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Colombia’s Best Beaches


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Donny Barbee



Welcome to Colombia, a country known for its vibrant culture, warm people, and breathtaking landscapes. Among its many natural wonders, Colombia boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the world. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or simply the chance to soak up the sun, Colombia’s beaches offer something for everyone.


Located on the northern coast of South America, Colombia is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west. This tropical paradise is blessed with an abundance of pristine white sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush vegetation. From popular tourist destinations to hidden gems off the beaten path, Colombia’s beaches cater to all types of travelers.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a water sports lover, or a nature seeker, Colombia’s beaches have it all. From the colonial charm of Cartagena de Indias to the untouched beauty of Tayrona National Park, each beach destination offers a unique experience.


So, if you’re ready to embark on a beach adventure like no other, let’s dive into the top beach destinations in Colombia. Get your sunscreen ready, pack your swimsuit, and prepare to be mesmerized by the beauty of Colombia’s coastline.


Cartagena de Indias

Located on the northern coast of Colombia, Cartagena de Indias is a historic city surrounded by beautiful beaches. Known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, vibrant culture, and colorful streets, Cartagena offers a perfect blend of history and beach vibes.


The city’s most famous beach, Playa de Bocagrande, is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. With its soft white sand and clear blue waters, this beach offers a picturesque setting for sunbathing and swimming. Bocagrande is also lined with luxurious hotels, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife, making it a hub of activity both day and night.


If you’re looking for a more serene beach experience, head to Playa Blanca. Located on the nearby Isla Baru, just a short boat or car ride from Cartagena, Playa Blanca is known for its pristine white sand and tranquil atmosphere. You can relax under the shade of palm trees, rent a beach chair, or indulge in delicious seafood from the local vendors.


For those seeking a truly unique beach experience, a visit to the Rosario Islands is a must. This archipelago, located about an hour boat ride from Cartagena, is made up of 30 picturesque islands surrounded by crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs. Visitors can snorkel, scuba dive, or simply relax on the sandy beaches, immersing themselves in the natural beauty of the area.


Cartagena de Indias is more than just its stunning beaches. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a fascinating blend of history and modernity. Explore the walled city, stroll through the colorful streets of Getsemani neighborhood, or visit the iconic Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, an impressive fortress overlooking the city.


With its rich history, vibrant culture, and beautiful beaches, Cartagena de Indias is undoubtedly one of Colombia’s must-visit destinations for beach lovers and culture enthusiasts alike.


Santa Marta

Nestled between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Caribbean Sea, Santa Marta is a coastal city that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural charm. Known as the gateway to Colombia’s famous Tayrona National Park, Santa Marta is a paradise for beach lovers and adventure seekers.


Santa Marta itself is home to several beautiful beaches. Playa El Rodadero is the most popular beach in the area, known for its calm waters and family-friendly atmosphere. With a wide range of amenities such as restaurants, shops, and water sports rentals, El Rodadero is the perfect spot for relaxation and fun in the sun.


If you’re looking for a more secluded beach experience, head to Playa Blanca. Located just outside the city, this stunning white sand beach offers a serene escape from the bustling streets of Santa Marta. Surrounded by lush vegetation and clear turquoise waters, Playa Blanca is a true tropical paradise.


One of the main highlights of Santa Marta is its proximity to Tayrona National Park. This protected natural reserve is renowned for its pristine beaches, dense rainforests, and diverse wildlife. Playa Cristal and Cabo San Juan are two of the most popular beaches within the park, offering breathtaking views and the opportunity to relax in a truly untouched setting.


For those seeking adventure, Santa Marta is the starting point for the famous Ciudad Perdida trek, also known as the Lost City trek. This challenging but rewarding journey takes you through the dense jungle, traversing rivers and climbing steep mountains, to reach the ancient ruins of the Lost City, an archaeological wonder hidden deep within the Sierra Nevada Mountains.


In addition to its natural beauty, Santa Marta boasts a rich cultural heritage. Explore the historic downtown area, with its colonial architecture and charming streets lined with colorful buildings. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, the final resting place of Simón Bolívar, a key figure in South American history.


With its stunning beaches, captivating natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage, Santa Marta is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Colombia’s Caribbean coast.


San Andrés

Situated in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Colombia, San Andrés is a tropical paradise renowned for its pristine white sand beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and clear turquoise waters. This small island offers a unique Caribbean experience with a touch of Colombian charm.


San Andrés is blessed with a variety of stunning beaches, each with its own distinct appeal. The most famous beach on the island is undoubtedly Playa Spratt Bight, located in the main town of San Andrés. This beach stretches for miles and offers powdery white sand, gently swaying palm trees, and warm, inviting waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling.


For those seeking a more secluded beach experience, a visit to West View is a must. Here, you can swim in natural pools surrounded by coral formations, where colorful fish and marine life thrive. The crystal-clear waters of West View make it an ideal spot for snorkeling and exploring the underwater world.


If you’re looking for adventure, head to Johnny Cay, a small uninhabited island just off the coast of San Andrés. With its postcard-perfect beaches, lush palm trees, and crystal-clear waters, Johnny Cay offers a true tropical paradise. Snorkel among vibrant coral reefs, feast on grilled seafood, or simply unwind on the soft sand and soak up the sun.


San Andrés is also a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. The island boasts excellent conditions for activities such as windsurfing, kiteboarding, and jet skiing. Visit the famous Hoyo Soplador, a natural blowhole where the force of the waves creates an impressive geyser-like effect. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you witness the power of nature up close.


Aside from its stunning beaches, San Andrés offers a unique cultural mix influenced by the indigenous Raizal people, Afro-Caribbean traditions, and Colombian heritage. Explore the local markets, indulge in delicious seafood, and dance to the beats of reggae and calypso music.


With its breathtaking beaches, vibrant culture, and exciting water sports opportunities, San Andrés is a must-visit destination for beach lovers and those seeking an unforgettable Caribbean getaway.


Tayrona National Park

Tucked away on Colombia’s Caribbean coastline, Tayrona National Park is a natural wonderland that showcases the country’s diverse landscapes and rich biodiversity. With its lush rainforests, crystal-clear beaches, and ancient archaeological sites, Tayrona National Park offers an unparalleled experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers.


One of the highlights of the park is its stunning beaches. Playa Cabo San Juan is arguably the most famous beach in Tayrona National Park, known for its postcard-perfect setting and palm-fringed shores. Relax on the soft white sand, take a dip in the refreshing turquoise waters, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding cliffs and rainforest.


Another must-visit beach in the park is Playa Arrecifes. This expansive beach is ideal for long walks along the shore, discovering hidden coves, and observing the unique marine life that thrives in the area’s coral reefs. However, it’s important to note that swimming at Playa Arrecifes is not recommended due to strong currents.


For the more adventurous travelers, Tayrona National Park offers hiking trails that lead to secluded beaches and ancient ruins. The hike to El Pueblito, an archaeological site that was once home to the indigenous Tayrona people, is a fascinating journey through dense jungle and terraced hillsides. Along the way, you’ll learn about the rich history and cultural significance of the area.


If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the park’s vibrant biodiversity, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the park’s trails and spot the various species of flora and fauna. Keep your eyes peeled for howler monkeys, toucans, and colorful butterflies. The vegetation in Tayrona National Park is incredibly diverse, ranging from mangroves and palm trees to towering ceiba trees.


Tayrona National Park is not just a natural paradise; it also holds cultural importance. The park is home to several indigenous communities, such as the Kogi people, who have inhabited the area for centuries. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about their traditions, customs, and sustainable way of life.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or the chance to reconnect with nature, Tayrona National Park is a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty, explore its stunning beaches, and learn about the rich cultural heritage that has shaped this unique corner of Colombia.



Located in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Nicaragua, Providencia is a hidden gem that offers a tranquil and untouched beach experience. With its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and relaxed vibe, Providencia is the perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful getaway.


Providencia is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia. The most iconic beach on the island is undoubtedly Manzanillo, with its powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. This secluded beach is surrounded by lush vegetation, adding to its natural charm. Snorkel among colorful fish and coral reefs, or simply unwind under the shade of palm trees and soak up the serenity.


Another popular beach on the island is Southwest Bay. With its calm waters and soft sand, it’s an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing. The beach is dotted with quaint restaurants and bars, where you can enjoy fresh seafood and refreshing tropical drinks while taking in the stunning views of the Caribbean.


For a truly unique beach experience, head to Crab Cay. This small islet, just a short boat ride from Providencia, offers a secluded beach surrounded by mangroves and vibrant coral reefs. Snorkelers and divers can explore the underwater world filled with colorful fish, sea turtles, and even manta rays.


Aside from its breathtaking beaches, Providencia is known for its laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals. The island has a strong Afro-Caribbean culture, which is reflected in its cuisine, music, and traditional dances. Explore the vibrant local market, where you can sample delicious seafood dishes and tropical fruits.


While on Providencia, make sure to hike up to El Pico Natural, the island’s highest point, for panoramic views of the surrounding turquoise waters and lush vegetation. You can also visit the Old Town, with its charming colonial houses and quaint streets, offering a glimpse into the island’s rich history.


With its unspoiled beaches, warm hospitality, and laid-back Caribbean vibe, Providencia is a true paradise. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a cultural experience, this hidden gem will leave you enchanted and rejuvenated.



Situated on Colombia’s northern coast, Palomino is a small beach town that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and a chilled-out vibe. With its pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and adventurous activities, Palomino is a haven for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


The main attraction in Palomino is its stunning sandy beach. Stretching for miles, the beach is framed by towering coconut palms and the magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background. Whether you’re looking to relax under the shade of a palm tree or take a leisurely walk along the shoreline, Palomino’s beach offers a serene and picturesque setting.


For those seeking adventure, the Palomino River provides the perfect opportunity for tubing. Jump on an inflated tube and float down the river, surrounded by lush jungle and stunning scenery. The river gently flows into the Caribbean Sea, creating a unique experience where you can seamlessly transition from river to sea.


Palomino is also an ideal destination for surfing enthusiasts. The town enjoys consistent waves year-round, suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers. Take a surf lesson or rent a board and ride the waves along the coast as you enjoy the beautiful view of the mountains and the sea.


If you’re seeking a more tranquil beach experience, head to the nearby Playa Los Cocos. This secluded beach offers pristine white sand, calm waters, and tranquility away from the crowds. Find a shaded spot under a palm tree, listen to the gentle crashing of the waves, and simply enjoy the serenity of this hidden gem.


Palomino is also a gateway to the impressive Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world’s highest coastal mountain range. Embark on a trek through lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and indigenous communities. The Lost City trek, a multi-day hike that takes you to the ancient ruins of Ciudad Perdida, offers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for those seeking a challenging but rewarding experience.


The town of Palomino itself is a laid-back and friendly place. Discover the local culture through the traditional music and dance of the indigenous communities, or indulge in delicious Caribbean cuisine at the local restaurants and food stalls.


Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or immersion in the local culture, Palomino offers a little slice of paradise on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.


La Boquilla

Tucked away on the outskirts of Cartagena, La Boquilla is a hidden gem that offers an authentic and off-the-beaten-path beach experience. This small fishing village allows visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture while enjoying the natural beauty of the Caribbean coast.


La Boquilla’s beach is a sight to behold. With its soft golden sand, swaying palm trees, and tranquil waters, it offers a serene and picturesque setting. The beach is relatively untouched by tourists, making it a perfect spot for those seeking a more laid-back and less crowded beach experience.


One of the unique activities you can enjoy in La Boquilla is mangrove tours. Hop on a traditional wooden canoe, guided by a local fisherman, and explore the maze-like network of mangroves. Learn about the importance of mangroves in the ecosystem and spot various species of birds and marine life that call this area home.


For those interested in witnessing the centuries-old fishing traditions of the local community, La Boquilla offers the opportunity to join the fishermen on their fishing trips. Accompany them in their colorful wooden boats, cast the nets, and participate in the process of catching the day’s fresh seafood.


La Boquilla is also famous for its culinary heritage. Try traditional Caribbean dishes such as coconut rice, fried fish, and ceviche, all prepared with the freshest ingredients sourced directly from the sea. The local seafood market is a fascinating place to observe the daily catch and mingle with the friendly locals.


Aside from the beach and fishing activities, La Boquilla serves as a gateway to the nearby Ciénaga de la Virgen, a large coastal lagoon with lush vegetation and abundant wildlife. Take a boat ride through the mangroves and spot various bird species, including herons, egrets, and pelicans.


While La Boquilla may not have the luxurious resorts and bustling nightlife found in other beach destinations, it offers a unique and immersive experience for those seeking an authentic glimpse into local Colombian life.


So, escape the tourist crowds and discover the hidden beauty of La Boquilla, where you can relax on the pristine beach, engage with the friendly locals, and witness the traditional fishing practices that have sustained this community for generations.



Located just a short distance from Santa Marta, Rodadero is a popular beach destination on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Known for its vibrant atmosphere, bustling boardwalk, and stunning beaches, Rodadero offers a lively and exciting beach experience.


Rodadero’s main attraction is its beautiful beach, Playa El Rodadero. This wide crescent-shaped beach is characterized by its soft golden sands and calm, turquoise waters. It’s an ideal spot for families and sun-seekers alike, offering a safe and enjoyable environment for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.


The beachfront promenade, known as El Malecón, is lined with restaurants, bars, and shops, creating a lively and bustling atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, sample fresh seafood, and indulge in local treats while taking in the vibrant energy of this coastal gem.


For those craving adventure, Rodadero offers a range of exciting water sports activities. Try your hand at paddleboarding, jet skiing, or even take a thrilling ride on a banana boat. The crystal-clear waters provide the perfect playground for adventurers of all ages.


Another popular attraction in Rodadero is the Acuario Mundo Marino, a small aquarium where you can get up close and personal with marine life. Enjoy interactive exhibits, watch dolphin shows, and learn about the rich biodiversity of the Caribbean Sea.


If you’re looking for a change of scenery, you can explore the nearby nature reserve of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Here, you can hike through the lush rainforest, discover hidden waterfalls, and appreciate the stunning panoramic views of the coastline and mountains.


As the sun sets, the nightlife in Rodadero comes alive. Enjoy live music, dance to the rhythms of salsa, and experience the vibrant Colombian party culture. The area offers a variety of clubs, bars, and discos to suit every taste.


With its lively atmosphere, beautiful beach, and array of activities, Rodadero has something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a vibrant nightlife, this beach destination has it all.


Baru Island

Situated just off the coast of Cartagena, Baru Island is a tropical paradise known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and tranquil atmosphere. This island getaway offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.


Baru Island’s most famous beach is Playa Blanca, a stretch of white sand that appears untouched by time. The beach is lined with palm trees, and the waters are a mesmerizing shade of turquoise. Playa Blanca is an ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling, with its calm and warm waters that are teeming with vibrant marine life.


For a truly unique experience, take a boat to the nearby Rosario Islands, a group of picturesque islands surrounded by coral reefs. These islands offer a secluded and untouched paradise, where you can relax on pristine beaches, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, and explore colorful underwater ecosystems.


Aside from its stunning beaches, Baru Island offers opportunities for water sports and adventure. Try your hand at kayaking, jet skiing, or even take a thrilling ride on a parasail to enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline from above.


At the southern tip of Baru Island, you’ll find the enchanting mangroves of Aviario Nacional de Colombia. Explore this natural wonder by boat, gliding through the narrow canals and observing the diverse wildlife that flourishes in this unique habitat.


Baru Island is also home to small fishing communities, where you can witness the traditional fishing techniques that have been passed down through generations. Explore the local markets, taste fresh seafood, and engage with the friendly locals to get a glimpse into their way of life.


As the day draws to a close, make sure to witness the magical sunsets that paint the sky in shades of orange and pink. Enjoy a romantic beachfront dinner, savoring delicious Caribbean cuisine as the sun sets below the horizon.


Baru Island offers a serene and idyllic getaway, allowing you to disconnect from the world and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a taste of local culture, Baru Island is an unforgettable destination.



Colombia is a country blessed with an incredible coastline, offering a wealth of stunning beaches for every type of traveler. From the historic charm of Cartagena de Indias to the tranquil beauty of Baru Island, and from the cultural immersion of Santa Marta to the adventure-packed Tayrona National Park, Colombia has it all.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a cultural experience, Colombia’s beaches provide the perfect backdrop. Bask in the warm Caribbean sun, swim in crystal-clear waters, explore tropical rainforests, and indulge in the vibrant local culture. The variety of beaches allows you to choose the atmosphere that suits your preferences, from lively and bustling to secluded and tranquil.


Colombia’s beaches are not just visually stunning; they also provide opportunities for memorable experiences. Snorkel among colorful coral reefs, hike through lush rainforests to discover ancient ruins, interact with indigenous communities, and sample local delicacies. The possibilities for adventure and exploration are endless.


As you plan your trip to Colombia, remember to respect the natural beauty and cultural heritage of these beach destinations. Follow any designated guidelines for environmental conservation and engage with the local communities respectfully.


Whether you’re a beach lover, a nature enthusiast, or a cultural explorer, Colombia’s beaches offer a truly unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors, flavors, and rhythms of this stunning country’s coastal treasures. Pack your swimsuit, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to create lifelong memories on Colombia’s breathtaking beaches.