We landed in Barranquilla at 12 midnight and were in line for a cab by shortly before 1. Becca had booked us a hotel in Barranquilla because we didn’t think we would be up for a 2-3 hour drive after a full evening of flying. Turns out however that the hotel Becca booked doesn’t exist of is extremely well hidden which is an odd tactic for a hotel. We drove around a dark and scary neighbourhood for about 10 minutes with no luck and finally I was able to find another hotel that was close on maps.me (no we are not sponsored). When we rolled up to the second hotel all the lights were off but we could see the shadow of a guy standing in the door and when we got out of the cab he was able to offer us a room and we gladly accepted but were quite happy to get moving in the morning onto Santa Marta.
In Santa Marta we got a room at The Dreamer hostel which is a super nice hostel with a pool (very key due to the heat in this city). We spent a very warm night and then booked a trip to Minca which was recommended to us by our vanlife friends Lou and Thibalt who knew the owner of a hotel in town. So we hopped on a collectivo and drove into the hills of Minca.
The hike to Mundo Nuevo, the hostel previously mentioned, was steep and took a sweaty 45 minutes, but wow it was worth it. The view alone knocked our socks off, then the food. The hostel is all vegetarian and uses a lot of produce from their own gardens and those chefs knew what they were doing. The food was great! The atmosphere at Mundo was also pretty special, it isn’t a huge hostel so you get to know everyone and they hold meals at 1pm for lunch and 7pm for dinner so its more of a family style with everyone eating at the same time. Very good way to get everyone chatting and getting to know each other.
I could write forever about Mundo Nuevo, we booked only 2 nights when we and ended up staying 4 nights and loved every second of it. The fact that it had one of the best views from the toilet may have been a factor. We did a chocolate tour, where we got chocolate face masks, and drank some of the freshest most delicious hot chocolate of our lives. We also got to meet a toucan (a pet of the chocolate farm, but still cool!).
Eventually we had to face the facts and head back down to the heat of Santa Marta, good thing we had plans for a visit to the beach!