Colombia is blessed with thousands of kilometers of coastline, split between the Caribbean and the Pacific. The beautiful Caribbean coast is home to the country’s very best beaches. There are the famous hot spots around Santa Marta and Cartagena, rarely visited beaches in La Guajira with its impressive dunes, and also the less visited Pacific Coast has a lot to offer. On a tour along the coast, you can explore so many lonely bays, crystal clear waters and wide stretches of sand. Where to go first? Here are some of our favorites.
Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada lies one of Colombia’s most famous national parks: The National Park Tayrona. Hidden behind lush jungles you can find most pristine beaches. Already the names are promising: “Cristal Beach” or “Playa Bonita” are great spots for swimming, diving and snorkeling. In order to get there, one must take a walk through the jungle, as no car or bus run all the way to the beaches. For the adventurous traveler, there are camping facilities and hammocks to spend the night under the stars. If you prefer to stay in a comfortable hotel, these beaches also make a great day trip from Santa Marta.
Passing through Palomino on the highway you wouldn’t think of much. However, on the other side of the village lies probably one of Colombia’s most amazing beaches. This picture-perfect postcard beach was declared the most beautiful untouched beach in whole South America by roughguides.com (https://www.roughguides.com/article/must-visit-places-in-south-america-youve-probably-never-heard-of/). Located beneath the impressive coastal mountains of the Santa Marta, Palomino is one of the few beaches in the world from which one can see snow-capped mountains. This beach is an absolute must! (Picture Source: roughguides.com)
Cabo de la Vela
Located far west of the National Park Tayrona and Palomino, Cabo de la Vela is challenging to reach. However, for travelers off-the-beaten-track it is a truly unique destination. Its 5km long beach is bordered by sand dunes instead of palms, and instead of five star hotels you spend the night in hammocks or at a local ranch. One highlight: A hike to South Americas northernmost lighthouse! Definitely one of the best beaches of Colombia (Picture Source: thecitypaperbogota.com).
San Andres y Providencia
Another famous destination is the Caribbean Island of San Andres. Located more than 700km north of the Colombian coast, it forms a small paradise in the ocean: with just a few square kilometers of extension, this island offers white sandy beaches, beautiful coral reefs and magnificent sunsets. The natural environment makes San Andres not only a good surfer´s spot, but a great place for divers and snorkelers as well. If you like it a little quieter, take a Catamaran or plane to the neighboring island of Providencia. Brightly painted wooden houses and a postcard-like view are what makes this Caribbean pearl a wonderful experience (Picture Source: colombia.travel).
Capurgana & Sapzurro
This is a true insider tip: The two idyllic beaches of Capurgana and Sapzurro lie almost at the border with Panama, away from all the hustle and bustle of the Caribbean cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta. Hidden away in this isolated corner of the country, these beaches make up two of the country’s most beautiful (and least visited) Highlights
Nuqui is a small fishing village on the Pacific Coast of Colombia. One can only get there by a small plane. The beaches in Nuqui lure not only with relaxation and tropical ambiance, but also with numerous activities. Why? Because just behind the beach the tropical rain forest of Choco begins! Home to many wild animals, an enormous variety of plants and the perfect place for wonderful hikes. From July to October you can observe whales in Nuqui, as hundreds of humpback whales give birth to their whale babies in the warm waters. In addition, Nuqui is a great surf sport – what else do you need?
To wrap it up, Colombia’s diversity in beaches is endless. Travel along the coast and explore the very best beaches yourself – and do not forget to let us know which is your favorite!