When I imagined coming to Colombia I saw myself drenched in sun, lazing on a hammock on a beach or on my balcony overlooking the sea. I arrived in Bogotá. It was quite different.
For those looking to live the dream, however, there’s a huge selection of amazing beaches in Colombia. In fact, Colombia is the only country in South America that borders both the Caribbean and Pacific, so not only is the selection big, it’s varied, too. As such, I haven’t managed to go to all the beaches Colombia has to offer. This will have to be part of my very difficult job in the coming year. I’ve been to a lot though, and these are my top 5:
El Cabo, Tayrona National Park
El Cabo at Tayrona
The definitive Colombian beach, and the one that appears on all the photos in your guide book. El Cabo might not have the deserted, Tom-Hanks-in-Castaway kind of vibe since it’s popular with backpackers, but the scenery that surrounds you as you dip yourself into the brilliant blue water is enough to convince you that life is pretty great.
Now this is Castaway style. For miles and miles you’ll see no-one else, merely piles upon piles of red sand cascading into the horizon and an ocean that makes you think, if the world was flat, this is where I could walk off the edge.
Although this one is on the premises of Punta Faro, a pricey hotel resort, it is possible to go and visit it if you buy lunch at the hotel. Palm trees abound on the island, giving it the quintessential Caribbean flavor. The perfect weather, golden sands and clear waters don’t hurt, either.
Taganga's beach isn't the most beautiful in Colombia, but it earns its place on my list for its ability to cure and cause a hangover. In the day you'll relish just relaxing on Taganga's shores, drinking fruit juices and wondering exactly what happened the night before. At night, starting around 6, you can watch the beautiful sunset before hitting the beach with some beers.
Predictable? Sure, but Playa Blanca is on the list because it's Cartagena's nearest beach, and when you're in Cartagena you want a nice beach to laze at to suit the relaxed atmosphere that exudes from the city's streets. Playa Blanca is white sands and turquoise waters (and touts), just what you expect from a Caribbean beach.