If you’re looking for the best beach stays in Cartagena, you’ve hit gold. A short hop by boat the world's largest trove of sunken treasure you'll find, the ultimate collection of luxury beach front real estate on the breathtakingly beautiful island of Barú.
Cartagena’s own tropical paradise, a veritable Caribbean playground for the richest families in Colombia has everything from affordable vacation rentals to luxurious beach villas perfect for romantic getaways and the most special of occasions.
Baru has become so much more than Playa Blanca in the last 10 years, boasting what are, without question, the best beaches in Cartagena.
The island is a spectacular base camp so look beyond Playa Blanca to the Rosario Islands and enjoy a day on your own private boat or simply merge into the laidback Caribbean vibe at one of the island's top beach resorts.
Forget battling for a strip of sand and enjoy instead an altogether more refined beach experience.
Booking a stay on Barú is a chance to live it up like Colombian royalty and explore nearby attractions at your leisure away from the crowds.
Check out our guide to choose the perfect beach retreat for you and your group. If you need a little help coordinating the perfect trip to the beach with a little island hopping in style thrown in for good measure, then contact one of our talented team of travel advisors to organise a stellar trip to the Colombian Caribbean.
If the who’s who of Cartagena’s social elite have been choosing this island as their private getaway for years, you know you're in the right place.
As well as being home to the one of the richest families in Colombia, Cashew Island was the island retreat of choice for Will Smith when the Hollywood A-lister was in town filming Gemini Man.
With its chic interiors styled around Moorish architecture, hammocks hanging over soft white sand and an infinity pool spilling out onto your own private Caribbean horizon.
Bliss! Cashew Island can comfortably accommodate up to 10 people across four bedrooms, and friendly staff are on hand to ensure you have all your favourite food and drink stocked up when you arrive.
You’ll need to rent a boat to reach the island (more on that below), but that also means you have your own floating hub for nautical adventures and convenient transport to explore the nearby splendor of the Rosario Islands.Read More Send Inquiry
Sometimes size really does matter, especially when you're organising a group of your closest hundred or so friends.
If you're looking to up sticks and set up shop on your own small island nation for the weekend, Las Islas, with 54 luxurious tree houses and seaside bungalows spread out over more than 3 km is a 'little' piece of paradise.
Arguably one of Cartagena’s most desirable properties, Las Islas is a phenomenal place for a special wedding celebration or a group gathering.
Sumptuous beach views are made all the sweeter knowing your accommodation is both beautiful and eco-friendly. Who knew this much indulgence could be guilt-free?
The island operates as a hotel throughout the year, so you’ll have to plan and book well in advance to secure the island all to yourself and up to 109 friends and family.
The owner has two additional properties nearby that can house 18 extras. Now that’s Caribbean hospitality!Read More Send Inquiry
If you don't need to rent Las Islas in its entirety, that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t have your own slice of heaven.
This is the perfect romantic retreat, with idyllic ocean views that will make you fall in love all over again.
Each bungalow comes with its own bicycle to help you and your significant other explore every magical nook and cranny of the island at your leisure.
Golf carts are also on hand to zip you over to the spa for a relaxing massage, or to the panoramic bar for moreish cocktails.
These island-style cabañas also come fully-equipped with two sun loungers, king-size bed, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and a flat-screen TV for late-night movies or lazy days.
Swim to the floating breakfast restaurant in the morning; spend the day wandering through the island’s tropical forest and exploring its secluded amenities before retreating to your private beachfront paradise, cooling off with drinks while watching the sun sink into a fiery Caribbean sea.Read More Send Inquiry
Gaze across the majesty of Baru from your own private perch in one of 32 luxurious tree house bungalows, where intimacy is definitely the name of the game.
Tucked away amidst the mangrove forest of luxury island retreat, Las Islas, this is a truly stunning corner of the second-most biodiverse country in the world.
Enjoy unspoiled sea views, personalized service and all the modern amenities you could need.
Each cabin accommodates two, but staff are more than happy to make a plan if you need it. Spend your days relaxing in a treetop Jacuzzi with drink in hand, snorkeling in warm Caribbean waters or taking a romantic ride across the island with your own bicycle.
It’s no wonder that guests’ expectations are often exceeded; with environmentally conscious spaces, warm atmosphere and the ever-present Caribbean charm, this privileged perch with a sea view is a must.
Breakfasts are included with your stay, and full board can be arranged at an additional fee. Get in touch with our talented team and we’ll tailor a bespoke itinerary just for you.
Were Coldplay singing about Almond Island in their 2011 hit single 'Paradise'? A veritable heaven on earth, Almond Island is often considered the darling of the pick when it comes to choosing where to stay.
Located in the Cholon lagoon you'll need a boat to arrive at Almond Island. Like Cashew Island, the rates seem almost too good to be true. There's no need to pinch yourself, though – this exquisite private island is within easy reach.
The house is wonderfully private, with thick mangrove trees giving you both shade and a secluded place to play.
A wooden deck snakes around the entire length of the island, giving you gorgeous panoramic views of the lagoon.
Laze like a lazy lizard on a waterside lounger before slinking into the sparkling aquamarine waters below to cool off.
Gather your group and take a jaunt on your own canoes, or go bigger and take your own luxury yacht around the islands, stopping to snorkel, dive and fish at your leisure.
This island paradise sleeps 10 people comfortably and you’ll also be able to call ahead to arrange full catering during your stay.Read More Send Inquiry
The best diamonds are hard to find, and Coconut Island is no exception. Off the radar in terms of popularity, that doesn’t stop this beautiful hidden paradise from being nothing short of exceptional. Coconut Island is perfect for those who don’t want the ambience of a resort, but rather something more personal and unique.
Each of the three simple, yet stylish, houses sleeps up to seven people, with a private beach and pool area shared between them. If you really want to feel like island royalty, rent out all three for a big family gathering or a special celebration, maybe a wedding or a reunion. Your own perfectly private piece of paradise – what could be better?
Spend your days snorkeling or diving in your own stretch of sun-kissed Caribbean sea and enjoy drinks around a roaring beach fire in the evenings – it’s a stereotype of the best kind. Full board is available with prior arrangement and at additional cost. In this tropical secret, your days can be whatever you make of them.Read More Send Inquiry
The opening of a bridge that connects Baru to the Cartagena mainland in 2017 opened the island up to people to arrive by land. The road to the southernmost point of the island is still being finished, so most visitors still prefer to arrive by boat to the more luxurious beach retreats far from the crowds that descend on Playa Blanca.
Arriving by boat also ensures you'll have a chance to enhance your Baru beach experience.
Each of these places offers their own transportation options but if you're looking to make the most of your travel day then rent a boat and stop off at the Rosario Islands en route to your beach stay. Likewise it's always good to have a boat to be able to explore during the day during your stay.
This Is Cartagena has the ultimate selection of yachts, sailboats and speedboats, accommodating between two and 150 passengers. Our concierge will collect you from your hotel, whisk you off to the pier in an air-conditioned ride and introduce you to your captain for the day. His job: ensure you have a hassle-free trip to your island and a memorable time exploring the islands around Baru and the Rosario Islands.
As captain you get to decide the where to drop anchor to swim, eat and let rip. All of our boat rentals in Cartagena include, transfer to and from the quay, a bilingual concierge, fuel, taxes and insurance as well as a round of drinks on us.
For people in a rush there's also the option of arriving by helicopter. If you want to know more about this then contact one of our talented team of travel advisors to help ensure you get to the your destination in style.Rent a Boat Send Inquiry
Take the plunge for an unforgettable holiday in Cartagena and Colombia. Combine a few days in the islands with an extended stay in the city, to get the best of both worlds – a city adventure amidst the colonial splendor of Cartagena and an island-hopping adventure that takes in Baru and the Rosario Islands national park.
A seven day and six night itinerary is pure Caribbean heaven. Get some inspiration in our Tailor Made Trip section of how you can combine Baru with Cartagena and Cartagena with the rest of the country for a remarkable Colombian adventure.
Like the turquoise Caribbean waves, we go with your flow! Let us know what floats your boat – avoid the crowds and become one with nature? No problem. Explore the heart of Colombian culture in Cartagena and connect with the locals? You’ve got it.
Send our talented team of travel advisors a little information and we’ll take care of the rest. If you’re looking for inspiration, follow the link to see what our perfect week in Cartagena looks like…
So many islands, so little time. Allow one of our local beach experts to point you in the right direction.
Book a stay at the beach with This Is Cartagena to discover the secret swathes of sand no one else knows about.
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