Water Sports in Colombia

Find out about the range of water sports available in Colombia – surfing, diving, fishing, rafting, canyoning and more...

Diving

Diving is very popular in Colombia due to its unique position in South America as the only country to have both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. The best time for diving is from April to November when the currents are less strong.

In order to hire equipment it will be necessary to prove that you are PADI or SSI certified, otherwise the trip will have to be accompanied by an instructor or guide.

The Caribbean coast is considered more suitable for less experienced divers due to its shallower, calmer and warmer waters. Popular diving areas include the islands of San Andres Providencia and Santa Catalina, Carpuganá near the Panama border and Taganga near Santa Marta. There are dive schools dotted up and down the coast in most towns.

Dives in the Pacific are usually deeper and subject to stronger currents, poorer visibility and cooler seas. Popular sites include the islands of Gorgona and Malpelo off of the Calí coast and Bahia Solano near the Utria National Park.

Rafting

Fairly new to Colombia yet perfectly suited to its terrain, river rafting has fast become popular in the country. Pitching a team of individuals against nature, the raft crew do all they can to stay afloat in varying difficulties of rapids. River rafting is popular along the Magdalena in San Agustín and Rio Negro in Tobia, as well as rivers in the Santander province: the Suárez, Chicomocha and Fonce.

Surfing

Colombia has some of the best surfing conditions in South America. It is generally considered that the best times to surf in Colombia are from December to March and July to September. Waves come from the southwest between April and December and the northeast in January and February.

The Caribbean has a plethora of easily accessible surfing beaches coupled with warm waves, making the area suitable for surfers of all experience. Surfing areas include Playa de Pradomar near Barranquilla, Playa El Muelle in Puerto Colombia, Punta Sur to the south of Isla de San Andres and Galerazamba.

The Pacific coast is much more challenging and is suitable for more for more experienced surfers. The area of Nuqui is the centre for all surfing on the west side of the country but many of the best spots are undeveloped and potentially dangerous. Some of the more popular areas include Pico de Loro, El Chorro and Juan Tornillo.

Canyoning

Popular in rocky areas such as those found in San Gil, Medellín and Tobia, this extreme sport combines trekking, abseiling and occasionally swimming to traverse narrow gorges formed by rivers. It is usually booked as a tour with specialist guides and professional equipment.

Fishing

Fishing is a popular leisure activity in Colombia due to its two coastlines. Sport fishing from October to March is particularly popular in the Cartagena area on the Caribbean coast, while Bahia Solano on the west coast is considered one of the best spots in the world for deep sea fishing.

There are also many inland river fishing (pesca en rios) and lake fishing (lago pesca deportiva) opportunities across the country including trips along the Amazon River.