Isla Del Encanto, Cartagena: 1 day trip made easy

Being in Cartagena de Indias for a few days, and having enjoyed the beaches around, it was time to go a bit out of the city for a day trip on a nice beach.

Day trips from Cartagena

Being in Cartagena de Indias for a few days, and having enjoyed the beaches around, it was time to go a bit out of the city for a day trip on a nice beach.

We asked our friend from Discover Cartagena what would be the best thing to do, and finally decided to go on an Isla Del Encanto day trip, all organized by Discover Cartagena. It is a nice hotel with swimming pool by the Caribbean sea on Isla Baru Cartagena, which is a peninsula right next to Cartagena, accessible by boat.

Price for a day trip, for 2 adults plus 1 6 years old kid, was 450 000 COP, plus 50 000 COP maritime tax, for a total of 500 000 COP (about 167$US or 142€).

Cartagena, Colombia: Find local activities

The day started very easy, by the bus coming to pick us up directly at the hotel, very convenient. We were told it would arrive between 8:20 and 8:30am. We were waiting at the hotel lobby from 8:20, and Suzy, our guide for the day, arrived with a large smile at around 8:35am.

We were the last passengers to be picked up, and headed directly to the port of Cartagena, which is in the center of the city for private passengers.

Boat from Cartagena

Only having enough time to buy a 1.5 liter bottle of water for 5000 COP (1.67$US or 1.42$) at a street seller while waiting for the boat, it was already time to hop on !

The trip started by security advice from the tour guide, during which the boat kept a low speed to allow us to hear what she was explaining, all in Spanish - it looked like I was the only non native Spanish speaker on the boat. Nice surprise, it was possible to buy beers on the boat, also for 5000COP, which is an acceptable price.

After the explanations, the boat started going a little bit faster while still in beautiful Cartagena's bay, from which we could enjoy the beautiful skyline.

How to go from Cartagena to Baru

After leaving the bay, the boat could reach its maximum speed, for most of the one hour trip to our final destination. The second half of the trip got us totally wet, as strong winds made up for big waves that were crushing on the boat.

Arriving close to the hotel, we parked in the back, next to mangrove - the boats probably couldn't park in the front of the hotel due to the strong waves.

We were told a 10 minutes walk would lead us to the hotel, but it turned it to be more like a 20 minutes walk, most likely because we often stopped to take pictures of the surroundings, coconut trees, wild horse, and beautiful vegetation, which slowed the group down.

Hotel Isla Del Encanto Baru

Arriving at the hotel Isla Del Encanto Baru, it did look beautiful ! Our guide explained us the plan of the day, which was basically meeting at 3pm for the boat back, and being free to have lunch more or less when we want, plus the opportunity to register for additional tours, snorkeling for 45000 COP or oceanario for 60000 COP. I took the snorkeling tour =)

Hotel Isla Del Encanto Baru island

Having a looking around, the hotel does look beautiful. Three outdoor pools, including one only for kids, a large beach on the Caribbean sea, and lot of bungalows that constitute the hotel rooms.

After a short time to leave my bag next to the swimming pool, it was already time to join the snorkerling group.

Getting the gear, which consists of one mask with a tuba and two fins, I started getting acquainted with two guys, which told me they are from New York, USA. After some short presentations, it was time to walk back to the boat and hop in !

Isla Cholon Cartagena

Getting in the boat, we had around 30 minutes trip to the snorkeling location, right next to Isla Cholon, the boat party place. Many boats were stationed there, most of them full of party people that did not seem to be there for snorkeling.

A few boats were only having girls on board, most likely for hen parties. And most of the other boats were too far from us to see what was happening, but we could hear the music !

After some short explanations for the beginners, it was time to jump in the water ! Just like in Cartagena, the water had an ideal temperature, most likely very close to outdoor temperature, about 32°C, because it didn't feel any different in the water than outside, no need to get used to it.

Rosario Islands snorkeling

We started in an area of dead corals, of about 1.5meters deep, making it easier to get used to the equipment in the water.

After about 5 minutes of playing in shallow water, we started going a bit further, and could see more interesting things underwater.

From beautiful coral to fishes, and other people from the group playing around, it was a beautiful spectacle.

The Caribbean sea was amazing, with clear water in which we could easily see about 10 to 15 meters away.

We had about one hour in the water, which is pretty acceptable for the price, slowly going from our departure point to the arrival, where the boat was waiting for us.

Then, the way back took again about 30 min, in which I had more time to discuss with the new American friends, with which we decided to exchange contact later on, and meet the day after for dinner.

Isla de Baru

Arriving back at the hotel at around 2pm, it was time to enjoy the buffet which was included in the price. It consisted of fish, meat, salads, rice, pasta, some fruits for dessert, and a complimentary drink, which could be water, 7up, or a juice. The food was very tasty, and my full plate became empty in only a few minutes !

I then went to enjoy the pool with my friend and her daughter for about an hour, including a photo session. The wind that was strong at the beginning of the afternoon slowly worn out, and faded out by the end of the hour.

Just before entering the pool, I was hearing people speaking another language that Spanish or English, which is pretty rare around there. Getting closer, I feel like I recognize some words. Entering the pool, I ask them are you Polish ? in Polish, and yes they were. We exchanged a few sentences, explaining them that I am French, lived in Warsaw, the capital of Poland and speak Polish, and they told me they are on holiday, they are a group of 4 friends from Wroclaw, a great Polish city.

After this Polish speaking interlude, it was time to play with my friends kid in the pool, for about an hour. The pool was filled with sea water, of course, which made the water itchy for the eyes, and salty at taste. However, the warm water temperature was much enjoyable.

At 3pm, already time to pack up, I go to check up on the group. The guide said at the beginning that the departure time would be reconsidered based on weather condition, and the wind had stopped. Checking with another guide, she says departure at 3:30pm - great, 30 min more to play on Isla Baru !

Cartagena beaches on Isla de Baru

Taking my friends, we decide to spend the remaining time at the beach.

There, despite the weather being much more calm, the waves were still strong, which made it pretty fun without going too far in the water.

By the time we realised we had sand stuck everywhere, and especially in our hair, it was already time to pack up for take off.

Arriving at the boat, the guide was looking for us. What, she said 3pm ? Yes, but the other guide said 3:30. Well, too late =)

We weren't the last ones to board though. And quickly started our journey back.

The way back did seem faster, especially as we could directly reach the cruising speed, without security explanation - and probably also because we were so tired of the day that we felt asleep after a few minutes on the boat.

Arriving in Cartagena's bay and waking up, the view on the skyline in front of the setting sun was absolutely stunning.

At the port, we took a taxi to the hotel - prices in Cartagena are fixed for taxi, and it cost us 10000 COP for the way back, as the bus drop off was not included. It was just time to enjoy a glimpse of the sunset from our Ibis Cartagena Marbella room with sea view.

Hotel Ibis Cartagena Marbella website

Price of the Cartagena island day trip

For 2 adults and one kid, total of 580000 Colombian pesos, or about 193$US, 164€ :

  • Bus to the pier, with boat transfer, hotel admission for the day, buffet lunch, and boat transfer back, 450000 COP (about 150$US or 127€),
  • Maritime tax, 50000 COP (17$US or 14€),
  • One person snorkeling excursion, 45000 COP (15$US or 13€),
  • A 1.5liter bottle of water, 5000 COP (1.7$US or 1.4€),
  • 4 beers, each of them 5000 COP (1.7$US or 1.4€),
  • Taxi back to the hotel, 10000 COP (3.4$US or 2.8€).

Activities and top secret hotels on Cartagena islands :

Oceanario Cartagena
pasadia Decameron Baru
Isla Rosario hotels
Eco hotel Isla Del Sol
Hotel Isla Del Pirata

It is also possible to stay at the hotel Isla Del Encanto, which is one of the main hotels on Baru island.

The hotel  Isla Del Encanto   is a great place to spend a few nights, but the nightly rate might seem prohibitive, at more than 300$US a night. However, the island is amazing, and it is a great way to spend amazing time!

An hotel  Isla Del Encanto   Cartagena day trip is also possible, without staying the night. But once there, you will surely not want to leave!

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Isla Del Encanto an ideal destination for a day trip from Cartagena, and what activities and experiences are available?
Isla Del Encanto is ideal for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and tranquil environment, providing a perfect escape from the city. Activities include snorkeling, relaxing on the beach, and exploring the island’s natural beauty.

Michel Pinson
About the author - Michel Pinson
Michel Pinson is a Travel enthusiast and Content Creator. Merging passion for education and exploration, he iscommitted to sharing knowledge and inspiring others through captivating educational content. Bringing the world closer together by empowering individuals with global expertise and a sense of wanderlust.

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