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Best hotel overnight San Andres Colombia

Where to stay in San Andres for the best experience? | Hotels + tips

by Sabine
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For the best experience during your holiday in San Andres Colombia , it is helpful to know a few things in advance about where to stay. San Andres is fun, but does come with a manual. If you just pick the wrong place to stay you’re not going to have a good time. We chose to stay in two different hotels during our 6 nights on the island. This way we were able to discover the island from two different sides. Not only super fun, but also convenient that I can now tell you the pros and cons of each place, so you can make the best hotel choice for a great beach vacation.

Finding a hotel in San Andres Colombia: how to?

Never have I searched so long for hotels as I did for San Andres. There are simply not a huge number of beautiful spots to be found as in Colombian mountain villages, for example. To get you started, below you will not only find my two hotel tips, but I start with a handy list to at least make the choice of whether to stay inside or outside the city center more easy for you.


San Andres inside versus outside downtown

Downtown San Andres, the main city, is by far the most popular place to stay. Here you will also find the most choice of hotels. From cheap to very expensive. But, is the city really such a good idea to stay?

When is San Andres center right for you?

  1. If you want to stay close to everything. That is, close to popular beaches, to shopping, nightlife, tourist tours, close to the airport, cabs and close to buggy rental for an island tour.
  2. If you want to lie on the beach every day: in fact, the beaches can be found right in the center and reached with a few minutes’ walk.
  3. If you don’t mind the crowds, noise and chaos. Especially in high season (June through August and December/January), there is noise from nightclubs and boozing Colombians on the streets until the early hours. In addition, you find most of the motors and cars in the center, which just makes it crowded.
  4. In the center, most hotels do not offer breakfast, so you have to make your own or pay extra for it.

When it’s better to stay outside San Andres town?

  1. If you want peace and quiet.
  2. If you want beautiful views of the sea, palm trees and beautiful shores (from your hotel). The idyllic island feeling, in other words.
  3. If you don’t mind having to walk or drive a bit to get to a beach/shop/nightlife.

Do you feel more familiar with the second list? Then look for a hotel outside the center and outside the village of San Jose on the east coast.

The most beautiful idyllic spots can be found on the west coast of the island.

Note that outside the center there is a huge difference in distance between near the center and all the way on the south coast of the island. We stayed a 20-minute walk from downtown on the west coast, and that’s fine for everything. But if you stay all the way on the south coast, the only options for getting around are a buggy, bicycle, cab or bus.


My experience in the center of San Andres

Okay honestly: this town is not my thing. Yes, everything is close, but the crowds are terrible. And especially the Colombian tourists who make enormous noise. By late afternoon, there are boom boxes every 10 meters with Colombians screaming, dancing and drinking. If you love that, of course there is no problem, but both of us went screaming mad with this. Finding a restaurant or bar where you can sit somewhat quietly then becomes difficult. Or just enjoying the beach and palm trees, hard to do with all the noise. That really isn’t fun here. Maybe if you come in the off-season it will be quieter.

Even at night, there is noise everywhere from nightclubs, boom boxes and drunken Colombians on the streets. The police stand by and do nothing. Again: if you love that, there is no problem. If this gives you the creeps: find a hotel outside the city center.

The only advantage is that restaurants and stores are close by, but it is also no punishment to have to walk for half an hour if you are staying further away.

The hotel where we stayed was very nice though, but more about that below. If you have the time, like us, you could spend half in the center and half outside.


Hotels in San Andres Colombia | 2 Hotel Tips

So it took many hours of searching to find two suitable hotels, but it was worth the trouble. Two wonderful places I would definitely return to. Highly recommended if you are looking for a hotel in San Andres!

Hotel in the center: Villa San Miguel

Finding a somewhat quiet hotel in the center of San Andres is quite a job. Very carefully look at the reviews and locations. Eventually I found Villa San Miguel and this turned out to be an excellent choice. Quiet location a little further from the main road, so at least you don’t hear the noise from the street.

Villa San Miguel has several types of rooms; we chose a studio with kitchen. Since no breakfast is included, this is perfect for making your own food.

The hotel has a lovely patio where we had a drink every night and played card games. There is also a jacuzzi to cool off a bit in the heat.


The benefits of staying at Villa San Miguel in San Andres:

  • Quiet location;
  • Yet close to everything (restaurants, shopping, entertainment);
  • A buggy rental can be done around the corner;
  • The beach is a 3-minute walk away;
  • Very friendly staff;
  • A large room equipped with everything;
  • A hot shower (is scarce here);
  • WiFi (we mostly used our own data, but the WiFi worked fine most of the time);
  • You can leave your bags after checking out;
  • Jacuzzi;
  • A private kitchen;
  • A lovely bed;
  • The fine patio for resting;
  • Very clean.


The disadvantages of staying at Villa San Miguel:

The only drawback I can think of is that during some nights you can hear the music from nightclubs until 3AM. That, unfortunately, cannot be avoided in the center. I myself sleep with earplugs, so it didn’t bother me. But sleeping without earplugs can be annoying. If you are going to stay anywhere in the center of San andres, it may be helpful to bring earplugs.



Hotel on the west coast of San Andres: By The Sea Guest House

This hotel is a big white house that already looks like a dream from the outside. A great place to relax and enjoy the real island feeling. The Guest House is exactly a 21-minute walk from the nearest beach and the first downtown restaurants. We were a little worried beforehand that this would be exhausting in the heat, but that was not the case at all. After all, you walk near the sea, and besides the beautiful views this provides, the sea breeze also makes the walk very nice.

The hotel has few rooms and is therefore very quiet. Breakfast is included and I really loved it. You can choose from several options and everything is equally delicious. I also loved the rooftop terrace. We spent hours there reading and enjoying the views and the sound of the sea on the rocks.

Do you choose a room with a balcony? Then you will have a beautiful view from your room. Wonderful waking up. And let this hotel also be perfectly located for admiring spectacular sunsets.


The benefits of staying at By The Sea Guest House in San Andres Island

  • AWESOME location;
  • Easy walk to downtown;
  • Beautiful view of the sea and palm trees;
  • A sunset to die for;
  • A bus stop right outside the hotel in case you don’t want to walk;
  • A great (huge) bed;
  • Hot water from the shower;
  • Huge rooms;
  • Quiet location;
  • And the hotel itself is also tremendously quiet, no noise anywhere;
  • Free WiFi;
  • Air conditioning;
  • A rooftop terrace with nice chairs and beanbags;
  • Great breakfast;
  • The staff will order a cab if you need it;
  • Luggage storage until about 3PM;
  • A real island feeling.


And the cons:

I honestly can’t think of any. Maybe only that you are thus longer on the road to get somewhere, but I personally found that a huge advantage on this noisy island. From the traffic on the road on which the guest house is located, I myself had little trouble.



Which hotel do I recommend for a stay on this Colombian island?

Where you want to spend the night is, of course, very personal. My preference is without doubt By The Sea Guest House. This is because of its beautiful location, tranquility and true island and vacation feeling. And that sunset from the hotel…. You have much less of that in the town of San Andres. Want to really enjoy that island feeling? If so, at least stay outside the center, preferably on the west coast.


Where would you stay overnight in San Andres? Island feel or close to everything?

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