Friday, June 20, 2008

Playa Blanca, near Rodadero in Santa Marta

The boat trip from Rodadero to La Playa Blanca (the white beach)

Santa Marta rests on Colombia's Caribbean coast and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Colombia, along with Cartagena.

We are actually staying in the small resort town of Rodadero, which is just a few minutes away from Santa Marta. Rodadero is well known for its beach, which is described in tourist literature as "white," which is quite a stretch of the imagination. The sand is grey and rather dirty, but it's conveniently located next to the resorts that line the beach. It's great for sunbathing and taking in the local colour (and eating a wide variety of amazing tropical treats--there are people that march up and down the beach all day selling fruit, drinks, beer (yes, you can swim and drink here in Colombia--though I would not recommend it), massages, hair braiding and the like.

If swimming is what you are into, take the time to go hire a boat to take you to Playa Blanca "white beach" for about 5 dollars (less if you are with a group). No need to reserve a boat ahead of time. If you walk anywhere on the beach in Rodadero, there are dozens of boatmen that will offer to take you to Playa Blanca, which is located on the right hand side of the bay. Or, if you prefer to walk in the sweltering heat, there is a path that will get you to the beach in a half an hour or so (in my opinion, the 5 bucks is well worth it, unless you have a bike).

One of the houses we spied on the way to Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca is much more low key than El Rodadero, although there are still plenty of services available to tourists. You can go snorkeling for hours for 8 dollars (which includes a lesson and transport to the reef). If you have goggles, take them to the beach, even if you aren't snorkeling! You'll want to take a look at some of the beautiful fish under the water.

Once you're tired swimming, there are vendors everywhere along the little beach that will be happy to sell you water, juice or a beer. In addition, there are four restaurants on the tiny beach.


Anonymous said...

The water looks beautiful. I hope you are having a lovely time Snorkeling is so relaxing.

Margaret said...

The water was lovely! I'm so glad I got the chance to snorkel here. It's so much fun!

M.Kate said...

Looks absolutely fabulous Margaret !! I'll put a note on this trip on my post. For sure I'll never go to Columbia, so I'll travel via your blog this time :)

Anonymous said...

hi! Margaret i'm glad you had fun on your trip to Colombia, I love this beach i used to go there all the time when i was little cause i lived only a couple of hours away... i love it when people can experience the beauty of Colombia.... and to M. Kate, i hope someday you can experience it and by the way Columbia is a university the country is ColOmbia... ;)

Margaret said...

Thanks, anonymous! :)Colombia is such a special place. In fairness to M.Kate, people get Colombia wrong all the time - I can't tell you how many news stories I have read where they misspelled the name of the country! Especially here in Canada, where we have British Columbia - they seem to think that they must be spelled the same way. Oh well!