gadget was my Fujifilm XT-10 camera. I used a 16mm-50mm lens which was fantastic. Since this trip, I have got a 50-230mm which is perfect for wildlife photography and it does not cost you an arm and a leg! I would recommend!
Is it more of a budget destination or higher priced?
This is definitely a great destination AND great value for money. My budget per day was around $220,000 Colombian pesos, which is about $55USD. I really could live like a king with this sort of cash.
Why is January a good time to visit?
I would endorse spending as much time as possible on this coast of Colombia, especially at El Rio Hostel. It is just something else. The climate is warm and the breeze is welcomed at every corner. Be sure to be mindful of the heat when you arrive in the Caribbean coast in Colombia. There are so many impressive destinations along this coastline, however, the one that stands out was this hostel. The Caribbean coast showcases many things consisting of Deserts to National Parks, amazing hikes into the mountains and even beautiful white sanded beaches. What I can guarantee is that you will not struggle to be amazed. I spent 2 months here and I could have spent many more if I did not need to keep moving.
What are the best things to do in Colombia?
Colombia is a very special place. You will find the people are very proud to be Colombian. They vibrate energy and they will gladly welcome you into their world, which makes you feel at home. I would be sure to check out the cities rich with history, the coast that screams holiday vibes, the mountains that showcase the lifestyles of the rural families and of course I would say yes to all these spontaneous adventures that await that you do not even know about yet.
Do you have any insider tips?
I would recommend learning some Spanish before you go. It will come in handy and you will get better prices when you negotiate things at markets. You will also enjoy the experience of traveling through Colombia more as you will find each conversation to be a great opportunity to learn something new.
What was your favorite food?
I loved using the hot sauce in all my meals.
Is Buritaca good for a Single Trip?
This Northern Coast has many amazing destinations.
Is there any place that is a must-visit or a must-do?
I would be sure to visit The Lost City of Colombia which can be booked from the El Rio Hostel. Here are the 3 tours I did.
1. Lost City walk
I booked the Lost City walk of Colombia with Reservas Baquianos Travel & Adventure, which was booked through the hostel at El Rio. We have two guides. One was our translator and the other was a very knowledgeable local man. We mixed with many interesting people along the way who we were fortunate to stop and have a chat. I really enjoyed this trip. The cost was $950,000 Colombian pesos, which is $242USD. This was one of the more costly tours but one not to be missed, I would highly recommend it to those who want an unforgettable outdoor adventure. You can book with them here: https://baquianos.com/
Here are some pictures from my tour below.
2. Tubing at El Rio Hostel.
This is a must-do experience. It was so much fun to walk 20 minutes up the river before dropping the tube and floating downriver, beer in hand. We even had a chance to do some rope swings, what a thrill! I would recommend this to anyone, whether you are a solo traveler or in a group, you MUST be out there experiencing this in Colombia! The cost was $30,000 Colombian pesos, just $7.65USD. Check out these pics of my day out below.
3. Nature Tour. This is booked through El Rio Hostel.
This was great. We floated down a river towards the coast with the sun coming down. I couldn't believe how still and beautiful the surroundings were. It was just phenomenal. We made it to the coast, beer in hand and watched the sunset here. We then made a fire and came back up the river trying to spot Caymen crocodiles on the way back. We could spot their red-eye by shining a light at the water and they were often found by the river banks. What a cool trip. It cost just $50,000 Colombian pesos so just $13USD. What a gorgeous evening, have a look at the pictures below.
Is there anything you would change on your next visit?
I would have enjoyed going to a football game in Colombia. I will do this next time.