The coastal city of Santa Marta has an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, with little variation year round, which makes it a perfect destination 12 months of the year. Thanks to a boost of national tourism at Christmas-New Year, Easter and August, Santa Marta practically fills up in these periods. If you prefer a more private Santa Marta, February, March, May-June and October-November are quieter periods. Having said that, Santa Marta is pretty busy year round with the best hotels above 70% occupation even in the low months. Hotel prices are certainly higher when Santa Marta gets above 90% occupation in the peak periods of the year.
Visiting the Caribbean beaches in Santa Marta during the low season is a must-do experience for beach lovers who thrive on sunshine, beautiful landscapes, warm climates, and especially low prices and low crowds.
Our 5 Favorite Beaches In Santa Marta
1. Playa Cristal
If you enjoy snorkelling, adore fresh grilled fish, love lazing on a towel posed on soft white sand, or dipping in calm turquoise waters, Playa Cristal could be your paradise. It’s a an hour’s drive, plus 10 minute boat from Santa Marta, and after 300 people enter (which happens by 7am in peak season!) the gates are closed to keep the experience exclusive and the nature in tact. Tours to Playa Cristal cost around 90,000 COP (30 USD), including park entry, land and sea transport, and a guide. Food and drink are additional
Ideal for: Snorkeling, swimming, sleeping, kids, couples, fish lovers! Take your underwater camera!
If you choose to stay in Taganga (a small town just minutes away from Santa Marta), you can get to this beach by going on a 20 minute hike through an eco-trail with a beautiful ocean view, or you can go on a 5 minute motorboat ride for 5,000 COP (2 USD). Playa Grande is one of the most popular beaches in the area because of its proximity and because of its calm blue waters, which are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. There is a good selection of cafes and simple restaurants, making this an ideal beach for a quick lunch + dip trip.
Ideal for: Snorkeling, scuba diving, tight schedules; with neighbouring Taganga ideal for dinner and partying
If you definitely don´t like crowds and are looking for some peace and quiet, this is the beach for you. Playa Granate is a 25 minute motorboat ride away from Taganga, after which you will come across a tropical haven where the only sound for miles is the gentle ebb and flow of the ocean waves. The motorboat ride can be a bit uncomfortable though, because the sea route can get pretty wavy. You must plan this trip ahead of time if you want to have a picnic or eat something at the beach, because there are no restaurants, stores, hotels or businesses of any type there.
Ideal for: Quiet getaways, private beaches, couples, groups. Check our our private speedboat, Samoa, for boat trips to Parque Tayrona
This is one of the most popular beaches inside the world famous Tayrona Park. It has one of the whitest sand beaches in Colombia, with a texture that really feels like heaven under your feet. Like most beaches in Tayrona Park, Bahía Concha is a contrast between high mountains and the ocean, and this blue-green landscape makes it one of Santa Marta’s most favored beaches by all visitors. It features a restaurant that does typical Caribbean cuisine at excellent prices. Unlike Playa Granate, Bahía Concha is accessible via tours or by public transport. It is a favourite stop for those lucky enough to have a boat (or be on a boat charter or group boat tour), just 30 minutes from Santa Marta by sea
Ideal for: Camping, families, boat trips
This is the biggest beach in the Tayrona Park, and it also has the biggest waves. It has a huge coralline reserve under its clear blue waters not too far from the shore, where usually large schools of fish can be seen. This is our favorite beach because it features a little bit of everything you could want in a beach: not too crowded, beautiful, spacious, waves for surfing, restaurants
Ideal for: Everything!
Where To Stay In Santa Marta
The beaches in Santa Marta are spectacular and you should take time out of your traveling through Colombia to visit them. You will always have a place to stay with us when you pass through or visit Santa Marta. Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina is located in the Historic Centre of Santa Marta. Contact us for more information about beaches in Santa Marta and for information about private boat charters to Parque Tayrona and group boat tours to Santa Marta’s best beaches