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Top Beaches in Tayrona National Park

From Canaveral to Arrecifes, here's where to go.

A tranquil beach in Tayrona National Park on a sunny day
Hi, I'm Lydia!

Lydia Schrandt is a writer, editor, and award-winning photographer currently based in Houston. She’s a contributor for USA TODAY 10Best and serves as the first chair of the Editors Council of the Society of American Travel Writers. Her work has appeared in Draft, Time Out Beijing, Travel+, USA TODAY, San Francisco Chronicle, and others.

Tayrona National Park—on the northeast coast of Colombia, where rainforest-covered mountains meet golden sandy shores and secluded coves—has some of the loveliest beaches in all of South America. Don’t miss these top Caribbean beaches during your visit to the protected park.

Cabo San Juan

A thatched hat between the sands of Cabo San Juan in Tayrona National Park in Colombia.
An aerial view of Cabo San Juan.Photo Credit: Janeth Warrick / Shutterstock

El Cabo de San Juan, often simply called Cabo San Juan, ranks among the best beaches on the planet and the most popular within the borders of Tayrona National Park. Cabo San Juan encompasses two beaches separated by a rocky outcrop—and unlike many of the park’s other beaches, where treacherous currents prohibit swimming, the waters here are calm enough to get in and enjoy


A rocky outcrop at Canaveral beach in Tayrona National Park in Colombia.
A rocky outcrop at the beach.Photo Credit: oscar garces / Shutterstock

Lesser-known than many of Tayrona’s beaches, Canaveral is one of the longest and most impressive. Situated in the eastern portion of the park, this non-swimming beach offers a true sense of seclusion, as not many people make it to this part of Tayrona. 


Smooth boulders and waves at Arrecifes in Tayrona in Colombia.
The blue-hued waters of Arrecifes.Photo Credit: Diego Grandi / Shutterstock

The first beach you’ll encounter upon passing through the main entrance of Tayrona Park is Arrecifes, the park’s largest beach. While the currents make swimming too dangerous, the beach remains a popular destination for sunbathing, and it’s also home to campsites and a restaurant for those who wish to enjoy a spectacular Arrecifes Beach sunset and stay the night.

Crystal Beach

An aerial view of the crescent sands of Crystal Beach in Tayrona National Park in Colombia.
Crystal Beach from above.Photo Credit: zaid diaz / Shutterstock

Crystal Beach gets its name from its clear waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. On any given day, it’s possible to spot sea turtles, dolphins, crustaceans, or some of the 200 species of sponges that live among the coral reef.

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