Idyllic white sandy beaches lined with palm trees is one of the unique selling points of Colombia. Unfortunately this magnificent country is no longer a secret among tourists anymore. It can be difficult to find a quiet beach without too many other people. But if you are willing to travel just a little further, you will find them!
These beaches are far enough from main tourist tourist trail to enjoy the scenery. However, they are close enough to civilisation so that a cold beer is never much further than an arm’s reach away.
So, do you want to enjoy palm tree paradise without the flashpackers, boom boxes and cramped together towels? Then read on!
Table of Contents
Highlights: 2 secret beaches in Colombia
- Idyllic quiet beaches with laid back atmosphere
- Enough shady spots for those wanting to escape the heat
- Cold beers
- Beach sports/toys if you need a break from beach bumming
Secret beach #1: Beaches between Tolú and Coveñas
This beach destination is on the mainland of Colombia on the Caribbean coastline. Between the two small villages are beautiful beaches with plenty of shade underneath thatched parasols.
Beach accommodation at Tolú
There is plenty of accommodation lining the beach. All have access to the beach. We chose to stay at De Mar Amar Cobaña Hotel because it seemed good value for money. And boy did we have a wonderful time! The guesthouse has chairs and hammocks set up in a lovely shady area right on the beach. They even have a cool box with cold beers and drinks within arms reach! Guests may also use snorkel sets and beach tennis for free.
A double room costs between 105k – 260k COP (25 – 60 Euro) depending on the season and room. Food is reasonably priced (between 8-25k COP), a Coco Cola costs 2,5k and a cold bearer Corona 4k.
Getting to Tolú and the beach
If you arriving by (night) bus, chances are you’ll arrive in Tolú. Collectivos (public buses) operate regularly between Tolú and Coveñas. You can hop on at the gas station where the night bus drops you off. Just give the driver a holler when you’ve reached your hotel and want to hop off.
Secret beach #2: Isla Mistica (San Bernardo islands)
This island (sometimes referred to as Isla Palma) is part of the San Bernardo islands, south of the more well-known Rosario islands. And because these islands are a little further from Cartagena, it also means less tourists!
Transportation to island Mistica (Colombia)
The boat from Tolu to Isla Mistica is 45k COP one way. You can buy your ticket in the harbour just before departure (also in high season). When you leave you can either go back to Tolú or all the way to Cartagena (100k COP one way).
Tip: Bring enough water from the mainland! The island only has brackish water coming from the tap, meaning a water filter won’t do the job either. There are plenty of people selling water in the harbour, but you will pay about double you would in the supermarket.
There are only two options for sleeping here, which narrows down the choice. The first option is a large hotel. However I would recommend the second option, a hostel with an amazing vibe: Mistica Island Hostel – Isla Palma. They offer double rooms, family rooms and hammock camping. Make sure to secure a spot in advance during high season. This piece of paradise fills up!
Where to book
Ready for more Colombian beaches?
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