For many travellers, going on holidays is almost a synonym of relaxing at the beach. For many others, spending a couple of days at the beach is the perfect ending of an adventure trip. While for other travellers, just a day-trip to a nice beach is already enough.
Regardless of what type of traveller you are, coming to Colombia and not spending any time at the beach seems to be a bad idea and a waste of an amazing opportunity to discover some of the best Colombia vacation spots.
Plenty of countries in the world offer great beach destinations, but very few can offer gorgeous beaches in 2 different oceans, with fantastic temperatures all year-round.
Colombia has been blessed by its geographical location. Being at the north-west corner of South America, Colombia has very long coasts at both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
In the north coast, travellers will find the typical paradise-style beaches: white sands, transparent calm waters and plenty of palm trees. These are great places to relax, sunbathe, swim and snorkel.
In the west coast, travellers will find gorgeous brown-sand beaches full of palm trees, located right between the wild Pacific Ocean and the dense jungle. These beaches are great places to relax, enjoy sunsets and do some wildlife watching.
The following are my top 5 of Colombia vacation spots for beach lovers
The Tayrona Natural Park has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. So beautiful that plenty of travel guidebooks to Colombia use pictures of this park as their cover photo.
The park is located at the north of Colombia, right between the pristine Caribbean Sea and a mountain chain called the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Its gorgeous white-sand beaches are dotted with huge rocks and are surrounded by jungle.
During clear days, you could be taking a swim in its warm waters while enjoying a view over the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It will be an unforgotten experience.
The magic of this park and its beaches is actually this combination of jungle, snow-capped mountains, white-sand beaches, and crystal-clear waters.
The park has a lot of beaches. In some of them, you can swim and snorkel, while in some others the sea is a bit too rough to swim. The most beautiful of all its beaches is the one at Cabo San Juan, where you have two almost-identical beaches divided by a huge rock, on top of which there is a majestic viewpoint.
At Cabo San Juan beach, you can swim, snorkel, sunbathe, relax, drink a cocktail, eat some fresh seafood and enjoy the views.
To get to Cabo San Juan, you have to walk for about 2.5 hours through some gorgeous jungle. During this walk, you will get to see plenty of tropical flowers and have big chances of spotting some monkeys that call this park home.
A couple of important tips if you are planning on going to Tayrona:
Providencia is a little island located right in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. It is actually closer to Nicaragua or Panama than it is to Colombia. It is a wonderfully remote and traditional Caribbean island.
Providencia offers some of the best beaches of Colombia with one great advantage over other places: it is isolated. You will find calm and peace here, making it the perfect place to unwind for a few days.
Arriving in Providencia involves a long flight from the mainland to San Andrés (the popular sister island) and then a short 30 minutes flight from there to Providencia. Flight tickets are not cheap nor widely available, making this island a hard-to-reach place.
However, this also means that there is no mass-tourism here. You will have the island for you and just a few other tourists. Ideal for a relaxing vacation.
Besides its gorgeous beaches, Providencia offers some of the best diving opportunities in Colombia. Its location is great for coral-reef dives as well as for some deeper dives in which you can easily spot big animals such as sharks, rays and turtles.
To make things even a bit more interesting, Providencia is also a great place to immerse yourself into one the most special cultures of Colombia: the Raizal people. They are a mix of English settlers, African Slaves and West Indians from other islands. They have a creole culture style and speak more English than Spanish. They are very friendly people that are happy to have you on their island and will always welcome you with a big smile.
If you want to enjoy the Caribbean Sea on a gorgeous island, but you don’t have the time or the money to go all the way to Providencia, then you should consider the Rosario Islands.
Located at just 35 km southwest of Cartagena, this archipelago consists of 27 small coral islands, including some tiny islets. It is surrounded by coral reefs and the colour of the waters ranges from turquoise to purple.
It is the ideal beach getaway location for those visiting Cartagena. The islands offer pristine beaches for you to relax, enjoy some fresh seafood and do some water sports such as diving, kayaking or snorkelling.
Some islands have fancy hotels and resorts offering very comfortable rooms with sea views and great eating options.
It is worth spending 2 or 3 days here to really get to relax and enjoy its beaches at the fullest. However, due to its proximity to the mainland, it can also be visited as a day-trip from Cartagena.
Day-trippers will take a speedboat in Cartagena around 8 am and be back around 4 pm. This gives you the option of discovering and enjoying this Caribbean jewel in a short time. Ideal for those on a tight schedule.
Guajira is the northernmost spot in South-America. A far-away and remote area inhabited by the indigenous Wayu people, and home to a huge desert that collides with pristine beaches at the Caribbean Sea.
In Guajira, you will see how this amazing desert meets the Caribbean Sea. A very strange combination. So strange and unique that if you try to search in Google for Caribbean Desert, it thinks you are actually looking for a Caribbean Dessert.
In Guajira, beach lovers will find paradise: long stretches of white-sand beaches surrounded by the huge sand dunes of the desert. Some of its beaches offer great swimming opportunities, while other beaches are fantastic places for kitesurfing.
Visiting Guajira requires a bit of time and patience. To get to the most beautiful beaches, such as Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas, you will need to go in a 4×4 Jeep through the desert. Roads are almost nonexistent and the driving from one spot to the other requires several hours of bumpy drives.
Due to its remoteness and difficult access, most accommodation options are basic and not very comfortable.
Nevertheless, going on a trip to Guajira rewards you with some of the best beaches you will ever see, gorgeous desert landscapes and delicious and very cheap lobster. A fantastic Colombia Vacation spot for those looking for a mix of gorgeous beaches and adventure.
Bahía Solano is a town located in the Pacific coast of Colombia. The beaches surrounding this town are the most beautiful in the entire west coast of Colombia.
In contrary to the beaches in the Caribbean Sea, these beaches are not the typical postcard-perfect beaches. There are not white-sand and crystal-clear waters.
Nevertheless, the beaches in the Bahía Solano area are gorgeous and definitively worth visiting. This is where the jungle meets the sea. It is a place where waterfalls pour out of forest-covered hills onto spectacular gray-sand beaches, thermal pools lie hidden in the dense jungle and indigenous villages are located right next to wild rivers.
One of my favourite beaches in the area is the playa El Almejal, a wide black-sand beach with great surfing options. It is also one of the best places to have a beer while you enjoy the sunset.
Additionally, these beaches are nesting places for sea turtles, giving you the chance to see how a mother turtle lays her eggs and how the hatches break their eggs and run through the beach into the water.
To make things even better, Bahía Solano is the best place in Colombia to go whale watching. From July to October, thousands of whales come to the warm waters of this area to give birth and teach their babies how to swim, jump and hit the waters with their tails. Being able to witness these huge creatures from the beach, is one of the most incredible experiences you will find in Colombia.
Beach lovers will have plenty of places to add to their top Colombia Vacation Spots. This list of our favourite 5 beaches, will give you some inspiration on where to go while you are in Colombia. At Lulo Colombia Travel, we are experts in planning this kind of trips and itineraries. Contact us and let us help you plan the best holidays of your life.
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