Surrounded by shallow Caribbean seas, Isla Barú is a small island off the coast of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia. The island is famous for being Colombia’s very own paradise on earth, drawing tourists from all over the world throughout the year. Read on for insider tips on what to do in Isla Barú, and how to get there!
Fly to nearby Cartagena with cheap flights from Interjet.
How to get to Isla Barú?
The best way to get to Isla Barú is by boat. Boat tours leave all day from the Bodeguita harbor in Cartagena’s walled historic center. Getting to Isla Barú by boat is a beautiful experience offering a unique look at the area’s coast and natural attractions. The boat trip takes just 40 minutes!
If you’d prefer getting to the island by land, you can rent a car, take a taxi, or join a tour group!
These options are considerably more expensive than getting there by boat, and usually take over an hour depending on the day. Mini-van tours leave from Catragena’s historic center, and usually go and come back on the same day. If you’re planning to spend a couple of days on the island, it’s best that you hire a car or go by boat.
Remember, Isla Barú is mainly an ecotourism destination, so resources are limited, and some services might be a little more expensive than in other places. Most accommodation and restaurants on the island don’t have electricity during the day, so make sure you charge them up at night. Here are some more tips on how to stay connected while traveling abroad.
The island has a couple of luxury resorts, but most accommodation options are small hotels and hostels. These are mostly fairly basic but are as clean and comfortable as any upscale resort! Some places don’t supply towels and toiletries, so pack your own.
What to do in Isla Barú?
Once you get to Isla Barú, your number one priority is having fun and relaxing. For having fun, go to Playa Blanca beach, where crystalline waters and immaculate sands welcome crowds of tourists as they jump off boats from Cartagena.
During the day, Playa Blanca offers surfing, kayaking, and the best sunbathing spots in the Caribbean. After sunset, take a nighttime tour of Encantada Lagoon where you’ll get the chance to swim with bioluminescent plankton! If that’s not your thing, stay on the beach and party the night away, Colombian style!
Another top beach on Isla Barú is Playa Manglares, which is slightly quieter than Playa Blanca. Perfect for kicking back with a beer in one hand and a good book in the other!
Isla Barú is famous for its diverse flora and fauna. The island is home to a massive variety of birds, and the best place to admire them up close is at Colombia’s National Aviary. Boasting over 200 species on 17 acres of land, the National Aviary has everything from flamingos, to condors to toucans. With tours lasting 3 hours and spanning several different ecosystems, this is one of the best ways to take a break from the beach for the afternoon!