Island hopping experience



Welcome to the Island Hopping experience by Ursula Hosting. Prepare yourselves to cruise through some of the most beautiful islands and sea in the Caribbean; the Rosario Islands and Barú.

About the Island Hopping Experience:  

  • Private Boat. Captain and assistant

  • We provide freshly made juices, delicious fish ceviche, and a cooler with ice

    • You can bring your own drinks, water, and additional food. You can also buy lunch and drinks at the  beaches and islands where you will stop.  

  • Departure - You decide, I recommend not later than 10-10:30 AM

  • Return - Captains recommend start coming back not later than 5PM.  Depending on ocean/weather conditions, they might suggest to return earlier.  

  • Route - You decide the route, stops.  Take a look at the description below to help inform your decision. 

  • You can invite more people if you would like. Just remember total should not be more than:

    • 28/29 ft Boats - 9 people

    • 39-41 ft - 16 people

Island Hopping

  • Grab a taxi or walk to Pier.  You have two options. BTW, they are not long piers, but just areas used to board small boats: 

    • Gaviota pier (Muelle):  This pier is smaller, easier sometimes to board, there is no fee to board here.  On the other hand, it is outside the walled city. 5 min cab ride (about $3-4 USD)      

    • Pegasos Pier (Muelle):  This pier is right outside the walled city, but it can be a bit more crowded. There are port authority staff charging port tax ($3 per person) before you board any private boar, and because of this transaction, it can take a little longer to board.  

  • Once boarded, you will first navigate through the Cartagena Bay,  get to see the newer part of town, the big shipping ports, Tierra Bomba Island, and lastly Bocachica, where you will see the small San Fernando Fortress before getting out onto the Ocean!   

  • After a total of about 35 minutes, you will arrive at the Rosario Islands, these are really more a group of small islands/keys close to each other. Some are private, some are not.  Some are run by hotels, others by locals. 

  • Once there, feel free to ask the Captain to stop and anchor if you want to dive in for a swim, or ask him take you to where you can snorkel and swim, if you are interested.  If you are, bring your own gear or have pesos ready as there will be locals in small boats offering some to rent  (About $15,000 COP). 

  • Around Rosario Islands, the options for beach are actually limited, since most of the islands are privately owned.  Some resorts will let you stop and use their facilities for a minimum consumption. I recommend just cruising around this area, and stop if you want at:  

    • Bendita Beach (private) - The furthest and perhaps more exclusive beach.  There you can order drinks and relax while using their facilities. They have tents you can use, or not.  There is no minimum consumption, but they do expect you to at least consume if you are not planning to rent chairs or tents. ​

  • From here, boats usually head towards Barú. Barú is a much larger island with more options more beaches.  I recommend the following (in order of position on the route):​
    • Cholón - The party beach. This is where most private boats gather to party.  You play loud music and also let their your hair down.  You can also get drinks are food from vendors here, which it can be hit or miss, expensive. I recommend just drinks if you decide to make it to the beach.

    • Agua Azul - This one is usually the quietest one. Less people. Perfect to relax, and rest. It is technically private, but the hotel lets visitors use the beach and the locals run business.  Locals will always offer you to find you a spot and serve you (This happens in all beaches), but you can also find your own spot and get service at your own pace. There is only one bar/restaurant here. I recommend just drinks/snacks here. 

    • Playa Blanca - This is the largest and most known beach. It can get crowded in certain places, but our captains take you to the side of the less crowded side of the beach.  We have a particular spot we like to take our guests to, where you can relax, get good drinks (try their piña colada) and lunch.  Quality and price are better at this beach (Mostly because it is closer to the city, and easier to access) 

  • I recommend max three stops, to not have to rush,  but you can decide for more. I also recommend stopping at Playa Blanca for final stop and lunch.  Usually clients arrive there around 2 PM.  The number of beaches you can see depends on how early you leave and how long you spend in each place. 

    • For instance, Bendita is a nice stop, but it is further out. It t takes longer to get there and come back 

  • Remember you will have ceviche on the boat. You can have this as a snack on the boat or one of the stops. If you take it with you to the one of the beaches, try ordering some patacones (fried green plantains) to eat it with. Just in case we provide crackers as well so you can eat it on the boat.  ​

  • If you decide to leave from Gaviota, simply take taxi or Uber. 

  • At the end, the captain will drop you off at the Pegaso pier, near the walled city. 

We hope you have a wonderful time! relax, swim, enjoy the sun and the colors of the ocean. 

Thank you 

PS: Don't eat the oysters from beach vendors.. please

​Ursula Hosting, 2019