- Beach / Seaside Resort
- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Water Sports
At about an hour's boat ride from Cartagena, the Rosario Islands are famous for white sands, an aquarium and coral reefs that abound with exotic fish. Sadly, this potentially idyllic environment is nothing more than a heaving mass of tourists, which may leave you annoyed that you've forked out so much money only to be stuck amongst hordes of noisy visitors. Plus, the scenery's not as amazing as it's made out to be. Let me explain further...
You need to be up at dawn in order to catch a boat to the Rosario Islands. Don't make the same mistake I did - make sure you take a fast boat, even though they're more expensive. If not, you'll be squashed into a boat with tons of tourists and spend two hours bobbing across to an achipelago that would otherwise only take 50 minutes with fewer passengers. We didn't bother visiting the aquarium and, from the look on people's faces, it was clearly a wise decision.
One we arrived at Blanca Beach (sold to us by our guide as a paradise on Earth), we were more than disappointed to discover that it's one big tourist trap. It was impossible to find some peace and quiet as the island's beach sellers constantly hassled us. What's more the beach is tiny! At least we were able to enjoy ourselves in the warm, Caribbean Sea and we got to eat a superb seafood meal.
I think you get the picture. The Rosario Islands' beaches are stunning, but mass tourism has destroyed any natural charm they once had. If you're after deserted, unspoilt beaches, then you'd better look elsewhere!