With hundreds of miles of Caribbean coastline, barrier reefs and temperatures that remain pleasant throughout the year, Colombia is officially one of our favorite tropical beach destinations. In no particular order let us guide you through our top best beaches of Colombia:
| Playa Blanca |
Located on Isla Baru 40 minutes off the coast of tourist powerhouse Cartagena, Playa Blanca is as vacation picturesque as it gets with powder soft, white sand beaches, palm trees, and crystal clear water. It is the quintessential Caribbean beach. Not all sand is created equal in my mind – there is something about white sand beaches that is just irresistible. This is the perfect beach to unwind on – swim in the morning, rest, drink coconut juice, rest, snorkel in the coral reef that begins just off the beach, rest, have a massage, rest again and repeat. Ahhhhh, bliss!
How to get there: Boats leave everyday from the Muelle de las Pegasos right outside of the old city walls. Make sure to get an early start as most boats leave around 9:00am and pick you up from the island around 3:00pm to return to Cartagena.
| Providencia |
If low key vacations are your thing, Providencia might be your spot. Geographically speaking the islands are closer to Jamaica and Cuba. How they became a part of Colombia is one for the history books. Located on San Andrés archipelago, Providencia paints a pretty vivid picture of what paradise could actually look like. The island is quiet, with warm multi-shaded turquoise Caribbean waters and is mostly unspoiled by tourism with just 13,000 visitors a year. There are several beaches on the island that remain undeveloped, perfect for exploring or doing absolutely nothing, the most popular being Manzanillo, Fresh Water Bay and South Bay. If you are in the mood for adventure though, the world’s third largest barrier reef is here as well as volcanic peaks covered by rainforest and peaceful lagoons.
How to get there: It’s a relatively remote island so you’ll have to fly. Satena and Searca are the only current airlines that go, both run a few daily flights San Andrés.
| Parque Tayrona |
For scuba diving enthusiasts traveling in Colombia, it’s all about Tayrona National Park. The beaches themselves are a bit more wild and jungle like (think Indiana Jones), but hop a boat 20 min off the coast and you’ll find perfectly preserved coral and a huge variety of fish. Since the waters at a pleasant temperature almost year round, it’s a perfect spot for rookies or veterans to explore the incomparable underwater world.
How to get there: The easiest way is to just hop a cab from your short term vacation rental in Santa Marta. You can also organize tours through various diving schools in the small beach town of Taganga, just 20 minutes from Santa Marta.
| Islas de Rosario |
The 27 islands that make up the Islas de Rosario have been declared a national park and are most popularly explored by boat. The coral reef here is simply breathtaking with a variety of carefully preserved ecosystems. For those who might not be interested in breathing underwater, the ocean is so transparent here that the sea life is visible from the boat!
How to get there: Just like going to Playa Blanca, you can get a day trip from the same harbor. Please note that the same time restraints do apply, unless you plan to stay the night, which isn’t a bad thing…at all.
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