Despite notorious Colombian stereotypes rooted in drug-related warfare, the rich culture, geographic diversity and spirited people of the country have attracted more and more tourists from around the world in recent years. We’ve selected some of Colombia’s most beautiful beaches to highlight.
If you are in search of sunshine on the sands for your next Colombia visit, the following 5 beach destinations boast some of the most picturesque playas in the world.
1. Playa Blanca, Isla Barú
When imagining Colombia’s beaches, with palm trees and pristine white sands by warm turquoise seas, one envisions Playa Blanca. Located on the neighboring peninsula Isla Barú, tourists can arrive by boat or road to this Caribbean beach. You can rent a cabaña with friends for the day or prolong your stay for the night. Take advantage of the local restaurants to complete the experience with some fresh fish and a Club Colombia in hand. The beach is not too crowded, but do get used to persistent jewelry and massage vendors passing by.
2. Parque Tayrona
Stretching between the Caribbean Sea and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains is the expansive National Tayrona Park. A scenic hike through palm-shaded paths laden with rich biodiversity leads tourists to the breathtaking beach desired. Stunning white sands are lapped by turquoise waters as tourists bask in the sun. The most popular beach, El Cabo San Juan, provides the best swimming as well as the iconic view of Tayrona beaches. Be careful though as many of these beach waves are beauty with a bite – more than 100 people have drowned being swept away by the currents, so bathe at your own risk and not where red flags are flying.
Further northwest in the Caribbean Sea and just east of Nicaragua lies the remote and traditional island of Providencia. This beach destination provides a more traditional and untouched experience within the otherwise tourist-saturated San Andres Archipelago. A historic base for English pirates, you’ll hear Spanish and English-creole spoken all over the island. Surrounding waters named the Sea of Seven Colors range from deep blue to vivid turquoise colors and provide excellent conditions for diving and snorkeling. For a more tranquil beach stay, the savvy Colombia traveler won’t miss out on the Providencia experience.
4. Capurganá & Sapzurro (Acandi)
In two villages by the Panamanian border lie some of Colombia’s most impressive yet least populated beaches: Capurganá & Sapzurro. Dense jungle trails meet deep blue seas at these coastline beaches. Diving is abundant by the coral reefs and nature hikes explore the rainforest. Only accessible by air or water, this hidden trove presents tourists and locals with the perfect place to disconnect from the daily hustle of Colombian life. Just remember to bring cash with you as you will not find an ATM on this remote paradise.
For a less tourist-ridden beach spot, Palomino is the beach destination to discover. Just at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, tucked away on the Caribbean coast, this small town is a mixture of welcoming locals with a backpacker feel. A lengthy hostel-lined dirt road leads travelers from the main Santa Marta-Riohacha highway to this spotless, white sand beach. In Palomino you can relax on the sunny sands or take a dip in the waves, carefully, as these waters can have dangerously strong currents as well. For a break from the beach, check out tubing on the nearby San Salvador River and float your worries away.
Whether your beach hunt involves a local experience, laid back environment or post-card worthy views, these five beaches are not to miss. Make an escape to your choice of Colombia’s beach getaways by magnificent Caribbean seas. What are you waiting for?