La Boquilla beach is situated about 5km east of the historical centre in Cartagena. It’s easy to get there, see Cartagena’s historical centre and transport, Colombia. It takes around 15 minutes but definitely worth the effort because in my opinion, it’s one of the best beaches in Cartegena. I was here as my friends literally have an apartment right here.
The centre of the beach, where all the fancy hotels lie, is full of tourists everyday. They sunbathe, chill, go for a swim or a stroll. Along the sand, there are little tents with chairs to embrace the shade. There are many restaurant, offering mostly fish dishes or if you want something cheaper, you can find places on the road parallel to the ocean toward La Boquilla. As one lies on the beach, be prepared to have many vendors trying to sell things, like souvenirs, juices, cocktails, seafood or even massage. Some might even start rubbing your back or push products on to you. You just have to politely decline.
There are many other activities to enjoy here including riding on a banana boat, canoeing, kite surfing (many shops along the beach for lessons), sailing and flyboarding, which is the first time I’ve actually seen it with my own eyes. I don’t know the prices at all but you would need to negotiate especially if your a blonde gringo like me as costs are automatically higher. Disadvantage of being an obvious foreigner.
Walking into the warm water is just bliss with the sun shining down, when one needs to cool down. Depending if you are on your own or not, be careful with your belongings as it is a targeted place for pick-pocketers. I was fine but I hid my phone under my clothes, kept a watch while I was in the sea and I was away from the main crowd so they weren’t many passerbys. If you want a little more peace, there are section away from the hostel, just to relax without the hustle and bustle.
It’s a weird kind of beach as there are expensive hotels and right next to it is a poor community. I just find it so controversial how a couple of metres can make a huge difference. How can you have rich holiday makers next to people who live in shacks (slight exaggeration). I was not recommended to take belongings if you walk along the beach through this community as they’re many thieves and fights. However, I just wandered in the day and I was fine.
The day I was leaving, there was a ‘rumba’ (party). Stages and speakers were being put up so I guess they regularly have events on this beach especially as it is a long weekend due to a public holiday on Monday.
All in all, this beach is beautiful with a selection of food and activities; it’s well worth the effort to go.