Colombia has been growing in popularity for the last decade, so much so that the country has seen a big surge in visitors and travellers from all over the world, with everyone looking to explore the local culture, the history, the food and the bustling cities. But it’s the beaches we’re exploring in this blog post, because this Latin-American country is situated in the perfect spot for beautiful beaches and relaxing sandy excursions.
With the two sides of the country opening onto either the Caribbean Sea or the South Pacific Ocean, the beaches are everything you’d expect to find in a South American country; beautiful, breathtaking and welcoming.
We’re lucky to have some amazing local partners working with us in Colombia, so the first place we go for insider knowledge is, of course, to them! Nidia is one of our Colombian ambassadors and is passionate about the local area and showing it off to visitors and travellers. Here are some of the beaches Nidia recommends, and some that we love too…
These are the best beaches in Colombia, you need to make time for during your visit.
Located in the east side of Colombia, the Tayrona National Park is home to a collection of beautiful beaches. There is a huge variety of landscapes and shorelines here, which makes the national park a favourite beach-spot for travellers and locals alike. The mixture of wild jungle and ‘paradise island’ style beaches makes this one of the most picturesque locations in Colombia that appeals to backpackers, hikers, nature lovers and beach worshippers!
Nidia loves the area, and counts the national park as one of her favourite beaches in the Colombia…
“The best beaches in Colombia are in Santa Marta, especially in the Tayrona National Park, which is on the Caribbean coast. This is an interesting area of Colombia because usually by the coast you don’t have mountains, but in this area of Colombia there is one very huge, very high mountain called Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
The environment and the ecosystem of this area is quite special because it has the mountain which goes up to 5000m metres, and then you have the coastlines and beaches. So it is a really beautiful, interesting area. The forest in this area is particularly great so there is a combination of the mountain, forest, plus beaches.
When you visit the national park, the idea is to hike from beach to beach, so you can see and experience all of them, and they’re all very special. Some of my favourites in the national park are; Cristal, La Piscina, Cañaveral, Cabo San Juan.”
A hidden gem and called a ‘beach paradise’ by many, this is one of those quiet, serene beaches you stumble upon once in a lifetime, and one you’ll never want to leave.
Palomino is a tiny village nestled on the northern coastline of Colombia, facing out to the Caribbean Sea, so expect beautiful white sand, long stretches of beach and beautiful blue water. It’s a breathtaking spot, and one you’ll want to keep to yourself!
One of the things that makes this beach so memorable and unique is also the proximity to the snow-capped Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains behind you. Facing out to sea you’ll have sparkling ocean views, and facing inland you’ll have scenic mountains views. It’s really something truly special, and you’re surrounded by Colombia’s natural beauty every direction you look.
The Chocó coast – Nuquí Beach
If you want to find an untouched, authentic beach, that feels like something out of a shipwrecked movie plot – the Chocó coast is where the wild, misty jungle meets the beautiful, open ocean. Located to the west of Quibdo and found along the west coast of Colombia, it’s a stunning coastline, where normal travelling ‘luxuries’ are left behind, and even the roads and pathways seem less developed than in the more touristy parts of the country to the east.
But if that doesn’t put you off, the scenery and views will be more than worth it. And don’t we all love a bit of adventure?
You’ll find lots of locals in this part of Colombia, and the vibe is laid back and relaxed. As this area is quite far off the beaten track, you might want to stop for a few days to really soak it all in, and around the beaches you’ll find low-key accommodations like beach huts and cabins, which seem to be the most popular choice for travellers.
Another reason this beach is one of the best beaches in Colombia? The amazing wildlife. If you’re lucky enough to be there between June and October, you might get to witness the awe-inspiring humpback whales which pass through the nearby ocean around that time of year. Whale watching is a memorable and emotional experience very few people are lucky enough to experience – so definitely make the most of it if you’re in the area during whale season.
Castillo Grande Beach
Playa Castillo Grande Beach is located on the Caribbean Coast in Cartagena. Nidia tells us this whole stretch of coastline “is good to get a drink by the beach and wait for the sunset” – which we can’t argue with. Who doesn’t love feeling the sand between their toes whilst watching a beautiful sunset?
Because of the location of this beach on the coastline and the way it provides great views to the west, you’ll catch some beautiful sunset views, and it’s a wonderful place to spend a lazy evening. The sea is also very clean and clear here, so if you spend the day there too, you’ll definitely be able to fit in a spot of paddling or swimming.