Boulders Beach Travel Guide

Explore Boulders Beach and discover its natural attractions, cultural landmarks, food scene, and more.

Introduction to Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is a popular destination in False Bay, in the Cape Peninsula, located in Western Cape, South Africa. This unique beach is known for its crystal-clear waters, pristine white sand, and the peculiar sight of African penguins swimming and sunbathing around massive boulders.

Nurtured by the granite rocks that provide natural shade, the breeding colony counts more than 3,000 penguins, making it one of the few sites in the world where these flightless birds can be observed up close in their natural habitat.

Boulders Beach also offers various outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and snorkeling, making it a top destination for nature lovers and adventure-seekers.

List of Places to Visit in Boulders Beach

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • The Simon’s Town Museum: The museum showcases local history and the town’s naval heritage. The exhibitions highlight the establishment of the town, slavery, and the life of the community.
  • South African Naval Museum: The museum is located in the former submarine depot, which dates back to the 1880s. It features an array of displays that tell the story of the South African Navy from its inception to the present.

Natural Attractions of Boulders Beach: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Boulders Beach boardwalk: The boardwalk experience offers outstanding scenic views of the natural surroundings, penguins, and secluded coves.
  • Sea kayaking: Paddling in the bay gives you the chance to explore natural rock formations, bays, and kelp forests.
  • Cape Point Nature Reserve: Guided tours are available, giving visitors the opportunity to hike and explore natural habitats, see wild animals, and learn about South African flora.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach offers several hiking and biking trails. The most popular routes include:

  • The Hoerikwaggo Trail: This trail stretches for 5 days and offers hiking, biking, and accommodation packages.
  • The Cape of Good Hope Trail: This full-day hike offers spectacular views of the landscape and the ocean.

Best Things to Do in Boulders Beach: Activities and Tours

  • The Cape Town City Tour: The tour takes you on a journey of the rich history of Cape Town and includes visits to various landmarks such as the Castle of Good Hope and Table Mountain.
  • The Peninsula Tour: The tour takes you on a scenic trip around the Cape Peninsula, including the Cape of Good Hope, Hout Bay, and the naval town of Simon’s Town.

Week-Long Itinerary for Boulders Beach

Day 1: Arrival and check-in, explore the immediate surroundings.

Day 2: Visit the penguin colony at Boulders Beach and take a stroll along the boardwalk.

Day 3: Hike or bike in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.

Day 4: Take a city tour of Cape Town or a trip to the Cape Winelands.

Day 5: Explore the historical sites of Simon’s Town and the South African Naval Museum.

Day 6: Take a scenic drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive and enjoy the views.

Day 7: Departure.

Food and Drink Scene of Boulders Beach

Must-Try Dishes

  • Bobotie: A traditional dish of curried mincemeat topped with an egg custard.
  • Biltong: A salty dried meat that can be seen hanging in many South African butchers’ shops.
  • Bunny Chow: A street food dish made up of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry.

Local Beverages

  • Rooibos Tea: A fragrant and caffeine-free tea made from indigenous plants of the South African region.
  • Pinotage: A grape unique to South Africa, resulting in a slightly sweet, medium-bodied red wine.

Where to Stay in Boulders Beach: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Boulders Beach has a range of accommodation options, including luxury hotels, guesthouses, and backpacker hostels.

  • Tintswalo at Boulders: A five-star boutique hotel with a private beach.
  • Moonglow Guest House: A family-owned bed and breakfast with stunning views of False Bay.

What to Buy in Boulders Beach: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • African penguin plush toys, keychains, and decorative items.
  • Woven textiles and baskets made by local artisans.

Local Culture and Customs of Boulders Beach

The local culture around Boulders Beach is influenced by the region’s history of slave trade, naval activity, and fishing industry, as well as the flora and fauna that contribute to the local economy.

Best Time to Visit Boulders Beach

The best time to visit Boulders Beach is during the summer months of December to February when the weather is warm and dry. However, it’s also peak tourist season, so prices may be higher.

Do’s and Don’ts of Boulders Beach


  • Respect the natural habitat of the penguins.
  • Observe bird-watching etiquette and don’t disturb other birds in their natural habitat.


  • Feed or touch the penguins.
  • Litter or disturb the natural surroundings.

Safety and Health

Safety in Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is generally safe. However, it’s advisable to keep an eye on your belongings, especially when on the beach during peak season.

Health in Boulders Beach

Visitors should be up to date with routine vaccinations and consider a hepatitis A vaccine before heading to South Africa. Visitors should also be aware of ocean-related risks such as strong currents and rip tides and be cautious when swimming in unfamiliar waters.

Getting to Boulders Beach: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Boulders Beach

The closest airport to Boulders Beach is Cape Town International Airport, located approximately 35 miles away.

Bus Stations Near Boulders Beach

The nearest bus station to Boulders Beach is in Simon’s Town, which is about 1.5 miles away.

Other Options

  • Car rental: It’s possible to rent a car from Cape Town International Airport to get to Boulders Beach and explore nearby destinations.
  • Ride-sharing apps: Uber and Bolt operate in Cape Town and can be used to get to Boulders Beach.

How to Get Around in Boulders Beach

Getting around in Boulders Beach can be done on foot or by renting a car or a bicycle. There is no public transportation system in Boulders Beach.

Where to Go Next from Boulders Beach: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve: A scenic nature reserve.
  • Kalk Bay Harbour: A quaint fishing village with a range of seafood restaurants.
  • Table Mountain: A world-famous natural landmark ideal for hiking and sightseeing.


Boulders Beach is a must-visit destination in South Africa. From its natural beauty to its unique wildlife, and rich history, there are many things to see and do in Boulders Beach. Whether you’re an adventure-seeker, nature lover, or history buff, Boulders Beach has something for everyone.