Colombia’s wild and off-the-beaten-track Pacific coast is hardly a well-known spot for travellers, but that is starting to change as people slowly wake up to its remarkable beauty, biodiversity, and culture. The beaches of the Pacific coast are particularly special and very distinctive from Colombia’s Caribbean beaches. So here are the best beaches to visit on Colombia’s Pacific coast.
This stunning white sand beach is located in Utria National Park on the Pacific coast between the towns of Bahia Solano and Nuqui. It is located on a small, jungle-covered island overlooking the Utria Inlet, where humpback whales can often be seen in season from July to October. With two different beaches to choose from on the island, plus a small restaurant serving tasty local dishes, Playa Blanca might just be the most beautiful beach in the Colombian Pacific.
One of the more accessible of Colombia’s Pacific coast beaches, Ladrilleros is reached easily by boat from Buenaventura, Colombia’s most important Pacific seaport. Located within the Uramba Bahia Malaga National Park, Ladrilleros beach is a beautiful base from which to explore the region’s spectacular jungles and is just as good for lounging around, enjoying the warm Pacific waters and natural beauty.
This wild, black-sand beach south of the town of Nuqui is easily one of the most visually stunning beaches in Colombia: fringed by verdant jungle full of incredible wildlife, waterfalls, and biodiversity, Guachalito Beach is also home to El Cantil Ecolodge, one of the best ecolodges in Colombia. There is great surfing along the beach, or you can simply wander along its several kilometres, enjoying the sense of isolation, and keeping a lookout for whales and dolphins in the sea.
This long beach starts alongside the town of El Valle and is increasingly popular with tourists, as it is home to several ecohotels and hostels, offering a range of accommodation for a variety of budgets. The beach suffers from a little litter problem, due to its proximity to the town, but the surfing is excellent and wandering along the beach at dusk, as phosphorescent plankton glow in the waves, is a magical experience.
The little village of Jurubida is especially popular for its excellent hot springs, located deep in the humid coastal Pacific jungle. However, the huge beach in front of the town is reason enough to visit on its own. This vast stretch of sand offers stunning views over a series of jagged, rocky islands just offshore and, although not a great sunbathing beach, walking along this isolated beach is well worth the effort on any trip to the Pacific coast.
A long stretch of sand to the north of Bahia Solano, Mecana Beach is especially well-known for the excellent Mecana Ecohotel, a simple but beautiful set of cabins located just behind the beach itself. The beach is delightfully off-the-beaten-track and hardly sees any tourism, so it’s the perfect Pacific beach experience for anyone wanting incredible natural beauty without any of the crowds of the Caribbean.
The most cut-off beach of any on this list, Cascada del Tigre Beach takes its name from the waterfall cascading from the jungle straight onto the beach and into the sea. The beach can only be accessed by boat or a long jungle hike from El Valle, but it’s worth the effort for its incredible white sands, blue waters, and the chance to hike into the wild Pacific jungle in search of waterfalls, Poison Arrow Frogs, and much more.