Turquoise waters, epic sunsets and lush jungle scenery all make Palomino in Colombia a favourite among travellers. Set on the country's northern coast, the small town is a picturesque destination for a beach break. Here, visitors can chill out on the sand while admiring the rugged peaks of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the distance. There are also laid-back restaurants serving up dishes like empanadas (baked or fried pasties), which are ever popular in Colombia, as well as easy-going bars that play live music well into the night.
Many Palomino hostels are set in traditional huts with thatched roofs. You can stay in a hostel surrounded by flower-filled gardens, a beach house with a pool or even a private tent under the stars. Some hostels have restaurants that dish up freshly cooked Colombian specialities, while others host live music performances. Look out for a Palomino hostel with an outdoor lounge area, where you can trade travel tips with fellow guests.
Palomino has a quiet and peaceful vibe, with one main road lined with homely eateries, welcoming bars and shops selling artisan handicrafts. A 10-minute walk will take you to the pretty beachfront, where you'll find miles of golden sand. Away from the beach, there are indigenous communities living near the river. Further afield are the larger cities of Santa Marta and Riohacha, around 80km and 90km from Palomino respectively.
Palomino may be laid-back, but there's plenty to see and do. Visitors can ride horses on the beach, go tubing down the Palomino River, or trek through the tropical jungle with a local guide. Take a day trip to Quebrada Valencia in Santa Marta, which is about an hour away from Palomino. Here, you'll find a cascading waterfall as well as a swimming hole perfect for splashing around in. Also around an hour from town is Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona, which has verdant jungles, tranquil beaches and diverse wildlife.
Most travellers will reach Palomino from the city of Santa Marta, which is home to the nearest airport (Simón Bolívar International Airport). Buses leave regularly from the market at Santa Marta and the journey takes around two hours, stopping at Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona along the way. Visitors will be dropped off on Palomino's main road. From here, the beach and side streets can be easily reached on foot or via moto-taxi.