One of the most popular attractions in Colombia is its Caribbean coast. It is the perfect place to sunbathe, walk through the soft, warm sand or take a dip in the crystal clear waters. Stay in a small-scale hotel along the coast, where you can watch the sun sink behind the horizon while sipping on an exotic cocktail and enjoying a home-cooked meal. Our travel expert Karol shares her tips of the best and most beautiful beaches in Colombia.

best beaches Colombia

Best beaches Colombia: Santa Marta and surroundings

Santa Marta is an excellent base for exploring the Caribbean coast. The oldest city in Colombia is surrounded by mountains, jungles and beautiful beaches. We recommend paying a visit to Tayrona National Park where the ocean and jungle are only separated by a fine sandy beach. Chances are you will see, or at least hear, howler monkeys in the trees, while butterflies in all colours and sizes flutter around you. Following a jungle trek you can find refreshment in Tayrona’s crystal clear waters. Spend the night in one of the ecolodge cabins located near Cañaveral and explore the beaches of La Piscina and Cabo San Juan del Guia.

best beaches Colombia

Best beaches Colombia: Palomino and surroundings

Palomino is about an hour’s drive from Santa Marta. It’s a picturesque seaside village offering travellers the chance for complete relaxation. Palomino remains off the beaten track, even by Colombia’s relatively quiet standards. Enjoy nature at its best while spending the night in a seaside bungalow. Fall asleep and to the sound of waves rolling over the beach, and wake up by taking five steps to swim in the Caribbean Sea. The owner would be more than happy to fill you in on the history of the property that he built from scratch. If you’ve had enough of beachside relaxation, take the opportunity to explore the nearby jungle by going on a kayak trip or visiting one of the indigenous villages in the neighbourhood of Palomino.
Want to feel like you’re all alone in the world? Visit Taironaka in Don Diego, a small town situated between Santa Marta and Palomino. Take a local boat across the river in Don Diego to this jungle-side property. It is the ideal place to unwind, but also offers the chance to kayak, hike and visit the museum of the Tayrona Indians.

best beaches Colombia

Best beaches Colombia: Cartagena and surroundings

The colourful city of Cartagena is a feast for the eyes. Spend the day walking through the historic city centre with its beautiful churches, numerous street vendors, brightly coloured buildings and imposing city walls. In the evening there are street performances by dancers and musicians, giving you the chance to get to know the real Caribbean feeling. Or take a ride through Cartagena in a horse drawn carriage and experience the city from a different vantage point. Finish off the day with an overnight stay in one of the many restored colonial buildings found in Cartagena. In the more modern part of the city you can find numerous city beaches, ideal if it’s a warm and sunny day. Playa Blanca is located approximately an hour’s drive from the city, and can also be reached by boat. Swaying palm trees, turquoise waters and an almost pearly white beach await. Enjoy the view while the locals expertly prepare your catch of the day.

best beaches Colombia

Feeling inspired?

Take a look at our travel suggestions for more ways to explore Colombia.

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