Cartagena Private Islands – An Archipelago Just a Short Boat Ride From Cartagena

There are few things that can rival a trip to the Cartagena Private Islands – an archipelago just a short boat ride from Cartagena’s old city. The pristine beaches, crystal clear waters and lush nature here make for a perfect escape from the heat, crowds and frenzy of the city.

The best place to see the Rosario Islands is at an island resort or ecolodge, though many hostels and hotels also offer day trips to the islands as well. A few of the more popular options are Secret Paradise, a hostel collective on Isla Grande and Hotel Islabela, a small boutique hotel that feels like a 5-star resort (but is actually run by a family). This two floor island property has 4 air conditioned bedrooms with Caribbean interior design, wonderful lounge areas inside and outside on the decking and has a maximum capacity of 14 guests.

Snorkeling is the main reason people visit the islands, and many of the hotels and hostels have their own excursions to some of the best snorkeling spots in the area. For those looking for a more independent approach, there are plenty of companies that rent out snorkeling equipment and boats for exploring on your own.

If you are bringing the kids along, there is plenty to keep them busy, from kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to waterskiing and banana boat rides. The water here is calm and shallow, making it great for kids, though if they are not confident swimmers you may want to stay close to shore with them at all times.

Of course, the highlight of any visit to the Cartagena Private Islands is spending time on one of the pristine beaches. There are plenty of options, from the long stretches of white sand at Playa Baru to more secluded beaches on other islands in the group. There are even a few beaches where you can swim with dolphins!

While most of the beaches around the Cartagena Private Islands are free to access, you will be expected to pay a small entrance fee for some of them. This is to help protect the wildlife that lives here.

The islands are a popular destination for day trippers from Cartagena, so you are not likely to have any problem finding an organized tour of the islands. Most of the larger hotels and hostels will have their own trips, and there are countless scheduled boats that leave from La Bodeguita marina in Cartagena to explore the island cluster. The swankier, more private option is to book a private boat yourself, which will usually come with the added bonus of an experienced guide.

The Cartagena Private Islands are a beautiful Caribbean oasis just 20 miles from the city. The beaches, snorkeling adventures and cocktails at sunset are enough to convince most travelers to pack their bags and head out for a week or two! Check out our full selection of bookable, small-group trips that take you to Colombia’s stunning Caribbean coast, from immersive Epic Trips and action-packed Mini Trips to sparkling Sailing Trips. Cartagena Private Islands

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