The islands in Cartagena de Indias
Cartagena is a beautiful destination where you will enjoy Colombia’s history and culture, you will get lost as you walk the streets of Ciudad Amurallada, discovering the colored house with colonial balconies and connecting with the charm of their people and their music.
But, in Cartagena it’s really hot and humid, so sooner or later you will want to escape to the islands to rest and enjoy the Caribbean Sea.
Even though in Cartagena there’s a beach, in the neighborhood of Bocagrande, the most modern area where all of the shops and hotels are, this beach is overly crowded and doesn’t have much special to it. While on the other islands you will encounter turquoise water and white sand beaches.
To get from one island to the others, you will move by boat, and these islands don’t have streets, they are all sand, so lugging your suitcase around is pretty inconvenient. Store your luggage with Airkeep’s keepairs in Cartagena de Indias and go enjoy the Caribbean freely!
The best known island is Isla Barú, which is not actually an island. It’s a peninsula that is 1 hour away from Cartagena by taxi. You can also take a boat from the Muelle de los Pegasos (just outside the Ciudad Amurallada) which will take about half an hour. On Isla Barú, the most popular beach is Playa Blanca. Here you will find a couple of hotels to stay which are quite expensive and you must book in advance. But if you travel on a lower budget, most of the beach is made up of hostels. In this area of the beach you probably won’t find wifi or electricity, and the hostels are rather Bungalows, or there are also options to sleep in hammocks. Although these places do not offer much more than a bed, you will not need more, because with heat it makes so you will be all day between the sea and the sand. In Baru there are no shops and the hostels do not have communal kitchens. So, we recommend you bring some snacks and then eat the menus they offer in your hostel or restaurants. It is a very touristic destination and on the beach they will offer you everything. From juices, fruit and food, to accessories, souvenirs, braids, massages; and the different tours and activities. You can go jet skiing, skiing or snorkeling. At night, you can take the Luminous Plankton tour, a phenomenon that occurs in the sea where there is a plankton that light up when it has contact with the skin. Swimming in this sea at night is a magical experience and you that never forget.
Islas del Rosario
From Isla Baru, you can go to the Islas del Rosario. These islands are surrounded by the Seven Colors Sea. From Isla Baru take a boat that takes you snorkeling, the sea is very transparent, and you will see many different marine species. Afterwards, the tour can drop you off at Isla Grande, the main island in the Islas del Rosario. On this island you can spend a night or two and then take a boat back directly to Cartagena. Islas del Rosario is to go relax, it’s less crowded than Baru is and you can enjoy more tranquility and have the beach for yourself.
Archipiélago de San Bernardo
This archipelago is made-up of 10 islands, being the best known Múcura and Tintipán. To get to the archipelago you must take a boat from Cartagena that takes 2 and a half hours. These islands can be easily explored by walking or cycling. They are full of trees, so you have more places to take refuge from the shadows than on the other islands. The beaches are quieter, and you can go snorkeling or kayaking.
Near Tintipán, there’s an artificial island, Casa en el Agua. It is a hostel that is floating in the middle of the sea, where you can go to relax and throw yourself into the sea from the window of your room. They have beds options in dormitories or to sleep in hammocks. The atmosphere is very entertaining as the “island” is small then you know everyone who is staying there and everyone eats together.