Quick guide to Santa Marta’s best beaches (see Organised Tours for more information)

  • Taganga – A 10-minute taxi ride from Casa Carolina, this small fishing village and backpacker favourite is the closest beach outside Santa Marta’s Historic Centre. Taganga is filled with dive shops, and it’s possible to get your PADI open water certification for around $250 US. A 5 minute hop by boat from Taganga, Playa Grande offers a quieter and sandier alternative. An ideal three-hour round trip from Casa Carolina, dip in calm blue seas followed by a fresh fish lunch on the beach
  • Bahía Concha – Just a 30 minute taxi from from Santa Marta this is a good option for a shorter half-day trip. Not officially in the Parque Tayrona it’s cheaper and simpler to get to, but still very scenic and with calm and clear waters. There is a small entrance fee to get access to the beach ($3/person, $14/car). Lunch and snacks are available on the beach. Can get quite busy on bank holidays and Sundays, as well as peak season
  • Parque Tayrona – Probably the most famous national park in Colombia, where unspoiled jungle falls into turquoise seas. An easy hour’s hike along a jungle path, plus another one to three hours walk (up to you) along the beaches will bring eventually lead to the tropical paradise that is Cabo de San Juan. Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina can help you organise transport to Parque Nacional Tayrona. We offer trips with Magic Tours by minibus and boat. As well as private car transfers to Parque Tayrona
  • The beaches beyond Tayrona National Park are perfect for learning to surf. For advice and assistance reserving courses and accommodation in Buritaca and Palomino, Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina will be happy to help
  • La Guajira Peninsula – Casa Carolina in Santa Marta can also arrange trips to Cabo de la Vela and La Guajira Peninsula. This desert region forms the northern tip of Colombia, and the South American continent. It’s inhabited by the indiginous Wayuu people, who are known for making high quality woven bags and hammocks. Tours are adventure filled; a third of the driving is off-road, however if you want a beautiful beach all to yourself, this is the adventure for you
  • And don’t overlook Santa Marta’s own beaches in the historic centre! Popular with local families and early morning exercise-seekers, it fills up over bank holiday weekends. Ideal for a dip before breakfast, ask further advice at Casa Carolina’s reception

beaches in santa marta

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