A Guide to The Beaches of Cartagena
Cartagena’s stunning location as the jewel of Colombia’s Caribbean coast is not simply because of its beautiful Old Town and UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Part of its increasing global appeal is it’s coastal location, giving you easy access to beautiful Caribbean islands, excellent kite surfing beaches and even beaches in the heart of the city. Here’s our guide to help you find that perfect beach day (or days) during your stay in gorgeous Cartagena.
Tropical Caribbean islands – the Rosarios
It’s a one-hour boat ride to the Rosario Islands National Park, where you’ll find an archipelago of 30 sun-kissed almost-deserted islands surrounded by the turquoise waters and coral reefs we all dream of swimming, snorkelling and diving in – truly, a Caribbean paradise!
If you’re looking for luxury or a quiet spot to retreat with a loved one, we recommend a night and day on Isla del Pirata. Bendita Beach is a perfect white sand spot for the ultimate Instagram envy-selfie. Try Gente del Mar on Isla Grande if you’re on vacation with children. Cholon is the place for parties. Isla Barú is very popular with locals and backpackers alike.
There’s a diversity of experiences available on the islands and Hi Cartagena can help to guide you in your choice, as well as help you get to your chosen island and make reservations.
Relax at a beach club on the island of Tierra Bomba
The island of Tierra Bomba is just 15 minutes by boat from Cartagena and is perfect for a day trip to the beach away from the heat of the city or a night on a quiet island with a view of the Cartagena skyline. The strip known as Punta Arena has a number of beach clubs, where you can while away the day in a hammock under a palm tree sipping cocktails and eating fresh fish and seafood.
Most trips leave from the beach at Bocagrande Hospital and we can help you with booking the boat. We recommend Fenix beach club and Blue Apple Beach, especially if you’re a couple or a group of friends. If you’re feeling adventurous, we can also arrange a kayak trip across the water, so that fruit cocktail really refreshes you when you get there!
The secret to any trip to Playa Blanca
Playa Blanca is a very long beach on Isla Barú. It’s famous for its stunning turquoise waters and white sands, but it’s also very popular as a destination, since the bridge opened up which connects it to the mainland, so the first tip is to visit on a weekday, rather than a weekend, when many local people will be enjoying the sea with their families.
We can help to organise a trip to playa Blanca by boat, which is a wonderful way to arrive and our trip takes you to the quieter end of the beach. We recommend Nena Beach or Banana Beach, where you can enjoy a spot of volleyball, sip a cocktail and of course have fried fish and coco rice for lunch!
Kite surfing in La Boquilla
For the more adventurous traveller, head north of the city to La Boquilla beach for a day kite surfing. La Boquilla is named after the fishing village found at the very end of this 3km beach, but close to the city, you’ll find high-rise hotels and condominiums.
Although you won’t find the crystal clear waters of the Rosarios here, you will find a slice of the real Cartagena – families enjoying a day together under a sun shade and freshly caught fish from the fisherman who live in the area. You can also find some of the best kite surfing in the city. We can help you arrange a lesson – simply give us a call.
Cartagena’s Miami – Laguito and Castillogrande
If you don’t have a whole day available to enjoy the beach, don’t worry – Cartagena has beaches you can enjoy in the centre of the city. Head to the beaches at Castillogrande and Laguito, just a short taxi ride from the walled city, and you can take a long stroll at sunset or spend a couple of hours in the morning or afternoon soaking up some rays.
The majority of the beach here is public, so it can get busy at weekends. If you’re looking for something a little more exclusive, head to the Hilton Hotel, where you’ll find the entrance to Playa Laguito. Here you can enjoy a cocktail, set up on a private sunbed and even go surfing, paddleboarding or jetskiing.
Whatever your beach of choice may be, if you have any questions or need any help making arrangements or reservations, call our concierge and we can help you to plan your perfect beach day.