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“Caribbean chillout spot” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Costeno Beach Surf Camp

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Costeno Beach Surf Camp
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Caribbean chillout spot”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2014

This is my second visit to Costeno, it was so good i had to come back on my next trip to Colombia and it was as equally awesome! The first time i visited was just for a couple of days with a Colombian friend who had heard about the place and wanted to try surfing. SInce then i've met a tonne of other Colombians who have been to Costeno and loved it too, even with my terrible spanish i still had so much fun with all the other guests, a mix of backpackers and laid back Colombians.

This place is hiding right on the beach and surrounded by jungle so expect, to hear monkeys, feel the sand between your toes and watch out for falling coconuts ;) It was super easy to get to Tayrona park and if you get sick of surfing/beaching it I recommend visiting the secret waterfall, tubing in Palomino and visiting their sister hostel that's more in the jungle then by the sea, they grow their own produce there its pretty cool.

The staff made me feel welcome from the beginning especially with Santiago's sarcastic humour, he's got some table top dance moves to rival Shakira and he was also really helpful organising our little excursions and other hostels, gracias Santy.

This place was great to chill out after being on the move constantly, i made friends there that i still keep in contact with and even met up with again a year later. If you go you must go to the beach at night and see the phosphorescence, its amazing!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank schmalibean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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246 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Somerville, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

Located north of Tayrona Park, approximately an hour outside of Santa Marta, the Costeno Beach is a great secluded spot. I came here with 3 other friends for three nights and I probably could have stayed longer. I'll break down the camp into main topics:

Accommodations: There are a variety of options...Private Huts, Private Rooms, Shared Rooms, Dorm Rooms, Hammocks (seem to be the most coveted option), and Tents. Keep in mind that even the Private Rooms are exposed to the elements, so if sleeping amongst howls, chirps, and the ocean only fifty feet away seems like an ideal experience than you'll dig this place. Also, if you need hot water and strong pressure to shower, this will not be the right place for you.

Food: They cook three meals a day. Breakfast has the longest duration from 7-10, Lunch (12:30-2), and Dinner (7-8). There are a variety of options for breakfast, although lunch and dinner tend to be one set meal. Breakfast items (i.e. eggs, pancakes, granola) are all approximately 5000 COP (equivalent to $2.50 US) for a decent portion of food. Lunch is closer to 10000 COP for a full plate, i.e. chicken, rice, and beans, and varies from day to day. Dinner is also around 10000 COP, and served family style (they even ring a bell), and was themed, e.g (Thursday night was Mexican). They also offer snacks, like a granola bar, and occasionally fruit throughout the day. Some of the reviewers complained about the cost, but if you are truly on a budget you can bring your own food to the camp and use their makeshift kitchen, which many of the campers had used. Overall I thought the food tasted great, and was plenty sufficient given the vibe of the camp.

Surfing: Although the camp posited itself as a surf camp, you didn't have to surf to feel a part of it. They also offer beginner group lessons each day in the morning and afternoon. We all took lessons, even though some of us had surfed before, and the instructor was great.The best surf spot given the strength of the currents was approximately 30 minute walk away. You could also rent boards for the day if you don't want to take a lesson.

Beach: The waves are strong near the camp, but not unmanageable. The water isn't crystal clear blue, but the beaches are secluded and the sand is soft, so overall great.

Activities: Volleyball, Ping Pong, Swimming, Relaxing, Surfing. They have six hammocks directly in front of the main beach area, which people spend all day reading and napping in. They also offer outings to various nearby destinations...Tubing, Waterfalls, etc., but they require a quorum of 5-10 people, with one day planning in advance, so you'll need to talk to the staff to organize it. Tayrona National Park is only minutes away, and you can either walk there or take a motor taxi to the main road and then a bus.

Partying: They sell cheap beer and cheap bottles of rum. We were three midweek, so a few of the nights were quiet, and the last night (Thursday) was a bit more raucous, with most of the camp drinking and interacting together...listening to music in the main courtyard area. There's also a fire pit near the beach, which we used on two of the nights. Not sure what it's like on the weekends, but it definitely seemed like the atmosphere depended on who was at the camp at any given moment. There was also a good mix of guys and girls. Overall a great hangout.

Staff: I thought the staff overall was really helpful and cared about the place. Remember its a surfer's retreat. You can't expect city like attentiveness, but they are a happy people, mostly volunteers.

Overall: If you are looking to for a quiet getaway, with the mindset of relaxing, reading, spending some time in the water, and getting a solid tan then this is definitely the place for you.

Disclaimer: We were only three for three nights, and two days midweek (Tuesday - Thursday) in early March, so keep that in mind when you are reading this review as it might not be completely telling of the place.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2014 via mobile

The surfcamp is a great spot for relaxing as it is really silent and peacefull. Surfing is a bit hard as the waves and currents are strong, the best place to surf is a 30min walk away. Although some reviewers complain about the food we found the quantity and quality really good.

Only negative thing about the camp is the staff. Although there are lots of them they couldn't care less.. We almost had to beg to order some beers and say sorry to disrupt their pokerplay. Clearly, the camp is as relaxing for the staff as it is for the guests!

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Hendrik N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2014

I had reservations for 2 days but after 3 hours I left.

If you're looking for the frat party atmosphere then this is it. Beware the rip currents and undertows and the stacks of broken boards, (bad surf). Poor menu at high prices. I ordered the chicken, but there was no chicken, they said it was in the rice, (never found it). What's with the mens outside urinal right next to the bar? Nothing says sexy like drinking a beer while some dude is taking a piss. Unclean and unkept, cigarette butts, trash and confetti from yesterdays party are strewn across the property, especially underneath and near all the buildings.

The 20-somethings that are trying to run the place are nice enough. The location is incredible and it could really be a gem.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eric S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brian r, Owner at Costeno Beach Surf Camp, responded to this review, May 14, 2014
sorry you had a bad experience. Finally finished the construction. It was a long process, but now everything is cleaner and more organized. Hope you are doing well.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2014

Place was fun for a couple of days, felt as if we were intruding on the owners and the staffs party . It was a bit clicky, and felt like I was funding the party for the owners and staff. Everyone was friendly though. The beach is nice and secluded but not really good for swimming. The surf was not the best, but did the trick. We stayed in the upper suit which had a great view of the ocean, and was one of our favourite rooms of the trip.

All and all I had a good time and it was nice to get away from the crowds.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Seadonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

Its a nice place and very secluded. There are however a few small things I wish I knew ahead of time.

There is not a very large choice of food. This didn't bother me too much as I eat everything, but my girlfriend had some issues.

The quality of the staff varies greatly. Santi and the tattoed girl; (i never got her name) were great. But the rest of the staff went from Politely indifferent to completely apathetic towards any issue you may have. I dont know if most of the people "working" there are volunteers, but guys wandering around behind the counter seemed much more interested in being shirtless in front of the girls, than doing anything actually resembling customer service.

That said, the room was nice and the beach is great. And thats the main reason we went there, so we weren't too disappointed.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SurlyTaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2014

Great chill place 10 mins from the Parque Tayrona... Plethora of hammocks and places to chill, SUPER nice owners (Canadian) and really beautiful beach that isn't jampacked like Tayrona was...good alternative if you don't feel like dealing with the crowds inside the park. Food was ok. Not amazing but good veggie options which is unusual.

Only negative was they messed up our reservation but ended up being fine because they sent us to their sister hostel which was cool as well. Do keep in mind this place is very rustic and isn't really about being clean more than just having a place to hang a hammock/chill on the beach. If you are finnicky about bugs and not having dirt floors etc...not for you. But otherwise GREAT place

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Traveladdict2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Costeno Beach Surf Camp

Property: Costeno Beach Surf Camp
Address: Km 39 Toncal de Caribe, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Magdalena Department
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 281 Specialty Lodging in Magdalena Department
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Its a hell-uv-a place ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Costeno Beach Surf Camp Colombia, South America

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