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“Not as spectacular as thought, dont stay in the lower part of Maloka.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka

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Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka
3.0 of 5 Guest house   |   Km 33, 1 Via Riohacha, Los Naranjos, Next to Tayrona Park, Santa Marta, Colombia   |  
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Ranked #3 of 61 Santa Marta B&B and Inns
Bucharest
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Not as spectacular as thought, dont stay in the lower part of Maloka.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile

Long story, but we give you the short version. Location, views from the hill, beaches etc of the property are stunning. We had some serious issues getting the booking done ( very confusing although we live in Colombia now and speak Spanish) and in the end we were moved to a newly developed Maloka building ( all on the same grounds).Although the upper rooms do have something of a view the lower rooms dont have a view at all and are extremely basic and too expensive for what you pay for. As Maloka is a different building you wont have dinner or breakfast in the building of the finca, you just dont come there. Anyway the surrounding is fantastic, but we will book at our next visit accomadation in the park and not pay the top prize for something it is not worth the prize. The dog ( Kiwi) is a plus and can guide you indeed to one of the beaches.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luis fernando g, Owner at Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka, responded to this review, August 20, 2013
There are 2 rooms on the lower part of the maloka and both are rooms which are not for rent as they are the ones our family uses when visiting the property. We enjoy the privacy of those rooms as well as the private terrace overlooking the garden and the jungle with its multitude of life and sounds.

Chances are, if you ended up there, that someone made a mistake with your booking and both the upper rooms of the maloka, as well as the cabaña, were totally full. That rearly occurs but sometimes it happens in periods like august that have almost 100% occupancy rates.

We are sorry noentheless to know your experience was not as you, and we, would have expected.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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98 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
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English first
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013 via mobile

I stayed in Finca Barlovento for 4 days, and I cannot recommend it enough, if you are looking for solitude, natural beauty and being away from the backpacker rat race.

As the other reviews state, you are perched on top of a cliff, and there is no wall between you and the crashing waves. I walked along the beach in the opposite direction to Tyrone (Playa de Los Angeles) for about 5km without encountering a soul.

The semi private beach is heaven, and fortunately you can swim in the river as the sea is too rough.

My only reservation about this place as a lone traveller is its a bit couply! But that depends on when you are there. Contrary to other reviewers, I did not find the staff overly helpful or friendly.

Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
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Virginia, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Finca Barlovento for a few nights on our honeymoon in Colombia, and we cannot say enough wonderful things about this place. We have both done a great deal of traveling, and of all the places we have ever stayed, this was the most original. Our room was literally perched out over the water, and the sound of waves sang us to sleep each night. The view from the house was simply breathtaking. From the front you could see waves crashing against rocks, and a nearly deserted beach in both directions. From the back you could stare out over the calm river and get lost in the mountain/jungle view. You really had the best of both worlds at Barlovento; we could never decide which view we wanted to enjoy. We walked to Tayrona Park from here (I think it was about 4 kilometers away) and had a great day there. After an exhausting day in the park, it was so nice to return to the comfort and warmth of our place at Barlovento. The hospitality of the owner and Emi, the full time cook, were second to none. The food was absolutely amazing and we enjoyed the family style meals with the other guests. The owner made us feel right at home and truly did everything possible to help us on our journey as we left. We loved the trust factor there; they have an "honesty bar" where you keep track of your drinks and pay at the end of your stay. This epitomizes the vibe of Barlovento: laid back, inviting and peaceful.

A note of caution to some travelers, though: if you enjoy being pampered and are not into nature, this place is not for you. The views and location are amazing, but the accommodations are basic (bathrooms are not in the room). However, everything was clean and the beauty of Barlovento is certainly enjoyed by being outside in nature. If we were ever to return to Colombia, a return trip to Barlovento would be a necessity. However, this place would not be for everyone. If you are adventurous and enjoy nature, you will not regret staying at Barlovento.

We agree with Lonely Planet that this is the best place to stay in all of Colombia.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

Spent 2 nights at Finca Barlovento and it was not enough, would have loved to have stayed longer but had to leave as it was the end of my Colombian holiday.
It was so relaxing there, in astonishing surroundings which include a beautiful beach on one side and a view of the river on the other. There is another amazing beach just a few minutes away and the best way to get to it is by asking the pet dog to take you there, the dog will not only lead you to the beach but it will stay with you and guard your belongings while you swim, saying that, the beach was completely empty for miles around apart from the odd fisherman that walked past. The dog will take you back too (no joke).
The owner Luis couldn't do enough for you, he's very friendly and even took me to the local town for lunch and a change of scenery, which was great but i could'nt wait to get back to Barlovento again cos its so amazingly beautiful, i had a room with a sea view and hearing the waves crashing under my bed in the night was just fantastic.
If you're planning atrip to Colombia this place has to be on your list!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

We spent two nights at the Finca and it was absolutely one of the highlights of our Colombia trip.

We weren't quite prepared for the partially open room which pretty much feels like you're suspended over crashing waves, but it was a unique and unforgettable experience and we slept a lot better than we'd anticipated! We rose at 5 30am both mornings to watch the sunrise on the truly deserted (bar the property's playful dogs) and most beautiful beach, it was magnificent. The housekeeper/cook does not speak English and our Spanish is poor, but this really didn't matter, all you have to do is make sure you're around the Finca at mealtimes where you share simple but tasty traditional food with the other guests. The view from the back over the lagoon and the Sierra Nevada is quite magical and utterly peaceful, we relaxed there for hours just taking it in - if isolation, no disruption and stunning scenery is what you're after, there isn't a better place. There are no luxuries, but you really don't need them.

The owner Louis is very nice and accommodating, and the entrance to the National Park is just up the road on a local bus, all very easy. This has to be the best place to stay around Tayrona! (I'd even go as far to say the beach belonging to the Finca is as spectacular as within the park itself!)

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We spent 3 nights at Barlovento. The location is stunning, we could have sat looking out over the lagoon and jungle for hours. It's lovely to spend time swimming in the freshwater lagoon and there are beautiful deserted beaches a short walk away. Excellent hammock space, rally peaceful. We spent 2 nights in a room in the main house and then 1 night in the studio and would recommend paying extra for the studio if you can. The food was good, although we have had much better at other similar rustic set ups, and we made good use of the honesty bar, which was a nice touch. I was slightly nervous at night because after 7 ish, the house is completely unstaffed, and completely open...although it is at the end of a long track and has houses nearby and a couple of dogs on site, the sea is loud and I thought the house seemed a bit vulnerable at night,..and no, not because it was Colombia, but just because it was an open, unmanned house in an isolated location with tourists in. My husband didn't share my nervousness but I know another couple of guests did. I agree with other reviews that say it was overpriced, it was, even with the location.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

I have never stayed anywhere like Barlovento Cabana, and I heartily recommend it as long as you come there with a certain set of expectations.

It is not a coddling five-star hotel where you can expect great service and pristine accommodations. They greet you by saying that you should consider yourself at home, and in reality that includes carrying your own luggage, getting your own beverages and showing up at meal time or risking missing a meal.

With those cautions on the table, I would say that you should give the place a try if you want to stay in one of the world’s most stunning accommodations.

Though the lodge appears to sit precariously on the edge of rocks at the cusp of the Rio Pedro and the Caribbean Ocean, the building designed by a world recognized architect 40 years ago has stood firmly ever since. The same family that built it a generation ago owns and operates it today.

You can imagine the dramatic impact of sitting in the house atop those rocks and having Caribbean waves break just before washing out beneath the building. We were there during rains and the drama was even more powerful.

The chef makes three good meals a day, most of them consisting of traditional Colombian cooking made from locally grown ingredients. Guests sit around a large dining table for meals, and we enjoyed our conversations with the owner/hosts and with guests from England and the U.S. There is no television or WiFi, so conversation, napping and reading are the chief activities when it rains. It rained solidly for one of the days of our stay, but weather improved the second day and we went out on the beach.

My wife and I opted to stay in the air conditioned suite to the rear of the finca (estate,) and we thought at first that we had made a huge mistake. The room seemed a bit musty and the windows were screwed shut so that fresh ocean air was not an option. We thought when we booked it that we would have the option of air conditioning or open air.

By the next morning, after wind and heavy rains blew into cabanas all night, we realized that we were the lucky ones to have been in a rainproof room. Our daughters and others found either their beds or part of their belongings wet by morning.

The rooms have meager bathrooms, no desks or chairs and few features beyond beds. But they do have electricity (when it is not storming.) The shower water was chilly.

In fairness, the storms were the first the area had seen in many months, and most visitors report the stays in the open air cabanas with the surf washing beneath the building to be a special experience. We just happened to pick an unusual couple of days for our visit.

Owner Luis is a very likeable character, as are members of his family. They were happy to help with directions, taxis and other arrangements. There are a couple of dogs and a cat around, which we loved.

The Barlovento is accessible from a road that features other lodges, but its location is away from the others and you can wander empty beaches for hours if you wish. The Tayrona National Park entrance is a little more than a mile away, and the owners gave our family members a ride to the gates.

The common areas include the open air dining area, a deck with comfortable lounge chairs and a couple of hammocks and some grass seating areas where you can relax and view the Rio Pedro.

This is definitely not a good place for young children or people who trouble moving around. It is perfect for outdoor types who enjoy hiking, diving or beach activities.

Remember when viewing prices that they include home-cooked meals three times a day.

Room Tip: You need to make a choice between open air and air conditioned lodging. The one air conditioned room...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka

Address: Km 33, 1 Via Riohacha, Los Naranjos, Next to Tayrona Park, Santa Marta, Colombia
Phone Number:
Location: Colombia > Magdalena Department > Santa Marta District > Santa Marta
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 61 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Marta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Finca Barlovento Cabana & Maloka 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cabaña is a cabin hanging on a cliff over the beach and ocean. It has been featured in documentaries, tv and magazines such as Maison Marie Claire french eddition.Maloka, recently build, has lovely views to the river and sea or the jungle. The rooms are spacious and with a private bathroom. ... more   less 
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