So you’re planning a trip to Colombia and you want to engage in some serious beach bumming? Cartagena Las Indias is an awesome destination in the North. It’s definitely one of the highlights of Colombia. Its Caribbean location already has you drooling over white sandy beaches and cocktails in the tropical sun…
One short line of advice: not all of these beaches are inside the city of Cartagena. To find the most beautiful beaches, you might need to get out of the city for a bit.
Let’s dive straight in and list all the very best beaches in Cartagena!
Beaches in Cartagena
Cartagena beaches are not really the most beautiful picture perfect beaches you can find in Colombia.
I can assure you that there are beaches like that, but they’re just not in the city.
You have to get out of the city for that!
But still, if you’re in dire need of some beach time and Cartagena is where you are, then you should definitely check out these beaches!
Keep scrolling to find some beaches that are picture perfect, right outside of the city.
BocaGrande is the most famous urban beach in the city of Cartagena.
It’s a glamorous place to go to and it’s only a short walk from one of the most blitz and hip neighbourhoods in the city.
You don’t go here to find a deserted stretch of sandy beach.
No, this is the place where you go sunbathing among the masses of other people.
This beach is super crowded, but it does offer a lot of amenities, like bars, restaurants, clubs, … anything really!
Laguito Beach is located a few meters from BocaGrande and it’s in the same style.
With a location super close to the popular hotels and restaurants, this place is also super touristy and busy.
People don’t come here to find a deserted beach or to find peace and quiet.
Located on the same peninsula as the before mentioned beaches, Castillogrande is a bit more upscale and expensive, but it still falls under the same category.
This beach is built up with skyscrapers and hotels.
It’s a true urban beach where you won’t find deserted places.
It is, however, a little more quiet than the others, thanks to the high prices for drinks and meals.
La Boquilla Beach
Being one of the more local beaches, this place is very different from BocaGrande.
It’s a bit further from the city center and that’s why it’s a little less crowded.
So, La Boquilla is a great place to escape the massive crowds and get some relaxed beach time with locals.
But still, it’s not the type of beach you see in postcards!
La Boquilla can be found just East of the Old Town of Cartagena.
From this beach, you can arrange tours into the mangroves that are located just next to the beach.
Beaches near Cartagena
This is where you find the beautiful beaches that are postcard worthy!
Some of these beaches require a short drive or bus ride, while others are located on the islands in front of the coast.
Manzanillo Del Mar Beach
This series of beaches is located outside of the city, but still on the mainland.
It’s a super quiet and relaxed place to go to.
These beaches are located a short drive outside of Cartagena and you can reach them in a 30 minute drive.
The town of Manzanillo del Mar is becoming more and more touristy and there are starting to pop up some hotels and touristy places.
As for the different beaches here: check out Playa de Oro.
How to get there
You can easily reach the village by public transportation: 30 to 40 minutes
Tierra Bomba Island
Tierra Bomba Island is located right in front of the city of Cartagena, a few kilometers off the coast.
It’s quite a large island and it’s one of the new found beach locations that is just starting to grow popular.
On the island, you can find a few smaller towns and upcoming resorts and beach clubs.
The best beach on Tierra Bomba is Punta Arena Beach, but there are a few other beaches, like Chiringuito and Playa Linda.
How to get there
Get a boat from El Laguito Peninsula: 10 minutes
Rosario Islands are the furthest away from Cartagena, further than any of the other places.
That might just be the reason they’re the best beach destination to go to!
Rosario Islands are a protected National Park and the archipelago consists of 28 smaller islands.
You can either take a day trip to the islands or spend the night in one of the hotels.
Isla Rosario and Isla Grande are the largest 2 islands and they are the islands most visitors end up going to. Isla Baru is also part of the Rosario Islands and it’s a good place to go to. Read more about this tiny speck of land in the next paragraph.
You can even rent your own little private island here:
How to get there
Take a boat from La Muelle Cartagena: 1,5 h – 40.000 COP
Entrance fee for the NP: 15.500 COP – 3,6 €
Isla Baru is one of the tiny little islands in front of the National Park of El Rosario.
The island is pretty popular, so chances are good that you won’t be on your own.
Playa Blanca on Isla Baru is one of the most beautiful and most visited beaches in the Cartagena area.
You can either visit the island in a day trip to get some beach time and explore the island.
But another great option is to spend the night. This is the best way to get some private time on the beaches here.
It’s also a good idea to visit these beaches during the week, as weekends tend to be even more crowded when locals from Cartagena also flock the islands.
How to get there
Get a boat from Cartagena town: 40 minutes – 115 thousand COP round trip
Get a shuttle from Cartagena: 1 hour – 50 thousand COP round trip
Go by public bus: over 1 hour – 45 thousand COP round trip
Conclusion - Cartagena Beaches
As you can read, there are quite a few choices for beach bumming in Cartagena de Indias. Not every choice might be a great fit for every traveler and it depends a lot on your beach expectations.
For our travel style, we really love to be at a beach that is not too crowded. For Cartagena, that means you have to get away from the city.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t have tons of fun on one of the urban and fancy beaches in Cartagena City.
We hope you find the ideal beach or get to plan a relaxing day trip to one of the stunning little islands in front of the coast!