When you think of beach destinations, Colombia is probably not the first place that comes to mind. It has a turbulent political history and a reputation for criminal activity. But with increased stability and recent discounted and direct flights, Colombia’s popularity as an off-beat cultural, food, and sun destination is growing. Buy currency – the Colombian peso – before travelling, because Colombia generally does not accept U.S. dollars.

Cartagena

Not only does Cartagena have tons of beaches and a tropical climate, but it’s also a beautiful port city with tons of interesting architecture – the best of both worlds.

Isla Barú is just an hour outside of Cartagena, and is known for its white sand and island vibes. This small coastal island is easy to get to be ferry or shuttle. Playa Blanca, is the place to visit on Isla de Barú. Other beaches around the city include Bocagrande, in the heart of the city, La Boquilla, near Cartagena’s historic Old Town, Playa de Oro, about 35 minutes outside the city.

Tayrona National Park

Towering palm trees line the beaches where the tropical vegetation meets the sand. This incredible slice of paradise offers much more than a beach. This national park is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a stunning mountain range overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Explore the points of rocks and small islets just off the coast as you bathe in the warm waters. You can also visit the ruins of a pre-Hispanic city dubbed la Ciudad Perdida, or the Lost City.

Palomino

Palomino must be one of the most off-the-beaten path beaches in Colombia. Located just an hour and half from Santa Marta, this remote, quiet beach spans a section of the Caribbean coastline. This is not a place to go if you’re looking for a good party, but is the perfect place to go if you want to read, soak up the sun, and swim in the crystalline waters. Palomino is known as hip beach town popular among backpackers, but has yet to become overrun with hotels, restaurants, and bars. Visit it now, before it becomes saturated with businesses looking to profit off of its beauty.

To avoid counterfeit bills, high airport rates, and credit card transaction fees, it’s best to hit to touch down with your money belt full of Colombian pesos. Foreign currency exchange differs from country to country, so play it safe and buy currency from Xchange of America before leaving for vacation. We offer quick, easy door-to-door service that will quick scratch one more thing off your to-do list.