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The Best Beaches in and around Cartagena

Playa Blanca bird view
Playa Blanca

Pure Caribbean: Playa Blanca

White sandy beach, turquoise water and coconut palms: the typical Caribbean flair makes Playa Blanca on the Isla Barú peninsula one of the most attractive beaches around Cartagena de Indias. You can get there in 30 minutes by speedboat, leaving from the harbor in the old town. To spend a few quiet hours on the beach, it is worthwhile to leave early in the morning. Because during the day, it can not be concealed, it is quite crowded at Playa Blanca!

Playa de Bocagrande bird view
Playa de Bocagrande

Nearby: Playa Bocagrande

Short distances and proximity to the city: If you want both, Playa Bocagrande is the place for you. The long sandy beach borders directly on Bocagrande, one of Cartagena's wealthy and elegant districts. Here, large hotels, casinos and a diverse restaurant scene dominate the promenade. Playa Bocagrande is ideal for those who need a break from the lively city center and want to stretch out on the beach for a while. In the evening, the long promenade is perfect for a romantic sunset stroll. A little tip: Please don't let the bustling and eloquent vendors sell you anything you don't really want.

Playa Castillogrande bird view
Playa Castillogrande 

For connoisseurs: Playa Castillogrande

Castillogrande is a luxurious residential area at the far end of the Bocagrande peninsula. Similar to Playa Bocagrande, modern high-rises here form an impressive skyline right on the long, sandy coast. The beach section of Castillogrande is once again much more dignified than Playa Bocagrande, there is less hype and souvenir stands, but more space to spread out. On weekends, the beach is an extremely popular destination for families with children.

Cholon bird view
Young peolple celebrating

In a celebratory mood: Cholon

If you need a change from the oh-so-sweet lazing on the beach, you should visit Isla Cholon. The small island is a well-known party paradise in Colombia. Many young people dock here daily in their private boats to sip cocktails on the beach and party extensively, both on the boats and on land. For the - more or less short - night's rest you can book a hostel on the island. If you can hold out until dawn or get up early, you can watch the beautiful sunrises from Cholon, usually with an imposingly wide range of colors.

Fish dish
People bathing

Quiet before the crater: Playa de Oro

To the north of Cartagena de Indias lies the small fishing community of Manzanillo del Mar, which includes the idyllic Playa de Oro beach. Here you can let your mind wander, unwind and be served the day's fresh catch in the simple restaurants. The calm waters also make it a pleasant destination for children. For those who need more action: a little further north lies the volcano El Totumo Lodo. A trip there including a bath in the mineral-rich crater mud is definitely worth it!

Playa Libre (Isla Grande) bird view
Couple snorkling

Free on the reef: Playa Libre (Isla Grande)

Isla Grande is the largest island in the Caribbean island chain Islas del Rosario and is known for gorgeous beaches with soft sand and gentle waters - a day trip is highly recommended. The beaches, surrounded by an intact coral reef, are a popular place for snorkeling and diving. Playa Libre is one of the few beaches on Isla Grande that is freely accessible and not tied to a private beach club. From here you can take a wonderful short walk to Pueblo, the only village on the island, or have a limonada de coco at Beach Club Papaya y Sol.

Man sitting at beach
Beach with sun chairs

To the rhythm of the hammock: Playa de Punta Arena (Tierra Bomba)

It takes only 15 minutes by boat from Cartagena to the island of Tierra Bomba. One of the most popular beaches here is Playa de Punta Arena - with deep blue water and light sandy beaches. In addition, there is a unique view of the Castillogrande skyline. At Bomba Beach Club you can enjoy fresh juices, cocktails and Colombian food and stretch your feet in one of the hammocks. If you're lucky, you'll also get to hear upbeat live music in the afternoon.

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