Cartagena is a gorgeous, well preserved colonial city right on the Caribbean Sea. While it has beautiful architecture, interesting history, and really delicious food, despite being on the sea, it lacks a proper Caribbean beach! Surprising to many, the idyllic Caribbean beaches are an hour away by car or boat. Plan accordingly if you are looking for a Caribbean beach vacation!
There are three main Caribbean beaches around Cartagena. Playa Blanca, Islas del Rosario and Isla del Encanto. Playa Blanca has the Caribbean white sand beaches and can be reached by car (or public bus). Since it can be reached by car, Playa Blanca is often the easiest and cheapest option, as you do not need to go with a tour. It is also the most crowded and local option.