Where to stay in Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

Playa Blanca Cartagena Colombia

Imagine slowly waking to the light of day, opening your eyes to nothing but turquoise waters far into the horizon. Then climbing out of bed (well, a hammock or cabana anyway!) and straight into the calm warm sea with only 1 or 2 other people on the whole beach.

There are schools of curious little fish gathering at your feet and not a care in the world except to let the restaurant know if you will be having lobster or prawns that night for dinner so that they can catch them.

Playa Blanca is a long, gorgeous white sand beach with gentle warm turquoise water. The kind of beach that is so insanely beautiful that you end up taking the same photo over and over because it is just so damn beautiful!

From Cartagena, Playa Blanca is either:

  • 30 minutes by speed boat
  • 3 hours by bus, ferry and motor taxi
  • 3-4 hours by tour boat

More info on travelling to Playa Blanca.

When facing the beach – the busyness, tourists and touts tend to be on the far right end from about 12noon until 4pm. The further you walk left however the quieter and more relaxed it is. We went mid-week for 3 days and there were less than 20 guests on our entire part of the beach.

Staying on Playa Blanca

The accommodation options are extremely basic, you can sleep in a hammock for about $4-6,000 COP (USD$2-3) or sleep in a cabana for about $10-$20,000 COP (USD$5-10) per person per night.

Either way make sure you get one with a mosquito net, we didn’t see too many bugs but I am sure there may be more at certain times of the year.

There are about 20 little businesses offering accommodation and food and it helps if your hosts are nice as you will see a lot of them! We stayed at Hostel Any with David and his aunty and uncle.

Hostel Any - Playa Blanca - Colombia

Johnny and our host David (left)

Fresh water to wash in is about $2,000 COP for 5 litres, and prices for things like meals and water and snacks are actually not too inflated considering the location. A whole fish meal with coconut rice, salad and patacones is $15,000 COP and our lobster meals were a bargain at $25,000 COP including 3 small lobsters.

There are a few small bars if you want to drink, or you can wait for the guys who push wheelbarrows down the beach packed with fresh coconuts which they will cheerfully fill with spirits and liqueurs for $10,000 COP.

Want more from Playa Blanca?

Post By Serena Star Leonard

Serena Star-Leonard is a business coach, writer and blogger travelling around the world for 5 years and counting. As well as capturing stories of inspiring people who are making a difference to their communities, her passion is to help people find a way to do the things they love for a living.

Website: → How to Retire in 12 Months

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  • Jessica

    This entry was super helpful. I was wondering is it safe for two women to sleep in the cabanas or
    hammocks alone?

    • Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      It seemed very safe when we were there. We met travelled as a couple but met up with two other girls travelling solo and all hung out together.

      Other than the people who run the hostels, and the (very few) people who stay there each night it is very empty after 3 or 4pm when the day tourists all leave.

      We never had even the hint of trouble or dodgy people other than a massage lady who got pissed at John for getting a massage with someone else!!

      Have fun!
      Serena 🙂

      • Hi Serena, do you know if there is a way to book online? we’re going in a peak season and I’m worried about not finding a bed! tks!

        • Hi Paula,

          I don’t think there is to be honest! There is no internet there and I doubt any of the cabana and hammock owners would have even considered a website! It is very rustic!

          I just met some people who will be heading there in a few weeks, so I will see if they could get a phone number for you.

          Worst case scenario, if you can’t find a place you can hop a boat back in the afternoon, but I can’t see it getting too busy to be honest.

    • Beatriz Viterbo

      Certainly not.

  • OMG I want to go there – bucket list!! The ocean phosphorescence sounds a m a z i n g! You will remember that experience forever I’m sure. It reminded me of when I was on the Isle of Capri and we went swimming in the Blue Grotto – fluro blue water inside a cave that was so bright and crystal clear it ‘glowed’ – that was in 1995 – I remember it like it was yesterday – one of those travel moments that will never be forgotten, as this one will be for you I’m sure 🙂

    • Wow the Blue Grotto sounds amazing too! OK Isle of Capri is now on the list!! Yes this is still my favourite beach in the world! I have told so many people to go there and they all love it!!

  • El Cabron del Norte

    Been there , Cartagena is amazing and Playa blanca is sweet too, dont forget to go see the dolhpins show at Oceanario Islas del Rosario. All in All It’s Romantic as hell and the lady will love the guided tour inside Cartagena with the caleche horse ride tour. Did it and would go back again !! i Love this city , the food , the history , Colombia is amazing , if you have time then go to Santa Marta see Parque Tayrona and the Kogi Tribesmen!! If you have even more time go Past Riohacha to Uribia take a truck ride to Cabo de la Vela , sleep with the Wayuu indians in their own homes , they even prepare great seafood plates for 15$ per person , then to sleep for 1 night or 2 at cost of bed in the homes 7$/night or 3$/night for a hamac… Here u can say your at some extent very out of your confort zone. 🙂 Enjoy life !

    • Hi there, I have done a lot of those things – a great part of the world! But I would be very upset to see captive dolphins 🙁 I hope they set them free.

  • Yadi Dadi

    Hello! This webpage has been so helpful so far! Thank you for it! There is just one question lingering – where can I catch a speedboat to Playa Blanca?

  • Carly Starr Caman

    Such a cool place, I spent a few days there earlier in the year, it was a real highlight.

    • Beatriz Viterbo

      I don’t think the place is “cool” in the strict sense of the word.

  • Beatriz Viterbo

    I see the blue sea in the photos and I long to be there, but I’m sure those cabañas wouldn’t make me happy.

  • Beatriz Viterbo