37 Beaches in Colombia: From the Best to the most Secret

37 Beaches in Colombia: From the Best to the most Secret

More and more people are choosing to vacation in the beautiful South American country of Colombia. With a prime location on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, there are more than a handful of beaches for you to kick back and relax on. 

I’ve been traveling through Colombia since 2015. I had my share of white-sand beaches and cocktails!

If you don’t want to spend hours researching which beach or beaches are perfect for you, check out 37 of the best beaches in Colombia. 

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Best Pacific Coast Beaches

The country’s Pacific Coast is less explored than the Caribbean, but there’s still plenty of beautiful beaches to visit. 

We wrote an extensive guide to help you explore Colombia’s Pacific Coast.

1: Playa Juan De Dios, a Secluded Beach in Bahía Málaga

Playa Juan de Dios

Playa Juan De Dios is a pleasant beach secluded from the hustle and bustle of major Colombian cities. With the jungle on one side and the pristine waters of the Pacific on the other, you’ll love switching between both univers. This beach is one of the best to relax and enjoy the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. 

  • How to get there: You’ll have to take a boat from Buenaventura (a 3h bus from Cali).
  • TPMT Tip: The value for money of this ecolodge is not very good. You can decide to stay at Pacifico hostel and organize a day trip to Playa Juan de Dios.
  • Travel guide: La Barra and Ladrilleros

2: Ladrilleros & La Barra, the Most Accessible Beaches on the Pacific Coast

Boat in la Barra
Termales

Ladrilleros and La Barra are two beautiful beaches. They’re close together and two of the most accessible beaches on Colombia’s Pacific Coast. Since they’re easily accessible, they tend to be busy, especially during the humpback whales season, from July to September. 

  • How to get there: You’ll have to take a boat from Buenaventura (a 3h bus from Cali).
  • TPMT Tip: La Barra is my favorite beach, but little accommodation is available.
  • Where to stay: AguaMarina (hotel) or Casa Azul (hostel)
  • Travel guide: La Barra and Ladrilleros

3: Guachalito, the Best Romantic Beach in El Choco

Guachalito Beach 2
Guachalito

Guachalito is the most well-known beach in El Chocó. It’s in the Gulf of Tribuga and only a 30-minute boat ride from Nuquí. The beach extends from the jungle and mountains and will be a perfect spot to spend a romantic 3 or 4 days with your loved one. Guachalito is one of the best beaches in Colombia.

  • How to get there: You’ll have to take a 20-min flight from Medellín to Nuquí then a 45-min boat.
  • TPMT Tip: It’s pretty hard to plan your activities over there. Pick the right ecolodge carefully and let them organize everything for you.
  • Where to stay: La Bayka, El Cantil or Pijibá
  • Travel guide: Guachalito

4: Termales & Arusí, Decide Between Surfing and Diving

Fresh Coconut in Termales (1)
Fresh Coconut in Termales

When you want to visit the beaches in Choco but don’t want to feel crowded, Termales and Arusí are fantastic. Termales is famous among the surfer community for its waves, and Arusí has the only Padi Dive center in the area.

  • How to get there: You’ll have to take a 20-min flight from Medellín to Nuquí, then a 1-h boat.
  • Where to stay: Casa Cielito or Punta Brava.
  • Travel guide: Guachalito

5: Playa Cuevita, a Beach Where Mama Orbe Is

Playa Cuevita is another fabulous beach in Choco. It’s probably most known for its eco-family farm, Mama Orbe. Mama Orbe will be your best option if you want to stay in the area — basic rooms. Besides the pristine waters and soft sand, you can see sea turtles and their eggs along the beach during nesting season. 

  • How to get there: a 40-min walk from El Valle
  • TPMT Tip: You can help rescue baby turtles from August to February. Double-check with Mama Orbe
  • Where to stay: I love this ecolodge
  • Travel guide: El Valle

6: Playa El Almejal, a Great Place to Surf

Playa Almejal (1)
Playa Almejal

One of the best places to surf on the country’s Pacific Coast is Playa El Almejal. It’s a 1.2-mile beach that provides tourists a sandy place to lounge after catching some waves. There are also a few places to stay near the beach and enjoy some drinks at sunset.

  • How to get there: a 15-min walk from El Valle.
  • TPMT Tip: in my opinion, it’s the best area to stay in El Valle.
  • Where to stay: I love this ecolodge.
  • Travel guide: El Valle

👉 One of the best ways to enjoy the Colombian Pacific Coast is to stay in this upscale Ecolodge

7: Playa Mecana, a Great Beach for Overnight Trips

Playa Mecana Bahia Solano

Not all the beaches on the Pacific Coast of Colombia offer lodging options, but Playa Mecana does. They have several options along the coast for you to stay at for the night or longer if you want. There’re some boat rental and fishing experiences. 

  • How to get there: Once you’re in Bahía Solano, take a 10-min boat ride from the dock.
  • TPMT Tip: in my opinion, it’s the best area to stay in Bahia Solano. There is also a fantastic botanical garden to visit.
  • Where to stay: Ecolodge Macana or Mapara Crab

Best Caribbean Coast Beaches

The Caribbean coast of Colombia is much more accessible than the Pacific coast in Colombia. That being said, there are many more options for excellent beaches in this area. 

8: Playa Soledad, a Fantastic Beach for hikers

Playa Soledad_1

Most people take a boat from Capurganá to get to Playa Soledad. It’s an excellent place to spend the day — snorkeling, sunbathing, and swimming. The bravest tourist can decide to hike to Playa Soledad and come back by boat.

  • How to get there: a 20-min boat or 4-h hike from Capurganá
  • Travel guide: Capurganá

9: Bahia Aguacate, a Peaceful Beach for Snorkeling

El Aguacate

Bahia Aguacate is another lovely beach you can reach from Capurganá. You have two options to get to this beach. You can take a boat, or if you’re up for an hour or so hike, you can travel this way and see some beautiful views. The sandy beach is small, but there are plenty of places to set up your towel on the grass. You’ll only note a few houses scattered among the palm trees. This makes it a perfect place to rest in silence.

  • How to get there: a 1-h hike from Capurganá (or a 10-min boat)
  • TPMT Tip: Bring your snorkel gears. There are beautiful coral reefs.
  • Where to stay: Bahia Lodge or Kachikine
  • Travel guide: Capurganá

10: Sapzurro Beach, a Peaceful and Isolated Beach Town

Leticia beach Capurgana

On the border of Colombia and Panama is Sapzurro. This beach town is one of the best places in Colombia if you want a beach getaway for a couple of days. You’ll easily be able to find a place to stay and a few economic restaurants.

  • How to get there: a 1h30 hike from Capurganá (or a 15-min boat)
  • TPMT Tip: Paraíso Cangrejales serve delicious meals (and it’s a hotel too).
  • Where to stay: Cabana el Caney (house), Paraíso Cangrejales or Casa hotel La Mariela
  • Travel guide: Sapzurro

11: La Miel, a Beach Located in Panama!

La Miel Sapzurro (1)

La Miel is a beach in Panamá. You won’t need to stamp your passport to get on the other side. Just bring your passport and sign a document at the border. This small, white sand beach is a sleepy area which makes it a tranquil place to lay your towel for the day. There’re various bar to grab drinks by the beach if you’d like. 

The only negative point is that the currents sometimes bring plastic waste to the beach.

  • How to get there: a 20-min walk from Sapzurro.
  • TPMT Tip: There is a duty-free shop where you can buy wines at an affordable price! The border will close at 5 pm.
  • Where to stay: In Sapzurro.
  • Travel guide: Sapzurro

12: Cabo Tiburon, a Secret Beach

Tiburon Sapzurro

For those who want to see what some call a virgin beach, Cabo Tiburon is the place to be. The water is pristine, and the sand isn’t littered with trash like some of the more popular beaches in the country. 

  • How to get there: a 20-min walk from Sapzurro.
  • TPMT Tip: bring your snorkel gears and swim straight until you reach the colorful reefs.
  • Travel guide: Sapzurro

13: Isla Fuerte, the Forgotten Island

a playita paddle Isla Fuerte
Credit: La Playita

Isla Fuerte is only 20 minutes from the coast, but it’s widely unknown to travelers. If you want a truly authentic experience, visiting any of the beaches on this island is worth your while. 

  • How to get there: 20 min boat from Paso Nuevo
  • TPMT Tip: Bring some cash. There is no ATM. Playa San Diego is the most famous beach on the island.
  • Where to stay: La PlayitaIsla Fuerte Ecolodge diving or Isla Fuerte Ecohouse.
  • Travel guide: Isla Fuerte

14: Rincón del Mar, One of the Best Beach Towns on the Coast

Walk along the beach Rincon del mar

Rincón del Mar is a small fishing village on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. There’s one main street in the town parallel to the coastline. You’ll see plenty of boats in the sand, hostels along the beach, and people sunbathing with a cocktail in their hands. You can rent a boat to venture on the San Bernardo islands or go fishing/diving with the locals.

  • How to get there: a 3-h drive from Cartagena.
  • TPMT Tip: Bring some cash. There is no ATM.
  • Where to stay: Dos Aguas (hostel) or Casa Sattva (hotel)
  • Travel guide: Rincón del Mar

15: Isla Múcura, Private Beaches and Upscale Hotels

sla Mucura San Bernardo

Isla Múcura is a tiny coral island off the coast of Rincón del Mar. Even though this small island is filled with primarily private beaches, it’s one of the coolest places to rest —if your budget allows it. Múcura Island is part of the San Bernardo Archipelago.

  • How to get there: a 2-h boat from Cartagena or 30-min from Rincón del Mar
  • TPMT Tip: because you won’t be able to wander everywhere you want, I recommend you choose a pleasant hotel with a lovely beach.
  • Where to stay: Hotel Mucura (resort) or Punta Faro (luxury)
  • Travel guide: San Bernardo islands

16: Isla Tintipán, the Best White-Sand Beach in Colombia

Isla Tintipan San Bernardo
Isla Tintipan

Next to Isla Múcura is the larger island, Tintipán. This large island has one main beach that’s popular amongst island visitors. There are also several hotels, hostels, and other lodging options that line the coastline. The island is partially composed of mangroves. This makes it an ideal place to observe luminous plankton at night.

17: Isla Barú and its Famous Beach, Playa Blanca 

Playa Blanca Isla Baru

Playa Blanca is the most popular beach on the island. With beautiful water, soft sand, and plenty of places to grab a drink, it’s no wonder people flock here. Unfortunately, mass tourism makes this beach unpleasant (jet ski, loud music, many people). South of the island of Barú, you’ll find primarily private beaches that you can use if you stay at one of the many hotels.  

  • How to get there: a 1-h drive from Cartagena.
  • TPMT Tip: Avoid Playa Blanca and decide to stay further south of the island.
  • Where to stay: Aura Hotel or Las Islas (luxury).
  • Travel guide: Cartagena

18: Tierra Bomba, Perfect for Beach Clubs

Playa Tierra Bomba Blue Apple
Blue Apple

Tierra Bomba is known for its fantastic day beach clubs. If you love partying and dancing under the sun, then Tierra Bomba is a place you’ll want to visit in Colombia. The only problem is that the water is not as turquoise as the Rosario islands – due to its proximity to Cartagena.

  • How to get there: a 15-min boat ride from Cartagena.
  • TPMT Tip: the locals do not hesitate to rip off travelers who can’t speak Spanish. It is best to book your beach club in advance and use their boat.
  • Where to stay: Blue Apple or Fenix Beach
  • Travel guide: Cartagena

19: Isla Grande, Great for Beach Resorts

IslaBela Isla Grande (1)
Islabela

Isla Grande will be your best option if you want to enjoy the beach during your stay in Cartagena. Isla Grande is part of the Rosario Islands, and the only sandy beaches on the island are artificial. You will find them in the best hotels on the island. If you are traveling with a group, don’t hesitate to rent a boat!

  •  How to get there: a 1-h boat ride from Cartagena
  • TPMT Tip: the majority of the resorts offer day-pass from Cartagena. Still, I would recommend staying 2 nights to make the most of Isla Grande.
  • Where to stay: The hotels with the best sandy beaches are Islabela & Gente de Mar.
  • Travel guide: Cartagena

20: Cartagena Beaches, from Bocagrande to playa Manzanillo

Bocagrande sunset

If you’re staying in Cartagena and don’t want to travel far to a beach, you can visit the beaches in the city. They’re not the picture-perfect beaches you’ll find in other parts of Colombia, but they’ll make for an easy beach day —just be prepared to be surrounded by many locals and street vendors.

  •  How to get there: walking or by taxi.
  • TPMT Tip: They are far from being my favorite beaches in Colombia. Your best options will be Laguito or Manzanillo.
  • Where to stay: Best hotels in Cartagena.
  • Travel guide: Cartagena

21: Rodadero, a Beach in the Shadow of Tall Buildings

Rodadero beaches in Santa Marta
Rodadero Beach

Santa Marta’s Rodadero is the equivalent of Bocagrande in Cartagena. You will find long beaches full of plastic chairs and tourists. And you can forget about the turquoise waters.

The only advantage is that you’re closer to Santa Marta’s airport.

  • How to get there: a 20-min taxi from the center of Santa Marta.
  • TPMT Tip: If you plan to take your flight the next day and want to stay by the beach, I advise you to choose your hotel in the Pozos Colorados area. The beach is way better.
  • Where to stay: Casa Verano (upscale) o Playa del Ritmo (hostel).
  • Travel guide: Santa Marta

22: Bahía Concha, the Most Accessible Beach in Tayrona

Bahia Concha Santa Marta
Bahia Concha

Bahia Concha is a beautiful beach in Santa Marta. The one thing to note about this beach is that while it’s lovely, it tends to be very crowded on weekends because it’s easily accessible. 

  •  How to get there: a 45-min drive + 2o-min walk from Santa Marta
  • TPMT Tip: Head to Bahía Concha early in the morning and walk to the right end of the beach. There will be fewer people and some shades.
  • Travel guide: Santa Marta

23: Playa Cristal, the Most Famous Beach from Santa Marta

Playa Cristal
Playa Cristal

It takes over an hour to get to this beach from Santa Marta, but it’s worth every second. Aboard a speedboat, you will go along the green coast of Tayrona Park to find out about this little piece of sand. This is considered the most excellent beach you can go to from Santa Marta. Unfortunately, there are always plenty of tourists visiting Playa Cristal.

  • How to get there: a 1-h boat ride from Taganga
  • TPMT Tip: Go first to playa Cinto, then stop in Playa Cristal on the way back.
  • Travel guide: Santa Marta

24: Playa Cinto, my Favorite Beach in Tayrona

Playa Cinto

Few people know about Playa Cinto. This area is secluded, with no restaurants, and the waters once you arrive are ideal for snorkeling and seeing marine life. You can swim peacefully here with the Sierra Nevada mountains towering over you. 

  • How to get there: a 1-h boat ride from Taganga
  • TPMT Tip: Bring your snorkel gears, some food, and water.
  • Travel guide: Santa Marta

25: Punta Playa Brava, a Remote Beach in Tayrona

Playa Brava Tayrona
Playa Brava

Punta Playa Brava is one of the most remote beaches in Tayrona National Park. The sound of waves crashing on the shoreline with the forest in the background makes this a wonderful place to be alone with nature while you catch some rays.

  • How to get there: a 3-h hike from the Tayrona entrance, El Calabazo.
  • TPMT tip: Start the hike early (7 am) to avoid the heat. It will be easier if you sleep nearby Tayrona.
  • Where to stay: There is a hotel called Teyumakke.
  • Travel guide: Tayrona

26: Playa Cabo San Juan, the Most Visited Beach in Tayrona

Playa Cabo San Juan beach Tayrona
Playa Cabo San Juan

The most visited beach in Tayrona is Playa Cabo San Juan. It’s the picturesque spot in the park where you see the hill in the sea with a cabin on top and hammocks lining the beach where you can rest if you want. There’s a restaurant and a large camping area near the beach. 

  • How to get there: a 2-h hike from the Tayrona entrance, El Zaino.
  • TPMT tip: Stay overnight in Cabo San Juan and wake up early. You’ll have the beach all for yourself.
  • Travel guide: Tayrona

27: Playa La Piscina, a Beach for a Relaxing Swim

La piscina Tayrona
La piscina

Whether you’re hiking through Tayrona or just looking for a beautiful beach, Playa la Piscina is the best. Due to the natural rock formations lining the beach, the waters are protected and calmer here. This makes it the best spot in the park for a relaxing swim — which is not the case for most of Tayrona’s beaches.

However, you can’t sleep over there.

  • How to get there: a 1h30 hike from the Tayrona entrance, El Zaino.
  • Travel guide: Tayrona

28: Playa los Naranjos, Near Tayrona National Park

Villa Playa Tayrona
Villa Playa Tayrona

Near the beautiful Tayrona National Par is Playa los Naranjos. This somewhat secluded beach is still close enough to hotels and restaurants but far enough away that you feel like you’re on your hidden beach. It’s where you’ll find some of the most luxurious hotels on the Caribbean Coast.

29: Playa Costeño, a Chill-Out Beach for Surfers

Costeño beach hostel
Costeño Beach hostel

Playa Costeno Beach is a fabulous beach in the Magdelena department. It’s about an hour from Santa Marta and is a small gathering of several hotels that backpackers love to visit. The most famous of them is the hostel Costeño beach. It is a small paradise for relaxing in the shade of palm trees. Surfing lessons are indeed tiring!

30: Playa Buritaca, a Beach Where the River Meets the Sea

Gitana del Mar buritaca (1)
Gitana del Mar

Playa Buritaca is before the town of Buritaca and is where the Buritaca River meets the Caribbean Sea. It’s a great place to stroll along the coast and see where the river and sea meet. Plus, the waters are calmer here.

31: Palomino, the Most Popular Beach town in La Guajira

Front beach Palomino

Palomino Beach is a well-known spot in La Guajira. The waters are warm, the sand is soft, and there are leaning palm trees that offer a great photo opportunity to remember your trip. There are several hotels in town to stay at if you don’t want to make it a day trip. 

Tom’s note: Every year the beach of Palomino is disappearing.

  • How to get there: a 1h30 drive from Santa Marta
  • TPMT Tip: The most famous activity in Palomino is tubing!
  • Where to stay: Best hotels in Palomino.
  • Travel guide: Palomino

32: Dibulla + Punta de los Remedios, 2 Tiny Beach Towns in La Guajira

Punta de los Remedios (1)
Punta de los remedios

Dibulla and Punta de los Remedios are two small and quiet beach towns in La Guajira. There is nothing to do but lounge on the beach and eat local seafood. The long beach of Punta de Los Remedios is perfect for a walk — too bad there are so many sandflies in the evening.

33: Cabo de la Vela + Playa Pilón de Azúcar, Beaches in the Desert

Guajira tour

Cabo de la Vela is a fishing town built along the coastline in the La Guajira desert. You’ll find several basic hotels and kitesurfing schools —although most of them decided to move to Riohacha. Once in Cabo de la Vela, you can take a moto-taxi and head to the photogenic beach of Playa Pilón de Azúcar.

  • How to get there: a 2h drive from Uribia or you can book private transportation in Riohacha.
  • TPMT Tip: It’s better to get to Pilón de Azúcar in the morning —fewer waves.
  • Where to stay: local’s houses.
  • Travel guide: La Guajira desert

34 Punta Gallinas, the Northernmost Point of Colombia 

Taroa dunes
Taroa dunes

One of the most secluded beaches in Colombia is located in Punta Gallinas. This area is the northernmost point in the country and is famous for its indigenous population. There aren’t any amenities here, but if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, this is the place. During your trip, you’ll stop at Las Dunas del Taroa.

  • How to get there: an organized trip from Cabo de la Vela or Riohacha.
  • TPMT Tip: We love this local agency. November is a bad month to get there — the path becomes muddy with the rains.
  • Travel guide: La Guajira desert

Best beaches in the Caribbean Islands

Colombia has a few islands along the Caribbean that are stunning. If you can make it to one of them, here are three of the best beaches you can visit on your trip. 

Isla Fuerte, San Bernardo, and the Rosario islands have been mentioned in the previous section.

35: San Luis a Popular Tourist Beach on San Andrés

San Luis is known for its white-sand beaches and crystal clear blue water. Restaurants, bars, and hotels line the beach, making it a popular place for tourists to come and enjoy themselves. 

You should pick your hotel in this area if you travel to San Andres.

It’s the only beach of this article where I didn’t go yet. This is why there is no picture.

  • How to get there: direct flights from Cartagena, Cali, Medellín and Bogotá

36: South Bay, the Largest Beach on Providencia 

South West beach Providencia
South West beach

On the island of Providencia is South Bay Beach. This part of the island has several Airbnb options, incredible beach views and makes for a fantastic long-weekend beach getaway. There are restaurants and bars in the area to eat authentic Colombian seafood while you stay. It’s also the most expensive part of Providencia.

  • How to get there: you must take a flight from San Andrés.
  • Travel guide: Providencia.

37: Playa Manzanillo, a Beautiful White-Sand Beach in Providencia

Manzanillo Providencia
Manzanillo

Manzanillo is in Providencia, and it’s one of the best beaches in Colombia. There is plenty of room for taking a pleasant stroll along the water, with stunning ocean views on one side and towering palm trees on the other. 

  • How to get there: you must take a flight from San Andrés.
  • Travel guide: Providencia.

The Bottom line

Colombia is filled with beautiful beaches. Some are very popular, while some are the perfect hidden gems you can’t leave the country without seeing. 

I recommend you to keep this article and read the associated travel guides. You will be able to plan a dream trip, including liters of delicious cocktails and tanned skin.

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Best beaches in Colombia

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