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The Best Beaches in Colombia

Baru Island (Playa Blanca)

Baru Island is home to Playa Blanca, one of the country’s best beaches all-around. Made up of white sand (it’s in the name) and crystal clear waters, Baru Island is one of the most touristy places in Colombia; but with all that it has to offer, it’s easy to understand why. Playa Blanca has it all: food, drink, snorkeling, sightseeing and more. Take an ecotour and explore the mangroves, visit the national bird sanctuary (El Aviario Nacional de Colombia), book a yacht tour and make a stop at nearby Islas del Rosario. Further, Baru Island is fantastically accessible from downtown Cartagena. You can take a 45-minute ferry ride or

La Guajira

La Guajira in Colombia is not a singular beach, but rather an entire peninsular region in the northeast of the country. Situated along the turquoise waters of Colombia’s Caribbean coast , it borders Venezuela at the northernmost tip of South America. The department (territory, somewhat like a U.S. state) is strongly influenced by Afro-Caribbean culture and is home to several indigenous groups, including the Wayuu, Arhuaco, Koguis, and Wiwa tribes. Known for its rolling sand dunes, La Guajira is home to some of Colombia’s most beautiful beaches; and with plenty of lodging from short-term rentals to swanky boutique hotels, you’re sure to find a luxurious or rustic place to stay. Read on to discover which of these best provides the beach experience that fits your style.

Cabo de la Vela

If you are into water sports, don’t hesitate to check out Cabo de la Vela. One of Colombia’s most popular beaches, its flat bay experiences year-round winds that create the perfect environment for extreme sports like kitesurfing and windsurfing. If your ideal day at the beach involves riding the waves, this beach belongs on your Colombian bucket list. However, if you’d rather spend the day enjoying the view of the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea while sunbathing or swaying in a hammock, Cabo de la Vela is also for you.

El Pilón de Azucar

Pilón de Azúcar literally translates to “Pile of sugar.”


Punta Gallinas

About a 2 hour drive from Cabo de la Vela, Punta Gallinas marks the northernmost point of Colombia and all of South America and offers some of the most beautiful and remote Colombian beaches. Here the sand dunes of the dessert meet the sea, offering some of the most beautiful sights to behold in all of Colombia. It provides the perfect atmosphere to disconnect from rest of the world while feeling closer to nature. Tours are not absolutely needed to disfrutar, or enjoy, the area, but if you do not speak Spanish, a guided tour could be helpful. If you decide to self-direct your experience, be sure take a walk over the Taroa Dunes, stop at the lookout at Bahia Hondita, and a visit to the Faro (Lighthouse) de Punta Gallinas. While in the area, you may even catch a glimpse of a the large flocks of flamingos that make the area their year-round home.


Playa Arco Iris

Playa Punta Agujas

Maleiwa Beach (Playa Maleiwa)

If you’re looking for extensive tranquility, check out Maleiwa Beach. It’s an hour East of Palomino and effectively in the middle of nowhere. Or, the middle of exactly where you want to be. Look to Awatawaa Ecolodge if you need a weekend’s stay.

Maleiwa Beach also borders the Cienaga de Mababita,

Palomino (Playa Palomino)

Palomino is a gorgeous beach town that rests along the Caribbean Coast a few hours drive outside of Santa Marta. Palomino cultivates all of the feel of a private beach community without any of the pretense. The low key feel extends right Palomino’s affordability, as hostels and eco-lodges offer favorable rates to travelers.

Interested visitors can take lessons at the Palomino Surf & Bodyboard School, or, rent tubes by the hour for maximum river relaxation.

Parque Tayrona (Playa Cabo San Juan del Guia)

With boulder-encrusted outcroppings and a jungle that runs right up to the shoreline, Playa Cabo San Juan del Guia is something straight out of a Hollywood film.

San Andrés

San Andrés is a small island with huge popularity as a beach destination in Colombia. Located 500 miles off the Caribbean coast, it is accessible by plane from most of Colombia’s major cities such as Bogotá, Cartagena, and Medellín. It provides the quintessential beach setting with its tropical weather, shade-bearing palm trees, white sands, and rolling coral reefs. The blue waters of San Andrés are also known as “The Sea of Seven Colors” which range from bright turquoise to emerald green.

On the northern coast of San Andrés, you will find one of its most popular beaches: Spratt Bight. It is located in the downtown area, and is lined with palm trees and small trapezoidal tents that provide ample shade for a full day at the beach. The waters are calm, the vibe is friendly, and the relaxing environment makes for easy and safe swimming, wading, and sandcastle building. At the end of your beach day, you can easily stroll to the downtown area for a meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes.

If you’re in the mood for a more intimate beach experience, check out La Piscinita on the west coast of the island. Called a “natural bath” by the locals, La Piscinita is one of the most unique swimming destinations to be found in South America. It is a cliff-lined natural pool of sea water that is protected by surrounding coral rock, and is known for incredible snorkeling and scuba diving experiences. The water is shallow, warm, and crystal clear - a perfect setting to check out the schools of tropical fish that populate the area, as it is well-protected from predators and strong currents. The fish may even eat out of your hand!

Two other nearby islands also boast exceptional beach-going: Johnny Cay Island and Rocky Cay Island.