The guide to Playa Cabo Tortuga: How to get there and what to do

Everything you need to know about Cabo Tortuga Beach, near El Rodadero, Santa Marta.

Published 2023-05-15 17:03:32

This beach is named after the shape of the nearest mountain, similar to a turtle, and has become a popular tourist destination among visitors and locals of Santa Marta thanks to its easy access and natural beauty.

In this article we will share with you all the information you should know before traveling to Playa Cabo Tortuga, for a day of sun and beach destination.

What is the beach at Cabo Tortuga like and is it worth visiting?

Cabo Tortuga is characterized by being a beach of soft sand and free of stones. It is also an area with clear and clean water, calm waves, perfect for the whole family, swimming and various water activities.

It is worth a visit if you are looking for a quick option that is not expensive and will give you a little more tranquility, as it is generally less crowded than other beaches in the city. We highly recommend our article on the best beaches in Santa Marta to help you decide which are the best alternatives according to your travel style.

How to get to Cabo Tortuga in Santa Marta

Cabo Tortuga beach is located south of Santa Marta, about 10 km (25 minutes) from the historic center or about 4.5 km (12 minutes) from El Rodadero. This beach is easily accessible by roads in excellent condition, you can get there by public transportation (bus or taxi) or by private vehicle.

By bus

The journey by bus takes about 30 to 40 minutes. Here are the directions:

  1. Take route 101 or 103, usually marked "Airport".

  2. After passing the Gaira Transfer Terminal, be prepared to get off at the next street, remembering that you can rely on the driver to drop you off at the Cabo Tortuga stop.

  3. Walk along the street where the bus left you (Street 74A), turn right on Carrera 2 and continue to the next street on the left, you will find the beach at the end of the street.

By private car

  • From downtown Santa Marta, the quickest way is to take Carrera 4 (Avenida Hernández Pardo) and head towards El Rodadero, passing Cerro Ziruma.

  • Continue in the same direction, passing El Rodadero and the intersection with Troncal del Caribe.

  • Take Calle 74A (the one after the Gaira transfer terminal).

  • Turn right onto Carrera 2 (the first street you see).

  • Take the next left.

  • Continue to the parking lot, from there it is a few minutes walk to the beach.

Services and Facilities

  • Parking lot: Yes, a few meters from the beach.

  • Eating and drinking: Restaurants, bars and some street vendors.

  • Shade: Although there are trees, you can rent tents and chairs for comfort.

  • Public restrooms: None available. 

  • Accessibility: There are no facilities for persons with limited mobility.

Beach Activities and Water Sports

In Cabo Tortuga you can enjoy water activities such as jet skiing, water biking, gusanito ("worm" or inflatable "banana"). The availability and prices of these activities vary depending on the season.

Nearby Attractions

Cabo Tortuga is a section of the Pozos Colorados beach, near Plenomar and other beaches frequented mainly by locals.

From this beach (to the south of the town) is the hotel zone, a strip of beach with a growing range of accommodation and entertainment.

Apart from the beach, there are no major attractions nearby.

Cabo Tortuga Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cabo Tortuga a public or private beach?

Cabo Tortuga is a public beach and access is free.

What are the beach rules?

Although there are no specific rules for Cabo Tortuga Beach, it is recommended to respect the environment and private areas, not to leave any garbage and to take care of the natural environment.

Is the Cabo Tortuga Beach Safe?

Playa Cabo Tortuga is generally safe, but as in any place, it is recommended to take precautions, be aware of the ocean conditions and not to leave valuables unattended.

Is this a Tayrona Park beach?

No, Cabo Tortuga is not part of the Tayrona Park. This beach is located in the area of Pozos Colorados, south of the city.

Where does the name Cabo Tortuga come from? Are there sea turtles?

Playa Cabo Tortuga is not called Cabo Tortuga because it is a turtle nesting site, but because of the shape of the nearest mountain, which resembles the head and shell of a turtle.

Other beaches to visit in Santa Marta

Enjoy a sensational day of sun and beach.

Playa Cabo Tortuga is a wonderful option for those looking to enjoy a day on a quiet beach, with easy access and surrounded by natural beauty. Take advantage of the information we have provided in this article and do not hesitate to visit this charming corner of Santa Marta, enjoy its warm waters, soft sand and water activities, while immersing yourself in the relaxed atmosphere that this beautiful destination offers!

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