Playa Blanca is a beautiful Carribiean beach with white sands and bright blue waters located only a short one hour drive away from Cartagena. I hate boats with a vengeance, especially small boats (I get really seasick) so when I found out I didn’t have to take one of those stupid boats to playa Blanca I could have jumped with joy. Our hostel (Mamallena) organised a shuttle for us and we arrived in paradise an hour later.
We were told to stay at Los Corales (named after the beautiful coral on the beach) so we did. We decided to sleep in a hammock for the next few nights. A cheap and different option. It’s not often you get to sleep on a beach in a hammock for the night! It’s not the most comfortable way to sleep, I woke up every hour wriggling around trying to get in a good position but it was cool to fall asleep right on the beach to the sounds of the ocean.
The beach has no electricity or running water so it was bucket flush toilets and candle lit dinners for us, something I hadn’t experienced before. The beach itself, is extremely pleasing on the eye and the water is almost TOO warm…did I really just say that? There’s not a whole lots to do here (it is just a beach after all) so if you are looking for a place to sun yourself, swim, eat and drink then this place is for you!
We were told that the food here was pretty pricey so we stocked up on some food before we left. Since we couldn’t take stuff that needed refrigerating our food bag looked a little something like this; bread, peanut butter, granola bars, 2 cans of tuna and two cup noodles. It’s pretty ridiculous, but Tom and I actually really enjoy eating cup noodles. These two American girls we met had been raving about the pizza over at Zulu’s, so on the last night we decided to treat ourselves and go out for dinner. It was still kinda early, around 6pm and Zulu’s wasn’t open yet so we went on over to the restaurant next door called Pacho lay. We sat at a beautiful table so close to the ocean that my feet were getting wet. It was perfect. Since we had our heart set on pizza, that’s what we ordered. To my dismay, it was absolutely THE WORST pizza I have ever put in my mouth..possibly even the worst food I have ever put in my mouth. It was inedible. So, still hungry, we sat and watched the breathtaking sunset and daydreamed about eating more cup noodles one day.
The local vendors on the beach can be a little aggressive when it comes to selling you things. Especially the massage ladies, they always try to give you a “demonstration” and start rubbing your feet or shoulders, even when you are sleeping or ingnoring them. The lovely owner of our hostel warned us not to accept these “demonstrations” or “free” things such as the guys giving you an oyster for “free” to try. They always try to charge you for it after and become quite mad if you refuse to pay. Luckily, with this information we didn’t get ourselves into any trouble as some other travellers that we met had.
We thoroughly enjoyed our two nights spent in Playa Blanca. It was pure, blissful relaxation to be disconnected from wifi, have no where to be, no where to go or any concept of what time it was apart from the rooster in the morning and the sun setting at night. My only pieces of advice for you if you choose to visit playa Blanca is to bring food and water with you (to save money), sleep in a hammock to hear the sounds of the waves all night, don’t go over the weekend as it gets extremely busy with locals (so I’ve heard), say no to free things, bring a good book to read, drink lots of fresh coconuts and coco locos (coconuts filled with alcohol, yum!) be prepared for ultimate relaxation (there’s no party scene here!) and most importantly do not eat pizza from Pacho lay (the other meals looked good though).