What would be your ideal beach in Tayrona?
The question seems simple but there is no easy answer.
As is the case with relationships, it will depend on your affinities and tastes. Not all of us fell in love with the most popular girl in Highschool.
Inside Tayrona, you will discover different types of beaches. Some of them are beautiful but crowded, others are secret but dangerous, or unknown but difficult of access.
All these beaches are scattered on the coast. Therefore, your choices will determine how you should visit the Parque Tayrona.
Note: Since March 2019, 3 beaches in Tayrona are closed to the public:
Chengue, Los Naranjos, and the oriental zone of Bahia Concha.
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Beaches in Tayrona near Santa Marta
Tayrona is a vast national park and not all the beaches are accessible from Calabazo or Zaino.
The following beaches are accessible from Santa Marta thanks to Public or Private transport.
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1# The Beach Bahia Concha
Bahia Concha is located 50 min away from Santa Marta.
It’s easy to access, and you’re allowed to set up your tent or hammock. There is no cabin, and you can buy some food in the few shops around.
However, I recommend you to buy in advance everything you need.
You must pay a fee of 5 000 COP/pers to enter Bahia Concha.
How to get to Bahia Concha:
- Public bus + moto-taxi from Santa Marta | 50 min
- Taxi + 30 min walk | Around 150 000 COP (round trip)
- Book a trip on a sailboat
2# The beach Neguanje
It’s a long day trip from Neguanje, and you won’t be able to do it by public transport.
But it’s worth it.
Neguanje is the largest beach in Tayrona, with some cool spots for snorkeling.
A restaurant sells some expensive meals. Or you can buy some food from some little shops. Or you bring your food from Santa Marta.
Unfortunately, you can’t sleep on Neguanje beach.
Try to explore Playa Cristal once you’re there!
How to get there: 2 hours with private transport from Rodadero
3# Playa Cristal or Playa Muerte
It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Tayrona, and only 300 persons per day have access to it. It’s also one of the most crowded.
In other words, you should try to arrive early, leave late, and avoid the weekends and public holidays.
Enjoy the white-sand beach, the crystal-blue water, and the cold beers.
How to get there: 10 min boat from the beach Neguanje or 45 min boat from Taganga.
4# Playa Cinto, a hidden Tayrona Beach
Playa Cinto is a beach that not many travelers are aware of. Most Colombians don’t like to get there because there are no restaurants or speakers to listen to loud music.
Think of bringing some water and food if you go to Playa Cinto.
It’s my favorite beach in Tayrona. Most of the time, you have it for yourself, and the snorkeling is fantastic!
How to get there: Look for the boat company “Chez Boaz” in Taganga. Be there before 9 am! Playa Cinto is 1 hour away from Taganga, just after Playa Cristal.
Beaches in Tayrona: Access from Calabazo
The following Tayrona beaches are accessible on foot once you enter the park.
Calabazo is a small entrance located 14km away from the main entrance – The Zaino.
I recommend you to buy your Tayrona tickets there if you like hiking.
1# Playa Brava, the secret beach in Tayrona
Are you looking for a quiet beach where only a few brave travelers stay at night?
Then, you should opt for Playa Brava.
Once you’ve done the checkpoint in Calabazo, hike 3-4 hours on a trail unfrequented by the lambda tourists to arrive in Playa Brava.
There, a large white-sandy beach welcomes adventurers with coconuts and palm trees.
The hotel Playa Brava Teyumakke offers different sleeping options (Hammocks, tents, and cabins) and serves hot meals.
How to get there: Hike 3-4 hours from the Calabazo Entrance
Beaches in Tayrona: Access from the Zaino
All the following beaches in Tayrona are also accessible from Calabazo. But it’s a longer hike.
1# Playa Nudista, the naked beach in Tayrona
Don’t like crowded beaches?
I’m the same.
Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered there was nobody on Playa Nudista.
Once you are in Cabo San Juan, continue to walk 10 min more – after the massive boulders – to take a sexy dip in the ocean.
Be careful, currents can be strong. But, there are some signs telling you where you can swim.
Ps: Yes, you can keep your clothes on.
How to get there: 10 min walk from Cabo San Juan
2# Cabo San Juan, the most famous beach in Tayrona
Cabo San Juan… The beach is more famous than Tayrona.
And I understand why.
Unfortunately, like every high touristic spot, it becomes ugly when it’s crowded.
But, there is always a solution to have it all for himself.
- Avoid the weekends and public holidays
- Same for the period Mid-December to Mid-January
- People leave around 4 pm
- Sleep in Cabo San Juan and wake up early
There are the “best” amenities of the park in Cabo San Juan: a Restaurant, toilets, showers, hammocks, tents, 2 private rooms, little shop.
How to get there: Walk 2h from the Zaino entrance or take a 1-hour boat from Taganga.
3# The Beach la Piscina in Tayrona
La Piscina is a peaceful beach protected by large boulders. Therefore, travelers can relax and enjoy a quiet swim in this natural pool.
The place is also great for snorkeling.
It’s a nice spot if you’re allergic to people, as most of them continue to Cabo San Juan.
There is no accommodation or restaurant.
How to get there: 1h30 walk from the Zaino entrance or 30 min walk from Cabo San Juan (On your way back to the Zaino)
Beaches In Tayrona Where You Can’t Swim
The Caribbean sea isn’t as peaceful as you think. There had been more than 200 deads over the years inside the Parque Tayrona.
Because of dangerous currents – and also because many Colombians don’t swim well)
Anyway. Read the signs, and everything gonna be alright.
You will first encounter the following beaches when you start the trail from the Zaino entrance.
1# Cañaveral beach at Tayrona’s entrance
Cañaveral beach is located at the entrance of Parque Tayrona.
There, the luxury Ecohabs welcomes – with its 14 cabins – the wealthy tourists who came to explore the park.
How to get there: At the beginning of the trail, once the shuttle dropped you from the Zaino entrance.
2# Playa Castilletes, camping in Tayrona
Castilletes beach is on the east side of Cañaveral. This coastline, unknown to the public, is beautiful.
There is a vast zone for tents and hammocks. Or you can decide to sleep in one of their private cabins.
How to get there: A few min walk Via Cañaveral
3# Beach Arrecife in Parque Tayrona
Arrecife is another beautiful but dangerous beach in Tayrona.
It’s a lovely place where travelers enjoy a panoramic view of white sands, blue ocean, and green vegetation under the shadows of palm trees.
It’s Arrecife that you will be able to find the cheapest accommodations – tents or hammocks.
Also, try to wake up early. The sunrise is gorgeous there.
How to get there: 50 min walk from Cañaveral
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Thanks for the great tips! We are currently in Santa Martha and we just learned Tayrona Parc will be closed for the month. Are there any trails or beaches that are still accessible?
So, there are some nice beach spots after Tayrona. You can stay on Costeño beach, or the beach near Buritica or the lovely beach town of Dibulla (my fav.).
Regarding the trails, you can experience a 2-day stay in an Aruhaco village with Sierraventur Travel, enjoy the Sierra Nevada in Paso del Mango or plan a 2-day hike to Cerro Kennedy from Minca.
The different places are mentioned here
My partner and I are planning a 3 week Colombia trip in February but unfortunately only have 1 day for Tayrona. We were hoping to see Playa Cinto as a day trip. How would one contact Chez Boaz to reserve a boat tour and ask questions about schedule/etc?
I sent you an email 😉