Playa Blanca—a beach that needs no introduction—is no longer the secret beach destination it once was. Not that the raucous crowds deter travellers from coming here for some cheap sun and fun.

  • This Is What We Love

    • Playa Blanca is a thumping playground of activity, full of locals and travelling-on-a-shoestring travellers. There is atmosphere to say the least
    • The secret to enjoying Playa Blanca is to stay the night. The crowds tend to return to the city at around 16:00
    • Playa Blanca is the best option for budget-conscious travellers
    • Heading to the Baru Bird Sanctuary, Aviario Nacional and dropping in on Playa Blanca for lunch afterwards
  • What You Need To Know

    • People who don’t like crowds shouldn’t go. If you’re determined to head to Playa Blanca, be warned it can get very crowded to the south of the beach. If you arrive overland turn RIGHT when you reach the beach and walk as far as you can to avoid the crowds. If you’re arriving by boat head LEFT when you hit dry land
    • Playa Blanca is best enjoyed on a private speedboat or yacht so you can escape to another beach when the crowds get too much. For groups this can work out surprisingly cost-effective. Check out our boat portfolio to find a boat that fits your budget and style
    • Playa Blanca is well and truly discovered so don’t think you can go and escape the masses, even on a weekday. If you want a quieter spot, we suggest going to the Rosario Islands or some of the beach clubs in Tierra Bomba
    • Keep an eye on your belongings. Pick-pocketing is a frequent annoyance for many Playa Blanca visitors
  • THE LOWDOWN

    Our Full Review

    There are days when you can’t see where the sand stops and the sea starts for the masses, so we’d recommend renting a boat so you can make a pit stop here, dive in to the aquamarine waters before the crowds turn up on the ferries from hell. When they do skip away to a quieter spot in the islands.

    To see it a more original state staying overnight is a good option. Most of the bridge and tunnel crowd head back to the city around 16:00, so you pretty much have the beach to yourself for around $10-$15 a night, sleeping in a hammock or no-thrills cabin with a wicked sea view. If staying overnight take repellent, the mosquitos are fierce around dusk.

LOCATION & MAP

  • Barú Island

    If you're slightly disappointed with the beaches in Cartagena, Isla Baru will exceed your Caribbean beach expectations.

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

    Before Colombia's Spanish conquerors and their African slaves opened up the Canal del Dique channel between Cartagena and the River Magdalena in 1650, Isla Baru was a peninsula connected to the mainland. 

    Located a short 45-minute speedboat ride away and re-connected by land once again by a bridge in 2014, the Island of Baru has more than enough powdery stretches of white sand to keep the most demanding beach bum happy.

    The island's biggest meeting point is the protected cove of Cholon, where drunken sun worshipers love to let rip with some water bound tail-gating on private boats equipped with blaring sound systems and party as if they were auditioning for a hip hop video.

    If you're craving something altogether more laid-back, the richest families in Colombia are building some lovely beach front properties and beach clubs on Baru to make it the premier beach destination in Colombia.

    Jean Claude Bessudo has built arguably the most impressive. His Hotel Las Islas opened in 2018 elevating the beach stay options in Baru considerably.

    There's a string of others following suit with plans for a luxury marina planned attract a jet-setting, yacht-owning crowd to Colombia's Caribbean coastline. 

    When organising an overnight stay in Baru it's always a good idea to rent a boat to get you and your group to and from your hotel or beach retreat.

    While you can now arrive by land to most places on the island, taking your own boat enables you and your group to spend at least one day visiting the Rosario Islands, an archipelago of 27 islands a short 15 minute ride from the best beach pads available for rent in Baru. 

    If you are in a hurry and feel like an adrenalin rush to start or finish your beach vacation in Colombia then our talented team of travel advisors can organise a helicopter ride to some of the most exclusive places to stay on the island - very useful if you're in a rush to catch your private jet and don't want to lose precious time topping up your tan.


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