So you’re here in Barranquilla; you’re near the ocean and you want to go to a beach right? Where do you go? This depends on your tastes, budget and time. As far as Atlántico beaches go, Puerto Velero is one of the cleanest and less crowded options in the area.
One of the first things you notice about Puerto Velero’s main beach is that there are few to no waves. That’s because it’s protected from the force of the sea in a cove (called La Ensenada de Trebal or Trebal Cove). The water looks more like it’s sitting in a lakebed than part of a gigantic ocean. This allows for light water sports such as canoeing or paddle boating. And it adds a different dynamic for other water sports such as kitesurfing or jet skis. For example, jet skis can fly across the water without the need to slow down when they encounter a huge wave.
If you’re going to the beach just to relax you may miss the sound of the waves lapping against the shore, but we’ll bet that the calmness of the setting will erase any worries or stress that you have. In fact it is so calm that the shore has beds for two in some areas that can make quite a romantic day trip for you and “tu amor.”
One complaint about some beaches in Colombia is that you can see garbage littered along the coastline and in the water. Puerto Velero is an exception here; while you can still find the occasional plastic straw or cup, it is by far cleaner than many beaches you will find in the area. Being there you get the feel that the beach is better taken care of than the others and it’s a refreshing change.
Something about this beach some people don’t find so clean or pleasing is that fact that the sand is very fine and brown. Under the water it becomes a soft mud that feels squishy between your toes. It doesn’t bother me at all, but it’s the number one complaint people have about Puerto Velero. It can take some getting used to but it might not be for everyone.
Cabins on the Water and an Inflatable Water Park
The lack of waves in the cove permits a few other unique features in Puerto Velero that other beaches don’t have. One for the grown-ups, are the cabins that are built just over the water that you can rent. These small “floating” cabins are perfect for a relaxing nights sleep with the constant and tranquil breeze off the water. So if watching the sun set over the ocean with a bottle of wine (or a six pack of Águila Light if you aren’t “pupy“) sounds good to you, feel free to search for one on Airbnb or Booking.com.
The next one is for the kids, or kids at heart. Caribe Aqualand, an inflatable floating water park, sits off the north shore of the cove. Pegged as a gymnasium of air, it can be used by young children or adults. You can also rent jet skis, boats, and paddle boards there for an hourly charge. For more info, you can visit Caribe Aqualand’s website.
How to get to Puerto Velero from Barranquilla
- By Bus- Warning: the bus does not go all the way to this beach; you’ll need to take the bus to the entrance and then take a mototaxi the rest of the way. To catch the bus you can wait on the northeast corner of Carrera 46 and Calle 100. A bus passes there that has a sign in its window marked “Santa Veronica” or “S. Veronica.” You need to tell the driver that you’re going to Puerto Velero. He’ll stop on 90A (Via Santa Veronica-Puerto Colombia) at the road where you can access Puerto Velero (Via Puerto Velero). The cost is between 4 and 5 thousand pesos. There you’ll find a few enterprising young men with motorcycles ready to take you to the beach for another 1 or 2 thousand pesos. They may or may not have a helmet for you, but hey, this is Colombia. You didn’t come to worry about silly things like head injuries did you?
- By Car- Take 90A (Via Cartagena-Barranquilla) west toward Cartagena. You’ll pass Puerto Colombia and a toll booth which costs 10 to 11 thousand pesos. About 11 kilometers past Puerto Colombia you’ll see a road marked with a sign for Puerto Velero on the right. The sign isn’t that big, so keep an eye out for it. Turn on the road (called ‘Via Puerto Velero’) and take it all the way down until you see the beach. Park wherever you want in front of the cabañas lining the beach, or you can go until the end of the road where you’ll find the water park. Enjoy your day!