Best Beaches In Colombia
1The Tayrona National Park (Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona)
Connecting the Caribbean coastline to the base of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range (the world’s highest coastal mountain range), Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona is a protected area of exquisite beauty. Boasting some of Colombia’s most beautiful beaches, the Tayrona National Park is renowned for stretches of golden sands, azure waters and a luscious rainforest backdrop.
This corner of Colombia is bursting with life, from the abundance of wildlife that call the jungle home to the vibrant underwater world. Whilst Tayrona National Park is bursting with exceptional beaches and charming coves, the 3 main beaches of La Aranilla, Playa Cristal and Cabo San Juan de Guia are the most popular and highly regarded. Framed by unique granite formations, La Aranilla is one of the most photographed beaches in the world with the golden sands peppered with fools gold. Playa Cristal, La Piscina, and Cabo San Juan are the ideal places to go swimming in the Caribbean Sea (known for its mirrored, crescent-shaped beaches).
Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona is primarily a day trip destination due to the limited accommodation options. It is best to base yourself in Santa Marta, which is just 30 minutes drive and offers a plethora of hotels and restaurants.
Discover: Hotels in Santa Marta
2Capurganá and Sapzurro
Nestled in El Choco, a region of outstanding biodiversity on Colombia’s picturesque Pacific Coast, the beaches in Capurganá and Sapzurro are famous for their captivating beauty. Bordering Panama, Capurganá is the most secluded community in Colombia, tucked between the coast and the rainforest. This car-free village is unrivalled when it comes to natural beauty with the surrounding coast untouched by pollution and abundant in marine life and coral reefs. Playa Soledad is the main beach in front of Capurgana.
Nearby, Sapzurro is the last Colombian settlement before reaching Panama and boasts untouched beaches of powdered sand and turquoise waters with a rugged, unspoilt jungle backdrop. Hiking from Capurgana to El Cielo waterfall offers an excellent opportunity to see the amazing natural diversity of the area while in Capurgana and Sapzurro. The villages of Capurgana and Sapzurro are pretty laid-back with a decent choice of accommodation and food options in addition to the fantastic beaches.
Since it is in very proximity to Panama, many opt to cross the border and head to La Miel which offers white-sand beach and the crystal-blue water. Since, this requires crossing the border, ensure you have your passport.
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Located 100km off the coast of Cartagena, the 27 island archipelago of Corales Islas de Rosario forms its own national park. The Rosario Islands (also known as Islas del Rosario) are easily accessible from the Colombian mainland by boat and one of Colombia’s most breathtaking and luxurious destinations. The islands, albeit near to the city, offer a pleasant escape from the crowds, heat, and bustle of Cartagena.
Home to elegant hotels, peaceful Caribbean beaches and protected waters, the Rosario Islands are simply hypnotizing. Arrange a private boat or catamaran tour of the Rosario Islands if you want to experience its beauty in absolute luxury.
The seafood served on the islands is as fresh as it gets, and because there is so much of it, you can even see fishermen mooring their boats next to yours to offer you lobster or shellfish that has just been caught. A remarkable destination for snorkelling and diving, the waters surrounding the archipelago are remarkably clear, rich with sea life and abundant with vibrant coral reefs.
Discover: More Hotels in Rosario Islands
4Isla de Providencia – Playas de Providencia (Providencia Island)
3 main islands make up the San Andrés archipelago: San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina. Although these little islands are really closer to Nicaragua than Colombian mainland, but they are in fact Colombian territory. It is one of the most popular beaches in Colombia with the locals.
White sand beaches are lapped by gentle waves. This Colombia beach is perfect if you are looking to get away from it all and simply relax, as there isn’t much to do other than relax on the beach and think about your next meal. Providencia is excellent for diving and snorkelling opportunities, and the area’s allure is further enhanced by its golden sand beaches (like Playa Manzanillo). Although getting there is not the simplest, it is definitely worth the trouble once you get there.
Highly regarded as one of the best beaches in Colombia, Playa Blanca is the most famous in Cartagena. Found on the Colombian peninsula of Isla Baru, Playa Blanca is the perfect day trip from Cartagena, with a scenic cruise departing from the Old City.
The warm, clear and shallow waters of Playa Blanca make it a perfect spot for swimming and snorkelling, whilst the long stretch of white sand is the place to spend the day relaxing. The landscape here is simply unrivalled, making Playa Blanca one of the most stunning Colombian beaches, a destination you will not regret visiting. It is worth noting, due to the beauty of the beach it can get quite crowded during the peak season, nontheless, it is well worth a visit.
Located near Santa Marta, perphaps one of Colombia’s most popular Caribbean beaches, Playa Rodadero offers the beauty of nearby Playa Blanca whilst also boasting a vibrant Colombian community. Food trucks and local restaurants line the long stretch of sand dotted with paln trees, making Playa Rodadero the ideal beach for a day out with great facilities and eateries on your doorstep.
Whether you visiti during the day or night, Playa Rodadero, alwats has a lively vibe. While on the beach you will find vendors selling local delicacies like the mango strips or alcoholic beverages in coconut shells. An outstanding destination for families, the beachfront of Playa Rodadero is spacious whilst the waters are calm and warm, perfect for swimming and paddling. A day at Playa Rodadero can also be an adventurous one with a selection of water sporting activities and pedalos for hire by the water.
Discover: Hotels in Santa Marta
7Playas de Palomino
When it comes to beaches in Colombia, Playas de Palomino is one of the most laid-back with its hippy vibe and relaxing atmosphere. Located east of the Tayrona national park with a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range, Playas de Palomino is beautifully rugged and incredibly scenic.
A small town with just a small selection ecolodges and local restaurants, Palomino is simpler and quieter than many of Colombia’s beach towns. The tranquil beachfront stretches for miles with unspoilt golden sands and crystal clear waters lapping against the shore.
8La Boquilla ( Playas de La Boquilla )
The blissful fishing village of La Boquilla Afro-Caribbean roots can be found just five minutes from Cartagena but world’s away from the tourist hotspots. Located in Cartagena’s northernmost region, distant from the city centre, La Boquilla showcases a more authentic and traditional side of Colombia where traditional beach front restaurants serve fresh, locally caught fish.
The beach is mostly frequented by locals and features high winds, making La Boquilla a great destination for water sports including kitesurfing, one of the area’s highlights. Even if kitesurfing isn’t your cup of tea, it is entertaining to watch people fly their vibrant kites across the waves while relaxing on the beach. This 200-meter-long beach also just received one of Colombia’s first four Blue Flag certifications.
The area also features luscious mangrove forests that are fascinating to visit, a beautiful spot for nature lovers.
9Nuquí & Guachalito Beach
The paradise of Nuquí is home to beaches and villages of Guachalito, Coquí, Termales, and Morromico. Nuqui is the perfect example of where jungle meets the ocean. There is a strong emphasis on ecotourism with various ecolodges in the midst of unspoilt, serene environment. The town is well known for its striking and varied collection of flora and fauna, and it has a strong African influence. Thermal springs nearby are wonderful for a relaxing soak if you’re searching for some natural therapy.
One of the most secluded and untouched Colombia beaches, Guachalito Beach sits off the beaten track and away from the typical tourist trail. A 30-minute boat ride from the village of Nuqui in El Choco, getting to Guachalito Beach involves a bit of travelling but delivers a big reward. The remote corner of the country showcases the Colombian wilderness at its finest, with glistening, turquoise waters and black sands lined with towering palm trees.
The surrounding jungle is luscious, vibrant and unspoilt with a wealth of flora and fauna. On the coast, the months of July through to December welcome turtles to the shore, whilst dolphins and whales can be spotted in the distance. Meanwhile, the underwater world here is simply breathtaking, with the nearby islet of Malpelo renowned as the world’s second most beautiful diving destination.
There is no means to get there by land since it is surrounded by a thick jungle and there are no highways that connect it to the rest of the nation. The best option is to take a direct flight from Medelln. It is also recommended to have a local guide with you to avoid getting lost in the jungle.
Found in the spectacular desert landscape at the edge of the La Guajira peninsula, Punta Gallinas is undoubtedly Colombia’s most remote beach destination. Whilst the journey to Punta Gallinas may not be easy, it is certainly worth it when you arrive at this spectacular destination. Famous for magnificent sand dunes that spill into the Caribbean waters, Punta Gallinas is home to the Taroa Dunes, spectacular mountains of golden sands located at South America’s northernmost point.
The area is where you will find some of Colombia’s most charming fishing villages, home to the Wayuu indigenious community, known for the tradition of colourful weaving most commonly seen in bags and hammocks. One of Colombia’s most magnificent destinations, Punta Gallinas is a worthy contender for the best beaches in Colombia. While in the La Guajira region, you willn notice Wayúu mochilas (bags) bein sold, these are one of Colombia’s most famous artisan products. The Wayu textile art conveys handwoven stories and reflects a heritage that has been passed down for generations since pre-colonial times.
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