Do you want a simple day trip, or do you prefer staying at sea for several nights? Are you looking for luxury & comfort, or would you instead go on a party boat?
When it comes to Cartagena boat rental, you want the best experience possible. That’s why I’m here to give you a method for finding the perfect boat!
To create this article, I spoke with Aymeric, a French entrepreneur who has lived in Cartagena since 2018. His boat’s acquisition (and then the sale) allowed him to meet many boat owners in Cartagena.
If you’re serious about Cartagena boat rental, it’s your guy!
Here’s how it works.
👉 Want to know everything about Cartagena? To learn where are the best places, and avoid tourist traps and beginner’s mistakes? Nothing could be easier. I put it all together in our guide to Cartagena de Indias.
1# Know what types of private boats you can rent in Cartagena
Boat rentals in Cartagena are varied. To simplify, I will keep 4 categories: speedboat, yacht, catamaran & sailboat.
Speedboat rental in Cartagena, Colombia: Prices, sizes & purposes
A speedboat is usually a small boat with a humble roof to protect the captain from the sun. It is generally used for day trips from Cartagena to visit small beautiful islands or beaches not accessible by car. With a speedboat, you can reach places that are sometimes only seen by the locals.
As you can imagine, speedboat rental in Cartagena is the cheapest and most popular option.
- Prices: From 1.300.000 to 2.800.000 COP
- People: Up to 30 pers.
Yacht rental in Cartagena, Colombia: Prices, sizes & purposes
A yacht is the luxury version of a speedboat. It is increasingly popular on the Caribbean coast, and it’s a great way to enjoy your trip to the Rosario Islands. When renting a yacht, you can access your sun deck, bathroom, and kitchen.
You’ll be more independent: You can cook & sleep on board!
- Prices: from 4.500.000 COP to 10.000.000 COP
- People: Up to 25 pers.
Catamaran rental in Cartagena, Colombia: Prices, sizes & purposes
A catamaran is a boat made of 2 independent hulls joined by a deck and 1 roof above the deck. These boats are trendy in Cartagena because they offer optimum comfort for people who like to party.
They are also perfect for a multi-day trip around the Rosario Islands.
- Prices: from 3.000.000 COP to 12.000.000 COP
- People: Up to 56 pers.
Sailboat rental in Cartagena, Colombia: Prices, sizes & purposes
The sailboat is usually the most chill-out option. It’s perfect for people who want to sleep on board and avoid having to go ashore every night. Depending on the weather, you can let yourself be carried by the winds to the Rosario Islands.
It will be the perfect romantic multi-day trip outside of Cartagena.
- Prices: from 2.600.000 to 4.500.000 COP
- People: Usually, 8 pers can sleep on board.
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2# Determine how many people will rent the boat in Cartagena
As you can see, the type of rental boat might change depending on the number of people.
- For a small group (>8 people), I would recommend a speedboat or a sailboat.
- For a larger group, you can increase your budget and opt for a comfortable yacht or a catamaran!
3# Decide what kind of Cartagena boat experiences you want to have
Indeed, depending on your boat rental in Cartagena, you will be able to do different activities.
First, you should decide where you wanna go.
Cartagena boat rental for sunset
If you are not necessarily interested in the islands and want to enjoy a moment on a boat, why not rent it at sunset?
Rentals are generally from five pm to midnight, with a minimum of 2 hours. To enjoy a beautiful sunset, the boat will take you between Castillogrande and Tierra Bomba. Afterward, you can listen to music in the bay of Cartagena and eat on board (if you order in advance in a restaurant).
Private day tour to the Rosario Islands
It’s the most common private boat trip in Cartagena.
The tour starts around 9 am.
With 2 local captains, your search for the most beautiful corners of the Rosario Islands. On the way, they will show you interesting places to snorkel and have a typical lunch.
These boats follow more or less the same route and go by Isla Grande, Isla Cholón, and Playa Blanca (Baru Island).
You will be back in the port of Cartagena at 5 pm.
Aymeric recommends avoiding Playa Blanca. Nowadays, it’s too crowded, with many jetskis. Ask him to organize this experience.
Cartagena boat party to Isla Cholón
If you are with friends to celebrate a happy event (like a bachelor/girl party), Isla Cholón might be an excellent option.
Isla Cholón is a party island, with loud music and lots of boats. There you will be able to swim, dance, eat, drink. You can only access this island with a private boat.
Aymeric recommends renting a yacht or even a catamaran! (the most comfortable option).
A luxury sailboat trip in the Rosario Islands
Be prepared to be amazed.
This is the ultimate experience to make the most of the Rosario Islands. You will leave for a 3-day expedition (meals included) on a sailboat.
Let the captains cook you delicious barbecue dishes while you explore the coral reefs of the Caribbean sea. Don’t worry. There are also paddles on board if you don’t like to play Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
During this tour, you will also be able to observe the bioluminescent plankton in the Laguna Encantada, explore the different islands, and swim to the wreck of a plane!
The icing on the cake?
You can enjoy the islands all to yourself at sunrise and sunset.
👉 Learn more about Aymeric and plan this experience.
4# Inquire about boat rental prices before booking anything
There is no fix prices between boat owners. It will vary according to season, availability, and number of intermediaries.
Cartagena is a tourist city visited by many Americans. Some unscrupulous agencies do not hesitate to increase their prices if they meet a foreigner.
If possible, try to go through an agency that is in direct contact with the boat owners. You will pay less for your boat rental in Cartagena.
5# Book your rental ahead of time to avoid disappointment
There are only 300 boats for rent in Cartagena, and they go like hotcakes. If you want to rent it during the high season (15/12 to 15/01; Easter; July & August) or on the weekend, make sure you book several months in advance.
👉 Ask Aymeric about the available boats.
6# This is not a reason to choose the cheapest agency!
Most of us have a maximum budget for our trip. It is normal to want to lower the prices and go with the cheapest option.
But this is not necessarily the best choice, especially for renting a boat in Cartagena.
Some agencies may use inexperienced (or unlicensed) captains. The sea can be rough at certain times of the year (December – March).
Or they can sell you a boat in bad condition.
To avoid problems, choose an agency that can communicate in English and focuses on a good customer experience.
👉 Aymeric speaks English and will be happy to answer your questions.
7# Don’t stop at Agua Azul
Agua Azul is a beautiful public beach near Isla Barú, but the people who run the place/restaurants are thieves. They will charge you a LOT for a simple lunch or a plastic chair. Some boat captains will try to convince you to go there (they will get a juicy commission).
Definitely refuse to go there.
Alternatives to Cartagena boat rental
Not all travelers can afford a private boat tour from Cartagena.
Cartagena boat rental: The bottom line
There are a variety of boats to rent in Cartagena de Indías. Depending on your budget and plans, you can book a speedboat, a yacht, a sailboat, or a catamaran.
This is why it’s important to book through a reliable local agency that can advise you without ripping you off on prices.
👉 For all these reasons, I’m glad to recommend our local partner Aymeric. Don’t hesitate to visit his page and contact him to plan your boat trip from Cartagena.
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