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Crystal Beach (Playa Cristal)
Crystal Beach (Playa Cristal)

Crystal Beach (Playa Cristal)

Road to Cienaga - Tayrona Park, Santa Marta, Columbia

The basics

A stop at Crystal Beach (Playa Cristal) is a staple of more relaxed Tayrona sightseeing excursions, which tend to avoid more strenuous activities such as hiking and jungle treks. Day trips to Crystal Beach (Playa Cristal) typically depart from either Santa Marta or Taganga, and tend to include snorkel equipment, a seafood lunch, and convenient round-trip transfers from your accommodation. Some multi-day tours allow you to explore the neighboring beach of Cabo San Juan and tend to include an overnight stay in Tayrona.

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Things to know before you go

  • There is no admission fee for Playa Cristal if you arrive by boat however, if you’re arriving by land then you’ll need to pay the entrance charge for Tayrona National Park.
  • Due to the rugged location of the beach, it isn’t accessible to travelers using wheelchairs and strollers.
  • There are a handful of rustic restaurants and kiosks on the beach—be sure to take cash as they don’t accept credit cards.
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How to get there

Playa Cristal is accessible via a 1-hour hike through Tayrona Nation Park or by water taxi, which departs from both Taganga and Santa Marta. The journey takes around 45 minutes and can be rocky during the windy season in December.

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When to get there

For the best experience of Crystal Beach’s sandy shores and turquoise waters, visit during Colombia’s summer months, which span December, January, and February. Thanks to its hard-to-reach location, you’ll generally always find a spot to relax on the beach.

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The Best Beaches in Tayrona National Park

Crystal Beach (Playa Cristal) is one of many pristine beaches in Tayrona National Park. Some of the best include Cabo San Juan—which is popular due to the fact that you can swim there, something that isn’t too common in Tayrona due to its treacherous currents; Canaveral, which leads to the park’s eastern cliffs via the Nine Stones hiking trail; and Arrecifes, which is home to a handful of campsites and restaurants.

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