Top 9 best and most beautiful beaches in Colombia

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What are the most beautiful beaches in Colombia? Where can I end my trip to enjoy the sun, sea and coconut palms? Do you have any tips for lazing around on a heavenly beach in Colombia? etc., etc.?

These are just some of the questions you regularly ask us, as the image of Colombia seems so closely linked to dream beaches and coconut palms. And you’re not wrong. But you’re not totally right either. We’re fine.

This post will try to show you Colombian beaches as they really are, sometimes far from the clichés expected by travelers.

Deserted beaches exist in Colombia, and that’s no legend. But if they are deserted, it’s because they often have to be earned! When a paradisiacal beach is accessible, we have to face the facts: tourism is bound to have an impact on the place, which is why in this post we won’t be talking about Baru and las Islas del Rosario.

So, are you ready to discover Colombia’s most beautiful beaches (in our opinion, of course!)? We’re off.

Disclaimer: we apologize in advance for any grammatical or syntactic errors, as our native language is not English (we're a Colombian-French couple), so we hope you'll forgive us and still enjoy the information we share with you! Please note that all the information on our blog is based on our own experience, and is checked and updated regularly.

Providencia

Colombia’s most beautiful beaches

Let’s start directly with some beautiful beaches that aren’t on the mainland, or even close to the Colombian coast, but several hundred km away, off the coast of Nicaragua, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea: the famous islands of San Andres and Providencia!

San Andres is not in our “palmares”, as the island has clearly become a mass tourism destination, where the social and environmental impact is catastrophic. We haven’t been there, but the numerous press posts on the problem and our readers’ feedback on the pollution of the beaches confirm our view.

Providencia, on the other hand, because it’s so difficult to get to, retains a charm and authenticity that’s well worth the detour. Here, you can discover Caribbean life and the very specific culture of this English-based Creole, stay with locals and take advantage of the almost total absence of cars and stores to totally disconnect!

Of course, you’ll also find the full paradise beach package, with crystal-clear waters to make you envious, coconut palms and fine sand..

How to get to Providencia

Regular flights to San Andres are offered by all major Colombian airlines, including low-cost carriers, from all major Colombian cities.
To get to Providencia, you’ll need to take a boat or a small plane, as the two islands are quite far apart.

Punta Gallinas and Cabo de la vela

Colombia’s most beautiful beaches

Located in the far north of Colombia, in the impoverished and isolated department of Guajira, Punta Gallinas is not the easiest destination for a dip in an exceptional setting. Yet it’s magical enough to merit a place on our list of Colombia’s most beautiful beaches.

Bahia Hondita is an enchanting place where the ochre of the earth meets the green of the bay! The tranquility of its waters, protected from the ocean, makes it the perfect place to enjoy a world that is, it must be said, quite incredible.

In Taroa, with the possibility of big, powerful waves, swimming can be sporty, but the landscape, with the huge dunes of Taroa flowing into the sea, is an absolute blast.

A little further south, Cabo de la Vela is the most visited place in the Alta Guajira desert, and also the easiest to get to.

In the village of Cabo de la Vela, a long beach welcomes kite-surfing enthusiasts. The strength of the wind, the absence of waves and the shallowness of the water make it the perfect place to learn this sport!

A little further on, at the foot of the famous Pilon de Azucar, Playa Dorada is the usual stop-off point for organized tours of Guajira. It has all the charms of a wild beach, surrounded by arid desert, shades of ochre and the turquoise blue of the Caribbean Sea. Here, too, the absence of waves makes for a pleasant swim.

How to get to Cabo de la vela and Punta Gallinas

Cabo de la vela can be reached by public transport. Punta Gallinas, on the other hand, is impossible. In both cases, the simplest solution is to use an agency.

Palomino and surroundings

Colombia’s most beautiful beaches

Palomino, the gateway to the Guajira, has become a fashionable destination for backpackers who come here for a semi-hippie experience.

In reality, the village has been invaded by foreign investors and has lost some of its former charm. But the beach at Palomino remains what it has always been: where the river meets the sea. One beach looks towards the horizon, the Caribbean Sea and its waves, the other towards the Palomino River and its simply unique view of the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada!

In the surrounding area, between Tayrona and Riohacha, a series of seaside villages offer less touristy beaches than Palomino.

Upstream, there’s the semi-private Los Angeles beach and the family-friendly Buritaca beach, where you can cross the cool, gentle Buritaka River and swim in the warm, salty waters of the ocean. Continuing down the road, the beaches of Dibulla and Punta de los remedios offer a quiet, soothing alternative.

Where to stay in Palomino

Palomino, the best hotels

Coco Beach Palomino

Eco Lodge

Coco Beach Palomino

Double room : $200.000 to $250.000 COP/Double room : $250.000 to $300.000 COP

We tried out this hotel, a little way from the village, which has its own beach. For those who want the peace and luxury of stepping out of their room to take a dip in the water or sip a cocktail in the shade of the coconut palms, it’s perfect.

Palomino, the best hotels

Hostal Media Luna

Hostal

Hostal Media Luna

Dormitory : $25.000 to $50.000/Double room : $0 to $100.000 COP

A hostal recommended by a reader located on the Sierra Nevada side, on the other side of the road so a little far from the beach, but nothing to worry about. The advantage of its location: peace and quiet! Enjoy the hummingbirds dancing in the garden 😉 By the way, it’s the ideal starting point for exploring Seydukwa.

Palomino, the best hotels

Finca Escondida

Hostal

Finca Escondida

Dormitory : $50.000 to $100.000/Double room : $200.000 to $250.000 COP

A well-known hotel for those who want to wake up with their feet in the sand and their eyes in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea… a relaxing, surfing atmosphere and a meeting place for a drink or a bite to eat!

Palomino, the best hotels

Coco Sankala Hostel

Hostal

Coco Sankala Hostel

Dormitory : $25.000 to $50.000/Double room : $100.000 to $150.000 COP

A hostal in the heart of the village of Palomino, so not far from the beach either, in a bamboo and thatch-roofed atmosphere. Dormitories and double rooms.

How to get to Palomino

By bus from Santa Marta
From the Mercado Publico in Santa Marta, take a buseta in the direction of “P. Tayrona, Guachaca, Buritaca, Palomino”. Tayrona, Guachaca, Buritaca, Palomino”, which runs all day until 5:30pm.

  • Duration: approx. 2 hours
  • Price: approx. $15.000 COP

By bus from Riohacha
From the Riohacha bus terminal, take the first bus in the direction of Santa Marta, ask for the Palomino stop. There are buses all day until 6:30pm.

  • Duration: approx. 1 hour
  • Fare: approx. $15.000 COP

Tayrona Park

Colombia’s most beautiful beaches

La Piscina, Cabo San Juan, Playa Cristal, Bahia Concha – the beaches of Tayrona Park are among the most beautiful in Colombia! The protected location of the natural park makes it the ideal destination for enjoying an unspoilt environment, even if there is a lot of tourism at certain times of the year.

THE picture-postcard beach: Cabo San Juan

But if the 2h30 walk to reach Cabo San Juan gives you pause for thought, other beaches are accessible by road, such as Bahia Concha, or by boat, such as Playa Cristal!

Playa Cristal is certainly the beach that comes closest to tropical luxury in terms of experience, as the number of people able to access it is normally limited, the crowds are acceptable and, above all, the tranquility of its waters and the presence of coral make it a magical beach for snorkelling!

Where to stay in or near Tayrona Park

Inside, Tayrona Park, the best hotels

Posada Yachay Tayrona

Eco Lodge

Posada Yachay Tayrona

Double room : $200.000 to $250.000 COP

Luxury accommodation in the heart of Tayrona Park. Situated 1km from the El Zaino entrance but on a hill, it offers a sublime view of the surrounding mountains.

Close to entrance, Tayrona Park, the best hotels

Yuluka Hostel

Hostal

Yuluka Hostel

Dormitory : $25.000 to $50.000/Double room : $150.000 to $200.000 COP

Located around 5 minutes by bus from the main “El Zaino” entrance to Tayrona Park (bus every 15 minutes), Eco hostal Yukula is a green setting with swimming pool, hammocks, dormitories or rooms in lodge-style cabins.

Close to entrance, Tayrona Park, the best hotels

Hostal Manigua

Hostal

Hostal Manigua

Dormitory : $25.000 to $50.000/Double room : $100.000 to $150.000 COP

At the Calabazo entrance, a superb hostal, a little more expensive than the campsite but still relatively accessible. Accommodation ranges from dormitories to lovely double rooms, with a jungle atmosphere and swimming pool.

Inside, Tayrona Park, the best hotels

Hostal Wachakyta

Hostal

Hostal Wachakyta

Dormitory : $50.000 to $100.000/Double room : $250.000 to $300.000 COP

Please note that the hostel is only accessible by boat. Camping and dormitory-style services at rather high prices, due to the idyllic and isolated setting. You can eat on site, of course.

Inside, Tayrona Park, the best hotels

Hostal Teyumakke

Eco Lodge

Hostal Teyumakke

Double room : $150.000 to $200.000 COP

Hostal Teyumakke is located inside the park, entering from Calabazo, after a fairly demanding 8km hike (it’s also possible to get there on horseback). Rudimentary wooden huts with palm-fringed roofs, right on the beach, but perfect for disconnecting from the world! (No wifi)

Inside, Tayrona Park, the best hotels

Posada Jasayma

Eco Lodge

Posada Jasayma

Double room : $100.000 to $150.000 COP

One of the few “hard” accommodation options inside Tayrona Park, a 15-minute walk from the El Zaino entrance. The attentive staff provide a haven of peace in the middle of the jungle, including meals with veggie options.

Close to entrance, Tayrona Park, the best hotels

Playa Los Angeles

Camping, Eco Lodge

Playa Los Angeles

Double room : $150.000 to $200.000 COP

A semi-private beach 5 minutes from the entrance to Tayrona Park, offering ecolodges and glamping tents on the beach… Recommended.

How to get to Tayrona Park

From the bus terminal or Mercado Publico (Carrera #11 and Calle #9) in Santa Marta, take a bus to Palomino or Riohacha and ask the driver for the stop.

Bus from Santa Marta to Tayrona

  • Price: approx. $8.000 COP
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Frequent departures all day until 5:30 p.m

Cab option

  • Price: $120.000 COP
  • Duration: 1 hour

San Bernardo Archipelago

Colombia’s most beautiful beaches

Just a few years ago, the San Bernardo archipelago was a haven of peace that nobody knew about. But with the huge influx of tourists to the islands around Cartagena, travellers soon sought alternative ways to enjoy heavenly beaches close to the pearl of the Caribbean.

The two best-known islands in the San Bernardo archipelago for enjoying beautiful beaches are Isla Mucura and Isla TinTiPan. Mucura is the preferred destination for travellers, but Tintipan is also a good option. Both offer turquoise waters, white sand and coconut palms!

Another interesting option in the area is to stay on the mainland and enjoy the quiet villages of Coveñas or Rincon del Mar! Quiet villages that live to the rhythm of the Caribbean Sea and enjoy the local atmosphere.

Where to stay on the San Bernardo archipelago

Tintinpan, the best hotels

Tintipan Ashram Hostel & Glamping

Hostal, Hotel

Tintipan Ashram Hostel & Glamping

Double room : $300.000 to $350.000 COP

Small hotel and Glamping well located to enjoy Tintipan. People appreciate the service, food and atmosphere. It’s also well rated.

Tintinpan, the best hotels

Santa lova hostel

Hostal

Santa lova hostel

Dormitory : $50.000 to $100.000/Double room : $150.000 to $200.000 COP

A hostel with every comfort, located in a beautiful spot to enjoy the idyllic setting of the islands. Very good reviews. They offer several activities on the island.

Tintinpan, the best hotels

Casa Tinti

Hotel

Casa Tinti

Double room: $700.000 to $1.000.000 COP

A recent hotel that invites you to relax. Beautiful facilities facing the turquoise sea. Good service and comfort according to the reviews. We stayed next door to this hotel for the day and felt very comfortable.

Isla Mucura, the best hotels

Punta Faro Hotel

Hotel

Punta Faro Hotel

Double room : $400.000 à $700.000

Isla Mucura’s top-of-the-range hotel with bungalows, private beach, full board and all kinds of activities.

Isla Mucura, the best hotels

Mucura Island Hostel

Hostal

Mucura Island Hostel

Dormitory : $50.000 to $100.000/Double room : $250.000 to $300.000 COP

Hostal Isla Mucura offers all types of accommodation at all prices, from hammocks and dormitory beds to bungallow beds with sea views. Possibly festive atmosphere, private beach access and activities.

Isla Mucura, the best hotels

Dalhandia Hotel

Eco Lodge

Dalhandia Hotel

Double room : $400.000 à $700.000

A hotel in Isla Mucura, perhaps a little quieter than the others, with the same constraints and advantages. Cabanas and small private beach.

How to get to Isla Mucura and Tintinpan

BUS | Cartagena – San Onofre (near Rincon del Mar)

  • Fare: from $22.000 COP
  • Duration: approx. 2 hours
  • Departures: 5:45 a.m., 6:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m
  • Companies: Rapid Ochoa, Unitransco

TAXI | San Onofre – Rincon del Mar

  • Duration: approx. 20 min
  • Mototaxi fare: approx. $10.000 COP
  • Cab fare: approx. $30.000 COP

BOAT | Rincon del mar – Archipelago San Bernardo

  • Price: $25.000 COP / pers. (one-way) $16.500 COP (entrance to natural park)
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Departures every morning at 8:30 a.m. from the port.

Capurgana and Sapzurro

Colombia’s most beautiful beaches

Capurgana, only accessible by sea and lost on the border with Panama, is an increasingly touristy destination, but still completely authentic. Above all, the region boasts a number of dream beaches that would be a shame to ignore.

The “central” beach of Capurgana, in the off-season, already does the trick, with its mini lagoon and its view over the green islet that makes for an idyllic vision close to paradise on earth.

But it’s only by making the effort to walk a few hours or by taking the boat that you’ll discover sublime, isolated beaches like Playa Soledad or El Aguacate, discover the quiet village of Sapzuro and push on to Panama and the sublime beach of La Miel..

Where to stay in Capurgana and Sapzurro

Necocli, the best hotels

Hotel Punta Caribana: where to stay in Necocli

Hotel

Punta Caribana

Double room : $0 to $100.000 COP

The Hotel Punta Caribana is our usual stop-off point in Necocli, where Cruz and Wilberto go to great lengths to make you feel at home – 100% recommended, quite simply!

Necocli, the best hotels

Visit Necocli travel guide: the other face of the Caribbean coast

Hostal

La Mariapolis hostal

Dormitory : $25.000 to $50.000/Double room : $0 to $100.000 COP

A relaxed atmosphere by the water, a young manager totally involved in Necocli’s local life, basic and clean services for those looking for budget accommodation.

Sapzurro, the best hotels

Visit Capurgana & Sapzurro travel guide: best things to do

Eco Lodge

El Caney Cabin

Double room : $250.000 to $300.000 COP

And why not rent an entire super house? Situated high above Sapzurro, with an unrivalled view of the bay, the El Caney cabaña offers original features, with two floors totally open to the outside and the experience of sleeping simply under a mosquito net, listening to the sounds of nature!

Sapzurro, the best hotels

Visit Capurgana & Sapzurro travel guide: best things to do

Hostal

Casa Mola Hotel

Double room : $0 to $100.000 COP

Perhaps the best hostal in Sapzurro, an economical price and a top-notch atmosphere right in the middle of nature, on the heights of Sapzurro.

How to get to Capurgana and Sapzurro

Capurgana can only be reached by sea.

The nearest large town to Capurgana is Monteria. From Monteria, it’s best to go to Necocli and then take a lancha (motorboat) to Capurgana.

Bus Monteria – Necocli
From Monteria airport, it’s easy to take a cab to the bus terminal. Once there, ask for the ticket office for buses to Necocli.

  • Bus company: Sotracor
  • Journey time: 2h30
  • Price: $35.000 COP

Lancha Necoli – Capurgana
Once in Necocli, go to the Muelle where the lanchas leave for Capurgana.

  • Journey time: approx. 1h30
  • Price: One-way approx. $70.000 COP
  • Departures: daily at 8 a.m., return from Capurgana to Necocli around 10 a.m

Nuqui and Bahia Solano

Colombia’s most beautiful beaches

Let’s move on to the Pacific coast, one of our favorite regions in Colombia! Two privileged destinations await you to discover wild and magical landscapes: Nuqui and Bahia Solano.

Here, black sand, warm seas, lush vegetation lapping the Pacific Ocean, untamed wilderness, a feeling of being at the end of the world and totally connected to the elements.

From Nuqui, you’ll have to leave the village by lancha for the villages of the Gulf of Tribuga, and in particular Arusi, where we left a little piece of our heart, to discover the local culture, the Coqui community project, the beautiful beaches of Guachalito, forest walks, the warm waters of Termales, etc.

For Bahia Solano, there are two options: either head north to Playa Mecana, or south to the village of El Valle to discover the beaches of El Almejal and the sublime Playa El Tigre.

Organize your stay in the Nuqui region

Paquete Choco (#37)

To contact Alfonso directly, you can use the form below. You won’t pay any more, but it will let him know you’ve come from us.

IMPORTANT: If you don’t hear from our partner within 72 hours, please check your SPAMS first before contacting us.

Where to stay in Arusi

Arusi, the best hotels

Contact Punta Brava, Ecolodge in Arusi, colombian pacific coast

Eco Lodge

Punta Brava Eco Hotel

Double room : $400.000 à $700.000

Punta Brava is an ecological luxury bubble in the middle of the jungle, with its feet in the Pacific Ocean. A unique, exclusive place, totally cut off from the world, which is well worth the effort if you have the means to indulge yourself.

Arusi, the best hotels

Contact Casa Cielito, Ecolodge in Arusi, colombian pacific coast

Hotel

Casa Cielito

Double room : $250.000 to $300.000 COP

Casa Cielito was our home for 1 week in Arusi, the place is magical and the food is simply the best we’ve tasted in Colombia!

how to get to Nuqui and Arusi

PLANE | From Medellin

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Fare: approx. $520.000 COP return
  • Airline: San German Express
  • Tourist tax payable at Nuquí airport: $7.000 COP

Once in Nuqui, head for the “muelle” to take a lancha to Coqui, Guachalito, Termales or Arusi.

LANCHA | Nuqui – Arusi

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Fare: approx. $32.000 COP by public transport (ask for “transporte publico”)
  • Departures: daily around 8 a.m. or 2 p.m

It is possible to take private lanchas, often chartered by the hotels where you are staying. The cost is higher (around $90.000 COP), but departure times are tailored to your needs.

Utria

Colombia’s most beautiful beaches

Utria National Nature Park is a wonder of the world, at the very least! And if the fantastic here is summed up by its exceptional biodiversity, Utria is not to be outdone when it comes to dream beaches and unique experiences.

To get to Playa Blanca, all you need is a lancha to enjoy a clear sandy beach overlooking the Ensanada de Utria. If you’re lucky, during the migration period (July to October), you’ll have the privilege of witnessing one of nature’s most beautiful spectacles: the dance of the humpback whales!

To discover Playa Cocalito, a short 1h30 walk through lush jungle will reward your arrival on a deserted, sublime beach with the unique feeling of being the first person to set foot on the sand. Here, as at Playa Blanca, the rich Pacific waters are ideal for snorkelling and offer a host of surprises.

ORGANIZING A STAY IN THE NUQUI REGION

Paquete Choco (#37)

To contact Alfonso directly, you can use the form below. You won’t pay any more, but it will let him know you’ve come from us.

IMPORTANT: If you don’t hear from our partner within 72 hours, please check your SPAMS first before contacting us.

how to get to Utria Natural Park

The Utria Nature Park is one of the classic activities of a stay on the Pacific coast, which you can book locally with service providers or your accommodation.

  • Journey time: 1h

Isla Gorgona

Colombia’s most beautiful beaches

Isla Gorgona is one of Colombia’s most southerly islands, off the coast of Guapi, offering a natural setting preserved by its status as a National Natural Park.

A former “prison island” where convicts were sent, Isla Gorgona is now a favorite destination for scientists who come to study its unique flora and fauna.

Deserted, unspoilt beaches are also a feature of the island, and you’re sure to be invited to Playa Las Palmera, Playa Blanca or Playa Cocal! Magical places where you can feel privileged.

VISIT THE GORGONA NATURAL PARK

The Gorgona Natural Park is managed as a concession, which is responsible for its preservation. For everything you need to know about the park, including how to get there, what to do and where to stay, please contact the official park office.

Vive Gorgona: Isla Gorgona National Park Office in Guapi

  • Mobile (WhatsApp): ( 57) 321 768 0539 / 311 728 3213 / 312 698 7122 / 315 522 7817
  • Mail: info@vivegorgona.com / reservas@vivegorgona.com
  • Website: islagorgona.co

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Authors

Angélica & Samuel

We are Angélica and Samuel, a French-Colombian couple, professional photographers and web editors specializing in travel to Colombia. We created this blog to change the image of the country, help you prepare your trip and inspire you to discover Colombia in a different way!

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4 thoughts on “Top 9 best and most beautiful beaches in Colombia”

  1. Hello, I’m missing photos of beaches covered in garbage. Why not alert travelers to places to avoid like between Cartagena and Santa Marta. This part of the coast is a real garbage dump. Not to mention Playa Blanca..
    When planning my trip, I would have liked to read comments like these. I would have spent more time inland! Don’t you think the other side of a country is also useful for travelers?

    Reply
    • Hi Helene and thanks for your comment 🙂 As you may have noticed, this article is called “Colombia’s most beautiful beaches”, so logically, from our point of view, it’s not in this article that we’re going to talk about the most polluted beaches… 😉 However, you’ll notice in this article that we talk about San Andres as a destination to be avoided, and if you look a little on the blog you’ll find an article on the beaches where to swim in Cartagena where we talk about the problem of Playa Blanca which we’ve always advised to avoid. As for pollution in general, it’s a problem all over the world, and in Colombia in particular, where there’s a huge amount of public education to be done, but also financial resources to be put in place for a real waste management and recycling policy, which doesn’t exist at the moment… but it’s a subject that’s beyond us, unfortunately.

      Reply
    • Fabre Hélène, you’ve got to be kidding!

      Do we have to make all the hard work for you to choose the places you want to go?
      Angélica and Samuel were right to tell you that their article was called “The most beautiful beaches…”
      the most beautiful beaches…”
      If you wanted to know which beaches were the most polluted, the ugliest, the most…rip-offs, you’d have to type “beaches not to be recommended, ugliest beaches,…most polluted beaches… in Colombia”, into your search engine.
      In trying to teach a lesson, you come across as a “little” traveler who doesn’t know where she’s going, and who has no discernment
      I’d love to read your next blog or travelogue, to change my mind about you,
      As I write this reply, you’re probably off on your trip, while I’m about to embark on mine in less than a month
      No hard feelings and happy travels to come
      Gérard Pierre

      Reply
    • Surprising comment.
      You can’t expect these bloggers to talk about everything that’s good, bad, beautiful and ugly, expensive and cheap
      Take what you can get, their advice and recommendations.

      Thanks for this great article

      Reply