Playa de Bocagrande

Playa de Bocagrande, Cartagena: Address, Playa de Bocagrande Reviews: 3/5

Playa de Bocagrande
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1-2 hours
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581 reviews
Very good

Pissed off
Manila, Philippines3 contributions
Itwas terribleeeeeeee
Jul 2020 • Solo
Pleaseeeee stay away from this beach do not go please do not go its filled with low lifers its filthy and it a slum beach
Written January 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Flitz8-A foodie travels
Athens, Greece2,655 contributions
Not good beach
Nov 2020 • Solo
This is beach closest to city, not good colour, with glass, even locals don't really come to this beach
Written December 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Myo M
Coquitlam, Canada19,934 contributions
A "fully commercialized" beach!
Jan 2020
Coming here just to walk along the Beach and not to swim, it was I would say just the right decision made with all these rows of tents & umbrellas along the length not far from the water's edge which I'm quite sure were for rental and not just to "freely occupy" (and yes due to their placement would be such that I wouldn't have had a choice but to rent one if I had come for swimming!); actually last year at Copacabana Beach in Rio, it had been my impression that there wouldn't be any more beach "more commercialized" with all those food kiosks & souvenir vendors lining the edge of the beach on its street side, but yes the "big difference" between there & here is just being able to put your towel down on that beach and go in the water for a swim without "feeling out of place or such" as you would here without first placing your stuff in a tent or under an umbrella; the water here though seemed "quite enticing" to go in with no big waves and where I saw people only like up to their knees pretty far into the water (which yes is a "big plus" for this beach in comparison to Copacabana where I kept getting pushed back by the waves). So yes, it was about a 1-km walk heading south from the north end (where Plaza Bocagrande is which likely is a nice shopping mall inside) to some "stone pier" which just might be at about halfway along the Beach before turning back (a "pretty rugged" pier for a walk on it though but not bad for some photo-ops where you can kind of look back and get a nice view including the "waterfront skyline" which is right behind the Beach!).

Just about a half-hour walk from the "Walled City" after coming out of its wall on the west side (near Plaza de Santo Domingo), there's also some "concrete pier" at about halfway (not to be confused with the stone pier on this beach as mentioned above) where you can easily walk to the far end of the pier for a "pretty awesome" skyline view across the water which yes is just the skyline that you see close-up while on this beach).
Written August 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Juan Montano
Medellin, Colombia39 contributions
The nearest beach from the old town
Mar 2020
It isn't a beautiful beach. The sand is greyish and the sea is more brownish than blue. But it's the nearest beach from the old town, just 20 minutes walking. We went there to stay for an afternoon and we had a nice time. We rented a small tent and a friendly guy help us with the drinks and beers (for a tip of course).
Written June 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

New York City, NY1,534 contributions
A lounge chair, a drink & a massage
Dec 2019 • Couples
Before visiting here, I had read so many reviews on Tripadvisor about people being put off by the aggressive vendors along the strip of Bocagrande beach. Therefore, I tried to prepare myself to just go ahead and pay for a few things and go with the flow while here. I didn’t want to go against the grain, if this is the culture. The moment my friend and I stepped foot onto the beach, we were immediately invited to purchase things. We declined any purchases until we found a nice couple of lounge chairs at Playa Bocagrande’s Playa Hollywood, located in front of Hotel Caribe in El Laguito. We made sure that we had agreed on the price & time of our use of these lounge chairs before we sat down and asked for a couple of drinks from the same vendor. He was very welcoming and seemed happy to have us there. Immediately two ladies came to give each of us a massage. They were quite lovely and we were already prepared to have a massage and we asked them to give us a few minutes to get situated. I wanted to take a dip in the water and I really didn’t want to be rushed. They waited, with warm smiles on their faces, for us to return from the water, and at no time did I feel that we were going to have anything stolen from us while swimming. We returned and had a few more sips of our drinks and then the massages began. The ladies were lovely, they had strong hands, which gave us relaxing massages. We had a nice conversation with them in Spanish and the lady who was massaging me kept comparing her ebony skin to my fair skin. Her skin did glisten so beautifully in the sunlight & she knew it. Once our massages were over, the ladies sat with us for a few more minutes before wishing us well and continuing on in their workday. After this, no one bothered us to get a massage because we had already been given one and it seemed like everyone on the entire Island knew it. It was amazing how we were left alone after this to relax on the beach by the ladies who offer massages. They are the most most aggressive vendors on the beach. Every once in a while someone would come by, offering to sell us a necklace or a toy that we were not interested in purchasing. We didn’t feel harassed to purchase. I really did not find the vendors annoying. They were people who were simply trying to make an honest living. We enjoyed the beach for about three hours and it was quite a pleasant day. As far as the beauty of the beach, it’s not Cartagena’s Islas del Rosario, but I think it’s agreeable -especially being in such a large city as is Cartagena. I am grateful that I chose a hotel with a fantastic swimming pool, because this benefited us greatly, as we swam and sunned at our hotel pool every day and visited Playa Bocagrande once. I will return to this beach someday and I’d recommend anyone to visit here, if you’re willing to engage in the local culture without grudging them.
Written May 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Isa T
Cusco, Peru2 contributions
Aggressive vendors, loud music, dirty beach!
Mar 2020
We wanted to sit by the beach and drink a few beers. Within seconds 3 women wanted to give me a back rub, foot massage and arm massage. I politely say no, thank you but they insist "tranquillo, tranquillo, just promotion... no fee." Regardless, I don't want any free massage now or any time later. But they are insistent and slather your back or arms with massage lotion and just give you a promotion massage. Then there are those aggressive, insistent vendors who sell bracelet, sunglasses, cotton candy, oysters and other fruits and drinks.... no amount of "mañana" or "gracias" would keep them away. No peace and quiet on this beach, music blaring out loud everywhere, trash and dog poo on the beach. I would never come back here nor recommend this to my friends.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Canada25 contributions
Not possible to relax
Feb 2020 • Couples
The beach is... ok ~ water itself was brown, beach seemed a bit dirty, but alright, until we saw a huge shard of glass.
There is no peace, you cannot even formulate a thought without being relentlessly harassed by countless aggressive hawkers.
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Suitcase Nomads
Dallas, TX73 contributions
Great beach and not as bad as people say
Feb 2020
It's a wonderful beach with very inexpensive chairs and umbrellas available for rent, small waves so you can easily swim and clean (but sandy) water. It's ideal for families with young children. Some people don't like the sand but to me it's like most sand beaches in the world and I've been to over 50 beaches in the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe. In fact, it's better than many beaches because it doesn't have pebbles, rocks and broken shells to walk over. You have nice, flat, beautiful sand. The color of the sand is brown due to the nature of the source of the sand over history, so it's not white -- it's diversified. I've seen beautiful tan, black, green and other colored beaches in the world so I guess I don't see the problem that others saw. There are vendors along the beach at all times, just as in every beach in Mexico and the rest of the Americas I've seen, but most are quite understanding when you simply shake your head (when reading) or say "no, gracias" if you make eye contact. They actually find buyers of their stuff, like people who want a float, a beer, a snack or even lunch. I bought a fish lunch with rice, a patacon and small side salad for just $3.00 that was very good. There was one massage woman who touched my wife's shoulder from behind who became irate when my wife was understandably startled and blurted "don't touch me!" but it was a one-off and didn't hurt the rest of our day. I highly recommend this beach.
Written February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

quebec9 contributions
If you want to buy stuff it is a good place.
Feb 2020 • Friends

Playa bocagrande will loose some tourist. The city and or the police dont do nothing . this beach is the sellers paradise . you cannot count to 50 or have 1 minute of relax time. AGUA AGUA AGUA AGUA . i dont think its a good place to buy a car but you can buy lots of stuff on this beach. If you want a clean beach to relax go at another beach and do not go to playa bocagrande. 1 seller try to sell drinks at less than 3000 pesos but others sellers was very mad at him. If you are lucky maybe you will see a sellers fight.
Written February 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cottage Grove, WI3 contributions
Wonderful winter getaway!
Feb 2019
I completely agree with the review that said people who give this place a negative review wouldn't be happy anywhere. Cartagena is an amazing city!
We stayed in a high rise in Bocagrande, directly across from the beach. The beach is not dirty, in fact cleaner than a lot of beaches in the US. They are diligent about keeping it clean. The sand is brown (think Cape Cod), not pure white.It's not a Caribbean island.
Yes, there are many vendors on the beach, but they are not as aggressive as so many reviews claim. And they are not criminals, they are desparatly poor people just trying to make a living .Just say no if you don't want to buy anything.
The beach is only half of the story of Cartagena. It has wonderful history. The colonial city is the oldest walled city in the Americas and is a truly magical step back into the past.
Then there is the food. Because it is such a cosmopolitan city, you can any cuisine you desire. The food is delicious! And really reasonably priced.
We enjoyed our month there so much, we are returning this year.
So my advice is, if you're a rich snobby elitist, go to the French Riviera with all the other rich snobby elitists, and skip Cartagena. If you want beautiful beaches, great food and a wonderful cultural experience, go to Cartagena.
Written January 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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