The most beautiful beaches and seaside locations in Colombia
Colombia is famous for a lot of this things for example for coffee fields, the friendly people, the big cities Bogota and Medellin, for wonderful colonial cities like Cartagena and Mompox, for the floral and faunal biodiversity, for Vallenato, exotic fruits, Aguardiente and also for its stunning beaches. No matter if you are a tourist, backpacker or expat most likely you are going to visit one of Colombia’s beaches at some point. Most people will at least visit the seaside town Cartagena or the well-known Tayrona Park, only few travellers visit the southern part of the Caribbean coast and only very few adventurers get to know the pacific coast. This depends probably more on the infrastructure than one being more attractive or more beautiful than the other. Because no matter which part of the coast you are going to visit, you will certainly find a beautiful beach everywhere. If you travel with family, you are a backpacker or adventurer, here in Colombia everyone will find the beach that is perfect for him/her.
This article takes you on a journey to discover the best beaches in Colombia, each promising sun-drenched days and unforgettable experiences in the heart of South America’s coastal splendor.
Here now a list of the most beautiful beaches and seaside locations
1.Palomino – Best Beaches Colombia
Quite often I have mentioned this beautiful place on my blog in the past. But what can I say; it is simply the perfect place to chill. The little village in La Guajira has a gorgeous long sandy beach that is covered with palm trees. There is a very relaxed beach bar where you can get great pizza and enjoy a nice sip of rum in the evening hours. For swimming there are certainly more suitable beaches but therefore this beach offers some waves and is suitable for surfing. Enjoy your time here in one of the laid back hostels close or even directly on the beach. Among the Colombians this place is not that well know but it became a famous destination for backpackers in the last few years. Due to the large size it never gets crowded and you will always find always an undisturbed quiet place. Here you can read more about Palomino
2.Tayrona Park (La Piscina, Arrescifes, Cabo San Juan de Guia, Playa Cristal, Playa Chengue)
Who doesn`t know this amazing, fantastic national park. Without a doubt you can find here some of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia. Cabo San Juan de Guia, Arrecifes, La Piscina or Chengue beach, here is one sandbox more beautiful than the other. I even dare to say that these beaches belong to the most beautiful ones in Latin America. The only disadvantage is that they are not always easy and quickly to reach.
San Andres is basically closer to Nicaragua than to Colombia but it still counts as a Colombian island. The island is equally popular with Colombians and foreigners. Some of the most beautiful beaches on San Andres are Rocky Cay, El Acuario, Johny Cay, Cocoplum Bay, Sound Bay oder Spratt Bight. More about San Andres
The UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve, is a coral island in the Caribbean known for its spectacular beaches, reggae culture, and the mesmerizing “Sea of Seven Colors.” The island’s clear waters, ranging in hues from deep blue to aquamarine, make it a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Among its many beaches, Playa San Luis stands out for its tranquil beauty and traditional wooden houses lining the shore. San Andrés is not only about its beaches; the island offers a rich blend of cultures, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife.
Buritaca lies between the Tayrona Park and Palomino and it is definitely and equally laid back place and very similar to the village in La Guajira. Another similarity is that here as well as in Palomino a River coming from the Sierra Nevada flows into the Caribbean Sea.
5.Best Beaches Colombia – Cabo de La Vela
Not the typical beach location, instead of lots of green and palm trees this place is surrounded by desert butt still this place is incredibly beautiful and perfect for relaxing and/or kite surfing. The sea is mostly quite calm and perfect for swimming. Another thing is that accommodation is incredibly cheap and so is the food. Here you will probably eat the cheapest lobster in your life. Apart from that watching the stars here is simply stunning as there is basically no light pollution. If you are looking for a peaceful place here will be the right place for you. Especially outside of the Colombian holiday season you will most likely be one of only a few people that stay here. More about Cabo de la Vela
6.Playa Blanca, Santa Marta
Not far from Santa Marta is this beach located. Many Colombian families come here to enjoy their weekends and public holidays. Don’t be surprised if it gets a little noisy and crowdie here. The advantage is that it is very close to the city of Santa Marta and you don’t have to fight yourself through the jungle in order to get there. If you prefer it a little bit quieter I suggest you come here during the week.
Many holiday apartments can be found here which are often occupied by Colombians themselves during holiday season. The beach is long and perfectly suitable for swimming. A things that I personally don’t like are the many beach vendors that sometimes decrease the relaxed beach atmosphere. It is also very easy to reach from Santa Marta and the airport. If you don’t care about the view of plenty of huge apartment buildings in the background you will certainly have a great time here. Rodadero seems a little like the smaller brother of Bocagrande in Cartagena.
The city beach of Cartagena is very large and easy to access. As it consist of several small bays it is suitable for swimming. But apart from swimming you can also practice several different water sports that are offered everywhere along the beach. Here the beach vendors are even more obtrusive than in Rodadero which is not always very pleasant. I would also like to advise you to take good care of your belongings and put all valuable items in a safe place or even better leave them at home. It is probably not the biggest highlight in Colombia but together with all the other things that Cartagena has to offer a great addition. Also it is far easier and quicker to get there than to Playa Blanca. So how about a nice swimm before you head to the old city for a stroll through Cartagenas beautiful alleys. Get some Aguila or Club Colombia and enjoy the beach life in Cartagena.
Both in Capurgana and Sapzurro the beaches are not very large but therefore they a particularly beautiful and relaxed. Just order a Coco Loca at one of the small beach huts and enjoy the Caribbean side of Choco. And if you get tired of these places (for sure you won’t) you can also visit La Miel in Panama a beautiful beach just a few minutes by walk from Sapzurro. Highly recommended for people that are looking for a paradise like place but that are also not disaffected by a little adventure. More about Capurgana
Definitely an insider tip is this place that is also located on the Caribbean side of Choco not far from Capurgana. Only very few tourists come here during their visit in Colombia. But this is probably more because of the rather inconvenient way to get there than anything else. But if you are not scared off by the journey you will be rewarded with an amazing place. Small but beautiful beach surrounded by Jungle.
For me personally not one of my favorites but it attracts every year many backpacker that are especially fond of this former fishing village. The reason is probably that here you can find cheap accommodation and plenty of parties. But not only cheap hostels are available you can find Hotels in every price range. This place is easy to reach from Santa Marta. Just a short Cab or bus ride and you will be hanging out in Taganga.
12.Playa Blanca, Isla Baru
I recommend you to stay at the Playa Blanca on the Isla Baru overnight to avoid the masses of day tourist that arrive there every day in the afternoon. Like this you will get to know the quiet side of the beach. Only accessible by boat from Cartagena.
Located about two hours from Cartagena is the little island Isla Mucura, a small island that is one of the of 10 Islands consisting San Bernando archipelago. Surrounded is this island by crystal clear water in which you can come across sea turtles, Manta rays and dolphins. On the island there are only two hotels the hotel Punta Faro and the Mucura Club Hotel. Due to the islands size there no more space for further hotels.
14.Playas de Providencia
Farther removed from the mainland and less visited than its neighbor San Andrés, Providencia Island is a hidden gem offering unspoiled Caribbean beauty. The island is ringed by stunning beaches such as Bahía Suroeste and Manzanillo Beach, known for their laid-back atmosphere and pristine conditions. Providencia is an ideal destination for those seeking tranquility and an authentic island experience. The surrounding coral reef, part of the third-largest barrier reef system in the world, provides excellent spots for diving and snorkeling.
Between Coveñas and Santiago de Tolu you will find plenty of nice Cabanas at the beach. Most of them can be found in the Cispatá Bay. Here you can find beautiful places for rent in different price ranges.
16.Playa Guachalito, Nuqui
This dream beach is a little different to most of the others. About half an hour from Nuqui by boat you can find the playa Guachalito. The sand here is not white but rather blackish but still this place is amazing. It is a huge beach rather untouched and surrounded by jungle. You can find some nice accommodation and if you get tired of the beach you can hike to the Csacada del Amor or the some beautiful hit springs. If you are here between July and October you might get lucky and see humpback whales right from the beach. Not the usual dream beach as the sun rarely shine but therefore it rains a lot as you will be in one of the most rainy areas on the planet. This is definitely one of my favorites in Colombia and highly recommended. More about Nuqui
Best Beaches Colombia – Conclusion
Colombia’s beaches are as diverse as they are beautiful, offering everything from serene, white-sand paradises to rugged, surf-pounded shores. Whether you’re looking for a lively beach town, a secluded bay, or an adventure in a natural reserve, Colombia’s coasts promise memorable experiences for every type of traveler. Beyond their natural beauty, these beaches offer a glimpse into Colombia’s rich culture and biodiversity, making them must-visit destinations on any traveler’s list.
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