A go to guide for Cartagena's best beaches - The lowdown on the best strips of sand in Cartagena for beach bums looking to let it all hang out

Cartagena Beach LifeA go to guide for Cartagena's best beaches

Blessed with an average temperature of 27.7ºC and 2,500 hours of brilliant Caribbean sunshine a year, pretty much every day is a good day to go to the beach in Cartagena.

Boasting a total of 19 km of beaches in the metropolitan area, nearly another 100 km of beaches heading north to Barranquilla and the 43-island archipelago, Islas del Rosario there are plenty of options for those looking to catch some sea and sun.

Each swathe of Caribbean sand comes with its own vibe. Tourists normally first clap eyes on Bocagrande, the longest of the city’s beaches, ablaze with tourists and somewhat nostalgic Miami Vice backdrop and write the rest of the city beaches off.

Don’t. Whether it’s the laid-back family feel of Castillogrande, the myriad watersports options on offer in Laguito, or the beach clubs and resorts popping up in La Boquilla or Manzanillo del Mar, there’s a host of fun, sun and sea options for everyone.

If only platinum sands and aquamarine waters will do for your and your crew, nothing beats the alluring elegance of the Rosario Islands, the most picturesque of the beach bunch.

If you’re looking to do some stellar stargazing we’ve got some top liner beach retreats to choose from as well.

For those looking to max out their R&R, we strongly suggest you avoid the touts, tourists and stress that comes with one of the cheap but not so cheerful boat trips by getting yourself onto one of the more upscale day passes to the Rosario Islands.

For group’s of more than four, it often works out cheaper to rent your own boat and sidestep the tin can feel of a shared chalupa to Playa Blanca.

Whatever your preference, this guide will help you find your ultimate strip of sand. From beach bums on a tight schedule to island darlings that want to stray as far as the eye can see, we’ve got the perfect beach plan to suit your desires.

 

Spend the Day in Paradise
Rosario Islands

Rosario Islands
Let’s start with the fairest of them all, the Rosario Islands.

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Baru

Baru
With the exception of Playa Blanca, the most prized and expansive of Baru’s beaches, the beaches on Cartagena’s biggest island other are small, intimate and often lined with mangroves.

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Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca
Playa Blanca was one of the first Cartagena beach secrets to be pouched by the Lonely Planet crowd, and it’s easy to see why.

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La Boquilla

La Boquilla
Renowned by the locals for its massive stretch of beach and blessed with winds made for kite and wind surfing, cheap seafood and nearby mangroves, La Boquilla is a local hero on the beach scene.

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Manzanillo del Mar

Manzanillo del Mar
Manzanillo de Mar is for beachcombers that don’t mind trading their platinum sands and blue seas for something with more local bite.

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Punta Arena | Tierra Bomba

Punta Arena | Tierra Bomba
Just seven minutes from Castillogrande, the white sandy beaches of Punta Arena on the eastern side of the large island of Tierra Bomba is one of the best kept secrets of Cartagena.

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Bocagrande

Bocagrande
Let’s be honest, the beach isn't the best but that doesn't stop it being the busiest during high season and at weekends.

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Laguito

Laguito
The best stretch of beach is maintained by the Hilton Hotel, while surfers and watersports fanatics cluster where El Laguito meets Bocagrande.

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Castillogrande

Castillogrande
Cartagena's elite have made this their exclusive Caribbean cul-de-sac. The beach is more laid-back than its unruly neighbour Bocagrande and private members' clubs cater to the segregated needs of the city's high-rolling beach bums.

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Marbella

Marbella
Marbella probably isn’t in the running to win any beach beauty awards, so function over aesthetic is the rule of thumb here.

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Island Odyssey Experience - Rosario and San Bernardo Islands

Island Odyssey Experience - Rosario and San Bernardo Islands
A day or two is too few to truly relish Cartagena’s goddess sands and waters so extend your escape and broaden your horizons with a unique island experience that takes you through not one, but two, idyllic Caribbean archipelagos.

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Best Beach Stays

Best Beach Stays
Beach bums that never want to drift from the shore can slumber by the sea day and night with an unforgettable beach stay in the Rosario Islands or the city.

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