November 8, 2021, 11:36 am
Even though both coastlines of Colombia offer the chance to experience beautiful beaches and tropical atmospheres, each coastline has its own unique character and personality. So, if looking for a beach holiday during your trip to Colombia, here we are going to talk about the best beaches you can find in the Caribbean and the Pacific coast.
The Caribbean Coast
The beaches on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia are closer, in appearance, to those you might find on a stereotypical Caribbean postcard. Many of the Colombian Caribbean Coast beaches are crystalline or turquoise in colour, have beige to white sand, and are lined with different types of palm trees.
Even so, there is a pretty wide variety of beaches on the Caribbean coast, for example: In Cabo de la Vela, La Guajira, you will find beaches with turquoise waters, pearl white sand, and bright orange desert in the background that is nearly virgin. While in Bocagrande, Cartagena, you will find beaches that have brown coloured sand, dark blue water, fewer palm trees, more amenities, and are more accessible to tourists.
The beaches along the Caribbean Coast of Colombia are generally more developed and better equipped to receive tourists than those found along the Pacific Coast. This is because Colombia's Caribbean coast has always been a popular tourist destination, while the Pacific Coast has only recently moved into the tourism spotlight in Colombia.
Here we have some of the most popular beaches
Only a 45-minute boat ride from the historic city of Cartagena, Barú is a peninsula boasting beaches likened to those seen on popular Caribbean postcards. The beaches in Barú, like Playa Blanca, are famous for their crystalline turquoise waters and pearl white sands. So if you are looking for a nice getaway or a change in scenery from the historic walled city in Cartagena, Barú is the perfect beach zone for you.
Even that the beach in Baru is great, you need to be aware that is typically filled with restaurants and beach vendors selling everything from typical Caribbean food to sunglasses, coconut oil for tanning, cold beers, and artisanal goods made from seashells.
Islas del Rosario
Islas del Rosario are a collection of 27 islands located 35km southwest of Cartagena, the islands are a protected National Park, and many of them are uninhabited. Each island has beautiful beaches with white sand and incredible coral reefs. Day trips are available to the islands from Cartagena, and each island is different and unique. A few islands have Eco hotels on them which you can stay in for the night. The trip from Cartagena to Islas del Rosario is only 45 minutes by boat; most of the daily tours depart from La Bodequita Pier. If you wish to stay at one of the hotels on the island, you can arrange the transfer directly with the hotel.
Cabo San Juan, Tayrona National Natural Park
Tayrona Park has many beaches, but the most popular one is Cabo San Juan. It is also one of the furthest beaches from the official park entrance, but it is also the one that gives you a great chance to enjoy unique views of a beach surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes and rainforests. It would not be strange to see a howler monkey, sand crab, or blue-tailed skink cross paths with you as you swim, sunbathe, and relax on this spectacular beach
Palomino is a mainly indigenous village located at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain, around 2 hours drive from Santa Marta. Palomino's beach runs for 5 km with a river running from the mountains to the ocean at each end. A popular tourist attraction is to hike up into the mountains and relax in a tube back down to the beach. Palomino's small village is home to several restaurants, shops and hostels.
Capurgana and Sapzurro
Capurgana and Sapzurro are two small fishing villages located on the Caribbean coast close to the Panama border. These villages are mostly undiscovered by tourists and can be accessed by boat or small plane from Medellin. The beaches backed by jungle-covered mountains are mainly uncommercialised and don't even allow motor vehicles.
Pilon de Azucar, La Guajira
Located nearly at the end of the Guajira Peninsula in northern Colombia, the Pilón de Azúcar (translated as "pile of sugar") is one of Colombia's most unique beaches in Colombia. The actual beach area is nestled at the base of two hills of bright orange sand and is surrounded by green limestone bases. With some of the most vibrant turquoise waters and perfect waves, this beach offers you the chance to enjoy one of the most unexplored regions of Colombia.
Located about 500 miles off Colombia's Caribbean Coast, San Andres is a small island filled with gorgeous beach landscapes. The beaches here are famous for having seven colours or blue shades that slowly fade out into the horizon. San Andres is also renowned for having some of the best snorkelling sites in the country, and although getting here can be a little more expensive than getting to some of the other beaches on this list. You can fly from Bogota and other main cities in Colombia.
The Pacific Coast
The beaches along the Pacific Coast are surrounded by rainforest and lush jungle flora and fauna and have brown sand and dark cerulean blue waters. While some of the Pacific beaches are well prepared to receive tourists, such as Nuquí or Bahía Solano, many of the beaches are still too virgin and unexplored to have developed serious touristic infrastructures.
One more difference between the Pacific and the Caribbean is the wildlife. Along the Caribbean Coast, you will find great spots for snorkelling and observing corals and neon coloured fish. While on the Pacific Coast, you will more likely come across humpback whales and eels while exploring the waters there, or birds, frogs and other exciting animals typically found in the rainforest.
Nuqui and Bahia Solano
Nuqui and Bahia Solano are the places where most of the adventures in Colombia's Pacific Region start. Located in Chocó, a department just now becoming popular on the tourism circuit in Colombia, Nuquí and Bahia Solano are still off the mainstream tourist radar.
Both places will offer you the chance to get up close and personal with Afro-Colombian traditions, traditional and unique Colombian foods of the Pacific, and with flora and fauna not found anywhere else in the country. If you go at the right time of the year (From July to October), you can even plan a date with a herd of humpback whales that annually migrate to this area of Colombia.
Regardless of which beaches you decide to explore, we are sure you will have an unforgettable adventure!
Get in touch with us to speak about including one of these spectacular beaches in your next Colombia tour.
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