So, after a 7 hour trip from Minca we arrived back in a very wet Cartagena. We used Marsol as our transfer service again as last time was excellent. However, this time even though we booked our transfer door to door, the driver refused to take us and dropped us about 2kms away from where we were meant to be. Totally fine, if it was a nice temperature, the roads were paved, it wasn’t rush hour and one of the worst storms hadn’t just passed, but for us – ALL OF THE ABOVE. A very sweaty, wet walk later we arrived at our hotel after carrying all our luggage there.
THEN …WE HAD A POWER-CUT – NO A/C, NO FAN, NO CHARGING ANY DEVICES.
Fast forward to the following morning as for our last 3days/2nights we are spending it is Isla Grande, the largest of the Rosario islands – AKA Colombian tropical paradise. Imagine, crystal clear waters, white sandy beach, NOT TOO MANY TOURISTS and lush jungle and Rosario islands would fit the bill. We are staying in Eco Hostal Playa Libre and paying $75NZD per night including breaky for an eco lodge cabin. Our lodge also offered to book our boat transfer for us which costs 63000COP pp as this includes the National park fee as well as the port fees.
I won’t write too much about the boat crossing apart from we arranged a pick up from our hostel to the port at 8.30am, and at 8.47am (for a boat that leaves at 9am) we were picked up / walked to the terminal. I have never been walked anywhere, so yet again bring out being hot and sweaty and exhausted before out trip began!
2 hours later we were disembarking the boat at our dock in the beautiful Isla Grande. From the second we arrived it was beautiful, so we knew it was going to be great. Our cabin is lovely – it’s a full house but as it’s an eco house, they run to very short water use, electricity and everything is open so if you do come stay here – BRING A LOT OF DEET!
We dropped our bags and headed off on an adventure to Playa Cristal about a 12 min walk from our place and MY GOOD GOD, it is paradise! It’s exactly what you see on the postcards kinda beach, minus the fact there are going to be vendors anywhere you go in Colombia. We swam, bathed in the hot sun and had a mini fruit salad courtesy of the mini mart before we left as Rosario islands are renowned for being SO EXPENSIVE!
After walking the length of the island we found a brilliant spot for drinks and dinner ‘Sol Y Papaya’ , run by a lovely local couple and to our surprise was normally priced! We had drinks by the water and a beautiful vege plate each costing 15000COP ($7nzd)
In the evening we had read about the ‘enchanted lake’ which is filled with Bioluminescent plankton, so we had to go! It is only a 10-minute walk from our place but in the pitch-black walking through the jungle with only our phones for flashlights was bloody horrible. I was crawling the entire time…literally…there are so many bugs here. Upon arrival, we splashed about for a while watching the lake lights up and glitter with every movement which was totally impressive to be honest. I have seen it once in Thailand, but it was wonderful to get to see it again. If you don’t want to do what we did and DIY, then there are plenty of tour groups where a guide will take you for 20000COP pp. We just prefer to do it the cheap way, regardless of how much it nearly caused multiple heart attacks.
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Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!