12 Most Stunning Beaches in Colombia That Seem Unreal

Colombia has almost 3,000km of coastline along the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans plus dozens of amazing islands in the Caribbean. There are perfectly maintained beach resorts, tiny deserted island getaways, dramatic coastline alongside dense jungles full of wildlife and world-renowned water sports destinations.

Despite everything on offer, many visitors’ only Colombian beach experience will be fighting through aggressive, pushy sellers onto the underwhelming and overcrowded Bocagrande in Cartagena.

In this article, I hope to inspire you to explore more of this amazing country and find your perfect beach from the many amazing options on offer. I have lived in Colombia for 15 years and I love a long weekend break from my home in Medellin.

These are some of my favorite places.

Playa Puntilla, Bolívar

Puntilla is a beach that is accessible by a short, regular boat ride across from the Decameron Hotel on the island of Barú.

Puntilla has perfect soft white sand, the water is very clear and the waves are very calm. Close to the beach there are areas of corral filled with colorful fish which you can see when swimming. There is a small beach club which serves very good food plus they have chairs and beds to rent. Beyond the beach there are trees and the whole area is very well maintained.

There aren’t too many sellers and even at the weekend it isn’t overly busy. It is a beautiful beach which strikes the balance between comfort and tranquility. You can get to the luxury Decameron from Cartagena and then there are boats across to Puntilla every 15 minutes.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: The best weather is between December and March but December into early January. Mid January to March would be ideal if you want more space and a relaxing experience. Cartagena and the islands are hot and sunny all year round although they do have heavy rain at times.

Mecana, Chocó


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Mecana is a very relaxing, peaceful beach with a couple of nice, authentic local hotels which offer superb food, a warm welcome and comfortable stay.

The beach is large and sits alongside dense jungle. The sand is darker and more firm but you get a real, authentic experience of nature. The Macana Ecolodge is an excellent accommodation option with incredible seafood, comfortable rooms and staff that will take you on guided tours through the surrounding nature. Wake up looking over the sea listening to the birds and wildlife before enjoying a delicious breakfast with locally picked fruit.

You can get to Mecana on a 10-minute boat ride from Bahia Solano. The small coastal town of Bahia Solano has a modest airport with regular flights from Medellin. It is also possible to get a boat from the region’s largest city Buenaventura along the coast but the port there can be a little dangerous.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: January to March are the driest months in Chocó but whale season is from July to October. In October you may see the new baby whales.

Mayapo, La Guajira

Mayapo, La Guajira

We now go from the predominantly Afro-Colombian Pacific region to most-northerly La Guajira state, which has a large Wayúu indigenous community.

Mayapo is one of the less visited beaches in the La Guajira peninsula, with few tourists but perfect fine white sand, clear waters and amazing conditions for watersports. The winds make it the best location for kitesurfing, small sailing boats or kitesurfing with locals happy to rent you equipment and give you some guidance.

You can get a beer, relax in a hammock and enjoy the peaceful, isolated beach. Locals also sell handmade artisan products such as the famous Wayuu Mochilas, woven shoulder bags with unique, colorful designs produced by the women of the community.

You can get to Mayapo by bus for 5,000 COP (US$1.25) from Riohacha, the capital of the La Guajira department.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: December to April is the driest period of the year in this region and also the best time to see the famous pink flamingos.

Playa Cocoplum, San Andrés

Playa Cocoplum, San Andrés

Cocoplum is one of San Andres’ best beaches and offers exactly what you would expect from a perfect Caribbean island break.

San Andres is a small Colombian island close to Nicaragua in Central America known for perfect white beaches, coconut palms and large all-inclusive resorts. The main beach is a little closer to the center but this beach is a perfect 700-meter strip of smooth, soft white sand between clear waters shimmering in light shades of blue and tall green palm trees.

The sea here is a little rougher than the main beach but the sea is great for swimming and there are slightly less people. It takes around 25 minutes to drive or get a taxi from the center of San Andres town.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: The rainy season is from June to November on San Andres. Rain storms are what you would expect from a Caribbean island, extremely heavy but often very short and refreshing. December into January are the months with most tourists from the mainland.

Soledad, Chocó

Soledad, Chocó

Playa Soledad is located in Chocó close to the dense jungle of the Dorian Gap, the route taken by migrants looking to walk across Central America to the United States.

Soledad is perhaps the best beach on the Caribbean coast of Colombia’s mainland. It has the soft sand of others mentioned, the clear blue water and it is surrounded by jungles with palm trees overhanging the beach. It is the perfect tropical beach but without the carefully arranged tourist comforts or regular pruning which for me makes it even more special.

You can get to Soledad from the small tourist town of Capurganá by taking a 20-minute speed boat or by walking 4 hours with a guide through the jungle.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: Weather in Capurganá and the surrounding areas is pretty constant all year, December to January are the busiest time for local tourists.

Santa Verónica, Atlántico

Thanks to the height of the waves and strong breeze that exists, this beach located between the cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla, in the municipality of San Juan de Acosta, is considered the second best spot for kitesurfing in the whole world.

The best time to kitesurf in Santa Verónica is between the months of December and May. However, the conditions are good most of the year, which is why more and more national and foreign nautical athletes venture to its beaches, even though they are protected from mass tourism.

There are restaurants and kiosks along the beach to great a well-earned break from some top, challenging water sports.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: Best kitesurfing conditions between December and May but you can enjoy the sport here all year round

Manzanillo, Isla de Providencia

Manzanillo, Isla de Providencia

Providencia is another Colombia-owned island located further North of San Andres in the middle of the Caribbean ocean.

The island has a population of around 6,000 with many speaking English as their first language or San Andres–Providencia Creole, a local Caribbean blend of English and Spanish. Provisle, an indigenous form of sign language, also continues to be used on the island.

Many of the people identify more with their Caribbean island neighbors than the Colombian mainland. There are also many Rastafari among the local population.

It was once the site of an English Puritan colony which was taken over by the Spanish in 1641. You can still find forts and cannons dating back hundreds of years across Santa Catalina, a small island closely off the north of Providencia.

The island was the base for pirates and privateers across the centuries, including Welshman Henry Morgan who reportedly has undiscovered treasure hidden somewhere on the island.

In 2020 Hurricane Iota destroyed 98% of infrastructure and this has been slowly rebuilt.

There are amazing beaches across Providencia but I have selected Manzanillo with perfect white sand, clear waters, palm trees and a range of small wooden bars and restaurants. Incredibly peaceful, perfect tropical island beach vibes.

You can get to Providence from San Andres on the ferry which runs 4 times each week and takes 3 hours and 30 minutes or take a 20-minute flight.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: The driest months are February, March and April. The weather is warm and tropical throughout the year with the occasional heavy storm.

Around April or May the local population of large black land crabs migrate en-masse from the hills down to the sea to lay their eggs once a year. This is a remarkable and unique spectacle.

Playa Cinto, Magdalena


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Located with the popular Parque Tayrona, Cinto is a real hidden gem which is in many ways superior to the popular Piscina and Playa del Cabo which are at the end of the tourist trail.

Cinto has soft sand, palm trees, clear water and is at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range alongside dense jungle. It is more peaceful than those mentioned above but you will need to bring your own drinks, food and snacks. Bring your snorkeling equipment to see all of the fish swimming amongst the coral.

You can get to Playa Cinto by organizing a return boat from Taganga, a tourist town 15 minutes from Santa Marta.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: The dry seasons in the region are from December to mid-April and from June to early September. Late December can get busy in and around Santa Marta.

El Eden, Sucre

This beach is probably the best close to the tourist town of Coveñas.

El Eden has soft sand, blue seas and palm trees. You can rent beds, chairs and parasols but it is rarely busy and it was awarded Blue Flag certification for environmental quality, safety and services in coastal areas.

Coveñas was once a Spanish slave port which moved to meat exports following abolition in the 1800s. Oil was discovered in the 1970s and tourism has become increasingly popular in the decades since. Coveñas has been popular with Colombians for years but is now also being discovered by foreign visitors.

You can now get to Coveñas on a direct flight from Medellin or get a bus to Tolú then take a boat along the coast.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: Coveñas is hot all year round with April to November the months with more rain, August is the wettest month of the year.

Isla Múcura, Bolívar

playas isla mucura
Isla Múcura (credits: Sergiodbotero, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Múcura is one of the 10 islands within the Corales del Rosario y San Bernardo National Park, located close to the island of Tintipan.

The tiny coral island has mainly private beaches with small, luxury hotels welcoming visitors. You can snorkel, kayak and windsurf on the beautiful Caribbean island with clear waters, palm trees and soft sand.

To get to Isla Múcura you can take a speed boat which is 150,000 COP (US$40) each way from the port in Cartagena or 80,000 COP (US$20) from Tolú along the coast.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: December to March is when you will get the driest weather but a short dramatic, refreshing jungle downpour can be quite fun so don’t worry too much.

Playa La Miel, Panamá

I am cheating a little with this one but given it takes 20 minutes to walk there and you don’t need a visa, I thought I would include La Miel.

Sapzurro is a small beach resort that sits on the Colombian side of the border with Panama, while La Piel is just around the corner. La Miel is a sleepy Caribbean town with a beautiful beach set alongside the jungle of the Dorien Gap.

From Capurgana you can get a speedboat to Sapzurro which should cost about US$3 or walk it in around 90 minutes. Once in Sapzurro if you walk up the stairs behind the church you will reach a very relaxed border point where you have to show your passport.

You won’t get it stamped because beyond La Miel there isn’t an obvious point north but you will need to return before 6pm when they close the border back to Colombia.

In La Miel, you can still pay with pesos and they have some duty-free shops and restaurants. It is a very relaxing beach and you can say you have been to Panama after taking a 20-minute stroll.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: Between January and October.

Isla Fuerte, Córdoba

isla fuerte
Isla Fuerte (credits: Armando Calderón via CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

This small island is beautiful, fairly accessible and still massively overlooked by foreign and local tourists.

Isla Fuerte Is a small coral island at the western end of the island chain of the Rosario and San Bernardo Archipelago. While those to the east are well-known destinations for visitors from Cartagena, Isla Fuerte is 11 km from the coast of the far less visited Cordoba department of Colombia.

Essentially, you get a similar experience to the aforementioned Isla Múcura but with far fewer visitors and a much lower price.

Isla Fuerte is one mile in diameter with around 2,000 locals and you can walk around the edge in around 5 hours or rent a bike. There are many small, beautiful beaches around the island set surrounded by trees.

During peak season in December to January tourist numbers increase significantly but generally, it is fairly quiet throughout the year. Despite this, they still have a lot of activities on offer. You can surf, paddleboard and kiteboard or take a boat to the huge reef just 10 miles from the island full of a large range of fish.

They have various small restaurants on the island plus a handful of hotels and hostels.

You can get to Isla Fuerte on a short boat trip from Paso Nuevo which is close to the town of Lorica. To get to Lorica there are buses from larger coastal cities such as Santa Marta, Cartagena or Barranquilla for 70,000 – 80,000 COP (US$18-20) which take 7 hours.

You can also fly to the Monteria from Bogota, Medellin or Barranquilla then take a 2-hour bus to Lorica.

⏱️ Best Time To Go: It is between December and April when the weather is driest and the sea is calmest. I would try to avoid late December, as this is really the only time the island can get busy all year.

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