Located at the northern tip of South America, just over a four-hour flight from Florida, Colombia is a quintessential American getaway. The country brims with lush rainforests and mountain ranges, and its rich soil produces some of the best coffee beans on Earth. Best of all, Colombia has nearly 2,000 miles of coastline with white sand beaches and beautiful views. Here’s Tripping.com’s list of six picturesque beaches to experience in Colombia.
Best Beaches in Colombia
Located on Isla Baru less than an hour's drive from Cartagena, is a secluded area called Playa Blanca (Spanish for “white beach”). Markets in Marina Rubicon are held twice per week, featuring handcrafted gifts and locally made wines. The nearby Papagayo coves are a local favorite: These secluded smaller beaches are only reachable by a car service on a bumpy road, and a bit of rock climbing is involved. But the views at these beaches never disappoint.
Cartagena has a tropical wet and dry climate with high humidity and plenty of rain between May and November, but temperatures tend to stay in the high 80s year round.
Visiting one of the most spectacular natural areas in the world makes for a great vacation. Seeing humpback whales after a hike through the rainforest onto a white sand beach makes for a perfect vacation. With more humpback whales than anywhere else on the Colombian Pacific coast, Uramba National Park is one of the most popular vacation spots in Colombia for its whale watching opportunities.
The deep, pelagic waters of the ocean near Buenaventura and the pristine environment of the protected ecosystems in the area make Uramba National Park a very popular ecotourism site, meaning only a few very purposeful and respectful tourists are to be found. Take caution outside the wildlife sanctuary, and find a knowledgeable guide when planning a trip to Buenaventura.
Archaeological ruins fill the jungles of Tayrona National Park, an adventurer’s dream. Find mountain streams running from the jungle to the ocean and camp out near the park’s beaches for an authentic experience.
Trek 30 minutes through the jungle and another two hours along the beaches to reach El Cabo, perhaps one of the most breathtaking paradises the world has to offer. (If you’re looking for a more relaxing adventure, take a speedboat from Taganga for $20.)
For a more subdued vacation, visit the fishing village of Taganga for isolated beaches and scenic views in every direction. Stop for fresh seafood at the beachside restaurants or visit the rooftop bar at the Mirador de Taganga to get a feel for this village – it’s very laid back.
Snorkeling is a popular Taganga activity, and the town offers several dive centers for novice scuba divers. Becoming certified in scuba diving is easy and cheap in Taganga, so stop here before visiting the bigger reefs of Colombia.
Another Pinterest-perfect honeymoon spot, Posada del Mar in the island of Providencia is peaceful and serene – the ideal environment after the frenzy of wedding planning. With a population of roughly 5,000, you’ll find all the peace and quiet in the world on this tiny, idyllic island.
And once you’ve received your diving certification, you’re free to explore the vast waters off of the white sand Caribbean beach. Positioned between Costa Rica and Jamaica, the waters off of Posada del Mar hold the world’s third largest barrier reef (the Belize Barrier Reef). You can see the entire array of bright colors and exotic fish under the crystal clear waters.
Winner of the 2014 World Travel Awards Leading Beach Destination in South America, San Andres Island could be considered the gem of the Caribbean. Only 10 square miles in area, this island was taken over by Captain Morgan in the 17th century, and rumor has it his Spanish galleons are still hidden in a secret underwater cave near the island.
Explore the islet of Johnny Cay, less than a mile offshore – but be warned that December is the beginning of tourist season, and the beaches fill quickly – with good reason! Enjoying a piña colada on these shores feels like an experience right out of a postcard.
This article was written by Caitlin Clask.