Best Value Rosario Island Day Trip from Cartagena

Best Value Rosario Island Day Trip from Cartagena

Looking for the best value Rosario Island Day trip from Cartagena? Here’s everything you need to know about booking your relaxing catamaran voyage.

rosario island day trip

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

If you’re researching the best Rosario island day trip, I’m specifically viewing a tour I booked on GetYourGuide.

After researching the depths of the web and searching for any insight on the best day trips from Cartagena – I kept seeing this Rosario island boat tour come highly recommended.

I was very hesitant about booking this excursion because, well, it’s not exactly cheap (especially if you’re on a backpacker’s budget).

At nearly $80 USD in a country where prices are usually affordable, I was skeptical. However, I can confidently say I am SO happy I booked it and it was one of my favorite days in Cartagena.

Here’s everything you need to know about booking the tour Cartagena: Rosario Islands Catamaran with Lunch and Snorkel.

What You Should Know About the Rosario Island Day Trip

Perhaps a common misconception on this tour is that you actually get to explore the islands. This is not true! You simply spend the day from a boat admiring the islands from nearby in the water.

Granted I knew this ahead of time before booking the tour, but I can easily see how someone could be disappointed if they have different expectations.

Basic Tour Outline

rosario island day trip

While your boat itinerary could change, here’s a rough idea on what to expect:

8:00-8:30 am – Depart from Muelle de la Bodeguita pier.

10:30 – Swim at Isla Granda for 1h30

12:30 – Lunch is served on board.

1:30 – Stop near the island of Baru.

4 pm -Arrive back in Cartagena

This Rosario Island Day Trip Catamaran Tour is approximately 7.5 hours, so plan for it to take up most of your day.

Detailed Tour Itinerary

rosario island day trip

You’ll start your morning around 8-8:30 am boarding the catamaran that departs from the Muelle de la Bodeguita pier.

As you step on board, you will be greeted with fresh juice as a welcome treat.

There are plenty of seats for everyone to spread out in the shade or the toasty Colombian sun!

Shortly after the catamaran departs, you’ll receive a bag of delicious empanadas to snack on until lunch.

About 2 hours into your journey, you’ll arrive at your first stop – the waters of Isla Grande.

You’ll have lots of options on how to spend the hour and a half you’ll have in the turquoise Isla Grande waters. Whether you want to snorkel, grab an inflatable noodle, or sip on a margarita and lounge on the boat – the time is yours!

Next up will be a journey to the waters of Baru Island.

On your way, you’ll stop for a prepared lunch on board which will include loads of options like salad, pasta, and seafood or veggie rice. The lunch was actually so delicious, I was stuffed!

After spending another 2 hours enjoying the scenery of Baru, you’ll finally make your way back to Cartagena.

Expect to arrive back at the dock around 4 pm.

Where to Book

You can book this tour on GetYourGuide or Viator.

Both platforms feature a detailed look at the tour in addition to reviews written by real participants.

What to Bring

Lots of sunscreen.

A hat.

Protective Sunglasses.

Bathing Suit.

Towel.

Credit Card & Cash.

Optional: a book & earbuds (there’s lots of relaxing time).

Rosario Island Day Trip Essentials

amazon
amazon

What this tour includes

rosario island day trip

Welcome drink
Non-alcoholic beverages (soft drinks, juices, lemonade, water)
Mid-morning snack
Prepared onboard lunch (seafood or vegetables with rice, a salad buffet, and dessert)
Snorkeling equipment
Noodle floaties

Alcoholic drinks are not included but are available for purchase (and they are actually SO good!)

Transportation to the catamaran is not provided, it is up to you to arrive at the meeting point on time.

Is the tour worth it?

Yes, I would completely recommend this Rosario island boat tour to anyone visiting Cartagena! It was one of the highlights of my Colombia trip.

Still planning your itinerary? Check out my post, the best things to do in Cartagena, and my favorite hostel to stay at in the city.

rosario island day trip

Don’t forget to print this FREE Cartagena Checklist for your trip!

New From the Blog
Is Halong Bay Worth It? Everything You Need to Know
Is Halong Bay Worth It? Everything You Need to Know

Researching your trip to Vietnam and find yourself wondering, ‘Is Halong Bay Worth it?” Here’s everything you need to know about visiting one of the most famous natural wonders of Vietnam. Halong Bay is said to be one of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous places on…

How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023
How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023

This post is all about how to visit the Hanoi train street. Photo by Thijs Degenkamp on Unsplash All Aboard! The Hanoi Train Street is the most buzzing street in Vietnam’s capital. It has become a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique and thrilling…

27 Best Christmas Destinations in The World to Experience the Holiday Magic
27 Best Christmas Destinations in The World to Experience the Holiday Magic

Searching for the best Christmas Destinations in the world to fully experience all things fresh pine and mulled wine? As the holiday season approaches, these 27 picturesque Christmas destinations transform into magical wonderlands, complete with twinkling lights and…

New From the Blog

How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023
How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023

This post is all about how to visit the Hanoi train street. Photo by Thijs Degenkamp on Unsplash All Aboard! The Hanoi Train Street is the most buzzing street in Vietnam’s capital. It has become a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique and thrilling…

Life is Good Cartagena Hostel – Rating My Experience

Life is Good Cartagena Hostel – Rating My Experience

Are you looking to stay at Life is Good Cartagena Hostel?

If you’re planning your trip to Colombia and reading up on the best hostels to stay in Cartagena, you’ll definitely want to consider Life is Good Cartagena Hostel as it is truly a top-quality accommodation for backpackers.

Life is good cartagena hostel

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Colombia is a hostel haven and there are many good options, it’s hard to choose where to stay.

In this post, I’m sharing my 1-week stay at Life is Good Cartagena Hostel. Additionally, I will share with you the best hostels in Cartagena that are worth booking.

Life is Good Cartagena Hostel

Life is Good Cartagena Hostel is located in the vibrant Getsemani neighborhood.

While I may be biased, I think this is the best neighborhood to stay in because it hands down has the best restaurants in the area.

To be honest, Life is Good Cartagena Hostel is one of the more expensive hostels in Cartagena.

I chose to stay here because I wasn’t on a tight budget and wanted to kick off my 1-month Colombia trip with a clean and comfortable start. After only a few days, I extended my stay.

Where to book Life is Good Cartagena Hostel

My favorite website/app to book hostels on is hostelworld . Occasionally, if I have points for savings or Iโ€™m booking a private room, I use booking.com

I find these booking platforms are easy to use, have simple cancellation & refund policies, and offer a level of protection that other websites may not have.

My Hostel Essentials

amazon
amazon
amazon

Location

Life is good cartagena hostel

Life is Good Cartagena Hostel is located in the Getsemani neighborhood.

There are many amazing restaurants and bars nearby the hostel. It’s also just a short 10-minute walk to Old Town and a 5-minute walk to the Muelle de los Pegasos pier.

This location is perfect because it’s not in the busiest part of the city, but within walking distance of everything you would want to do in Cartagena.

Don’t forget to print this FREE Cartagena Checklist for your trip!

The Rooms

One of the few cons about this hostel is it doesn’t offer all-female dorms or 6-8 bed dorms. This hostel only offers a 4-bed mixed dorm, a 10-bed mixed dorm, and a few private suites.

I stayed in the 10-bed mixed dorm and was very happy with my experience. It is quite spacious and the beds are broken up by multiple nooks in the room, so it doesn’t feel like 10 beds.

Additionally, every bed has a curtain and its own light.

Amenities

Life is good cartagena hostel

Small details are what really make a hostel stand out from all the others.

Life is Good Cartagena focuses on the little luxuries that backpackers don’t have at normal hostels.

Breakfast here is so tasty! When entering the hostel cafe, you’ll be presented with options such as scrambled eggs, pancakes, daily specials, and fresh juice selections. With this big breakfast included, I feel like the “expensive” price of the hostel is worth it because an entire hot meal is included.

Don’t miss the enchanting rooftop equipped with a jacuzzi, loungers, and a great view of the city.

With all the amazing amenities, the lovely and informative receptionists were by far the best part of the hostel!

One of the most important features of this hostel is the air conditioning which you will certainly need in the hot Colombian heat.

Social Life

Life is good cartagena hostel

Life is Good Cartagena is not a party hostel.

Although, I did end up meeting many new friends on the rooftop – which is a great opportunity to meet other travelers who are also staying at the hostel.

This hostel focuses on comfort and hospitality rather than an intense social scene. However, I feel like it’s easy to make friends at any type of hostel if you set your mind to it!

Another common area the hostel offers is a cafe/study space which is in a room connected to the lobby.

I personally didn’t book any tours through the hostel, but I did sign up for a free walking tour they recommended (also a great way to meet other travelers).

Best Hostels in Cartagena

Life is good cartagena hostel

In my opinion, I do think Life is Good Cartagena Hostel is the best hostel in Cartagena.

It’s a great option for any type of traveler, but especially so if you are a digital nomad, new to hostels, or a mature backpacker.

If you’re coming to Cartagena just to party (which is totally ok!) then I would suggest staying elsewhere.

Not to worry if this hostel isn’t for you, there are plenty of other great hostels in Cartagena to stay at.

Viajero is best for people who like to party.

Repรบblica is best for solo travelers.

Casa del Pozo Boutique Hostel is best for solo female travelers

Clock Hostel is best for budget travelers.

Overall, Life is Good Cartagena Hostel is a hostel that impressed me so much, I stayed twice. I would highly recommend this accommodation to budget travelers looking to explore Cartagena.

Life is good cartagena hostel
Life is good cartagena hostel
New From the Blog
Is Halong Bay Worth It? Everything You Need to Know
Is Halong Bay Worth It? Everything You Need to Know

Researching your trip to Vietnam and find yourself wondering, ‘Is Halong Bay Worth it?” Here’s everything you need to know about visiting one of the most famous natural wonders of Vietnam. Halong Bay is said to be one of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous places on…

How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023
How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023

This post is all about how to visit the Hanoi train street. Photo by Thijs Degenkamp on Unsplash All Aboard! The Hanoi Train Street is the most buzzing street in Vietnam’s capital. It has become a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique and thrilling…

27 Best Christmas Destinations in The World to Experience the Holiday Magic
27 Best Christmas Destinations in The World to Experience the Holiday Magic

Searching for the best Christmas Destinations in the world to fully experience all things fresh pine and mulled wine? As the holiday season approaches, these 27 picturesque Christmas destinations transform into magical wonderlands, complete with twinkling lights and…

New From the Blog

How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023
How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023

This post is all about how to visit the Hanoi train street. Photo by Thijs Degenkamp on Unsplash All Aboard! The Hanoi Train Street is the most buzzing street in Vietnam’s capital. It has become a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique and thrilling…

13 Bucket List Things to do in Cartagena, Colombia

13 Bucket List Things to do in Cartagena, Colombia

This post is all about things to do in Cartagena.

best things to do in Cartagena

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Colorful colonial buildings line the streets as a whiff of empanada greets your nose and music echoes all around you. Welcome to Cartagena.

Cartagena is undoubtedly the most beautiful city in Colombia.

With its picturesque buildings, nearby islands, and ample exquisite culinary options, it’s no wonder why Cartagena is the most popular city in the country.

I’ve compiled a list of 13 things to do in Cartagena that you can’t miss.

Don’t forget to print this FREE Cartagena Checklist for your trip!

Packing for your trip to Colombia? Click here for my Colombia packing guide.

Where to Stay in Cartagena

There are so many beautiful and affordable accommodation options in Cartagena. I personally stayed at Life is Good Hostel, and would definitely recommend it for backpackers or budget travelers.

Life is Good Hostel

Here are a few more options if you’re looking for a hotel experience:

$ – Casa Movida Hostel or Life is Good Hostel (read my review here)

$$ – Sophia Hotel

$$$ – Movich Hotel

My Cartagena Essentials

When I traveled to Cartagena at the end of April and it was BLAZING hot.

My essentials were light dresses, lots of sunscreen, and my favorite anti-theft travel backpack.

Check out my Ultimate Colombia Packing list for more essentials for your trip.

amazon
amazon
amazon

Best Things to do in Cartagena

One can enjoy Cartagena by doing all the touristy things or by just simply walking around admiring the architecture and feasting on spinach and cheese empanadas (my fav!)

Here are 13 bucket-list things to do in Cartagena, Colombia.

1. Explore the Old Town

Waltz through the streets of Cartagena’s historic old city. Closed in with walls and decked out with colonial architecture, the old town is visually stunning.

2. Monumento Torre del Reloj “Clock Tower”

The original main entrance to the historic city is certainly a statement piece. You can find the famous clock tower between Plaza de Independencia and Plaza de Los Coches.

things to do in Cartagena

3. Plaza de la Aduana

After you’ve passed through under the clock tower, turn left to be greeted by the largest open space in Cartagena; Plaza de la Aduana.

While there are several plazas and parks in Cartagena, I thought this one was the most beautiful.

Also, it’s worth mentioning the bank of Colombia is located here, so it’s a secure spot to use the ATMs located inside.

things to do in Cartagena

4. Take a Free Walking Tour

Free walking tours are my favorite way of getting to know a city.

I signed up the day before my tour here.

Of course, with walking tours, you’re always expected to tip at the end of the tour. In Colombia, it’s customary to tip around $10 for a 2-3 hour tour (40,000 COP cash only).

5. Book a Boat Excursion

I was skeptical about booking this boat excursion because it was quite pricey, but it was highly recommended to me.

So, I decided to try it out and it ended up being one of my favorite days in Cartagena! This boat excursion is well worth the price.

6. Eat at La Cocina de Pepina

Recommended by the locals in the neighborhood of Getsemani, this little restaurant is a must-try.

I had the Posta dish, which is a traditional dish that Cartagena is famous for. During my 1-month in Cartagena, this restaurant was the best. I still catch myself drooling over the rich and saucy Posta.

things to do in Cartagena

7. Party at Alquimico Bar

Rated one of the best clubs in South America, partying at Alquimico is a must!

Featuring 3-levels, including a swanky rooftop, you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic night out.

Try to arrive before 10 pm on weekends to avoid the line (you’ll be waiting for hours!)

8. Visit the Getsemani Neighborhood

Venture outside the old city walls to the more authentic (and artistic) side of Cartagena.

In the neighborhood of Getsemani, you’ll see streets lined with food vendors, music, and art murals.

I personally think that the food is better on this side of town!

best things to do in Cartagena

9. Abaco Library Cafe

For a tasty cup of coffee and a studious scene, check out Abaco Library.

There isn’t any wifi at this cafe so prepare to..read!

things to do in Cartagena

10. Visit a Nearby Island

The Rosario Islands make for a great escape from the city. I visited Isla Grande and the beaches were spectacular. Other island getaways close to Cartagena include San Andres or Baru,

best things to do in Cartagena

11. San Felipe Castle

San Felipe Castle was built in 1536 and has been an iconic Cartagena landmark ever since. Seeing this fortress is one of the top things to do in the city.

12. Visit a Rooftop

Cartagena is famous for its rooftop views.

Cafe Del Mar offers one of the best views in the city. However, if you can’t score a spot at the famous cafe, there are many other rooftop options.

Movich Hotel, Sophia Hotel, and Townhouse Boutique Hotel rooftops all offer gorgeous city views.

I took this photo at Sophia Hotel.

things to do in Cartagena

13. Eat Street Food

The street food scene in Cartagena is seriously tasty. Try an empanada or an arepa from a food stall in Getsemani or inside the old city.

New From the Blog
Is Halong Bay Worth It? Everything You Need to Know
Is Halong Bay Worth It? Everything You Need to Know

Researching your trip to Vietnam and find yourself wondering, ‘Is Halong Bay Worth it?” Here’s everything you need to know about visiting one of the most famous natural wonders of Vietnam. Halong Bay is said to be one of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous places on…

How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023
How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023

This post is all about how to visit the Hanoi train street. Photo by Thijs Degenkamp on Unsplash All Aboard! The Hanoi Train Street is the most buzzing street in Vietnam’s capital. It has become a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique and thrilling…

27 Best Christmas Destinations in The World to Experience the Holiday Magic
27 Best Christmas Destinations in The World to Experience the Holiday Magic

Searching for the best Christmas Destinations in the world to fully experience all things fresh pine and mulled wine? As the holiday season approaches, these 27 picturesque Christmas destinations transform into magical wonderlands, complete with twinkling lights and…

New From the Blog

How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023
How to Actually Visit the Hanoi Train Street in 2023

This post is all about how to visit the Hanoi train street. Photo by Thijs Degenkamp on Unsplash All Aboard! The Hanoi Train Street is the most buzzing street in Vietnam’s capital. It has become a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique and thrilling…