Hacker Beach Episode 8

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Hacker Beach #8, in January 2020, brings us back to the Caribbean Sea for the first time since episode 3. We're going to experience the beautiful nature of the Sierra Nevada in Colombia's North Coast region.


Palomino, Colombia (OSM)

What to expect


  • Hacking, not cracking
  • FOSS creation and contribution galore (non-programmers welcome)
  • Also get your day job done if you want/must
  • Fantastic weather
  • Outdoor activity options like e.g. hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, and floating down the nearby river
  • Explore the wider region, esp. before/after your time at the official location
  • Whatever you want to make it. Hacker Beach is just people.

Getting in

  • The local airport is Santa Marta (SMR), which is a 2-hour bus ride from Palomino
  • To get to Santa Marta it's easiest to fly into Bogota, then take a short local flight. You can also try other major cities like e.g. Medellín.
  • Alternatively, fly into Barranquilla or Cartagena, then take a bus to Santa Marta
  • To get to Palomino from Santa Marta, go to the bus terminal, where you can buy a ticket for a long-distance travel bus. The drive should only take ~1.5 hours on a good day. "Brasilia" is one company that has nice buses to Palomino.

Mobile Internet


  • Claro Colombia is pretty expensive (~15 USD for 2.5GB), but provides fairly decent LTE in Palomino. (Nobody tried another provider yet.)
  • You can buy top-ups from local shops (look for "recarga" signs), or e.g. via BTC/LN from Bitrefill
  • USSD code for subscription management is *611#
  • You cannot add more data to an existing plan, and nobody has found a way to check for usage so far. So make sure you wait for an SMS that tells you that you used up all data before buying a new plan

Other options

  • Google Fi and T-Mobile roaming should work for 2G-ish speeds

Power sockets

  • Power outlets use the standard outlet from the US, possibly without ground pins for a lot of older electrical outlets

Good places for computering

  • Cafe Bohio have an espresso machine and the music is relaxed


There are hundreds of hostals in town. Either try to find something online, or walk around and ask at places that you like from the outside.


Session topics, locations, and times are usually planned rather spontaneously. Watch the usual spaces/channels.




As always, ask on IRC (#hackerbeach@chat.freenode.net), the fediverse (Mastodon), or Twitter.

Invite-only XMPP chat for participants

We have a more private communications channel for people who are definitely coming to Hacker Beach. It's an XMPP group chat at hackerbeach@kosmos.chat. Please ask someone to invite you, in case you don't have access yet.

As a mobile client, we can highly recommend Conversations for Android for example.

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