The Caribbean Coast
The Caribbean coast of Colombia offers an enchanting blend of experiences, from idyllic islands to historic cities and untouched natural wonders. While Cartagena often steals the spotlight, those who venture to other coastal gems are rewarded with unique and often less-crowded destinations.
Isla Barú lies just a boat ride away from Cartagena. Here, the waters are so clear that you’ll be able to spot marine life from the white and pink sand beaches. Thick mangrove forests are a haven for birds, making this a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
Several hours northeast of Cartagena, the city of Santa Marta unfolds its vibrant cultural palette. Initially inhabited by the ancient Tayronas, the city was ultimately established by the Spanish in the 16th century. Wander through the cobblestone streets of the old city, where history and modernity converge.
Santa Marta serves as the gateway to Tayrona National Park, a protected natural ecosystem. Here, turquoise waters and palm-fringed beaches lead to a verdant jungle and eventually the towering Sierra Nevada mountains. Set into secluded bays, these are some of the best beaches in Colombia. Travelers can also visit the ruins at the Pueblito village, built by the indigenous Tayrona civilization.