Playa Blanca, Barú Island, Colombia
Six days a week a smattering of small boats set sail from the brain-spinning bustle of Mercardo Bazurto in the tourist-soaked, northern Colombian enclave of Cartagena de Indias. Those boarding leave behind the cobbled alley-ways, restless squares and bougainvillea-bedecked colonial mansions of Cartagena to find the simple, uncorrupted stretch of sand, Playa Blanca – our dreamy, undisturbed Beach of the Week.
Strings of waving palms welcome you ashore to Barú Island and the gorgeous Playa Blanca. And so here is the simple life: What it lacks in king-size beds, walk- in showers and, um, electricity, it makes up for in rustic charm, sparkling turquoise waters and sand so soft you’ll wonder why you ever demanded 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton. So tick one off the Bucket List and spend a night in a hammock under the stars.
The most developed part of this little gem is the scattering of make shift restaurants along the beach. Fresh catches – including lobster, crab, octopus, shark – make for the very best sort of local grub. Have a bowl of sancocho de pescado (a type of fish stew) then head to the shore for a night time stroll where the phospherescents glow and the sea laps at sandy toes.
WHAT TO PACK:
Be sure to pack a few essentials when heading off to paradise. A Meredith Wendell Python-trimmed raffia tote along with a bottle of Frederic Feccai Beachcomber leave-in conditioner and a bottle of NARS Purple Rain nail polish. Head down to the beach in a Mara Hoffman bikini and get lost in the magical realism of colombian born Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude whilst listening to a spot of Antonio Forcione or Bebel Gilberto.
the bag: Meredith Wendell Tote, £375
the swimwear: Mara Hoffman Bikini, £205
Tanto Tempo – Bebel Gilberto