Tayrona park is known for its beaches. The most famous are described everywhere. At colombia Culture, however, we provide an overview of all the beaches that exist. They are not all easily accessible or you cannot swim everywhere. However, the most beautiful beaches are hidden. Only those who really make an effort will be able to reach these places.
Playa de Granate
Granate is the first beach accessible in Tayrona National Park from Santa Marta. It is not visited often and has no services. This beach can only be reached by boat. Access to this beach is not offered by many boats. There are also no services available on this beach, so it’s important to take everything to the beach.
This beach is reasonably well protected, but the water can be rougher than on other beaches. It is therefore recommended to only swim or snorkel here with experienced and strong swimmers
Bonito Gordo is a beach in the same bay as the much popular beach of Bahia Concha. It is a very natural beach with minimal to no services. The sand is gold and white and the beach is quite long for walking. It has abundant sandy beaches and a very “wild” feel. This beach is only accessible via motorbikes or sailboats arriving from Santa Marta or Taganga. It is possible to take the bus to Bahia Concha and then find a lancha that will take you to and from the beach. However, it can be very difficult to find someone who is willing to do this trip, especially for a small group. If you enter the park by bus, don’t forget to miss the return buses in the afternoon!
There are a number of local guest houses that offer food. It is strongly advised to bring food, drinks and everything else that is brought to the beach, because there is a good chance that you will not find operational services.
This beach is slightly open towards the prevailing wind direction and can therefore experience rougher seas and waves. The water is a bit darker because of the waves and currents, but on calm days it can be spectacular.
This is the most commercially developed beach in Tayrona National Park. It is a long sandy beach with private homes on the right side of the bay and access to the bus, as well as restaurants and food stalls in the central area and on the left side of the beach. This is a popular beach for package holidays and the only of two that can be reached by bus in the National Park. It takes about 50 minutes to reach this beach by bus from Santa Marta. Inform yourself well in advance about the different prices. An entrance must be paid that is around 5,000 Pesos per person if you go on foot and 20,000 pesos with a taxi. Ask in advance if this is included in the ride. You don’t need a guide at all.
Although it is a lot quieter than the beaches of Taganga, Santa Marta and Rodadero, there are still many sellers on this beach, especially in high season. As a result, it is easy to find food, drinks and other services. There are no “water attractions” available here.
This beach is well protected against the swell, but the large number of swimming swimmers can make the water somewhat turbid. There is also a river that enters the bay on the left side of the beach, which brings a lot of sediment into the bay during the rainy season, making the water very turbid. There are some very nice areas for snorkeling at both ends of the beach.
This desolate beach is on an old salt pan and has a swampy area behind it that is known for its bird watching. It is a jewel for those trying to get away and experience the natural beauty of Parque Tayrona.
This beach is only accessible by boat, and usually through expensive package tours.
There are no services available, so remember that you can take everything you need with you. And don’t forget to take the waste with you to keep this beautiful piece of nature clean
This beach has some exposure to swell, but most of the time the water is very clear. There are coral formations and rocks both on the left and on the right of the beach for snorkeling.
Playa del Medio
A beautiful beach, a crystal clear sea, ideal for fishing, you can see many species such as rays, fish and many corals. It is almost a private beach. Very few people come to this beach which makes it better than Playa Cristal.
This beach is located between Bahía Concha and Neguanje and consists for a large part of very fine white sand. It is a completely deserted beach, so it is only recommended for daily visits and especially for snorkeling or diving because it has a large and extensive coral reef. There is also a wide variety of fish and other marine life. This beach can only be reached by boat and from here you can visit other small beaches via hiking trails.
Mirador 7 olas
This beach owes its name to the rows of waves that successively go to the beach’s shore. There are a total of 7. This gave it the name Siete Olas. Swimming or bathing is prohibited because of the strong waves and currents. On one side of the beach you can take a path that leads to a cliff where the view is special and you can see the entire beach from start to finish.
Although it is a very beautiful beach, it is usually just a stopover on the way to Playa Cristal. The small, open ocean lanchas, which bring bus and tour passengers to Cristal, leave from here for their 5-minute ride to that beach. The beach itself offers basic facilities and is usually fairly quiet.
This is a popular beach for package holidays and the only of two that can be reached by bus in the National Park. It takes about an hour and a half to reach this beach by bus from Santa Marta, with the last part being a very bumpy road.
Limited meals and drinks are available at this beach. The most important service offered here is a boat trip to Playa Cristal.
This beach has strong currents, so be careful while swimming. There are no good snorkeling locations on this beach.
This is the crown jewel of the National Park system Colombia. This small beach is limited to 350 visitors a day to protect the forest and the crystal clear water. In a sense, this beach combines the best of the beaches with extensive services, and which are more remote and unspoilt.
The only way to get to this beach is by boat. There are two options for this, direct boat trips from Taganga and Santa Marta, or a bus trip combined with a short boat trip. The bus travel option takes considerably more time, but can be a bit cheaper. The buses are usually part of an organized tour group and not of public buses. Although it is a lot quieter than the beaches of Taganga, Santa Marta and Rodadero, there are still some sellers on this beach, especially during the high season. As a result, it is easy to find food, drinks and other services. There are no “water attractions” available here. There is a snorkeling center on the far left side of the beach. Camping is available here through selected tour operators.
As the name suggests, the water here is normally crystal clear. During the rainy season it can be dark due to the drainage. This beach is very well protected against wind and waves and has only small currents. It is a fantastic swimming and snorkeling beach, with a part of the coral reef on the left side of the beach that is only suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
Boca De Saco
Legally it is not set up as a nudist beach, but visitors usually use this beach because it is not a very busy beach. It is not allowed to swim, but you can enjoy the water on the shores with some caution.
Playa Nudista is hidden deep in the Caribbean coast of the Tayrona National Nature Park, an hour’s boat ride from Santa Marta. This is considered to be one of the quiet beaches in Colombia. It is used to purify the mind and completely relax you. Get rid of the clothes and walk freely and without prejudice.
The place is perfect to explore in the company of your partner or close friends. Nudist beach is usually visited by foreigners who decide to surrender 100% to the nature of this quiet beach. Close to Playa Nudista you will find restaurants, hotels, cabins and camping pitches, making it a truly magical place.
This beach is about 15 minutes by boat from Playa Cristal and is a peaceful natural wonder. While there is a beach house here, a few people visit this beach and it has retained its amazing tropical charm. You feel like you are completely away from the world on this beach.
This beach is only accessible by ocean-approved Boats. The small boats that operate in the bay of Playa Cristal are not allowed here because they have to cross a stretch of open ocean. One way to identify ocean boats is to search for two outboard motors of at least 75 HP each. Every Boat that operates on the open ocean is required by Colombian law to have two engines to prevent the engine from swinging when an engine fails.
Combining this beach with a lunch stop in Playa Cristal is a very good way to experience two great beaches, have a few hours of loneliness, and enjoy a nice lunch and drink in Cristal. calm water. On the right-hand side of the beach there are some rock protrusions that ensure beautiful, peaceful snorkeling.
It’s a secluded beach where you can swim. But still, be careful in case of big waves. When you get to Playa Brava you feel the joy of being part of a place that few people dare to meet because of the distance and type of walk you have to do, in this place you find only a hotel where you have the option of staying in a hammock, tent or cabin in double bed facing the sea. There is no light in 95% of the place, only in the kitchen and dining room generated by solar panels, so you must carry a flashlight. If for some reason you do not dare to walk you can get on horse but frankly with all those ups and downs better take the best tennis for walking you have, as the animals suffer by providing this service and your kidneys too.
Cabo san juan
This beach is probably the most depicted beach on the internet, and also by far the furthest away from Santa Marta. In fact it is almost on the other side of the national park. It is the only beach with a formal campsite.
This beach is accessible by boat and by land. Overland you can take a bus or taxi and be dropped off at the trailhead. You can rent horses to go to the beach, or you can walk through the jungle to the beach for 30 to 45 minutes. Boat trips from Taganga or Santa Marta take around 90 minutes, depending on the state of the sea. Be warned on a windy day that the boat trip here can be very rough and wet. Beaches closer to the city are much preferred on such days.
Food, drinks, hammocks and camping pitches are available here, albeit at prices that are high according to the Colombian standard. If you spend the night, the power is supplied by the generator most evenings. Be aware that there can be many mosquitoes in the campsite.
Swimming / Snorkeling: There are several beaches here. The first to reach you when you walk in has dangerous riptides and currents and several people have drowned here. Caution is advised. There is generally good snorkeling here, but due to the currents the water is often more turbid than at some of the other beaches on the inside of the park.
Playa La Piscina
La Piscina is one of the few beaches with calm water in the Tayrona National Park. The calmness felt there in order to float without problems on the surface of the water is due to the fact that the area is surrounded by a barrier of rocks that prevent strong waves from entering this place.. La Piscina is the safest place to swim and a great beach to hang out.
This beach is one of the most visited because it is only half an hour away from the city of Santa Marta and its landscapes full of mountains, birds and a warm breeze.
Discovering the reefs is the fun and exciting part of the trip, always accompanied by specialists who take you to these wonders that nature hides.
The strange thing about Arrecifes is that you cannot enter the water because the waves are very strong, in fact there are several signs that warn visitors about the danger of the water.
Walking barefoot along the shore of the beach and feeling the waves crashing while visualizing the natural beauty of the place is an experience that you should not miss on your trip to the Tayrona beaches
Playa los Cocos
This beach is rarely visited and is therefore also an ideal beach for extra mention. It is hidden from most users and you really have to find it.
You will not find services here and swimming is best avoided here. However, you have a very nice view and therefore definitely worth a visit.