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Travel Guide to Palomino Beach in Colombia

Travel Guide to Palomino Beach in Colombia

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Palomino Beach, or “Playa Palomino”, is a long stretch of palm-tree-lined sand at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Traveling in Colombia and looking for a laid-back beach-side village to kickback?

Discover Palomino Beach, an endless strip of smooth sand in the region of Dibulla, La Guajira, on the Northern Caribbean Coast of Colombia. This is very much backpacker heaven, where it feels like nothing in the world really matters.

In this quick blog post, I’ll outline everything you need to know about visiting Playa Palomino, so you’ll know exactly if this is the right beachside paradise for you.

Palomino beach

About Palomino Beach

Palomino Beach is located at the end of the backpacker village of Palomino, just northeast of the famous Tayrona National Park and roughly two hours from the nearest city of Santa Marta.

Here's what you need to know.

  • While Palomino is quickly becoming engrained in the Colombia backpacker trail, it still feels like the early days in terms of tourism.
  • Here, there are no ATMs or stable electricity, and even the upper-class accommodation options are bamboo huts with palm-leaf roofs.
  • Palomino Beach is one of the main attractions in town. While the beach isn't as idyllic as what you'll find across the pond on the Caribbean Islands, it's still an awesome place to hang out, learn to surf, and enjoy some downtime after hiking in the Sierra Nevada.

Note that the water can get a little rough at Palomino Beach, with strong currents and large waves. Similar to many beaches at Tayrona National Park, swimming is definitely not recommended unless you're a strong swimmer and the conditions are calm.

Don't Miss: The famous Lost City Trek (Ciudad Perdida). This is one of the best experiences you can have in Northern Colombia, especially if you're a fan of nature, adventure, and history. If you're planning ahead, book with GetYourGuide (link above) and you'll get free cancellation.

Palomino beach in colombia

What to do on Palomino Beach

1. Take a Surf Lesson

Want to learn to surf in Colombia? I wouldn't say that Palomino Beach has the best surf break in South America, but you will find small surfboard rentals and schools along the main strip.

While I visited, the weather was a little windy, resulting in choppy seas. Still, there were a few locals shredding on their shortboards.

Man with surf board at palomino beach

2. Relax Under the Palm Trees

The sleepy town of Palomino is all about kicking back. If you head down to the playa, you'll find an endless row of coconut palm trees where you can relax, read a book, and just enjoy the moment.

Palm trees in colombia

3. Go Tubing

River tubing is one of the most popular things to do in Palomino. Almost every third shack on the way to the beach offers tubing experiences, where you'll be taken upstream on the Palomino River to float all the way down to the beach.

This only costs 40,000 per person.

Drone photo of people tubing on the palomino river

4. Kite Surfing

Yes, you can even go kite surfing at Palomino Beach! You'll find a surfboard rental place offering kitesurfing lessons on the main road to the beach (Carrera 6a), just opposite the famous Barba Beach Arabic Food restaurant.

Where to Stay Near Palomino Beach

Still planning your trip and looking for the best places to stay in Palomino? Below are my top three picks, which are some of the highest-rated as well. We stayed at the Tiki Hut Hostel personally I'd recommend it for the vibe!

  • Tiki Hut Hostel - This eco-hostel offers awesome rooms built from natural fibers, right on the edge of the Colombian Caribbean. Tiki Hut is one of the top-rated hostels in all of Colombia!
  • Dreamer Hostel - If you stayed at Dreamer in Santa Marta, you'll already know that this awesome hostel chain has some of the best vibes in every destination!
  • Palomino Sunrise - Stay in a beautiful eco-hut right near the edge of the beach and adjacent to the Palomino River. This is another of Colombia's best-rated accommodations!
Palomino beach in colombia

Tips for Visiting Palomino

Ready to hit the beach? Here are some final travel tips to help you make the most of your visit.

  • Bring insect repellent - the sandflies in this region are notoriously bad!
  • Bring cash - there are no ATMs in Palomino. The closest is a 20-minute motorbike trip away in Mingueo
  • Don't drink the water - this goes without saying. I filter the tap water here with my GRAYL purifying bottle. Actually, I haven't purchased a plastic bottle in 3 years since buying it!
  • Watch out for strong currents - this isn't the safest beach to swim at if you are not a strong swimmer.
Palomino river

Thanks for reading. While you're here on my blog, make sure to check out some of my other articles to plan your trip through Colombia and South America.

  • Medellín Travel Guide: Discover fun activities and top highlights in Medellín
  • San Andrés Island: Guide to Colombia's best Caribbean Island
  • Minca Travel Guide: Discover incredible hikes, beautiful fincas, epic jungle waterfalls, and all-around relaxing vibes.
  • Things to do in Guatapé: Travel to Colombia's most scenic Antioquian town, known for its vibrant streets, traditional street art, and the famous Piedra del Peñol.
Girl and sunset at coffee plantation in minca

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Sunset at palomino beach
Drone photo of the beach in palomino, colombia
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.