Paisa Tours: Guide to Medellin and Colombia

Homepage - browse this Colombia travel guide by destinations (see homepage) or browse according to activity:

Colombia Tours:
Adventure Tours
Archaeological Tours
Birdwatching Tours
Boutique Hotels
Colonial Cities
Discount Travel Tips
Ecotourism & Wildlife Tours
Group (Escorted) Tours
Horseback Riding
Nightlife & Colombian Girls
Scuba Diving
Surfing, Windsurfing & Sailing
Tailor Made & Luxury Tours
Trekking & Mountaineering

Colombia's Beaches

Top of the agenda for many people who visit Colombia are it's beaches, and rightly so. Colombia undisputedly has some of the best beaches in South America. Colombia's best beaches are found on it's extensive Caribbean coastline and islands. You could easily spend a month travelling in Colombia and just visiting the beaches.

Colombia's Best Beach Destinations

Below is a run down of the best beach destinations in Colombia. Pros and Cons of visiting each destination are offered.

Providencia Island

Pros: wonderful scenery; very high quality uncrowded beaches; great for relaxing; crystal clear, calm waters; great snorkelling and scuba diving; plenty of non-beach activities; English speaking local population.
Cons: Expensive to get to; no nightlife.

Park Tayrona

Pros: wonderful scenery; very high quality uncrowded beaches; easy to get to.
Cons: extremely dangerous for swimming; very limited accommodation (it's either luxury or in a hammock/camping - no mid range choices here); no nightlife.

San Andres Island

Pros: high quality beaches; crystal clear, calm waters; good nightlife.
Cons: beaches can be busy; have to catch flight from the mainland.

Santa Marta

Pros: Easy to get to; lots of tourist amenities; beaches are good (though not spectacular); great nightlife; wide range of accommodation options.
Cons: beaches are very busy; highly developed nature of the city won't suit all.


Pros: excellent cultural activities in addition to beaches; excellent luxury hotels; great nightlife & restaurants.
Cons: unattractive beaches; hectic beaches; sea is often murky coloured and dirty.

Rosario Islands

Pros: easy to get to (if you're in Cartagena); crystal clear sea; very relaxing place to visit; lovely small hotels to choose from.
Cons: very few actual beaches; very little to do.

La Guajira

Pros: very peaceful and uncrowded beaches (usually); fascinating desert and coastal scenery; experience and interact with indigenous cultures.
Cons: complicated to get to; only basic accommodation; need to book an organized tour to fully appreciate the area.

So where is best for what?

Best for beaches: Providencia Island
Best for beaches + nightlife: San Andres or Santa Marta
Best for beaches + cultural activities: Cartagena combined with Rosario Islands
Best for that satisfied feeling: Park Tayrona
Best for honeymoons: Providencia Island
Best for scuba diving: Providencia Island
Best for surfing & chilling: Nuqui
Best for totally relaxing: Providencia Island

More Detailed Advice & Other Destinations

Both San Andres and Providencia Islands (both in the Caribbean) have stunning beaches. San Andres' "Sea of seven shades" is quite spectacular, though it's beaches can get busy during Colombia's domestic tourism seasons. Always much quieter, and far more idyllic, are the beaches of neighbouring Providencia Island, one of the Caribbean's few remaining islands that has yet to see mass tourism. Providencia is a very peaceful, relaxing and unique island to visit that has fantastic beaches and crystal clear waters.

Colombia's best beaches, scenery-wise, are at Park Tayrona. It's hard to put into words how amazing Park Tayrona's idyllic rainforest-backed beaches are, many of which are completely empty. It's a true Caribbean beach paradise, the only problem is that most of the beaches are not safe for swimming as the sea is so rough and dangerous.

Colombia's primary beach resorts of Cartegena and Santa Marta can get a little crowded. Better beaches are nearby - the Rosario Islands are a short boat journey from Cartagena, and the beaches around Taganga are quieter and prettier than those of Santa Marta. Santa Marta is Colombia's most popular (with locals) beach resort - it's a heavily developed, slightly tacky tourist city. The colonial city of Cartagena, on the other hand, oozes with charm.

Capurgana and the San Bernardo Islands are also on Colombia's Carribean coast and have some beautiful beaches - these are the least visited areas of this coastline. From Capurgana it's just a short boat journey to neighbouring Panama's idyllic San Blas Islands, populated by the Kuna Indians.

There are also many fine beaches on Colombia's Pacific Coast, though generally speaking the Carribean coast has the best beaches. There are the small vacation resort towns of Nuqui and Bahia Solano, in addition to old prison island of Gorgona.

Other Carribean Islands are easily accessible from Colombia's mainland if you want to fly elsewhere for a beach vacation at the end of your tour of Colombia. Aires offers flights to the islands of Aruba and Curacao, plus there are regular flights from Bogota to Havana in Cuba.

Park Tayrona, Colombia
Beaches of Colombia at Park Tayrona.

San Andres Beaches, Colombia
San Andres Beaches

Providencia's Beaches
Providencia's Beaches.

Taganga, Colombia
Taganga, a small fishing village - more laid back and relaxing than the beaches of Santa Marta.

Sponsor ad:
Deep Blue - Providencia Island
Beautiful, new 14 room luxury hotel on the Caribbean Island of Providencia makes the perfect escape during your Colombia vacation - see Colombia Tours & Travel Guide. All rights reserved.

Browse Colombia by travel destinations: Caribbean Coast: - Cartegena - Rosario Islands - Santa Marta - Park Tayrona - Ciudad Perdida - La Guajira - San Andres - Providencia - San Bernardo Islands - Capurgana - Northern Colombia: - Bogota - Villa de Leiva - San Gil - Mompos - Paisa Country (Central Colombia): - Medellin - El Penol - Antioquia's Oriente - Santa Fe Antioquia - Rio Claro - Coffee Country - Los Nevados Park - Southern Colombia: - Cali - San Cipriano - Popayan - San Agustin - Tierradentro - Leticia - Colombia's Pacific Coast: - Choco - Gorgona Island - Nuqui - Bahia Solano