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12 Best Beaches in Cartagena, Colombia You Shouldn’t Miss

User Avatar Author: Nicole Guevara
1 year ago - February 14, 2023

Reading time: 6 mins

Cartagena is one of the places you must explore if you visit Colombia. Are you ready to experience Cartagena’s amazing beaches? There’s no better place than Cartagena, Colombia, to explore crystal-clear waters and irresistible sands. From the famous Bocagrande Beach to Playa Blanca, here are some of the best beaches in Cartagena, Colombia, for your next beach getaway!


Beaches within Cartagena Proper


For a classic Caribbean beach experience, make your way to Bocagrande, where you can soak up the sun on its golden sand. This beach is conveniently located near downtown Cartagena, making it the perfect destination for travelers looking for easy access to restaurants, shops, and transportation. You can also rent jet skis and parasails at this popular spot.

Cartagena coastal landscape

Cartagena coastal landscape

La Boquilla

La Boquilla Beach is another excellent option for beachgoers, sporting a more laid-back atmosphere when compared to other nearby beaches. This beach is east of Old Town and known for its lively atmosphere. You can find a variety of fun activities here, from live music performances to traditional dance lessons. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars in the vicinity to sample some delicious local delicacies.

La Boquilla Beach in Cartagena, Colombia

La Boquilla Beach in Cartagena, Colombia

Castillo Grande Beach

This is one of the best beaches in Cartagena, Colombia; Castillo Grande is a calm beach with a softer swell. The joy and energy so typical of the Caribbean Coast of Colombia are ever present. Also, from here, it’s possible to visit other beaches or islands via boat. If you’re interested in aquatic activities, kayaking and jet-skiing are readily available.

Castillo Grande Beach urban coastal landscape

Castillo Grande Beach urban coastal landscape


Nearby Beaches

Tierra Bomba Beach (10-minute boat ride)

The namesake beach on Tierra Bomba offers stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the sun. You can also find some great restaurants here serving fresh seafood at reasonable prices.

Tierra Bomba Beach aerial view

Tierra Bomba Beach aerial view

Punta Arena Beach (10-minute boat ride)

This beach is perfect for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Punta Arena is located in a small fishing village, also on the island of Tierra Bomba. Pristine beaches and turquoise waters await with some of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see! The boat ride over is a breezy 10 minutes.

Manzanillo del Mar (35-minute drive)

Manzanillo del Mar is a must-visit destination while you’re in Cartagena. This beach is known for its stunning blue waters and white-sand beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, and a picturesque small-town feel. Plenty of delicious restaurants offer up traditional Colombian cuisine.


Beaches Less than One-hour Away

Playa Blanca – Isla Baru (1-hour drive)

If you’re looking for a quieter and more secluded beach experience, head to Playa Blanca. This stunning white sand beach is located on Isla Barú, southwest of Cartagena. You will find plenty of opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking in crystal-clear waters. Plus, nearby, there are some great restaurants in the vicinity to enjoy a delicious meal with an ocean view!

Cholón – Isla Barú (1-hour drive)

Cholón is located along a charming beach cove with beautiful views of the Caribbean. It’s perfect destination for couples who want to spend quality time together, as it’s known for its romantic atmosphere. It also has the reputation of being a fun destination for boat and yacht parties.

Rosario Islands (1-hour boat ride)

Rosario Islands wood port

Rosario Islands wood port

More of a smorgasbord of fantastic beach sites than a single beach, the Rosario Islands are a cluster of 30 small islands located off Cartagena’s coast. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia, the area is famous for its crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and relaxed atmosphere. There are plenty of opportunities to take part in snorkeling, diving, and other aquatic activities here.rosario islands cartagena colombia national park

Isla del Encanto

Isla del Encanto is the perfect place to disconnect, relax, and create memorable experiences on one of the best beaches in Cartagena, with magical and astonishing sand and watercolors. It is in Corales del Rosario Park, 60 minutes away from Cartagena by boat.


What about beaches with a more pristine feel?

Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park is one of Colombia’s most important nature sanctuaries thanks to its remarkable flora and fauna. The Tayrona National Park has about 16 beaches, each one with its own charm. These are some of the best beaches close to Cartagena.

At Tayrona National Park, you can rest, look out at the sea, and listen to the marvelous waves. It is the perfect thing to release tension and forget about the chaos of daily life.

Tayrona National Park beach

Tayrona National Park beach

Tayrona National Natural Park

Santa Marta

The paradisiacal beaches of Santa Marta are known for their incomparable beauty. Santa Marta also has its appeal as a gateway to “La Ciudad Perdida,” an archaeological site populated in ancient times by the Tayrona indigenous community, located within the Tayrona National Park. It is also recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of Colombia. Another great thing about your visit to Santa Marta is the proximity to Cartagena; you can really take advantage of your adventure and explore the best that Colombia has to offer!


So, pack your sunscreen and get ready for a fantastic Cartagena vacation! From luxurious resorts to secluded white sand beaches, there’s something for everyone in Cartagena’s incredible beach destinations. Enjoy the sun, sand, and sea on your next trip to Cartagena!

Disconnect from the mundane! Without a doubt, in this region, you’ll find the best beaches in Cartagena, Colombia that impress all who visit them. The golden sand, exciting cultural and culinary experience, and diverse flora and fauna—both terrestrial and marine—make this place a Colombian paradise.


Colombia & Ecuador
If you enjoyed the vibrant energy of Colombia with its colorful landscapes, rich culture, and history, keep the momentum going when you visit neighboring Ecuador. Stay at the award-winning Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel in the heart of the most well-preserved historic quarter in South America—Quito! Then, enjoy a great adventure at the one-and-only Mashpi Lodge in the rainforest of the Andean Chocó.


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