17 best beaches in Colombia

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We are considering a trip to Colombia for the New Year from December 26 to January 7. We are planning to spend a couple of days in Medellin before the new year, then the new year in Cartagena and see Cartagena, but it’s a couple of days. Then we have about 5 days, which we would like to spend on a good beach, because in Cartagena they are dirty. Where to go? We will fly back from Bogota or another option is Panama. That is, we can’t go very far.

vidi_vici full member Messages: 407 Registration: 08/03/2008 City: Moscow Thanked (a): 11 times. Has thanked: 5 times. Age: 36 Countries: 56 Gender: Female

Re: Beach Vacation in Colombia

Panchik ” November 02, 2016, 23:52

Honestly, you didn’t choose the best places for a beach vacation). On the Caribbean coast of Colombia, the beaches are so-so. They say San Andreas is a better place, but I haven’t been there myself. If so, I advise to go to the national park of Tyrone. My friends went there and loved it, you can snorkel and see the fish. It’s not far, about 4 hours by bus from Cartagena to Santa Marta, and it’s very close. You can stop for a day in Santa Marta, see the local beaches (Rodadero and Taganga), if you like it, you can stay there too. Oh, and I don’t know if you know this or not, but there is no road to Panama from Colombia by land (the jungle is there, the Pan American Highway has never been completed). And plane tickets are not very cheap.

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Re: Beach Vacation in Colombia

vidi_vici ” 03 Nov 2016, 00:07

Thank you so much for the reply.

We were thinking of renting a small yacht to go to San Blas and from there somehow make it to Panama, but we already realize that’s a way too complicated. There seems to be some jeep crossings through the woods, but it all looks too complicated.

We are generally interested in seeing Medellin and Caratacena, but realize that this is a 7 day trip in total length. And we have about the same amount and even a little more.

How safe is it to travel there at all? We were thinking of flying by plane, being in the cities, and not driving much for safety reasons.

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Re: Beach Vacation in Colombia

Panchik ” 03 Nov 2016, 03:20 am.

There is nothing to do in Cartagena more than one day, well at most two days can be spent there. In Santa Marta, as such, there is nothing to see at all. plus the coast is constantly hot. I liked Medellín, a good city, was there only three days, but would have been happy to spend more. The only thing is that the airport is far from the city, and when the buses don’t run anymore, it’s expensive to get there by cab (official price is 60 mílpesos).

Safety in Colombia is a Special Olympics topic.) Personally, nothing bad has happened to me in almost a year, even though I walk a lot in different neighborhoods, including in the dark. However, an American friend of mine was robbed in broad daylight (in broad daylight, of course), at gunpoint, even though she was not alone, but with her Colombian boyfriend. They didn’t take anything of value, but still. By the way, as far as I understand, the criminals were found after the fact. Read on the forum what they say. Recommendations in general are standard – do not flash money and shit mirror with a meter lens, do not open your mouth, do not carry a lot of valuables, including bling.

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If someone is obsessively trying to sell something or begging for money (kolaboratsionny), helps to switch to Russian (literary / obscene, to taste). Locals know English by ear and are more or less used to it, while completely unfamiliar speech is disorienting and causes a slight stupor in any person. Besides, having realized that you are not Americans (and consequently, not gringos, and you may not have any dolares), the interest to you will be lessened noticeably. And it is better not to mess with the Russians, because they know Putin here).

And one last tip. If someone on the street asking for money, you can say “estoy pelado(a)” and take your hand to your throat from the front as if you want to strangle yourself, or tap on the side of your neck with the edge of your hand. It means “I’m broke. It works 100% of the time on the Caribbean coast, and sometimes gets the locals wildly excited, of course, since you speak the local dialect. Probably won’t work in other parts of the country.

Panchik member posts: 162 Registered: 01/16/2014 City: Saint-Petersburg Thanked: 0 times. Has thanked: 23 times. Age: 41 Countries: 13 Gender: Male

Re: Beach Vacation in Colombia

vidi_vici ” 06 Nov 2016, 01:13

Panchik wrote (a) 03 Nov 2016, 03:20: There is nothing to do more than one day in Cartagena, well at most two days can be spent there. In Santa Marta as such there is nothing to see at all. plus the coast is constantly hot. I liked Medellín, a good city, was there only three days, but would have been happy to spend more. The airport is far from the city, and when the buses don’t go, it’s expensive to get there by cab (official price is 60 mikes).

Safety in Colombia is a Special Olympics topic.) Personally, nothing bad has happened to me in almost a year, even though I walk a lot in different neighborhoods, including in the dark. However, an American friend of mine was robbed in broad daylight (in broad daylight, of course), at gunpoint, even though she was not alone, but with her Colombian boyfriend. They didn’t take anything of value, but still. By the way, as far as I understand, the criminals were found after the fact. Read on the forum what they say. Recommendations in general are standard – do not flash money and shit mirror with a meter lens, do not open your mouth, do not carry a lot of valuables, including bling.

If someone is obsessively trying to sell something or begging for money (kolaboratsionny), helps to switch to Russian (literary / obscene, to taste). Locals know English by ear and are more or less used to it, while completely unfamiliar speech is disorienting and causes a slight stupor in any person. Besides, having realized that you are not Americans (and consequently, not gringos, and you may not have any dolares), the interest to you will be lessened noticeably. And it is better not to mess with the Russians, because they know Putin here).

And one last tip. If someone on the street asking for money, you can say “estoy pelado(a)” and take your hand to your throat from the front as if you want to strangle yourself, or tap on the side of your neck with the edge of your hand. It means “I’m broke. It works 100% of the time on the Caribbean coast, and sometimes gets the locals wildly excited, of course, since you speak the local dialect. Probably won’t work in other parts of the country.

Thank you, why didn’t you like it in Cartagena? Where else would we go if after it?

I like the format of big cities, where there is civilization and safe at that.

vidi_vici full member Messages: 407 Registration: 08/03/2008 City: Moscow Thanked (a): 11 times. Has thanked: 5 times. Age: 36 Countries: 56 Gender: Female

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Re: Beach Vacation in Colombia

Panchik ” 06 Nov 2016, 03:07 am.

Did I write “didn’t like it?”) I liked it, but frankly, I expected more, especially after everyone here was praising it. And to stay there for a long time makes no sense, because the historical-tourist part of town is quite small and it’s realistic to see everything in one day. And you won’t like it outside of this tourist reservation, believe me. And the beaches there are not very nice, you know that already. If you want to meet the sunset on the fortress wall, you can stay for one more day.

Where else can we go if after it? I like the format of large cities, where there is civilization and safe at the same time.

There are no more interesting places on the Caribbean coast that meet your criteria). Barranquilla and Santa Marta are big but uninteresting cities. There is no architecture as such, everything is rolled up in concrete, not much greenery. There’s a small town called Mompos with a historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For geeks, Aracataca, the birthplace of Marquez with a house-museum, but it’s quite a village. From the looks of it, you’re a little afraid to come here). Believe me, it’s not scary at all, it’s actually a lot of fun).

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Re: Beach Vacation in Colombia

Minister of Culture ” 27 March 2017, 04:17

Has anyone had a beach vacation in the Pacific wilderness (Nuquí, Bahía Solano)? I’m very interested in this particular destination – wet, wild, primitive. But little information on transportation, limited number of hotels and almost no reviews here.

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Re: Beach Vacation in Colombia

sascha sulimenko ” 14 october 2018, 17:24

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Re: Beach Vacation in Colombia

Junihachini ” 02 Dec 2018, 21:38

Panchik wrote (a) 03 Nov 2016, 03:20: And one last tip. If someone on the street asks for money, you can say “estoy pelado(a)” and grab yourself by the throat from the front with your hand as if you want to strangle yourself, or tap the side of your neck with the edge of your palm. It means “I’m broke. It works 100% of the time on the Caribbean coast, and sometimes gets the locals wildly excited, of course, since you speak the local dialect. It may not work in other parts of the country.

How about pelaO instead of pelado?

Junihachini Member Posts: 119 Registration: 21.08.2018 City: Mumbai Thanked (a): 3 times. Thanked: 0 times. Age: 42 Gender: Male

Caribbean beaches of Colombia.

Caribbean beaches in Colombia

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Colombia is almost three thousand kilometers of coastline, white beaches, coral reefs, turquoise sea and an amazing variety of flora and fauna. Colombia’s unique geographic location, its proximity to two oceans: the Pacific and Atlantic, archipelagoes of islands and islets on coral reefs attract travelers who appreciate the combination of familiar comfort with the purity of wildlife.

San Bernardo and the Rosario Archipelago

The Rosario Archipelago is a necklace of 38 islands of varying size and shape, covered in green mangroves. White-sand beaches and coral reefs scattered along the shores of the islands, with many underwater creatures scurrying about in the clear water. Most of the islands are privately owned. About 40 km away from Cartagena it takes about an hour to reach the islands by boat. It has long been favored by divers and snorkelers as one of the best places to explore the depths of the Caribbean Sea and observe its rich fauna.

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Not far from the Rosario Archipelago is “Treasure Island” – on its shores went down the Spanish galleon San Jose, in the holds of which were carried the unchangeable wealth looted by pirates. At all times the thirst for gain beckoned adventurers and treasure hunters of all stripes to the wreck of the ship. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to find a miraculously surviving ancient coin?

San Bernardo is a protected park that attracts nature lovers from all over the world. Monkeys hop through the mangroves, huge parrots of bright colors fly over the trees. On the small island of San Martin is an aquarium, which is home to over 40 species of marine animals. Here you can admire the sharks up close and watch the dolphin show.

Baru Island

Beaches with pink and white sand, crystal-clear water of the coastal zone, in which different fish of all colors and shades scurry – so it looks like the island of Baru. Nearby are sprawling mangroves, where a lot of different birds, the habits of which are very interesting to watch. A distinctive feature of the island – an abundance of food. Here everywhere and always can satisfy hunger by eating traditional Caribbean dishes, which are cooked in front of you on coals or open flame. And all this without leaving the beach! A typical lunch is rice with coconut, fried banana, salad, and fish.

On this island is a settlement of fishermen, who are not only engaged in their main occupation, but also create interesting household items: bags, wooden jewelry, amulets, which are immediately and sell to those wishing. Water activities on the beaches are very inexpensive, besides, you can bargain with the locals, knocking down the price by a third, and even half. Beach entrepreneurs are eager and happy to haggle, even if they end up getting paid less.

San Andrés

Once on the island of San Andrés, you wouldn’t even think you’re still in Colombia. It’s a completely different culture and population than the mainland: tall, stately, slow people with black skin. It is as if the atmosphere is filled with unhurriedness and negativity: the locals have nowhere to hurry, their island is only 12.5 kilometers long and 3 – wide. If you go around it by the shore, the way is 30 kilometers – you can walk leisurely for half a day and return to the starting point.

However, its small size does not prevent the island from having its own capital, San Andrés Town or El Centro. It is a low stone town where hotels, restaurants, stores, and other civilization are concentrated. On the roads there are rare cars from the late ’60s – Cadillacs and Chevrolets and a few sporty Porsches, but they also move leisurely, without disturbing the usual pace of life.

El Centro has a magnificent beach with ivory sand. In the evening, when the water turns a dark turquoise color, it looks especially picturesque in contrast to the shores. Late evenings are the time when locals head to the sea to relax after the day gone by, guests like to stroll along the promenade more at this time of day, leisurely heading to the entertainment venues.

Kapurgana

The island looks like it came off a postcard-white sandy landscape bounded by a small bay on one side and deep tropical rain forests on the other. People come here to enjoy the quiet beaches, diving, snorkeling, and jungle walks.

Guides offer eco-trips to El Cielo waterfalls, which are an hour’s walk from the settlement. Capurgana is a small village on the border of Panama and Colombia, which because of its position is constantly full of people. It is through it that the cheapest and most interesting land route from one country to another runs. Nevertheless, there are very few achievements of civilization: no big stores and cars, ATMs and ubiquitous Internet. The favorite pastime of local children and adults is soccer. Even the central square of the city is a soccer field.

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If you want to admire whales or flamingos on the secluded beaches:

Beaches in Choco

Baja Solano.

This is an unforgettable place for wildlife lovers. The island is in the path of the migration corridor for birds, so many species stop there to take a break before continuing their flight. More than a thousand and a half species of birds can be found here, and ornithologists consider this place a paradise for their observations and research.

Humpback whales are frequent guests in the calm waters of the bay. You can feel the breath of these huge animals at almost any time, and you usually get to see them in the morning.

Being on Baja Solano, you can combine a beach holiday on white sand and actively explore the coastal waters and beautiful corals with scuba diving. The climate here is humid, the average temperature is very comfortable – 25 degrees. There are periods of big waves – at this time the island is popular with surfers.

In the first week of August on the island is a holiday Bay Solano, where everyone can join the local traditions and culture.

Nookie is a place where the sea and the jungle merge into one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Colombia. Up to six meters of water fall here in a year in the form of precipitation, which is ten times more than in average Russia. On any given day, at any given time of day, streams of water rush to the ground for hours at a time.

The main attraction of Nuka – humpback whales. Their activity season lasts from July to late October, and to see the majestic sea creatures come people from all over the world.

Life here is close to a complete lack of civilization: electricity is only at night, there is no paved roads, and cars. But in abundance are small stores and stalls offering delicious local cheese, fruits and vegetables, as well as household necessities (candles and batteries are in special demand).

The locals lead a quiet life, constantly doing chores while remaining in a good mood.

The Pacific coast of Nookie is full of protected beaches, unspoiled wildlife, whales, and many unique birds.

Palomino

Palomino is a surfing beach on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Usually there are big waves here, so you can’t always swim. But the many kilometers of coastline for leisurely walks in solitude or pleasant company is at your disposal. Most of the sand of the coast is white, but there are contrasting areas of black sand. In the distance you can see the Sierra Nevada Mountains with their snow-capped peaks.

The beach is now and then cut by rivulets descending to the sea from the mountains. Many pelicans and other birds of different sizes and colors fly over the water, especially the colorful parrots of large size stand out among them. The local population – Kogi Indians – live in conditions that are not very different from those of a hundred and two hundred years ago: the same canopies of palm leaves, hammocks for sleeping and tropical fruits are the basis of the national cuisine.

Cabo de la Vela

It’s a tranquil beach, perfect for windsurfing. Here you can learn about the indigenous culture of the Wayuu Indians, who have lived in the village of Cabo da la Vela since pre-Columbian times.

The island is very popular among Colombian tourists. They come here for the weekend in SUVs and rest in tents or rented sheds with hammocks provided by the Wayuu. The village stands on the shore of a shallow lagoon, the bottom is sandy, there are often strong winds blowing, so this place is favored by kiteboarders.

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The best place for a beach vacation in Cabo de la Vela is Sugar Loaf Beach. From the village you have to reach it through a salt desert and cactus thickets. The bay is surrounded on all sides by rocky hills, between which the clearest sea weakly waves.

Near the beach is a mountain in the form of a pyramid, on top of which a small temple with a figure of the Virgin Mary. From the mountain you can see the round lake with flamingos grazing on it.

Behind the village is a section of desert, which used to be a lake too, but now looks like it’s snowed in because of the large amount of dried salt.

If you want an island idyll, a vacation in harmony with nature:

Providencia

Locals call their island “Old Providence” and “The Seven-Colored Sea.” Unlike nearby San Andres, Providencia is notable for its near absence of a tourist industry. Although the flow of travelers increases every year, the island’s nature still retains its natural charm and purity. Diving conditions are very varied and so are the underwater creatures, which are abundant in the coastal waters.

From the highest point of the island, Mount El Pico, you can see the whole island, as well as the sea around it and the nearby islets. Between the village of Santa Isabel and the nearby island of Santa Catalina, there is a wooden bridge called the Bridge of Lovers. It is often used for declarations of love and proposals to their soulmates and has a very romantic atmosphere.

Providencia will be comfortable for those who are looking for solitude and silence, to get away from the hustle and bustle and the crowds of people. The measured flow of life reminds you of the importance of what’s important: what’s in your heart. The beauties of the island linger in the memories of travelers as 77 shades of blue.

Gorgon

It is a small volcanic island with an area of 25 km², which can safely be called a wildlife paradise. It was formed by the eruption of a volcano at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The name “Gorgon” the island was given a little less than 500 years ago because of the huge number of snakes living here. The abundance of reptiles reminded Francisco Pizarro of the mythological sorceress, after whom he named this part of the land. Dolphins, porpoises, sperm whales, sharks, sea wolves, even humpback whales with their newborn calves can be seen in the coastal waters.

In the 50s, there was a maximum-security prison on the island, which was considered a rather gloomy place. Today it is the pearl of the archipelago, where not only extreme travelers, but also fans of beach holidays surrounded by wildlife love to relax. There are no snakes on the beaches and in the hotel building, but you should not walk in the woods without high boots. The local climate disposes to an active visit to Gorgon throughout the year, because the temperature rarely drops below 27 degrees.

The island’s diverse landscape attracts travelers with different preferences: amazing white-sand beaches on one side, rocky terrain – on the other and a variety of animals, birds and fish. And fantastic butterflies of different colors and sizes found here in such numbers that it seems as if you have entered a fairy tale world! And with no local population, nature is unspoilt and traces of human presence quickly disappear when you leave the island.

Gorgon was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The island is a mecca of ecotourism, an ideal place to explore the flora and fauna of coral reefs and rainforests.

If you want to visit these unique beaches, the second largest reef in the Caribbean and have many new experiences, contact us and we will prepare an unforgettable trip to Colombia for you.

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