With a sprawling coastline from Pacific to Caribbean, stunning beaches with crystal blue waters that are teeming with coral and wildlife, and infectious year-round sunshine, it’s no wonder why Colombia is one of the best destinations for a beach vacation in South America. Sip on a cocktail, go for a snorkel, lay back, and enjoy the breeze – Kuoda wants to help take you there on a luxury beach vacation to Colombia. When considering where to go on your luxury beach vacation to Colombia, consider if you’re looking for somewhere with a city and more urban activities nearby, like Cartagena or Santa Marta, or to be totally immersed in nature like in the Rosario Islands, or Parque Tayrona. There are plenty of options in Colombia, and we’d love to help you choose! Read on to learn more about Colombia’s premier beach vacation destinations and reach out to us today to start planning your days in the tropics.
Undeniably one of the most popular destinations in Colombia, Cartagena in recent years has transformed into a hub for tourism to the region. Cartagena is the crown jewel of the Spanish Caribbean and brings together superbly preserved colonial architecture, cobblestone alleys, and world-class bars and restaurants – but with the lackadaisical vibe of the Caribbean which will force you to take things slow, enjoy the moment and truly relax – you’re in the tropics after all.
The sultry city of Cartagena is a remarkable addition to travelers exploring Colombia. Once the main trading port between the Americas and Europe, Cartagena is now a warm and welcoming city full of unique experiences. Here, travelers can expect to find beautiful architecture, fascinating history, and some of the most beautiful beaches with golden sands and turquoise waters.
The historic center of Cartagena is found within the old city walls built by the Spanish between the 16th and 18th centuries. Known as Ciudad Amurallada, or the Walled City, it’s where the majority of Cartagena’s many hotels and restaurants are located. For those looking for a beach vacation in the center of everything with lots to do in addition to laying out by the beach, Cartagena is a great option.
2. Rosario Islands
The Rosario Islands, located in the Caribbean Sea just off the coast of Cartagena, are an easily-accessible Colombian getaway destination with the white sand and clear water you’re dreaming of in a Caribbean vacation. The 27 islands are an hour away from Cartagena and make for an incredible weekend getaway while visiting the Colombian coast.
As one of the 46 national parks in Colombia, this beautiful island chain offers nature lovers an incredible opportunity to snorkel in one of the most biodiverse regions in South America, swim with bioluminescent plankton, and experience well-preserved coral reefs.
The Rosario Islands offer no shortage of adventurous activities, most of which revolve around the pristine waters surrounding the islands. Scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts can enjoy pristine coral reefs and biodiverse waters with colorful fish and other incredible sea creatures. Those looking to surf, parasail, kayak, or jetski will also find themselves with ample opportunity for adventure in the Rosario Islands, with plenty of tour operators in the region offering these activities.
A more remote destination, but with some of the most gorgeous beaches in South America, Rosario Islands is a perfect getaway for adventurous travelers who love watersports, or those looking to relax on beautiful beaches, like the famed Playa Blanca, known for its white sand and crystal clear blue water.
3. Santa Marta
Beachside Santa Marta is an established port city on the Caribbean coast that blends together indigenous, Spanish, and African cultures to create one of Colombia’s most interesting cities.
The city was established in 1525 by the Spanish and is one of the oldest cities in the Americas, as seen in the old cobblestone streets and architecture, which to this day has been well preserved in most areas of the city. Within Santa Marta travelers can find local markets, whitewashed cathedrals, and endless opportunities to explore the nature found in the Caribbean’s best beaches, hiking trails, and the famous Tayrona National Park nearby – a Colombian gem which is teeming with wildlife, gorgeous beaches and some of the best opportunities for adventure on the Colombian coast.
4. Parque Tayrona
Along the northern Caribbean coastline of Colombia is the oasis known as Tayrona National Park or Parque Tayrona. Here, the white sand beaches and turquoise waters neighbor a dense jungle full of tropical flora and fauna. After a jungle hike to the coast, visitors can expect to find total relaxation while sunbathing in one of the many bays or coves lining the park.
You can also spend some time underwater with a snorkeling or scuba diving excursion through the sea. When it comes to a beach vacation, Parque Tayrona is known for Cabo San Juan Del Guia, a picturesque beach that takes about an hour’s hike to get to, the beach is a hidden paradise that you should know, located within the park where you can find a beautiful paradisiacal landscape and stunning waters. This is a great option for a beach vacation completely immersed in nature – even more so if you’re interested in glamping around Tayrona!
5. San Andres
Though closer to Central America than it is to Colombia – San Andres’ Afro-Colombian culture, remote location, and stunning cays, rays, reefs, atolls, and sandbanks make you feel as though you are in a completely secluded part of the world. Located 750 kilometers north of the mainland, it boasts beautiful beaches, Caribbean culture, and activities to fill a tropical holiday for days. San Andrés was chosen as the World’s Top Sun and Beach Destination in 2014, 2015, and 2019 at the World Travel Awards. Its award-winning beaches like Sound Bay, Rose Cay, and Cocoplum are the perfect spots to watch hundreds of tropical fish swim by, soak up the sun, and enjoy a little island paradise away from it all.
If you’re in the mood to shop – you’re in luck. The island is a Duty-Free zone and has plenty of boutiques, high-end shopping, and authentic craft stores. Nestled between the most gorgeous beaches on the island you’ll find Spratt Bright, located in the shopping district of San Andrés. Flanked by a promenade full of restaurants, hotels, bars, and shops.
San Andres was declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Site in 2000 for its Seaflower Biosphere Reserve. The reserve site is not just the islands and their outlying cays; it also takes in 10% of the Caribbean Sea, covering an expanse of over 300 thousand square kilometers.
What’s been a well-known vacation spot for Colombians for decades, San Andres is becoming known as a destination you can’t miss when you visit this South American country.