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Volunteer Hostel Cartagena

Lowest prices for your stay
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Guests1 room, 2 adults, 0 children
Traveler (35)
Room & Suite (35)
Dining (3)


#7 of 417 Specialty lodging in Cartagena
Located in the best area with the Walled City , it is a simple, clean and quiet hostel. Meant as a fundraiser for a local nonprofit, VHC allows you to have a deep understanding of the city, the region and the country. With evening movies, conversations and community visits, Volunteer hostel explains to you how the nonprofit creates impact. And you also get incredible exclusive deals with Cartagena Insider Tours, the other strategy designed for fundraising by this wonderful Colombian nonprofit. Come, meet the team, enjoy your stay and be a responsible traveller committed to spending your money wisely by supporting local communities. This hostel is unique because it has a heart!
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Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Laundry Service
Meeting rooms
Multilingual Staff
Non-smoking hotel
Public Wifi
Shuttle Bus Service
Room features
Air conditioning
Family Rooms
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
5Room tips
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Popular mentions
We spent a few nights in a double private room. We were expecting it to be relatively expensive, partly due to being in the middle of the old city and partly due to the business model. The room was very small - just space for a double bed and wardrobe - and looked over the communal kitchen area so was noisy from early morning. I guess this comes with the location. You get a discounted breakfast from the in-house cafe, which we had twice and was pretty good. There is also a small kind of lobby/sitting room that's not part of the cafe and an outdoor kitchen area. It didn't seem a good place to meet people if you're travelling solo. The staff were all super friendly and helpful. Basically we really liked the idea of the hostel and hope it does well but be aware that you're compromising on a lot to stay in the middle of the old city. Now that we know Cartagena a bit better we'd probably stay just outside the walls, which basically looks the same but is much better value for money.
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I stayed 3 nights and then 2 nights coming back from Santa Marta. Many strong points : friendly and efficient bilingual staff, top location, confortable bedrooms with A/C, good collective showers, well equipped kitchen, top wifi (only within communal zones), easy access to printer and PC.The team is friendly and helpful, with any matter regarding you trip (taxis, any booking, ...). I had great talks with many clients. The foundation also organizes tours into the city: i did a brillant Salsa tour (6 Salsa bars, including drinks and Salsa teaching). If your are interested they can help you discover the AMAZING culture of the indigenous that they help. I was lucky to talk with 3 members of a tribe that came to the hostel for an afternoon tea and cakes that they had prepared. Imagine : That tribute has been scientifically proved to have been around for 4 000 years, with their language and culture. Key : at the hostel they don't support a good cause, THEY ARE the business arm of the FEM foundation, in a country where they is no public money for such a great cause.
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Response from AnaMGonzalez, CSO FEM at Volunteer Hostel Cartagena
Responded Nov 10, 2018
Thank you so much, not only for your review, but for really enjoying the full experience we have to offer! Salsa is my personal favorite, and getting to talk to the Zenu, is simply exceptional. We would love to have you back!
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I am a seasoned traveler and have only written a review once before about a hostel, and I felt compelled to write one about this hostel because I think it is worth it. It is a warm and welcoming place that donates money to charity, and you can sense they are passionate about this. The dorms are basic but the cheapest in Cartagena, perfectly positioned in the heart of the old town. It is unusual to walk out of a hostel and straight into an attractive street, which you can do here! The breakfast is free, they have a computer to access the internet, which does not seem to be the norm in some other places I have stayed at in Colombia, also they have free coffee all day. Alejandro is a lovely man who is here during the nights, and if you stroll in a bit late he is still full of smiles, and the day staff are also very helpful. I would not stay in a different hostel if I came back because it very friendly and has a nice outside area. I spoke to some other travelers who have stayed in several places in Cartegena and they say this one is the best value and best location for the price! It is not a party hostel but sociable enough, and you can sleep. The rooms are quiet as well, which I have found to be quite a rarity in other places, but that is my experience. Oh and there is AC - bonus! Come here it is cool!
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Response from AnaMGonzalez, CSO FEM at Volunteer Hostel Cartagena
Responded Nov 10, 2018
Thank you for your generous comment! We are happy you got the best value for price, and a good human experience. We hope we can host you again soon!
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First of all I'd like to say that everyone working there was really nice to me BUT the minute you stay in the common room you realize that it's an office that happens to have a hostel in the back part. I wouldn't recommend it for solo travellers at all. Sorry guys, I'm sure you're doing a great job with the NGO but no so much with the hostel.
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Response from AnaMGonzalez, CSO FEM at Volunteer Hostel Cartagena
Responded Nov 10, 2018
Hi Ana! I am sorry you culdn't fully enjpy the experience of meeting the locals and engaging with our work in Cartagena. The good news is, we just opened a Cafe in our lobby to change that "office-like" setting you mention. We hope you come back soon to enjoy and check out if we improved!
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This is a hostel run by a bunch of volunteers that work for FEM (Fundación por la Educación Multidimensional), ‘a non-profit organization based in Cartagena … that seeks to make a daily difference in the lives of afro and indigenous communities in general and local Colombian women in particular by listening to their needs’ (as quoted from their website). It’s clean and the people there are really nice (I especially liked Alejandro; very nice guy). Just don’t expect them to arrange all kinds of trips for you, since they’re busy with their work for the organization. So this is something to keep in mind. You’re on your own. :-P However, a word of warning to my fellow male travelers, especially when traveling alone: Beware of the prostitutes. Actually, beware of the prostitutes and the police, as they might be working together. I had one girl that walked with me to my hostel and then claimed I had sex with her and now had to pay her. I refused, of course. Then she said she would come back with the police. Earlier I noticed this girl signaling to a police officer on a motorcycle and saw him winking at her. So guess who showed up only a minute later? That’s right, it was that cop. Long story short, I had to call the Dutch embassy in Bogotá to get out of this one. Luckily, I was inside the hostel, so that gave me some leverage not to cooperate. Eventually, believe it or not, SIX police officers were inside. Two of them spoke English and they took me apart. They told me this was a common problem in Cartagena and that there were ‘some bad cops within the force’ and that they would talk to him. I think you can understand how relieved I was! Anyway, I’m straying… This is a good hostel and I recommend it! :-)
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Response from AnaMGonzalez, Gerente at Volunteer Hostel Cartagena
Responded Aug 23, 2018
Hi Peter. We are sorry about what happened. I am glad Zhai handled it in the reception, she did a Good job at stopping the Police harassment. About trips, I must say we do have Cartagena Insider Tours available at the Hostel and that every one is always willing to help you out... Did you ask? Our 24 hour reception is always available for this. Thanks for your review!
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$16 - $40 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ColombiaBolivar DepartmentCartagena DistrictCartagena
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