Playa Blanca: A Day Trip to Cartagena’s Tropical Paradise

Playa Blanca, located on the island of Baru off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia, is a slice of tropical paradise that draws in travelers with its pristine white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Known for its laid-back atmosphere, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant marine life, Playa Blanca offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city life of Cartagena.


Pristine Beaches

The main draw of Playa Blanca is undoubtedly its beach. Stretching over 2 kilometers, the beach boasts soft, white sand and warm, clear waters that are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The beach is lined with rustic huts and palm trees, adding to its tropical charm. The water is this beautiful blue tint that makes it look different from other beaches in Cartagena.


Despite its popularity, Playa Blanca retains a relaxed vibe, especially outside of peak hours when the day-trippers have left. Staying overnight allows you to experience the tranquility of the beach at sunrise or under the starlit sky. I need to mention that the beach does get overcrowded.


Water Activities

The clear, calm waters of Playa Blanca make it an ideal spot for water activities. Snorkeling is a popular activity, with several coral reefs teeming with colorful fish and marine life close to the shore. Kayaking and paddleboarding are other enjoyable ways to explore the surrounding waters. There are Jetskis there that you can rent, but make sure you understand the price and terms and conditions first.


Local Cuisine

Playa Blanca offers a taste of Colombia’s coastal cuisine. Freshly caught fish and seafood are the stars of the show, often served in traditional dishes like ceviche or fried fish with coconut rice. Refreshing tropical fruits and local beverages like limonada de coco (coconut lemonade) can also be enjoyed.


Beachside restaurants and food stalls offer these culinary delights. While some may see them as simple, they provide authentic local flavors that complement the beach experience.


Getting There

Reaching Playa Blanca is part of the adventure. It’s accessible by boat or bus from Cartagena. The boat ride offers scenic views of Cartagena’s Bay and the surrounding islands, while the bus ride takes you through the local countryside. Either way, the trip provides a glimpse into the local life and natural beauty of the area. Most people arrive around 9 AM and Leave around 3:30 PM if they decided to catch the boat. There are different packages you can choose I always choose to go to one of the Beach clubs. They usually give you free lunch.


Scams at Playa Blanca

If you don’t take my advice anywhere else this is one of the times you need to pay close attention. There is nothing free at playa blanca. No free samples etc. Local vendors will insist that you try some of the foods they are offering such as clams, Shrimp, or oysters. If you are not prepared to pay to don’t accept anything from anyone. There is no such thing as a free sample massage. If you do not want a massage you need to tell them no. They will insist and even keep on trying to rub you or put lotion on you. It is important that you stop them and let them know you don’t want it. You may end up overpaying for the sample you received because first off they didn’t tell you a price.


Now to the Big scam at Playa Blanca. It usually involves meals and drinks outside of the beach clubs. You will have people walk up to you and try to sell you lunch etc. Before you accept food or drinks from anyone make sure that you not only look at the prices on the menu but you take a picture of the menu with the prices just in case a problem occurs when it is time to pay.


There have been many stories about Tourists ending up in fights with the locals because of them trying to overcharge you on things. There was something I read that a couple ordered 2 fish plates and had 4 beers and the local vendors demanded close to $500 USD. Food in Colombia is normally inexpensive for tourists, especially those fish plates, they normally cost less than $10 dollars. Learn more about Travel Scams.


Videos of Playa Blanca Cartagena



Playa Blanca, with its stunning beach, warm waters, and local culinary delights, offers a quintessential tropical beach experience. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the beach, adventure in the water, or just a break from the city’s hustle and bustle, Playa Blanca promises a delightful and memorable escape. Always make sure you look at the menu before you order food and drinks and take a picture of it. It’s common that scammers will often have 2 of the same menus both with different prices. Don’t leave your stuff lying around because it will end up missing. Make sure to have a great time, you’re on vacation, enjoy.


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