It’s Memorial Day in America, and in between taking time out to honor the bravest among us, we’re dreaming of setting off to someplace new. Someplace WAY off the beaten path. Someplace that’s COMPLETELY uncommon in every way. Someplace like Colombia’s Islas del Rosario.
A collection of small islets and cays located about an hour’s boat ride from Cartagena, the Rosario Islands are among 40+ areas included in Colombia’s Natural National Park system. It’s been protected since the late-1970’s, so you won’t find crowds of people living here; just mostly nature, in all her wondrous glory.
The featured image above offers a hint at the incredible peace and serenity here, though from what I’ve learned recently, the truly uncommon side of these islands can be easy to miss.
Most people visit the Rosario Islands as part of full-day excursions offered by a collection of tour companies in Cartagena. By all accounts, THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO GO.
For some reason, the local tour-ops seem to showcase the islands’ most commercial, gimmicky side. Think tourist trap, complete with high prices, an aquarium (here? really?), watered down drinks and disappointment.
We want to avoid all this, of course, so we’re looking into booking a stay at one of the properties on the islands.
As a relatively young National Park, the Rosario Islands are still home to a handful of hotels, like Hotel Majagua, which rates fairly well on TripAdvisor and includes the boat transfer from the mainland in their prices. You can also find a few attractive villa rentals (here’s one) to get you even more ensconced in the local scene.
Either way, the idea is to actually experience Rosario. If you’ve ever been and have some other ideas on how best we can do that, let us know by leaving a comment below…
Lead photo credit: Aris Gionis via Flickr.