Beaches in Colombia

Colombia has over 300 different beaches along its long Pacific and Caribbean coastline. Each beach is unique with different backdrops, terrains, and styles. You have popular tourist beaches along the caribbean coast of the North in locations like San Andres and Barranquilla and untouched tropical paradises on the Pacific East side. Some beaches are easily accessible, are covered in beautiful white sand, and have nearby hotels, resorts, nightlife and other accomodations. On the other hand, there is a large amount of beautiful secluded beaches which are difficult to get to but well worth the effort. Here you will not find hotels, and spas but natural animals, campgrounds, locals, and lots of adventure.

It all depends on what kind of beach-goer you are. Do you prefer the spa-type beach vacation where you will get pampered while sipping cool drinks and eating at high end restaurants, or ar you more the adventurous type and prefer surfing, camping, and other adventure sports? 

Whatever style you prefer, you can be assured that Colomia has it all.

Even on nearby beaches the sand can vary from white, black, or brown coloration. Some beaches are full of shells or scattered with rocks; others are soft with fluffy fine sand. Some are fantastic for swimming, and others are better for surfing.

Location Description Good for Don't Miss
Cartagena
North West on the Caribbean coast
Cartagena has a lot of beaches but they aren't the nicest ones in the country. Keep in mind that Cartagena is a big city and the beach atmosphere reflects that. Beaches can become crowded with locals and tourists and it is not uncommon to be approached by locals selling things. Cartagena has great shopping, nightlife, resorts, and hotels. Cartagena has a lot of accomodations. The best beaches of Cartagena are the Rosario Islands, Bsur Island, and San Bernando Island.

Many believe Playa Blanca to be the nicest beach in Cartagena.
Nightlife, shopping, spas, resorts, sightseeing  
Providencia Island
A small Island North West of Colombia close to Nicaragua.

This small island is the exact opposite of Cartagena. It is secluded, quiet, and is not part of a big city. This rocky, mountainous, foresty island is an absolute natural paradise has been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. The best way to get there is by boat or plane from San Andres.
Providencia Island has not "sold-out" to the mega resorts as it's neighboring islands have. It remains an untouched paradise and will stay that way for a long time.

More Providencia Information - External Site
THE SCUBA DIVING, white sandy beaches, rainforests, pirate history, friendly and low-key environment, fishing, horseback riding, hiking
Black crab migration, fresh seafood cuisine, Santa Catalina Island (next door), Totum Mud Volcano for a healing mud bath.
Tayrona National Park
North end of Colombia near Santa Marta.
The Tayrona National Park is without a doubt, the best beaches in Colombia for scenery. The area is an eco-touris and animal/plant lovers dream with over 300 species of birds including white eagles, 31 species of reptiles, 15 species of amphibians, 110 species of corals, and 770 species of plants.

This is the perfect place to get away from it all and go camping, live with the plants and animals, and experience some of the best sceneries in South America.

Keep in mind that things are expensive inside that park, there is an entrance fee, and accomodations range from expensive to low. There is no mid-range. There is also limited electricity and bathrooms.

Swimming in many parts of the park can be very dangerous.
snorkeling, natural sightseeing, camping, Eco-Cabanas with views of the sea (ecohabs), camping,

La Piscina - A reef in front of the coast forms a natural swimming pool where everyone hangs out.
San Andres
NorthWest of Colombia close to Providencia Island and Nicaragua.
San Andres Island, although similar to it's sister island (Providencia), is very different. Unlike it's neighbor, it offers more of a traditional tourist beach vacation with more hotels and resorts.

It has stunningly beautiful crystal clear, white sand beaches with plenty of accomodations at all price points.  The best way to arrive is from plane or boat. There are no ferry rides from any neighboring islands.

There is more to do in San Andres for the more socially inclinded traveler. There is good nightlife, an abundance of restaurants, and lots of other tourists and local.
Duty free shopping, fishing, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, Swimming, horseback riding, various watersports, scuba diving and snorkeling.
DUTY FREE SHOPPING INCLUDING EMERALDS, Manta Ray Tour, Segway tour, Aquanautas Helmet Diving, the sunken shipwrecks
La guajira
Northern tip of Colombia 
This secluded, peaceful area of Colombia is only for the experienced adventure travel. There is no commercial transportation here or accomodations so you will have to get a guided tour. The beaches are beautiful and filled with inidgenous people. Camping, hiking, sightseeing, hammocks  
Nuqui
West coast on the Pacific ocean.
The beaches in Nuqui are surrounded by tropical rainforests that descend into the beacutiful pristine beaches. This area is known as one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world.

The best way to get to Nuqui is by boat or plane from Medellín or Quibdó as it is rather secluded. There are multiple beaches and different accomodations but be sure to feel secluded. Nuqui is literally in the middle of a rainforest and inhabited by indigenous cultures.
SURFING, waterfalls, eco-tourism, hiking, fishing, sight-seeing, Termales hot spring, surfing lessons or tours.
Bahia Solano
North of Nuqui on the Pacific West Coast.
Bahia Solano is a small beach town with minimal tourists and activities. It is great for secluded beaches, surfing and deep sea fishing but other than that, there is not much else gling on.

There are hotels and restaurants with good service, but remember to bring plenty of cash.
Deep sea fishing, surfing, snorkeling, Turtle watching.