Merecumbe HotelTayrona National Park, Colombia
Set in a quiet location leading down to the beach at Playa Koralia, some 20 minutes’ drive from the entrance to Tayrona National Park, the Merecumbe stands apart from other hotels in the area, by offering delightful accommodation and some of the best food in Colombia. This charming low-rise boutique eco-hotel comprises a collection of individual thatched roof casitas set in beautifully tended tropical gardens. There are also sandy sports areas leading down to the beach – though the rough waves make swimming impossible.
All meals are included in your stay at the Merecumbe, and the young but skillful kitchen crew (trained by the owner’s daughter who is a professional chef) cook up inventive and delightful modern Colombian/international dishes with flair. There is no air-con or hot water here, but this is far less of a problem than it sounds as the ambient temperature of the water is warm and fans and mosquito nets keep the rooms comfortable. There is no Wi-Fi or TV to be found here either, but this is part of the joy of staying here and disconnecting from the outside world.
The pull of this area is undeniably the Tayrona National Park, just a few miles away, with it’s beautiful mountain-backed beaches. But there is far more to see here than just sand and water: the park plays host to rainforest, arid spaces covered in cacti and at least 56 endangered species. There are also archeological remains of the Tayrona people top be found. The greatest of these are at Pueblito where more than 500 dwellings were discovered from the pre-Hispanic era.