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Rosario Islands DIY?


shelly_11
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We are planning to visit Cartagena and in accordance with our ship's schedule we should be there from 7 am to 5 pm.

How doable is it to find a boat to Rosario Islands directly in the port? We do not need a private boat, need a shared one, a day trip option.

My main concern is return - tour operators provide good rates but return is around 4 pm and average tour duration is 8 hours while we need only 6 hours there. I am afraid that in case of any delays we'll miss our ship. On the other hand, I would feel very much insecure on the island with no guarantee that the skipper will come back to pick us up.

What should we do? Ship's excursion is double as much as I can get from the local tour operator.

Your advise is much appreciated.

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  • 1 month later...

Any suggestions please? I am now thinking of going to a nearest island or a beach for the first half of the day (8 am - 1 pm) and then for the rest of the day (1 pm - 4 pm) to roam in the walled city. Are there any boat charters with reasonable prices to contact for the short beach trip? Any kind of info would be much appreciated. Has anyone done something similar?

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Any suggestions please? I am now thinking of going to a nearest island or a beach for the first half of the day (8 am - 1 pm) and then for the rest of the day (1 pm - 4 pm) to roam in the walled city. Are there any boat charters with reasonable prices to contact for the short beach trip? Any kind of info would be much appreciated. Has anyone done something similar?

 

I'm not sure if this relates exactly to what you are planning, but I'll give you our experiences after a two day stop in early Feb. this year. On the first day, we did the ship excursion to the Rosario islands (a private island called Isleta). It was at least one hour each way on a high speed boat - and we would have taken another 45 minutes or so to go around the archipelago but opted to go straight to the island. On the way back, due to high seas we had to return by a canal, which added to the time. Also, the boat lost power so we could only go slowly while waiting for another boat to come so we could transfer to it. From what I could tell, our excursion was the only group that went to that particular island that day, although there was another island close by with lots of private boats and people on the beach (we could also hear their loud music playing :)). It looked like the boats stayed at the island, rather than go back to Cartagena and return later for a pick up.

From what I can remember, it took our boat about 25 minutes to get out of the main harbour area - so I'm not sure what beach you would be trying to get to by boat, but keep that in mind with regards to the time factor. I did notice the next day during our tour of Cartagena that there is a decent sized beach fairly close to the walled city. I'm sure others can share their experiences, but I didn't get the feeling that Cartagena was really a 'beach' type of city.

Also something to keep in mind is traffic in the city - while it seemed fairly easy to take a cab to the walled city from port, traffic is very heavy. I'm not sure that you will fit both in given the time you will need to get between the two activities.

Enjoy your stop in Cartagena, it is a beautiful city!

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I'm not sure if this relates exactly to what you are planning, but I'll give you our experiences after a two day stop in early Feb. this year. On the first day, we did the ship excursion to the Rosario islands (a private island called Isleta). It was at least one hour each way on a high speed boat - and we would have taken another 45 minutes or so to go around the archipelago but opted to go straight to the island. On the way back, due to high seas we had to return by a canal, which added to the time. Also, the boat lost power so we could only go slowly while waiting for another boat to come so we could transfer to it. From what I could tell, our excursion was the only group that went to that particular island that day, although there was another island close by with lots of private boats and people on the beach (we could also hear their loud music playing :)). It looked like the boats stayed at the island, rather than go back to Cartagena and return later for a pick up.

From what I can remember, it took our boat about 25 minutes to get out of the main harbour area - so I'm not sure what beach you would be trying to get to by boat, but keep that in mind with regards to the time factor. I did notice the next day during our tour of Cartagena that there is a decent sized beach fairly close to the walled city. I'm sure others can share their experiences, but I didn't get the feeling that Cartagena was really a 'beach' type of city.

Also something to keep in mind is traffic in the city - while it seemed fairly easy to take a cab to the walled city from port, traffic is very heavy. I'm not sure that you will fit both in given the time you will need to get between the two activities.

Enjoy your stop in Cartagena, it is a beautiful city!

 

Thank you edmonton2 so much for sharing your experience. I think that we should rather go to Playa Blanca by road, rather than trying our luck with the boat. I've heard that there's a new bridge which leads directly there. Or maybe a taxi would be a good alternative to save a bit of time?

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  • 1 year later...
I'm not sure if this relates exactly to what you are planning, but I'll give you our experiences after a two day stop in early Feb. this year. On the first day, we did the ship excursion to the Rosario islands (a private island called Isleta). It was at least one hour each way on a high speed boat - and we would have taken another 45 minutes or so to go around the archipelago but opted to go straight to the island. On the way back, due to high seas we had to return by a canal, which added to the time. Also, the boat lost power so we could only go slowly while waiting for another boat to come so we could transfer to it. From what I could tell, our excursion was the only group that went to that particular island that day, although there was another island close by with lots of private boats and people on the beach (we could also hear their loud music playing :)). It looked like the boats stayed at the island, rather than go back to Cartagena and return later for a pick up.

From what I can remember, it took our boat about 25 minutes to get out of the main harbour area - so I'm not sure what beach you would be trying to get to by boat, but keep that in mind with regards to the time factor. I did notice the next day during our tour of Cartagena that there is a decent sized beach fairly close to the walled city. I'm sure others can share their experiences, but I didn't get the feeling that Cartagena was really a 'beach' type of city.

Also something to keep in mind is traffic in the city - while it seemed fairly easy to take a cab to the walled city from port, traffic is very heavy. I'm not sure that you will fit both in given the time you will need to get between the two activities.

Enjoy your stop in Cartagena, it is a beautiful city!

 

Aside from the slow transportation, how was your day at Isleta? Considering this excursion on next trip to Cartagena.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Aside from the slow transportation, how was your day at Isleta? Considering this excursion on next trip to Cartagena.

Isleta is a small island. There is a small sandy beach area with a dock near the main building (I think this is a small resort that can be rented privately). There is also an infinity pool and eating area. The different parts of the island are connected by boardwalk and walking trails and there are a number of private areas to explore where there are hammocks and lounging chairs to relax in. The day we were there was extremely windy, and we found it less windy to sit by the pool as opposed to the beach. We were served lunch that was prepared in a large outdoor kitchen (not quite as good as the food on the cruise ship) served buffet style. Drinks were available all day - I'm pretty sure there was an extra charge for the drinks. There were also small kayaks and snorkeling gear provided at no charge. It was very quiet and serene on Isleta, compared to an adjacent island with lots of people and loud music playing. A few people in our excursion rented jetskis as well. We noticed a couple of people set up an area to sell jewelry and other souvenirs but they were not pushy by any means.

 

Something to keep in mind is that the island is very small so there are not a lot of places to actually explore. Even though our trip to the island and back took longer than expected because of the weather, it is still quite a ways from Cartegena. If you are looking for a relaxing day then this is a great excursion!

Here is a link with some great pictures of the island and its amenities. http://www.aviaturecoturismo.com/es/colombia/aviaisleta

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