The Best Beaches in Colombia
Colombia is an iconic country with a history that may initially discourage tourists from visiting. However, it is becoming increasingly popular as travelers gradually discover its beautiful cities, mountains, beaches, and jungles.
The country has about 3,200 km of coastline, full of culture, beauty, and biodiversity. You will certainly find a beach that suits your taste, where you can also try out different water sports. Read on to see some of the best beaches in Colombia.
Playas de Palomino
This beach is located on the Caribbean coast and is the perfect place if you are looking for some seclusion. Tucked away among small villages, you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful view of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains in the background. If you are lucky, you could end up having the beach all to yourself.
For beautiful beaches with breathtaking views of the surrounding jungle-covered mountains, Capurganá Beach is the place to be. Accessible only by speedboat or plane, this beach is a shoo in for one of the best beaches in Colombia. It truly is a world of its own with a peaceful atmosphere, magnificent views, and rum-filled coconuts. Choose from a wide range of comfortable accommodation that will suit any budget. Capurganá Beach is also known as one of the best snorkeling spots in the country. Here, you may see dolphins or even sea turtles that come to lay their eggs between February and July.
Playa Blanca, Isla Baru
Located on an island southwest of Cartagena, this beach is a hotspot for locals looking for a quick break from mainland life. It is also becoming more and more popular with tourists. The enchanting blue waters and picturesque white sands give this destination its name, “White Beach.”
It gets very busy here for good reason: it’s one of the best beaches in Colombia! But if you want to steer clear of massive crowds, try visiting during the week and avoiding holidays.
This is one of the best beaches in Colombia, especially for budget travelers. There are plenty of affordable accommodations for you to choose from. Taganga is also known for its wild nightlife and is the best place to party. It is not far from Santa Marta and is easily accessible by taxi or bus. This beach offers a variety of accommodations, suitable for all tourists. But be warned: if you’re looking for some peace and quiet, chances are you won’t find it here.
Playas de La Isla de Providencia
Isla de Providencia is one of the three main islands of the San Andrés Archipelago, located near the neighboring country of Nicaragua. It offers a variety of attractions for you to enjoy. The island is full of white beaches with palm trees and fishing boats, making you feel like you’ve been transported to a magical land. The plethora of fascinating marine life also make it a perfect place for snorkeling.
El Valle, Chocó
El Valle is located in the western part of Medellin. It is famous for the sea turtles that lay their eggs on the beach. It’s also the perfect spot for whale watching during the months of June through October. The island has two dark beaches and a dense jungle, making for a striking yet pleasant contrast. The best things to do here are fishing and snorkeling. If you want to learn more about the local history, visit the town’s cemetery, which the locals once believed to be haunted. You can also head over to the river and get to know the indigenous Embera people. Lastly, if you are up for a party, you should come here on the weekends when the city comes to life.
Nuqui is located on the beautiful Pacific coast and is difficult to access as it is surrounded by the Colombian jungle, hiding the beach from tourists. If you visit the beach from June to October, you will see the humpback whales, which come to breed and give birth. The town itself is famous for its variety of plants and animals; the nearby thermal springs are also a great location if you need some natural therapy. You can also visit the picturesque Cascada del Amor (Waterfall of Love), which is only a short walk inland. But make sure to have a guide; you don’t want to get lost in the jungle!
Rodadero is located to the south of Santa Marta and Playa Blanca on the Pacific coast, and is one of the most famous beaches in Colombia. Because it has something for everyone, it is a tourist hotspot, more lively than the other beaches in the country (which probably doesn’t make it the best place to relax). Rodadero has a vibrant atmosphere, with a variety of cultural activities you do not want to miss out on. You can also enjoy local drummers who perform at night while you eat inexpensive, tasty seafood.
This beach is located north of Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. It may not be the most picturesque or quietest beach in Colombia, but it is close to Cartagena, making it easier to explore the city. The city itself is an important seaport, founded by the Spanish in 1533, with a rich history and lots of attractions including fortresses, museums, and iconic architecture. It is best to get to the beach early in the morning for a swim before exploring the city in the afternoon.
Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona
Considered one of the most beautiful places in Colombia, this park touts enchanting landscapes, rocky cliffs, and huge palm trees. The huge sea rocks are outstandingly remarkable, protruding from the water, as they only highlight the island’s beauty and charm. You also have to experience the breathtaking blue sky, stretching off into the horizon.
Playa El Pilón De Azucar
This beach is characterized by its bright orange sand with green limestone floors, and has one of the most vivid turquoise waters in the world. It is also one of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia. Playa El Pilón is located at the foothills of Pilón de Azucar and Playa El Pilón de Azucar, with a small desert beach at the end of the Guajira peninsula, only 30 minutes from Cabo De Vela. This Colombian beach has a beautiful, dreamlike bay, with its desert colors of red, yellow, and orange. You can also explore the fascinating land formations like the sand dunes, hills, and cliffs which surround the area.
Johnny Cay, as it is popularly called, is a protected four-hectare coral island, located to the north of the seahorse-shaped Isla de San Andrés. This little islet contains coconut plantations and is one of the most popular beaches in Colombia. Johnny Cay also has fascinating coral formations, vegetation along its shores and shallow waters which are perfect for snorkeling. The best thing to do here is to relax in the little wooden restaurants and bars, where you can have lunch and just enjoy the laid-back reggae tunes that can be heard from the beach.
Triganá is a hidden beach, a little off the beaten track, that you definitely won’t regret visiting. It is located on the Caribbean coast, and often overlooked by tourists. If you are lucky, you will get to experience its different colors of sand and water. Triganá also has a beautiful botanical garden, hot springs, and national parks for you to explore if you don’t feel like lying around on the beach all day. For more adventure, you can visit the breathtaking waterfalls or kayak through the mangrove forests.
Colombia offers an interesting history, breathtaking scenery, and beautiful beaches for a relaxing holiday by the sea. If you’re interested in exploring more beaches, we also recommend checking out our article on beaches in Costa Rica.