Rincon del Mar, Colombia | Everything You Need to Know

With white sandy beach, cheerful people and Afro-Colombian rhythm, Rincon del Mar is an unspoiled Caribbean town.

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Rincon del Mar is a small fishing village located 3 hours from Cartagena. On the western part of the Caribbean coast, in Sucre, one of the most unexplored areas in Colombia. Fortunately, the town somehow manages to stay off the radar with its wide white sandy beach and palm trees.

Rincon cultivates that special and unique flavor that its Afro-Colombian roots give it, with a cheerful, authentic, exotic, and relaxing atmosphere. Though travelers mostly come to Rincon Del Mar to relax, there are a few attractions, among them the famous San Bernardo Islands. 

In this travel guide, you will learn everything you need to know about Rincon del Mar. What to do, how to get there, and where to spend the night in front of the beach.

What’s in Town

When arriving at Rincon del Mar, you better take off your shoes, as there is only one street in this little Caribbean town, and it’s sandy. Add to it the vast and long coastal strip, and that’s where life is happening. Randomly placed loudspeakers can start a party while children run around and elders gamble on a domino game. 

A street in Rincon del Mar with children running around
Rincon’s street

In the main street, you can find a hairdresser, one ‘mami’ who bakes bread twice a week (in Colombia papi\mami are used without being your family), Enia the tailor, and even a few ladies that do pedicures. All you have to do is look around, ask, mingle, and you’ll find what you’re looking for. 

A structure colored green in Rincon del Mar
In the green house find the lady that bakes fresh bread
A pink structure in Rincon where there is a man hair salon
Rincon’s hairdresser

In addition, you can find several ‘tiendas’ (small shops) with fruit, veg, beer, and drinking water. Avoid using tap water in Rincon del Mar, even for cooking. Because the tap water is brackish water, meaning it has more salinity than freshwater, but not as much as seawater.  

A minimarket in Rincon del Mar
Rincon’s Minimarket

Rincon also has a variety of restaurants that serve more or less the same dishes with a slight change. Soup as a starter, fried fish with coconut rice beside a small salad, and some Patacones (fried plantain slices). The price starts at 15,000 COP. 

La Negrita restaurant street view in Rincon del Mar
La Negrita restaurant

We recommend La Negrita restaurant. We had a huge, delicious plate there, which was good value for money. 

A restaurant first line to the sea in Rincon del Mar
La Negrita restaurant beachfront

Rincon doesn’t have an ATM and credit cards are not very common to use, so you better prepare upfront. If you spoiled yourself with one too many cocktails or paid for multiple attractions and ran out of money, don’t panic, your vacation in Rincon del Mar doesn’t have to end. There’s an ATM in San Onofre and it’s only 30 min away by motorbike and costs 10,000 COP one way.

Motorcycle in Rincon del Mar

Where to Stay in Rincon del Mar

Relatively to its size, Rincon offers a wide variety of accommodations. Most of them are first line to the beach or just a few meters away, with a wide range from budget to classy. Here we’ll tell you about two we stayed in and one more we have heard is worth a shot. 

Our recommendation is to book the first night in advance before your arrival in Rincon del Mar. Once you get to the accommodation and see you like it and want to stay more and more, talk with the reception about the price. Haggling about the price in Colombia is very common, yet not many tourists do it. 

Casa Madriguena  

The best option in Rincon for the budget traveler. Casa Madriguena has 5 simple rooms with a private bathroom and shower. During the week, it offers the cheapest rooms in town for 65,000 COP per night. The prices rise during the weekend in Casa Madriguena and in all the other hostels at Rincon del Mar. So, if you are on a budget, try to visit Rincon during the week. Casa Madriguena lies on the main beach of Rincon, which runs parallel to the main street.

In addition, the hostel is located only 20 meters from the sea. Diego, the owner, speaks a bit of English and will be happy to assist you with recommendations about the town. Another great service Casa Madriguena offers their guests is a filtration system for Rincon’s tap water which you can use freely instead of buying loads of plastic bottles.

Hammocks on the beach of Casa Madriguena
Casa Madriguena beach

Blue Sea Hostel

With its friendly staff and beautiful private beach, Blue Sea Hostel is undoubtedly our favorite hostel in Rincon. The hostel is located on the other side of the famous bridge. Exactly where you may think everything ends, but something different begins.

A bridge above the sea and river in Rincon del Mar
Rincon’s bridge

It offers a variety of private rooms starting at 90,000 COP. There are two gorgeous communal balconies to enjoy the breeze from the sea but the highlight of the Blue Sea Hostel is its private beach.

Blue Sea hostel’s beach

We spent most of our time in Rincon on their beach and felt like it was our own. The hostel offers several activities like visiting San Bernardo islands, a nighttime plankton tour, and a ridiculously cheap Kayak Rental. In addition, it is one of the only accommodations in town offering a shared kitchen.

Dos Aguas Lodge  

Suppose you’re looking for a romantic eco-accommodation. In that case, Dos Aguas Lodge is the spot for you. This eco-accommodation justifies its reputation as the classy hostel in town with a bohemian vibe and a trendy bar serving spectacular cocktails. It lies on the beautiful punta beach in Rincon, a bit further from the center of town. During the week, the beach is almost totally secluded as there are only a few hostels around. But on the weekends, the beach is filled with happy Colombians enjoying their vacation.

Things to Do in Rincon del Mar

  • Take a tour to the islands of San Bernardo and lay on the white sands of Isla Palma, Tintipan, and see the most crowded island in the world of Santa Cruz del Islote. Day tours start at the price of 50,000 COP per person.
  • Have a night swim among the bioluminescent plankton. 
  • Find a guide and explore the swamps at night or during the sunset for some bird scouting. 
  • Rent a kayak and paddle on the gentle waves of the Caribbean sea.
  • All attractions are incredible, and tourists return ecstatic from their day out. But lets be honest, the best attraction in Rincon del Mar is to chill on the beach with Pina Colada by your side and watch the pelicans above hunting for fish. 

What to Pack

Rincon del Mar is a typical Caribbean beach town, you should pack sandals for Him & for Her, and a swimsuit for Him & for Her

Quick dry beach towel and sunscreen are a must.

Pack your belongings in your beloved backpack and make sure you have a comfortable daypack for your daily trips or the chilling day on the beach. 

Also, pack a water bottle because many hostels provide filtered water that you can fill your bottle with and help the environment. 

Some extras to spoil yourself with can be a GoProKindle and it’s always nice to have your personal snorkel for exploring the water world. 

Finally, if you are a backpacking parent, like us, choose a baby carrier comfortable for your baby and yourself. 

How to Get to Rincon del Mar

From Cartagena 

Reach Cartagena Terminal de Transporte (the transportation terminal of Cartagena). If you’re in the city center, expect a 30 min ride in a car. You can take a yellow taxi for about 30,000 COP or do what we did and use the ‘InDriver’ app. It’s very popular and considered Colombia’s UBER, and it’s also much cheaper than the yellow taxis. We paid 15,000 COP for the ride to Terminal de Transporte.

From Terminal de Transporte, take a bus to San Onofre.

Just a heads up, in the transportation terminal, many bus companies will grab you as you get off your ride. It’s common. Just know what to expect. 

The price can vary from 35,000 to 20,000 depending on your haggling skills. The ride takes two hours. 

According to the timetable, buses leave every half an hour from 05:00 am till 10:00 am. But from what we saw it’s also possible to take a bus after these hours. Though if you want to stay on the safe side, leave in the morning. 

From San Onofre, take a car or a motorbike to Rincon.

The ride lasts 30 min on a dirt road. Many drivers will be waiting for you immediately with your arrival to San Onofre. A ride on a bike costs 10,000 COP, and in a car, between 30,000-50,000 COP. 

From Bogota

Bus from Bogota to San Onofre takes 18 hours and costs 198,000 COP. 

From Medellin

Bus from Medellin to San Onofre takes 11 hours and costs 140,000 COP.

Final Thoughts

Kids playing football on the beach of Rincon del Mar
Kids playing football in the sunset, they won’t mind if you want to join

You’re not gonna be the first person to visit Rincon del Mar. It has tourists, but it feels non-touristy. Everything is very simple. Village life is happening around the Caribbean coast while music is always on and someone’s dancing. It was hard to leave the view of the sea and the cheerful people we met there, but that’s the concept of traveling. And since then, every beach we arrive to, our first words to one another is: “It’s not Rincon.” A new road to Rincon is under construction these days, which will make it easier to get there, for the better or worse. 

So, where should you go next? If want to explore another off-the-beaten-path destination in the Caribbean, the isolated town of Capurgana and its neighboring charming villages of Sapzurro and El Aguacate should be your next destination.


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