If you're unsure about where to stay in San Andres, or want to narrow down the options to suit your solo backpacker or travelling couple budget, then this post is here to help.
Although accommodation in San Andres for solo travellers is more expensive than most places on the Colombian mainland, there are still decent number of hostels where it's possible to get a dorm bed for 38,000 COP to 70,000 COP (£8.5-£16 GBP / $11-$20 USD) per night.
Although the comfort levels, aesthetics and facilities at most of these hostels aren't at the standard expected for that price in most of Colombia, they are perfectly fine as a central base and bed. And staying on a Caribbean island for under twenty quid is still an absolute steal!
If you're a travelling couple like us, then private double room options are in high demand and tend to be overpriced - ranging from 110,000 to 220,000 COP (£25-£50 / $32-64) per night. We did a lot of research to try and find somewhere that was in our budget, in a decent location, and also a bit nicer than the privates most hostels offered in San Andres - and we've included a section at the end of this post which lists our recommendations for better value guesthouses and Airbnbs for couples in San Andres. We have also noted in each specific hostel description whether it's a good option for couples!
Here are our pick of the best hostels in San Andres for travellers!
Where To Stay in San Andres
Most of the longstanding and most popular hostels in San Andres are based in the Almendros neighborhood, part of San Andres town. This is a quiet residential spot about 15-20 minutes walk from the clogged centre of San Andres town and its two pretty but crowded beaches (Spratt Bright and Playa Principal). It’s easily accessible by taxi from the airport for around $15,000. From this neighbourhood, it's also really easy to rent a scooter or golf cart to make your way around the island or jump on the regular public bus.
There are however a few more hostels and Airbnbs starting to pop up further afield on the southern end of San Andres, much closer to the best beaches and swimming holes. This setting is attractive for obvious reasons, but it does mean that you need to hop on the regular public bus (2,600 COP one-way) to get into town and will be limited for supermarkets and nightlife etc in the evening. However, that's a very small inconvenience if your priority is to have a few days at the beach and chilled out relaxation on a Caribbean island.
Whichever area you stay in, we recommend sending the hostel or guesthouse an email the day before your arrival to confirm the best way to access them from the airport and expected costs. A few of them may offer to arrange a taxi on your behalf for no extra cost, let you know if there are other guests on the same flight with whom you can share, or even come and collect you! Lastly, if your hostel pops up as a 10-15 minute walk from the airport on Google Maps, it is absolutely possible to walk it in the heat - but never do this at night.
Tip | San Andres gets sticky, humid and hot. Whichever part of the island you stay on, air-con in your hostel or guesthouse will make a very big difference - but be aware that several hostels don’t have it in dorms or private rooms.
Best Hostels in San Andres for Backpackers
Karibbik Haus Hostel
Colourful, clean, quiet, and secure, Karibbik Haus is a popular family-run hostel hostel in the Almendros neighbourhood. It offers aircon in the two dorms, huge lockers for your stuff, plus a guest kitchen and social common areas, as well as free luggage storage. This is explicitly not a party hostel.
Prices from 59,000 COP per night, with private rooms starting at 158,000 COP per night.
Blue Almond Hostel
A long-time favourite of San Andres backpackers, Blue Almond is a family-run hostel in the Almendras neighbourhood with excellent value dorms.
Guests can enjoy a big communal kitchen, directly rent motorbikes and golf carts, and also enjoy free luggage storage if they're heading to Providencia. The hostel could however do with a bit of a upgrade on certain features though, and doesn't have any air-conditioning.
Viajero San Andres Hostel
Part of the Viajero chain which has hostels in several Colombian backpacker spots, Viajero San Andres is set in its own downtown central tower block. It's got a free breakfast and guest kitchen, as well salsa classes and a rooftop bar with great views. The dorms are pretty good too, with bunk bed lockers and storage space.
This is definitely more of a social party hostel for solo backpackers and groups than the others in this list - so your decision should be based on whether that's your travel style for San Andres!
Dorms, including the female-only one, start at 79,500 COP. Unfortunately, the private double price of 218,000 COP is right at the top-end for San Andres, so backpacker couples can get better deals elsewhere.
Big V Raizal
We had to include this hostel in the list as it offers as it's one of the only hostels which is owned and operated by a local Raizal family - the native people of San Andres.
Due to this, Big V Raizal offers an incredible one-off experience for anyone who wants to understand the culture a little more, be welcomed into a family environment with home-cooked evening meals, and be removed from other Colombian and non-Colombian tourists. Many travellers on the reviews say it was their best hostel experience in all of Colombia!
However, as it's a small family-run operation in a more remote location, it won't be the best option for you if you want a more traditional hostel experience and facilities.
Remote and luxurious, this is a new option for travellers in San Andres. Set in a gorgeous grand old colonial house, with a large swimming pool, gardens, and beach access nearby it's clear why Republica - who own a few other hostels in Colombia - chose to be based outside of the town.
There's no kitchen, but the hostel does have a bar and in-house restaurant for guests.
Dorms start at 45,000, but they only offer limited and quite pricey (but very nice) private doubles at the moment.
Villa Sarie Bay
With the cheapest dorms we could find in San Andres, we were actually surprised at how great the reviews were for Villa Sarie Bay. It's got one large 10-bed mixed dorm and a few private rooms, with a well-equipped outdoor shared kitchen and some common areas.
A dorm bed is 32,000 COP per night, and includes a large security locker, whilst private rooms are also a steal at less than 90,000 COP per night.
Check availability and reserve on Booking.com.
Posada Nativa Lizard House is another bargain basement backpacker option, with dorm prices for 38,000 per person. It's basic, but would do the job if you're on a budget, only here for a few nights, and have low expectations.
Best Accommodation in San Andres For Travelling Couples
The most affordable option for couples in San Andres tends to be rooms in a family-run guesthouse or posada, rather than a hostel private.
Often the guest areas and rooms in these guesthouses are in the same building as the family home, but facilities, entrances and people are kept quite separate. However, as there are dozens and dozens of these guesthouses in and around San Andres town - all offering much of a muchness - it can be pretty hard to distinguish between them if you aren’t trying to get the cheapest available (which are around 90,000 - 110,000 COP per night).
So, to make things a little easier for you, we've included four guesthouses that we would happily have stayed in which have great reviews and a really good price, plus the guesthouse we actually stayed in for five nights.
There are also an increasing number of Airbnbs on the island - some right by the beach - which also offer an affordable private accommodation experience in San Andres; several of these actually work out much cheaper than a guesthouse or hostel private room. We’ve curated a selection of the best on the island for travelling couples below too!
Hostal Marlyn | Situated close to the airport and the two city beaches, this highly-rated guesthouse offers large, clean private rooms with air-con. Prices start at 135,000 COP - check availability here.
Summer Breeze | With most of the hostel rooms either offering poor value or no availability, we spent a lot of time trying to find a guesthouse in San Andres with lots of natural light in the bedroom, a guest kitchen, and relative comfort. Although it was a little more than we planned on paying at 190,000 COP per night, we were pretty happy with our stay at the relatively new Summer Breeze. It’s run by the very friendly Estella in the Almendros neighbourhood, and she was kind enough to let us store our bags for our visit to Providencia. Check availability here.
Mahalo House | Its location outside of the town, but not immediately on the doorstep of any beach, is most likely the reason that Maholo is available for such a good nightly price. It’s got two adorable dogs, breakfast included, a peaceful and homely location in nature, plus large, clean, modern private rooms. You can also easily catch the bus to town or to the beaches on this side of the island. Check availability here.
Casa Finca El Karaho | Outside of the town, and by some of the best swimming spots in all of Colombia, Casa Finca is a bit of a different option for couples. It’s got several colourful compact air-conditioned private cabins and includes breakfast. There’s also a private pools. Price start at 160,000 COP per night - check availability here.
If you stay at a different guesthouse in San Andres which you think deserves a mention here, then please let us know so we can take a look!
Airbnb Apartments in San Andres
Duffis Apartment | Right on the doorstep of Playa San Luis, one of the best beaches on the island, this simple but highly-rated apartment is a steal at only 130,000 COP (£30 / $38) per night if you want your own space and don’t want to stay in town. Click here to check availability on Airbnb.
Little Reef | A sparsely decorated house only steps from beach for 121,000 COP (£28 / $35) a night, Little Reef is understandably a popular Airbnb option for couples on a budget. Check availability here on Airbnb.
Sandy's Place | With a great host who goes out of his way during your stay on the island, this beach-front apartment with a balcony on the south side of the island is a good option. However, at $200,000 COP a night (£46 / $59), it’s definitely not as good a bargain as the two above. Check availability on Airbnb.
San Andres Hotels
If you’re heading to San Andres and would prefer to stretch your budget and have a little luxury or a full-on hotel experience in the Caribbean, then check out Decameron All-Inclusive or Le Castel Blanc Boutique.