San Agustín today is among the highlights of Colombia and there are therefore quite a few hotels and hostels to be found. It wasn’t until two weeks before departure that we knew we were traveling, but because of the high season almost all (affordable) options were already full. Even one of the most popular hotels in San Agustín, Casa de Nelly, was already fully booked. I love to stay in places that are just a little bit different from the rest, and luckily I found one more room for three at Hotel Restaurante La Antigua. A very special eco-hotel on the mountain near San Agustín. Overjoyed that I could still arrange this, we followed our trip after Tatacoa to Colombia’s most important archaeological destination. Once we arrived, the eco-hotel turned out to be a special place; a concept I have never seen before. Do you want to spend a night in San Agustín and contribute to the environment? Stay in Eco-Hotel La Antigua!
Eco-Hotel Restaurante La Antigua in San Agustín
The hotel-restaurant La Antigua is located just above San Agustín in the mountains in a quiet spot. To get there, we drive up a dirt road and a little later into the parking lot. Far away from everything, the singing birds are a warm welcome. The hotel is a true work of art, conceived by the couple and built of wood and bamboo. The ecological splashes off. The crackling fire keeps us warm in the evening and after a long day of travel we enjoy a delicious vegetable pizza. We get a tour of the hotel and marvel at how they set this up. In fact, you don’t come across a concept like this much in Colombia: these people are truly committed to the environment.
There is a brightly colored kitchen where you can drink the purified water and cook for yourself, the hotel made of bamboo is in itself a feast to look at, the floor has beautiful colored mosaics and the painted walls make you happy.
In the morning we had breakfast with delicious homemade bread and a plate full of granola. You can also choose from fried eggs with tomato and/or onion, orange juice, chocolate milk, tea or coffee. Breakfast is served under the bamboo as you see above and yes that really gives atmosphere. It’s like sitting outside in the hotel and being close to nature. Absolutely highly recommended.
The hotel has several rooms, some with bathroom and some without bathroom. Some rooms have a terrace with a view, some do not. There is a common area with showers and composting toilets. We have a three-person room that can rightly be called special.
Our room: showering under a tree and composting toilet
Our room, like the whole hotel, was made of bamboo, even the storage room was bamboo. Downstairs is a bed for my mother-in-law and we have to go up the stairs to the top where our mattress is on a bamboo roof where we sleep. The mattress is certainly not the best I’ve ever slept on, but absolutely fine. Air conditioning is not there and that is fine too.
And then the bathroom. If anything, this one is even more distinctive than the bedroom. The entire hotel has composting toilets: in the rooms but also in the common areas. That means a dry toilet from which you have to take the lid off, then suddenly there is a very large deep bowl under you, you sit down and do your business and afterwards you throw sawdust into the toilet. And that’s it. So there is no water involved. It takes some adapting to going to the toilet with such a deep space underneath, but you quickly get used to it.
It looks like the hotel was built among trees, because in our bathroom, one of those trees just comes in. So a tree in the shower. Again, this gives us the feeling of being really close to nature. The water is wonderfully warm, fine large towels were already waiting for us and soap is available.
Enjoying close to nature
I can’t help but say that La Antigua was an extraordinary experience. Not only the composting toilets, the bamboo-made house and the purified water: this hotel simply breathes atmosphere and nature. Delightful by the fire, the beautiful colors, the sweet and passionate boy from the Canary Islands who works here temporarily and the enormous peace that prevails here. It’s really lovely there. Outside the hotel you can walk and if you walk a little you will have beautiful views of San Agustín.
Further away from the village
You can walk to the hotel from the village, but you won’t do this in five minutes. There are no immediate stores nearby, nor are there any entertainment options.
Not a backpacker’s hostel
If you are looking for a backpacker’s hostel, La Antigua is not for you. Many Colombians and foreigners come there seeking peace and conviviality. In the evening, the fire goes out around 10 o’clock and then it must be quiet. Before that, it’s really nice chatting with everyone.
There are insects
When you stay in a hotel close to nature in a warm area, you can expect bugs and it is no different here. For example, we found a large spider in the bedroom, there are flies, and through the holes in the bathroom can come beetles. I also very quickly saw some 10-centimeter insect crawl by in the bathroom, after which I did not dare to shower again until daylight the next morning.
Wifi is not too good
You can also expect this if you stay further outside the village: wifi is not optimal. There was almost no connection in our room, so to work I had to go to the common room. Not a problem, but something to consider if you expect otherwise.
How to get to Eco-Hotel Restaurante La Antigua?
See below the map showing the location of the hotel. From San Agustín you can walk, but especially with a heavy backpack on your back, it may be better and easier to arrange a cab in the village. There is a free hotel parking lot for when you come with your own car. You can also hitchhike with someone going that way: we also took a hitchhiker.
What are the costs?
For a double room with private bathroom and balcony, you pay 20 to 25 euros per night.
Arrange activities in San Agustín
The friendly owner and staff can arrange all sorts of things for you from the hotel. They also have cards and give lots of advice. We drove this day trip through the area after getting the route from them and a day later we made this 4-hour horseback ride to archaeological statues and beautiful views.
Have you ever stayed overnight in an eco-hotel close to nature? I found La Antigua a very beautiful experience and special that such a thing exists in Colombia. Absolutely highly recommended!
This article contains affiliate links. Click here for more information. This is not a collaboration with the discussed hotel, but simply a personal recommendation.