The best beaches to visit when teaching English in Colombia

So, you’ve decided to go teaching English in Colombia, eh? We salute you. What a great place to start or push on with that TEFL career! It’s certainly one of the more adventurous at heart, what with those soaring Andean mountains and misty jungles, those coffee-scented hills and coral stone colonial towns. Oh, and did we mention the beaches? They’re surely some of the best in South America. Check them out…


 teaching English in Colombia
Playa Blanca | © David Shankbone/Flickr


Playa Blanca


Boy does Playa Blanca live up to its name! Literally meaning “white beach”, or “shining beach” in English, it strings along the edge of the Isla Barú, just 40 minutes by boat from the coral-built city of Cartagena. The sands are known to shimmer and shine under the South American sun, offering a postcard image of the resplendent Caribbean coast. Yep, the place can get busy, particularly, on the weekends, but the frequent boats to and from the ports mean it should be easy to get to when teaching English in Colombia, especially from the northern cities of the Bolívar Department, Antioquia, and Córdoba.


teaching English in Colombia
Tayrona National Park | © McKay Savage/Flickr


Tayrona National Park


It’s likely you’ve seen the Tayrona National Park before – it’s plastered over all the travel brochures, flaunting its boulder-speckled bays and swaying palm trees to try and allure folk to the Colombian Caribbean coast. Set over a series of rugged headlands that jut out of the low rises of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta across the bay from carnival-mad Barranquilla, it’s got to be one of the most picturesque sections of shoreline in all of Latin America. There’s actually a medley of different beaches to laze and wander while teaching English in Colombia, starting with the chart-topping El Cabo San Juan Beach.


teaching English in Colombia
Sapzurro | © Belinda Grasnick/Flickr




Unlike Tayrona, sleepy Sapzurro has been content to hide away from the limelight. Often coupled with equally-beautiful Capurganá just down the coast, it’s tucked into a small corner of the Caribbean where Colombia gives way to Panama. The beaches are blinding-white and the waters take on that quintessentially tropical turquoise hue. The reefs are another major draw, offering a menagerie of rainbowfish and sea sponges, curious marine life and gorgeous displays of coral for snorkelers and SCUBA aficionados.


teaching English in Colombia
Colombia: Hiking around Playa Grande in Taganga | © Eli Duke/Flickr




Another enclave of the tropical Caribbean coast of Colombia, Taganga has changed immensely since the days it was just a small, salt-washed fishing hamlet tumbling down from the rugged South American sierras. These days, it pulses with bamboo calypso bars and diving outfitters, and draws huge crowds of sun seekers to its bisque-hued sands. Development aside, you certainly won’t be disappointed if you opt to while away weekends here while when teaching English in Colombia – the water’s green-blue and warm; the underwater coral gardens are some of the best in the region.


Teaching English in Colombia
Chocó / Pacífico | © Luis Pérez/Flickr


Chocó department


Not just one beach but rather a whole section of shoreline along the wild, rugged Pacific of Colombia, The Chocó – as it’s simply known to locals – offers a taste of an altogether different type of coast. Black-rock or grey-hued sands are the norm, and often stretch out between misty patches of wild mangrove swamp. You can discover rainforests tumbling straight down to the roaring rollers of the ocean, and head out across the waves to wonder at hulking whales and dolphin pods. To glimpse more feral, untrodden beaches, this one’s surely the place to go while teaching English in Colombia.



If you’re a TEFL veteran of beautiful Colombia, we’d love to hear your suggestions for beaches to add to this list. Or, if you think it’s time you got that 120-hour cert done and dusted so you can head out and explore beautiful beaches like these yourself, be sure to check out our range of courses



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