Every travel enthusiast, from wholehearted globetrotter to small-scale adventurer has the right to take a break at one point – I’m not talking about a break from adventures, of course – but merely a breather from the constant quest of daily destinations. So, after our passage through jittery Bogotá, our wanderings around hilly Medellin and a very uncomfortable and curious bus ride through Colombia’s countryside, we decided to just go for the grand finale: Isla Múcura!
Isla Múcura (on the map)
Isla Múcura is a coral island, with white sand shores, all covered in coconut trees, surrounded by mangroves and the turquoise, translucent sea. This islet is located in the San Bernardo Archipelago, a protected marine park in the Caribbean Sea, and a 2-hour boat ride from Cartagena away. It is a 30.9494 hectare “large” paradise in the middle of nowhere. It’s the perfect holiday hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. A true gem!
Next to Isla Múcura sits the Island of Santa Cruz del Islote a 1 hectare small piece of land, that has one particularity: with it is the most densely populated island on Earth. (approx. 1,247 inhabitants for a surface area of 1 hectare, just imagine!!!)
How to get there?
This is the tricky part! If you stay at one of the 2 resorts on the island you can get to your hotel from Cartagena by boat shuttle. This shuttle is available only once a day, so if you miss it, you have to wait 24 hours for the next shuttle. But believe me, missing one day of that baffling beautiful corner of the world is not an option! If you are visiting the Múcura Club Hotel, you might also be able to get a shuttle from Tolú.
If you are staying at Punta Faro Hotel, the bus shuttle:
- leaves every day from Cartagena at 11.30 am
- leaves every day from Punta Faro at 9.15 am
Both are committed to environmental conservation. Being a part of Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park, they contribute to marine life conservation, especially to the preservation of native sea turtles, which are a very cared for and respected species in the archipelago.
In addition to this, the two hotels support environmental education in local schools to teach children the importance of nature conservation projects and to care for native and local fauna and flora.
Both resorts also attach great importance to sustainable tourism and their staff has a welcome chat with their guests at arrival to engage ecological conscience among their visitors and explain the importance of caring for water, beaches, wildlife and flora.
Punta Faro Hotel
Punta Faro Hotel is a dreamy beachfront resort surrounded by lush tropical gardens. The beach is literally a mini bay, where Mother Nature’s beauty leaves you open-mouthed. The sea feels like a swimming pool bordered by a coral reef, no big waves and tepid, crystalline water. Fish swim along with you, frolicking in the lukewarm Caribbean waters. No wonder you feel the urge from time to time to strike up “Under the sea”, the soundtrack of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”.
Although Punta Faro is a bit more of an upscale hotel, there’s no snobbish or uptight feeling to it. The hotel staff is a friendly and laid back bunch, always ready to give you some great advice or to joke around.
Rooms and facilities are designed in a sort of beach rustic style with a lot of taste and the colourful hammocks installed on the front porches of every room immediately radiate a feeling of utter wellbeing! The only concern during your stay will be, how to avoid sunburn!
Another surprise was that the hotel has a “no lock” philosophy, which means that they give you the key to your room, but there’s no need to use it. Your whole stay should be based on mutual trust. At first, I was disconcerted by this concept and a bit worried too, when I left the door to our room unlocked. But soon, those little doubts gave way to 4 very carefree and lighthearted days: Trail along your room keys? No need for that! Leave your belongings unsupervised on the beach? No problemo! Forgot your sunglasses at the bar during happy hour? Someone will bring them to your room!
[bctt tweet=”Punta Faro’s baseline is Desconectate del mundo (Disconnect from the world)” username=”thetravelbias”] … Honestly, nothing easier than that!
Eating and drinking
Be prepared that at Isla Múcura, there are no grocery shops or any other store or deli. There’s nothing. Nil. Nada.
Your hotel will provide you with everything you need; a hearty breakfast, a lunch buffet at the restaurant or a light snack at the beach bar. Dinner is served in a romantic atmosphere on the beachfront or at the main dining area! They serve local cuisine made of fresh products.
The beach bar is the guest’s headquarter in the afternoon during happy hour or later at night after dinner.
We’ve had an animated night out there. While the bartender was juggling with all those colourful bottles, his sweet mixtures and tropical cocktails juggled with our heads. Let’s just say the night got a bit blurrier interspersed with hysterical giggles, hilarious selfies (which I’m not willing to show out of respect for everyone involved) and a midnight’s “splash” into the moonlit sea.
Activities at Isla Múcura
Punta Faro offers a plethora of outdoor activities, such as windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, volleyball, tennis … even having a swim at night with bioluminescent plankton!
Snorkeling was a fun experience. You can partner up with other guests or you can go on a private snorkeling tour. They take you with a small motorboat to a drop dead gorgeous coral reef… in the middle of the sea. There’s literally nothing else around you, but the big blue! (Iiiiiiik)
During your snorkeling session you can explore the surroundings at your ease and witness the scurrying, gleeful underwater world while huge white dotted rays are passing you by.
For those who are not that into sporty activities: beauticians will pamper and spoil you to death at the wellness area… that has a sea view, of course!
Best time to go
Isla Múcura is blessed with a crisp all year round climate (+/-28C°) without any of those heavy rain periods, that are quite common in the tropics. Although the weather varies very little, the periods with the lowest rainfall are between December & March, and July & August. Hotel rates adapt as well to the high and low seasons.
We visited Isla Múcura in early September during low season. The weather was splendid, the Island wasn’t crammed with visitors and we were able to book at the lower hotel rates!
In the end, Isla Múcura is probably one of the most amazing and dazzling places I’ve travelled to. We stayed 4 nights on the Island and although I was quite heartbroken to leave this gorgeous piece of earth, my feet were already itching to move on and discover yet another destination.