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Islas del Rosario - Other Activity Cartagena - Colombia

About 45 kilometers (27 mi) southwest of Cartagena, Islas del Rosario is a coral islands archipelago with arguably the best beaches and diving in Colombia. The islands were declared a protected area, PNN Corales del Rosario y de San Bernardo, in 1977. The park, which includes 43 islands, covers 120,000 hectares (296,527 ac) of coral reefs, mangroves and associated ecosystems. It extends from the westward from Isla Barú’s coast, and includes Playa Blanca.


Underwater delights can be found at the islands' 30 designated diving and snorkeling spots. The diversity of sea life—35 species of echinoderms (such as sea cucumbers and urchins), 45 kinds of sponges, 52 types of coral, 170 different crustaceans, 180 kinds of mollusks, and 215 species of fish—keep even experienced divers occupied for days.


Boat tours from Cartagena make a stop the aquarium on at Isla San Martin de Pajarales (adults $12, children 5-12 years old $8; not included in tour price), before turning back around to Playa Blanca on Isla Barú. An additional $7 per person is charged for the national park fee.


Some of the islands have lodging, for those who would like to enjoy the tranquil seas and white beaches at a less-rushed pace. Most hotels are quite plush and provide boat transfer service. Some offer scuba diving excursions.


Isla Grande, the archipelago’s largest island, has an interpretive hiking path. Sveral hotels are here, including Coco Liso Resort (Cra 1, 4-12, Hotel El Dorado, local 1, Bocagrande. Tel: 5-665-9339, E-mail:, URL: and locally owned Ecohotel La Cocotera (Ca 4, 3-204, Bocagrande. Tel: 5-665-5655, E-mail:, URL: Hotel Majagua has its own PADI shop (Calle del Torno 39-29, San Diego. Tel: 5-664-6070, E-mail:, URL:

Isla del Encanto, west of Barú, is another one of the larger islands. Isla del Encanto tour agency has its own hotel there, which also presents day trips for tourists wishing to enjoy a more tranquil tour (Av San Martín 5-94, Michel Center, local 5, Bocagrande. Tel: 5-655-5454, URL:


One of the smallest isles is Isla del Pirata. Half the island is a reserve, and the other the Hotel Isla Pirata Resort (Ca 6, 2-26, Edificio Granada, local 2, Bocagrnade. Tel: 5-665-2952, E-mail:, URL: It also offers day tours.


For information on staying on Isla Barú, see Playa Blanca.


The easiest way to get to the Islas del Rosario is on tour, though there are ways to get there on one’s own. See Getting to and away from Cartagena for details.

Near Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia

Other Activity Types:
Wildlife refuge, Natural park, National park (flora)

Getting There

Price Description:

Relative price: Mid-Range

Currencies accepted
Colombian Peso

Here are other activities in and around Near Cartagena that may be of interest: Playa Blanca, La Boquilla, Isla de Tierra Bomba, Volcán del Totumo and San Basilio De Palenque.

By Brenda Yun
I am a creative writer / surfer chick in need of adventure all the time. The only thing that keeps me grounded is my non-traveling, non-surfing pug...
05 May 2011

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