When I spent a week in Cartagena, I got to go on a Rosario Islands boat tour! The views were amazing, and I definitely recommend getting out on the water while you’re in Cartagena. And you can make a whole day of it and grab some lunch and drinks while you’re out!
Rosario Islands boat tour
The boat tour I was on was put together by Scarlet Macaw Trips, but there are lots of different Rosario Islands boat tour options you can choose from. I have heard some mixed reviews about taking public boat tours, so definitely do your research before you book a tour.
It’s about an hour boat ride to get to the islands, and then you can easily hop from island to island.
The Rosario Islands are an archipelago made up of 28 islands that are part of a national park along the Colombian Caribbean coast. Since they’re in a national park that helps protect a coral reef, they are well-preserved.
You can go snorkeling or scuba diving in the area if you want, or you can just relax on the water and take in the sights like I did! I couldn’t get over how bright and beautiful the water was everywhere.
You can ride by Pablo Escobar’s mansion! It was a secret party house, and it’s now government owned and has fallen into ruin since it was abandoned.
Places to stop around the Rosario Islands
There are spots where you can drop anchor and go swimming off the side of the boat! There were lots of men in kayaks selling fresh coconuts so you could drink right out of the coconut. They were pretty persistent, so you have to be firm if you don’t want any and if you do, you can haggle prices with them. The group I was with got a few to try, and they were pretty good!
We stopped at an island for lunch and drinks, and it was great! The fish was very fresh, and coconut rice has become one of my new favorite things. And drinking out of a pineapple is always fantastic.
There were people there trying to sell us things or have us buy massages, so again, if you’re not interested, you have to be firm. There were several times when people would come up and just start massaging someone to see if they would pay for it, just to give you a head’s up!
So if you’re looking for a day trip from Cartagena, you can’t miss going on a Rosario Islands boat tour! It’s such a beautiful area to explore and a great way to spend a relaxing day on the water.