Beaches in Cartagena Colombia

beaches in cartagena colombia

Cartagena, a stunning city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, is renowned for its vibrant culture, colonial architecture, and, notably, its breathtaking beaches. With a mix of urban beaches and idyllic island escapes, Cartagena offers something for everyone, from those seeking adventure to travelers yearning for relaxation. Here’s an exploration of some of the best beaches in Cartagena, Colombia, and what makes them unique.

Playa Blanca

Located on the nearby Isla Barú, Playa Blanca is one of Cartagena’s most famous and picturesque beaches. It’s known for its powdery white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Visitors can take a boat from Cartagena’s harbor to reach Playa Blanca, and it’s a popular spot for day trips. Despite its beauty, it can get crowded, especially during peak season, so it’s recommended to arrive early or visit on weekdays for a more tranquil experience.


Bocagrande is the city’s urban beach district, reminiscent of Miami’s beachfront with its high-rise hotels and modern amenities. This stretch of coastline offers a lively atmosphere with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops nearby. It’s a great spot for those who enjoy city conveniences while relaxing on the beach. The water is calm and ideal for swimming, making it a family-friendly option.

Castillo Grande

Adjacent to Bocagrande, Castillo Grande is a quieter alternative, often frequented by locals. The beach here is less crowded, providing a more laid-back environment. The calm waters are perfect for swimming, and the views of Cartagena’s skyline are impressive. It’s an excellent choice for those looking for a peaceful retreat within the city limits.

Islas del Rosario

The Rosario Islands, a group of small coral islands about 45 minutes by boat from Cartagena, are a haven for snorkelers and divers. The clear waters offer excellent visibility, and the coral reefs are teeming with marine life. Playa Grande on Isla del Rosario is a popular destination, with its pristine beaches and vibrant coral gardens. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, and other water activities.

La Boquilla

Located to the north of Cartagena, La Boquilla is a quieter beach area known for its mangroves and traditional fishing culture. This beach is perfect for those who want to escape the crowds and experience a more local side of Cartagena. You can take a guided canoe tour through the mangroves or relax on the sandy shores. The waves here are larger, making it a great spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Manzanillo del Mar

A bit further out from the city, Manzanillo del Mar offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city center. This beach is less developed than others in Cartagena, providing a more natural and untouched feel. It’s ideal for long walks along the shore, horseback riding, or simply enjoying the peace and quiet.

Cartagena’s beaches offer a diverse range of experiences, from the vibrant urban setting of Bocagrande to the serene islands of the Rosario Archipelago. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, Cartagena’s coastline has something to offer every traveler. Each beach has its unique charm and attractions, making it easy to find the perfect spot to soak up the sun and enjoy the Caribbean breeze.

Tierra Bomba Island

Tierra Bomba Island, located just a short boat ride from Cartagena, is another destination worth exploring. It has several beaches that offer a laid-back atmosphere with less crowding compared to Playa Blanca. Punta Arena is a popular spot on the island, where visitors can enjoy fresh seafood, calm waters, and a relaxing vibe.

Many beach clubs here offer amenities like beach chairs, umbrellas, and beachside service, making it a convenient getaway for a day of sun and sand.

Punta Canoas

Punta Canoas, located north of Cartagena, is a less-known gem for beach lovers. This area offers a tranquil and scenic environment, perfect for those who prefer a more secluded beach experience. It’s also an ideal spot for water sports like kitesurfing and windsurfing, thanks to the steady winds. Punta Canoas provides a more laid-back setting compared to the bustling beaches in the city, making it a great choice for a peaceful retreat.

Playa de las Américas

Located on the south side of Tierra Bomba Island, Playa de las Américas is a hidden treasure that’s less frequented by tourists. This beach offers a unique combination of calm waters, stunning views, and a more rustic setting. It’s a fantastic spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, as the underwater world is rich with marine life and coral reefs. If you’re looking for a beach that’s off the beaten path, Playa de las Américas is a great choice.

Essential Tips for Visiting Cartagena’s Beaches

Transportation: Most of Cartagena’s beaches require a boat trip or a short drive. It’s advisable to book transportation through a reputable tour operator or hotel to ensure safety and avoid scams.

Timing: Weekdays and early mornings are generally less crowded. If you visit during peak season, be prepared for larger crowds, especially at popular beaches like Playa Blanca.

Amenities: Some beaches, like Bocagrande, offer plenty of amenities, while others, like Manzanillo del Mar, are more rustic. Plan accordingly by bringing essentials like sunscreen, water, and snacks.

Safety: While Cartagena’s beaches are generally safe, it’s always wise to keep an eye on your belongings and avoid wandering into unfamiliar areas after dark.

Environmental Considerations: Cartagena’s beaches are beautiful, and it’s essential to keep them that way.

Dispose of trash properly and consider participating in beach cleanups to help preserve the environment.

Cartagena’s beaches are a key reason why the city is such a popular travel destination. With a wide variety of beaches, from bustling urban settings to serene island retreats, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax, explore marine life, or enjoy water sports, Cartagena’s diverse coastline has it all. Each beach has its unique charm, providing a memorable experience for visitors.