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Playa Blanca - Other Activity Cartagena - Colombia

One of the must-do tours from Cartagena is Playa Blanca, on Isla Barú. This is the dream beach: A palm-shaded white strand of fine sand skirting a crystalline turquoise sea. Many dream of a paradise like this, of passing the days swaying in the hammock, going for a swim—swaying in the hammock some more until lunch with an über-fresh fish, then an afternoon siesta (swaying in the hammock) before kicking back to watch the sunset, drinking a coco loco. Such a place is perfect for easing away weeks of hard travel and hiking.

Most Cartagena visitors come to Playa Blanca only for the day. For several hours, the beach is strewn with folks playing in the sun and surf. Vendors stroll the beach, selling everything from snacks and drinks, to kitsch souvenirs and shell necklaces, to massages. When the last boat leaves before sunset, then quiet begins to reign.

But staying on to watch the moonlight snake across the quiet waves is possible. Several luxury resorts have set up on Isla Barú, like Mona Prieta, which has two deluxe cabañas to let (URL: and the national hotel chain Decameron (URL: Playa Scondida also has bungalows (Ca Larga 8B-55, Getsemaní. Tel: 5-664-2923, URL:

Unfortunately, the days of cheap options on Isla Barú are coming to an end. Camping Wittenberg has moved on to Sapzurró. One of the few options left is Hugo’s Place, which has camping, hammocks and rooms, and a water sports school. Expect a party atmosphere. Some women have reported feeling uncomfortable, though (Tel: 310-716-1021, E-mail:

Travelers coming on day trips to Playa Blanca usually hop on a tour from Cartagena ($20-28). For cheaper alternatives, see Getting to and away from Cartagena. An overland route does exist. From near the India Catalina monument, take a buseta to Pasocaballos ($1) and from there a ferry across the Dique del Canal ($0.50). Once on the island, take a mototaxi to Playa Blanca ($6-8). To get back to Cartagena, negotiate for a seat on a returning tour boat ($6-12).


Isla Barú

Near Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia

Other Activity, Beach Types:
Beach, Snorkeling, Bars, Restaurants

Getting There

Travel Tips:

Price Description:

Relative price: Mid-Range

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring:

Currencies accepted
Colombian Peso

Here are other activities in and around Near Cartagena that may be of interest: La Boquilla,

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

05 May 2011

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