Playa Blanca Cartagena and the Rosario Islands

Playa Blanca Cartagena and the Rosario Islands are a must for  visitors to Cartagena.  Go for a day trip or stay a few nights in one of the rustic cabins

For most people Playa Blanca is a must see when visiting Cartagena, whether it´s for a day trip or for a night or two.  Contrary to what some people seem to think, it is not over run by tourism except for a few hours during the day when the tour boats arrive.

It is possible to find a stretch where you can be by yourself, especially if you stay overnight.  Isla Baru is a man made part of the Rosario islands.  The island itself was created when a huge navigation ditch was made and it was cut from the mainland over 300 years ago by the Spanish.

There is a bunch of basic accommodation places at Playa Blanca. Prices are similar to Cartagena, but there is probably no need to book, there is plenty of accommodation along the beach to meet all ranges. its better to arrive in Playa Blanca and pick your own hostel directly.

Playa Blanca Shuttle – With AC

We have our own shuttle bus transfer with departures 3 times daily to Playa Blanca.

Departures are from the front of the hostel and go directly to the beach, without stopping at every hostel along the way.  This makes it much quicker for you! 

Our return transport from Playa Blanca is also three times daily and its an open ticket.  You can go and return anytime or day you like, subject to availability.  If you stay the night or return on the 8.30pm shuttle bus you can also take the optional Luminous Plankton tour.  As long as the moon is not too full, this is one of the few places in the world where you can see this amazing phenomenon.

Travel time should be an hour or less, but it can vary depending on traffic. . The Playa Blanca shuttle bus is the best option for those wanting to stay the night in Playa Blanca.  Its 100% flexible, depending on availability and for sure is the most comfortable way to go to Playa Blanca.

Price: One way 35,000COP, per person  – Return 50,000COP per person

Departs Cartagena: Daily 08:30 / 12:00 / 17:00

Return Isla Baru: Daily 10:30 / 15:00 / 20:30


  • Air conditioned transportation
  • No additional taxes are required

By Boat

Going by boat to Playa Blanca is no longer the best option, nor the only option.  We feel that our Playa Blanca shuttle is by far a better way to get to there.  If you do decide to take the boat, it usually leaves from the Tourist dock at 9am and goes first for a mini tour around the Islas del Rosario before stopping on one of the islands to visit the Aquarium (entrance around 20,000 pesos) for about an hour.  If you don’t want to go to the aquarium you can wait at the docks or take a snorkelling trip (around 30 000 pesos)

You then go to Playa Blanca and arrive at about 1pm. You’ll have about 2 hours at the beach and the return boat leaves Playa Blanca around 3-3.30pm arriving back in Cartagena around 4.30pm. 

Coming back is usually a roller-coaster ride of rough waves.  You can probably see why we think the Shuttle bus to Playa Blancas is a better option.  Its faster and certainly more comfortable. Don’t be thinking of a luxury boat trip as its not like that. You will end up spending half your day on an uncomfortable boat and have way less beach time than with the shuttle. You also can’t return in the evening and you have to pay extra to return a different day.

You might think we’re lying, but we’re not.

Price: 60,000COP

Departs: Daily 09:00am

Return: 3pm – 3:30pm


  • Return transportation
  • Lunch
  • Rosario Islands boat tour

Not Included:

  • Dock Tax 12,000COP
  • Optional aquarium visit or snorkel tour 20,000COP


Cartagena City Guide


Check our insiders guide to the best attractions, top tips and everything to see and do in Cartagena



Popular Cartagena Tours

Chiva City Tour

Jump aboard the Chiva Bus and immerse yourself in Cartagena’s fascinating history. This is a fun way to discover the city. Bilingual guide, transport and entrance fees are all included.

Totumo Mud Volcano

An amazing natural spa experience just one hour from Cartagena. Relax in the mineral rich and rejuvenating mud bath with the option of a personal massage followed by a relaxing wash down in a near by lagoon.

Rumba en Chiva

All aboard the party bus! Rumba en Chiva! Cartagana’s ‘Chiva’ tour bus transforms at night into a mobile party. Alcohol is included, plus free nightclub entry and a cocktail to carry on the party afterwards.

Scuba Diving

There are some great scuba diving sites just short a short boat ride when you are staying in Cartagena. The Rosario Islands, Isla Baru and Medina feature an abundance of colorful marine life, reefs with hard and soft coral.