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Less than an hour southwest of Cartagena’s port is a fragile archipelago of some 30 picture-perfect islands, wrapped in shimmering white-sand beaches, and strung like rosary beads through the deep blue Caribbean Sea. They sit atop the world’s third-largest barrier reef, which has protected as Islas del Rosario National Park since 1977. Though this clearly remains a mixed-use area, the designation has helped conserve 1300 species of flora and fauna present on and around the islands.

Dozens of operators offer day trips to the Islas del Rosario, which lie between 45 and 90 minutes southwest of the city, depending on the type of boat you’re on. As you cruise past Boca Chica and out into the open sea, don’t miss the 18th-century Spanish fortresses of of San Rafael and San Fernando.

Many of the islands are private; others offer attractions such as the Oceanario, an open-air aquarium and marine museum dedicated more to conservation than entertainment, though rescued dolphins do perform a short show. Most tours end at one of the larger islands: Isla Grande, Isla Rosario, or Isla Caribaru. More secluded spots, such as Isla Los Pajaros, are also on offer.

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Rosario Islands Day Trip from Cartagena

4 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

Escape Cartagena for the day and take a trip to the Rosario Islands! Enjoy a 1-hour cruise from Cartagena to the Rosario Islands, a magnificent archipelago and ...  Read more

Location: Cartagena, Colombia
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $89.99

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