Finca Carpe Diem Hostel in Minca – What You Need to Know

Finca Carpe Diem Hostel in Minca – What You Need to Know

Finca Carpe Diem is a breathtaking paradise hidden in the Paso del Mango forest near Minca.

Finca Carpe Diem

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

This family-owned hostel focuses on remote living, employing locals, and sustainability.

Here’s everything you need to know about staying at Finca Carpe Diem Hostel in the North of Colombia.

How to Get to Finca Carpe Diem

Getting to this hostel can be a little tricky, but once you know how to navigate the North of Colombia, you can learn to get anywhere.

You will likely book a combo of buses, taxis, and motorbikes.

I personally came from Cartagena and took a bus to Santa Marta and arranged a car through the hostel that picked me up at the bus drop-off point.

The mini-bus I took from Cartagena to Santa Marta was Berlinastur . This service is an air-conditioned budget-friendly option for under $13 USD (or 60,000 COP).

Where to Book Finca Carpe Diem Hostel

Typically I prefer to book hostels on Hostelworld. Occasionally, if I have points for savings or I’m booking a private room, I use Booking.com

Both these booking platforms are simple to use, have upfront cancellation & refund terms, and offer a level of protection that other websites may not offer.

My Hostel Essentials

What to Expect

Finca Carpe Diem Ecolodge offers both shared and private dorms throughout the property.

Many travelers expect to party at hostels in Colombia, but at Finca Carpe Diem you come to relax.

Most of your days will be occupied by eating at the hostel restaurant, lounging by the pool, and booking some of their daily excursions.

WiFi did not work during most of my stay, so bring a book or a deck of cards – you’ll need it!

Daily Excursions Offered

Finca Carpe Diem Waterfall Tour

Many activities and tours are offered from the hostel.

Waterfall tours, yoga, cacao farms, and bird watching are just a handful of the excursions offered at Finca Carpe Diem.

I booked the waterfall tour and would highly recommend it.

Hostel Restaurant

The hostel restaurant was very impressive. Their farm-to-table ethics blend the owner’s Belgian culture with Colombian specialties.

My only problem was not running out of things to order, but getting to try everything I wanted before I left! Overall the menu has lots of options and gladly accommodates vegetarians and vegans.

Rooms & Facilities

I booked an all-female dorm and it was equipped with everything you’d hope for at a good hostel. The rooms themselves are relatively bare bones but ideally, you’ll be spending most of your time out exploring the hostel rather than in your dorm.

Our dorm’s private bathroom was huge and very nice.

All beds had mosquito nets!

Location

Bear in mind that this is a remote ecolodge, so you will be at the hostel or in the surrounding nature of it the entire duration of your stay.

Also, it is not technically in Minca town. While the hostel is near Minca (about an hour drive) it is actually located in a more remote area – Paso Del Mango.

Social Life

As I mentioned before, this is not a party hostel and many people come here to relax.

Most of the visitors were couples on a romantic getaway. This was the only aspect I disliked about the hostel, yet it’s not really anything anyone can control.

Thankfully I came with a friend but I feel I would’ve had a poor experience if I came alone. I would not recommend this hostel to solo travelers hoping to make friends.

However, at the end of our stay, my friend and I did meet a group of female solo travelers and we mingled and played games. So, it is definitely possible to make some friends – especially at the pool.

@pursesandplanes

Finca Carpe Diem hostel & ecoldoge is a secret getaway in northern colombia. #hostelworld #backpackinglife #colombia #minca #travelbucketlist

♬ Little Things – Tiqta

The Best Part of the Hostel is the Furry Friends!

I hope this post gives you a more well-rounded idea of what to expect at Finca Carpe Diem Hostel!

Planning a Trip to Cartagena?

Don’t forget to print this FREE Cartagena Checklist for your trip!

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Best Value Rosario Island Day Trip from Cartagena

Best Value Rosario Island Day Trip from Cartagena

Looking for the best value Rosario Island Day trip from Cartagena? Here’s everything you need to know about booking your relaxing catamaran voyage.

rosario island day trip

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

If you’re researching the best Rosario island day trip, I’m specifically viewing a tour I booked on GetYourGuide.

After researching the depths of the web and searching for any insight on the best day trips from Cartagena – I kept seeing this Rosario island boat tour come highly recommended.

I was very hesitant about booking this excursion because, well, it’s not exactly cheap (especially if you’re on a backpacker’s budget).

At nearly $80 USD in a country where prices are usually affordable, I was skeptical. However, I can confidently say I am SO happy I booked it and it was one of my favorite days in Cartagena.

Here’s everything you need to know about booking the tour Cartagena: Rosario Islands Catamaran with Lunch and Snorkel.

What You Should Know About the Rosario Island Day Trip

Perhaps a common misconception on this tour is that you actually get to explore the islands. This is not true! You simply spend the day from a boat admiring the islands from nearby in the water.

Granted I knew this ahead of time before booking the tour, but I can easily see how someone could be disappointed if they have different expectations.

Basic Tour Outline

rosario island day trip

While your boat itinerary could change, here’s a rough idea on what to expect:

8:00-8:30 am – Depart from Muelle de la Bodeguita pier.

10:30 – Swim at Isla Granda for 1h30

12:30 – Lunch is served on board.

1:30 – Stop near the island of Baru.

4 pm -Arrive back in Cartagena

This Rosario Island Day Trip Catamaran Tour is approximately 7.5 hours, so plan for it to take up most of your day.

Detailed Tour Itinerary

rosario island day trip

You’ll start your morning around 8-8:30 am boarding the catamaran that departs from the Muelle de la Bodeguita pier.

As you step on board, you will be greeted with fresh juice as a welcome treat.

There are plenty of seats for everyone to spread out in the shade or the toasty Colombian sun!

Shortly after the catamaran departs, you’ll receive a bag of delicious empanadas to snack on until lunch.

About 2 hours into your journey, you’ll arrive at your first stop – the waters of Isla Grande.

You’ll have lots of options on how to spend the hour and a half you’ll have in the turquoise Isla Grande waters. Whether you want to snorkel, grab an inflatable noodle, or sip on a margarita and lounge on the boat – the time is yours!

Next up will be a journey to the waters of Baru Island.

On your way, you’ll stop for a prepared lunch on board which will include loads of options like salad, pasta, and seafood or veggie rice. The lunch was actually so delicious, I was stuffed!

After spending another 2 hours enjoying the scenery of Baru, you’ll finally make your way back to Cartagena.

Expect to arrive back at the dock around 4 pm.

Where to Book

You can book this tour on GetYourGuide or Viator.

Both platforms feature a detailed look at the tour in addition to reviews written by real participants.

What to Bring

Lots of sunscreen.

A hat.

Protective Sunglasses.

Bathing Suit.

Towel.

Credit Card & Cash.

Optional: a book & earbuds (there’s lots of relaxing time).

Rosario Island Day Trip Essentials

What this tour includes

rosario island day trip

Welcome drink
Non-alcoholic beverages (soft drinks, juices, lemonade, water)
Mid-morning snack
Prepared onboard lunch (seafood or vegetables with rice, a salad buffet, and dessert)
Snorkeling equipment
Noodle floaties

Alcoholic drinks are not included but are available for purchase (and they are actually SO good!)

Transportation to the catamaran is not provided, it is up to you to arrive at the meeting point on time.

Is the tour worth it?

Yes, I would completely recommend this Rosario island boat tour to anyone visiting Cartagena! It was one of the highlights of my Colombia trip.

Still planning your itinerary? Check out my post, the best things to do in Cartagena, and my favorite hostel to stay at in the city.

rosario island day trip

Don’t forget to print this FREE Cartagena Checklist for your trip!

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Life is Good Cartagena Hostel – Rating My Experience

Life is Good Cartagena Hostel – Rating My Experience

Are you looking to stay at Life is Good Cartagena Hostel?

If you’re planning your trip to Colombia and reading up on the best hostels to stay in Cartagena, you’ll definitely want to consider Life is Good Cartagena Hostel as it is truly a top-quality accommodation for backpackers.

Life is good cartagena hostel

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Colombia is a hostel haven and there are many good options, it’s hard to choose where to stay.

In this post, I’m sharing my 1-week stay at Life is Good Cartagena Hostel. Additionally, I will share with you the best hostels in Cartagena that are worth booking.

Life is Good Cartagena Hostel

Life is Good Cartagena Hostel is located in the vibrant Getsemani neighborhood.

While I may be biased, I think this is the best neighborhood to stay in because it hands down has the best restaurants in the area.

To be honest, Life is Good Cartagena Hostel is one of the more expensive hostels in Cartagena.

I chose to stay here because I wasn’t on a tight budget and wanted to kick off my 1-month Colombia trip with a clean and comfortable start. After only a few days, I extended my stay.

Where to book Life is Good Cartagena Hostel

My favorite website/app to book hostels on is hostelworld . Occasionally, if I have points for savings or I’m booking a private room, I use booking.com

I find these booking platforms are easy to use, have simple cancellation & refund policies, and offer a level of protection that other websites may not have.

My Hostel Essentials

Location

Life is good cartagena hostel

Life is Good Cartagena Hostel is located in the Getsemani neighborhood.

There are many amazing restaurants and bars nearby the hostel. It’s also just a short 10-minute walk to Old Town and a 5-minute walk to the Muelle de los Pegasos pier.

This location is perfect because it’s not in the busiest part of the city, but within walking distance of everything you would want to do in Cartagena.

Don’t forget to print this FREE Cartagena Checklist for your trip!

The Rooms

One of the few cons about this hostel is it doesn’t offer all-female dorms or 6-8 bed dorms. This hostel only offers a 4-bed mixed dorm, a 10-bed mixed dorm, and a few private suites.

I stayed in the 10-bed mixed dorm and was very happy with my experience. It is quite spacious and the beds are broken up by multiple nooks in the room, so it doesn’t feel like 10 beds.

Additionally, every bed has a curtain and its own light.

Amenities

Life is good cartagena hostel

Small details are what really make a hostel stand out from all the others.

Life is Good Cartagena focuses on the little luxuries that backpackers don’t have at normal hostels.

Breakfast here is so tasty! When entering the hostel cafe, you’ll be presented with options such as scrambled eggs, pancakes, daily specials, and fresh juice selections. With this big breakfast included, I feel like the “expensive” price of the hostel is worth it because an entire hot meal is included.

Don’t miss the enchanting rooftop equipped with a jacuzzi, loungers, and a great view of the city.

With all the amazing amenities, the lovely and informative receptionists were by far the best part of the hostel!

One of the most important features of this hostel is the air conditioning which you will certainly need in the hot Colombian heat.

Social Life

Life is good cartagena hostel

Life is Good Cartagena is not a party hostel.

Although, I did end up meeting many new friends on the rooftop – which is a great opportunity to meet other travelers who are also staying at the hostel.

This hostel focuses on comfort and hospitality rather than an intense social scene. However, I feel like it’s easy to make friends at any type of hostel if you set your mind to it!

Another common area the hostel offers is a cafe/study space which is in a room connected to the lobby.

I personally didn’t book any tours through the hostel, but I did sign up for a free walking tour they recommended (also a great way to meet other travelers).

Best Hostels in Cartagena

Life is good cartagena hostel

In my opinion, I do think Life is Good Cartagena Hostel is the best hostel in Cartagena.

It’s a great option for any type of traveler, but especially so if you are a digital nomad, new to hostels, or a mature backpacker.

If you’re coming to Cartagena just to party (which is totally ok!) then I would suggest staying elsewhere.

Not to worry if this hostel isn’t for you, there are plenty of other great hostels in Cartagena to stay at.

Viajero is best for people who like to party.

República is best for solo travelers.

Casa del Pozo Boutique Hostel is best for solo female travelers

Clock Hostel is best for budget travelers.

Overall, Life is Good Cartagena Hostel is a hostel that impressed me so much, I stayed twice. I would highly recommend this accommodation to budget travelers looking to explore Cartagena.

Life is good cartagena hostel
Life is good cartagena hostel
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I Splurged at La Pecora Bianca Bryant Park and It Wasn’t Worth It

I Splurged at La Pecora Bianca Bryant Park and It Wasn’t Worth It

This post is all about dining at La Pecora Bianca Bryant Park in New York.

La Pecora Bianca Bryant Park

There are two things I rarely regret splurging on; food and travel. However, my dining experience at the La Pecora Bianca in Bryant Park left me unsatisfied and broke.

After recently moving to the big apple, I was excited to have my first girl’s night out.

We chose to dine at La Pecora Bianca because it’s super cute and well, pasta and wine are always a great way to start out the night.

La Pecora Bianca in Bryant Park Dining Experience

Our reservations were at 8:15. After checking in, we were informed our table wasn’t quite ready yet but would be momentarily. Around 8:40 we thought that maybe they had forgotten about us.

We checked in again and asked if could get a glass of wine while we continued to wait, and the host just pointed us to the bar. Not to be a total Karen, but we definitely thought that after waiting an additional 20 minutes with no word from the host, we at the very least would receive a complimentary glass of wine while we wait.

Finally, we got our table at 8:50, over 30 minutes past our reservation time.

Drinks and Appetizers

Our server greeted us promptly and answered any questions we had.

I ordered the Whipped Ricotta and a glass of the Pinot Grigio.

Our appetizer and wine arrived quickly.

The whipped ricotta was drizzled with honey and served with thick bread. All the flavor combinations complimented each other really nicely.

Pasta Entree

Next was the Cacio e Pepe. I definitely have had better pasta. I was torn between ordering the Cacio e Pepe and Ricotta and wished I would’ve gone with the latter.

The Bill

Total, my portion of the bill was $78 which included two glasses of wine, half an appetizer, pasta, tax, and tip.

While this is by no means a bad restaurant, I don’t feel like it was worth $80.


Is La Pecora Bianca Bryant Park Actually Worth a Visit?

It’s a safe option if you are looking for a cute restaurant in a good location. However, don’t prepare to receive the best meal and service of your life.

There are certainly better restaurants in New York, but it can serve as a convenient dining option if that’s what you’re looking for.

Overall, I consider La Pecora Bianca in Bryant Park basic and expensive.

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9 Restaurants in Cappadocia That Will Stun Your Taste Buds

9 Restaurants in Cappadocia That Will Stun Your Taste Buds

This post is all about the best Restaurants in Cappadocia, specifically in Goreme.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Looking for the best restaurants in Cappadocia?

To my surprise, Cappadocia had some of the tastiest food I’ve ever had while traveling.

Most of the restaurants in Cappadocia are owned by families who cook the food and serve you. Not only are the restaurants in Cappadocia family-owned, but many of them also use locally sourced ingredients.

Truly, I was blown away by the Turkish cuisine in such a touristy destination.

Here are some of the best restaurants in Cappadocia that will absolutely stun your tastebuds.

Planning your trip to Cappadocia?

Don’t forget to download the Ultimate Cappadocia Checklist for your trip.

things to do in Goreme

1. Pumpkin Goreme Restaurant

Pumpkin Restaurant in Goreme is not just any ordinary restaurant, it’s a culinary experience.

Per the chef/owner’s recommendation, we ordered the Organic Chicken entree and Clay Pot Kebab. Both were so delicious.

The Organic Chicken was the freshest I’ve ever had and the Clay Pot Kebab was tender and had an impressive presentation.

The homemade pistachio baklava is a must-try (especially with the vanilla ice cream!)

Pumpkin is my favorite restaurant in Goreme. Be sure to make reservations in advance.

cappadocia restaurants
cappadocia restaurants

2. Old Cappadocia

Old Cappadocia Restaurant is right in the center of Goreme and it’s quite big, so you likely won’t need reservations.

At first, I was skeptical because it seemed so commercialized. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious the food was.

Old Cappadocia is easy, no-frills, affordable, and so tasty.

3. CANCAN Cafe and Restaurant

A seemingly insignificant building that holds big flavor. We were greeted by the owner who served us lentil soup, potatoes, and bread all as a complimentary appetizer.

We also ordered Cheese Sigars (crispy cheese rolls).

After our entrees arrived, we were served complimentary apricot tea.

While CanCan is in the least touristy part of Goreme, it was certainly worth walking 10 minutes outside the city center.

cappadocia restaurants
cappadocia restaurants

4. King’s Coffee Shop

An everyday stop in Cappadocia! Treat yourself to a cappuccino and cake.

Inside this cozy coffee shop, you’ll be greeted by the kindest cafe owners and old Hollywood tunes playing all day long.

Kings Coffee Shop in Goreme

5. Topdeck

Enjoy a romantic dinner in a stylish cave setting. We ordered the dinner meze platter which was perfect for trying different Turkish flavors.

Be sure to make reservations for Topdeck in advance.

6. Cappadocian Cuisine

Famous for their casseroles and clay pots.

Cappadocian Cuisine offers the best kind of steaming hot comfort food, especially on a chilly night.

Reservations are highly recommended for this popular spot.

cappadocia restaurants

7. Inci Cave Restaurant

We stopped by Inci Cave Restaurant for lunch and split a delicious meze platter. The restaurant is beautifully decorated offering indoor and outdoor seating.

cappadocia restaurants

8. Organic Wine House

Visiting Cappadocia in November, there weren’t many nightlife options.

However, Organic Wine House offers wine tastings, wood-burning fires, and a decked-out patio area that overlooks Goreme.

It’s a great spot to enjoy an after-dinner glass of wine.

9. Turkish Ravioli

Turkish Ravioli is a traditional Turkish dish that has small dumplings filled with minced meat and mixed in red sauce and yogurt.

The restaurant, Turkish Ravioli, specializes in this famous Turkish dish.

If it doesn’t sound like your type of dish, they have an expansive menu with a variety of other entrees.

Although I recommend trying the ravioli at least once when you’re in Turkey.

turkish ravioli

Cappadocia is bursting with authentic Turkish flavors.

After eating my way through Turkey for three weeks, Cappadocia undoubtedly has some of the best food in Turkey.

Be sure to make reservations at most of the restaurants on this list so you don’t miss out!

Is Greg and Tom Beer House Hostel the Coolest Hostel in Krakow?

Is Greg and Tom Beer House Hostel the Coolest Hostel in Krakow?

This post is all about staying at Greg and Tom Beer House Hostel in Krakow, Poland.

I’ll be honest, I’ve been backpacking for a long time now, which means my standards for hostels are HIGH.

Typically, my top priorities when booking a hostel are comfort, fun, and cleanliness.

When I was traveling for 5-months around eastern Europe, I heard repeatedly how Greg and Tom Beer House Hostel in Krakow was a backpacker favorite.

So, I decided to check it out myself.

greg and tom beer house hostel poland

Greg and Tom Beer House Hostel in Krakow

First of all, let’s establish that there are three different Greg & Tom Hostels in Krakow.

The Greg & Tom Hostel

Greg & Tom Party Hostel

Greg & Tom Beer House Hostel

While this review is specifically over my stay at the Greg and Tom Beer House location, I’ve heard all three hostels are similar and super great!

Shop My Hostel Essentials

Don’t Forget Your FREE Krakow Printable

things to do in Krakow

Location

Greg and Tom Beer House Hostel is in a prime location for exploring Krakow. Located right in the center of old town Krakow, it’s walking distance to everything you’ll want to do in the city.

greg and tom beer house hostel

The hostel can be found on Google Maps under the name of ‘Beer House’.

The exact address is Florianska 43, 31-09 Krakow, Poland.


Where to Book

Book your stay by clicking the button below or here on hostelworld.

Rooms & Prices

Prices may vary according to season, but I paid about $18 USD a night for a 6-bed mixed dorm.

Additionally, they offer 4-bed, 10-bed, and 12-bed mixed dorms. Unfortunately, they don’t offer female-only dorms.

The price includes complimentary breakfast AND dinner. I definitely took advantage of the free meals, mostly because they were so delicious!

It was by far the best food I’ve ever had at a hostel.

Tour Add Ons

The hostel does offer a variety of tours you can book for your stay.

Some of the tours book up weeks in advance, especially the tour to Auschwitz. Be sure to communicate with the hostel when you want to book your tour.

The Auschwitz tours are around 160 PLN and include transportation, a professional guide, and entrance to the museum.

Zakopane tours include return bus ticket to Zakopane, thermal pools, and Morskie Oko.

The Hostel Pub Crawl costs 60 PLN and includes games, 1hour of unlimited drinks, welcome shots, and free entrance to various clubs.

You will also meet many good friends on the pub crawl, it’s a must-do!

The Vibes

Greg and Tom promote themselves as a party hostel and they even send you an email after booking to make sure you know what you’re signing up for.

greg and tom beer house hostel

I was thankful for their forwardness because I don’t typically book party hostels.

However, I was so surprised at how clean and tame they kept things around the hostel. A lot of the party happens outside of the hostel and I appreciated those boundaries. I had a great balance of party and good sleep!

Also, there is 24-hour reception in case you ever have any issues.

The vibes overall were amazing and I made so many good friends out at the pub crawl or even staying in to eat the hostel dinner. There are so many opportunities for socialization!

hostels in krakow polland
hostels in Krakow Poland
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