Isla Fuerte

Find out our best travel tips to explore Isla Fuerte and add it to your Colombia itinerary.

Hostel La Playita On Isla Fuerte: Should you Stay or not?

When heading to Isla Fuerte, I had no idea where I could stay for the night. I knew about Hostel La Playita because they’re doing great on the internet with their Social Network. But I didn’t want to book it in advance. I like to have all the cards in my hands before saying All In.

And, after months of Backpacking, you feel at ease to arrive in a city/town/island without any reservation. You can sense the atmosphere and carry out your investigation like a little Sherlock in swimming short.

Isla Fuerte Colombia
Isla Fuerte

I fell in love with the Hostel La Playita at first sight. And, in a heartbeat I decided to stay three nights – The fact we were the only two boys surrounded by ten girls probably influenced our judgment at the beginning.

In my opinion, a hostel is perfect when it blends into the landscape – like it’s the case with Casa Loma and Minca

Hostel La Playita Isla Fuerte
The bar and the private beach of La Playita

Must read: Our travel guide to explore Isla Fuerte

Why Should You go to Hostel La Playita?

1. The good points about Hostel La Playita

Keep in mind that Isla Fuerte is an island. For everything you buy, you need to apply a Coefficient Island to compensate for the transport fees. Fortunately, Isla Fuerte is close to the coast so you won’t pay a lot more.

You can stay for cheap in the hostel La Playita

Hostels don’t make a big profit with their accommodations. It’s more interesting for them to sell tours, activities, food, and booze.

It’s why it’s very advantageous and cheap to sleep in hostels, especially in dorms or hammock. 

Private Cabanas Hostel La Playita Isla Fuerte
Private Cabañas

Hostal La Playita blends into the landscape

When I come on an island, I want to be like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. I look for coconuts, throw rocks in the ocean, invent fake friends and play dentist with a knife in my mouth.

Ok, I’m maybe exaggerating a little. What I’m saying is that I don’t want a perfect place. In the hostel La Playita, the internet is shit – like everywhere on the island – and you have to use bucket shower to save the water. And I love it!

Also, the buildings are spaced between few palm trees and vegetal roofs. It gives you the feeling to embrace nature and belong to the island.

A man opening a coconut with a machete
Coconuts time!

Lazy afternoons and social hostel

The hostel La Playita has many activities to offer between your future excursions on the islands. There are many Boards – Paddle or Surf – that you can rent.

Then, you can organize a fun beach volley or a ping pong tournament. Once, you’re all sweating, go down to their private beach to have a refreshing dip.

All along, between the entrance and the bar, there are tables and sun lounger in front of the sea. It’s perfect to have a beer and enjoy a good book.

After the sunset, the staff switch on the garland lights between the palm trees and put candles on the table. The bar will be open until late, it’s a perfect occasion to have some drinks with your new friends 😉 – And maybe to improve your Salsa or Reggaeton skills

Regarding the snorkeling and the boat tours, I recommend you to book directly with the locals. It will be cheaper.

Volleyball game on Isla Fuerte
Ready for some sports?

La Playita’s Owners are cool

Angie is Colombian and her boyfriend Geoff is Australian. Together, it’s a perfect mix of chill vibe and fun parties. And there are always ready to help.

Paddale activity from the Hostel La Playita Isla Fuerte
I guess you need a few days if you’re going to Casa en El Agua with a Paddle Board

2. The inconvenience about Hostel La Playita

There is always music in La Playita hostel

Hostel La Playita is not a party hostel because Isla Fuerte is not touristic yet. However, it’s not a quiet place either. A bar is an open place in front of the ocean, and if a group of happy Colombians arrives, you will hear Salsa and Reggaeton all night.

But it’s part of the fun too ^^

Beach Bar Hostel La Playita Isla Fuerte
The Beach Bar

No kitchen access in la Playita Hostel

The restaurant is good and affordable. But you won’t be able to cook your meals. Moreover, you can’t bring your alcohol.

How To Get To Hostel La Playita

1. How to get from Monteria to Isla Fuerte

Step 1: Once you’re in Monteria, you have to take a bus to Lorica with Sotracor | 10 000 COP | 1 hour

Step 2: In Lorica, take a car/bus/Moto-taxi to arrive in Paso Nuevo | 45 min | From 10 to 40 000 COP

Step 3: In Paso Nuevo, find a boat to bring you to Isla Fuerte. It’s better to arrive around mid-day | 1 hour | 20 min

Step 4: Once on Isla Fuerte, walk on the right – with the sea in your back – to find The Hostel La Playita.

2. How to get from Cartagena to Isla Fuerte

Step 1: Book a Mini Van with Transportez Gonzales or Bus at the Bus terminal in the direction of Lorica | 35 – 45 000 COP | 5 h

Step 2: In Lorica, take a car/bus/Moto-taxi to arrive in Paso Nuevo | 45 min | From 10 to 40 000 COP

Step 3: In Paso Nuevo, find a boat to bring you to Isla Fuerte. It’s better to arrive around mid-day | 1 hour | 20 min

Step 4: Once on Isla Fuerte, walk on the right – with the sea in your back – to find The Hostel La Playita.

All the pictures in this article are from the Instagram La Playita hostel

Where to travel after Isla Fuerte

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers HERE

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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. It’s a nice gesture to thanks us for the many hours we put in Tomplanmytrip 🙂 

Isla Fuerte, our Secrets for Visiting this Colombian Island (2020)

Except for diving enthusiasts, Isla Fuerte is little known to travelers. A few holiday homes are scattered around the island, and a gathering of small houses around a wooden pontoon gave birth to the village of Puerto Limon.

Isla Fuerte is only 20 minutes from the coast, yet it seems cut off from the world. There, freshwater is a rare commodity, power cuts are regular, and the fastest vehicle is not a Citröen 2CV, but a donkey and its cart.

For us, Isla Fuerte is the ideal place for a curious and laid-back traveler, who would like to make the most of the passing time rather than chasing after it.

Isla Fuerte, Colombia: What you must know

Where is Isla Fuerte: On the Caribbean coast, in front of Paso Nuevo, between Capurgana and San Bernardo.

How to get there: Take a 20-minute boat ride from Paso Nuevo.

Why go there: To rest on a non-touristic island and organize some diving excursions.

Weather: It is hot. Expect brief downpours in May, Sept, Oct, and Nov. The sea is rough from Dec to April. The best months for diving are from May to November.

Security: It is safe to visit Isla Fuerte.

Our favorite accommodation:

How many days: 3-4 days

Our best advice:

  • There’s no ATM.
  • There’s always something unexpected on an island in the Caribbean. You have to be able to accept them.

Discover our guide on Isla Fuerte to know, in a few clicks, the best accommodations and activities on this island.

Read our Isla Fuerte Travel guide

Where to travel after Isla Fuerte?

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers HERE

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

Table of contents: Isla Fuerte

  1. Getting to Isla Fuerte
  2. Staying on Isla Fuerte
  3. What to do on Isla Fuerte?
  4. Our free Colombia ebook
  5. Avoid the hassles and let us organize your trip.
Vue sur Isla Fuerte

How do you get to Isla Fuerte, Colombia?

Isla Fuerte is away from the tourist places and you will have to make a detour to get there.

1 # Take the boat from Paso Nuevo to Isla Fuerte

You have to get to Paso Nuevo first. From there, you won’t have any trouble finding a fisher to take you there with his boat. Don’t hesitate to bargain and put up a good fight with the competition. The average trip costs 40 – 50,000 COP for two people and takes about 20 minutes.

Be careful, there’s no boat after 5:00. pm.

Now you’re thinking, how do we get to Paso Nuevo?

2# Take a cab from Lorica to Paso Nuevo

Lorica is not far from Paso Nuevo. You can take:

  • A taxi | 45 min | $
  • A moto-taxi | 45 min | $
  • A collectivo (small bus) | 1 h | $

The town of Lorica has its little charm, especially its public market on the waterfront. Take a look around if you’re not too crowded with suitcases.

But how do we get to Lorica?

3# Two options to get to Lorica

If you come from Capurgana, Medellín, or Bogotá, you will have to get to Monteria first. On the other hand, if you come from Cartagena, there is a direct bus connection.

From Monteria to Lorica (+)

In Monteria, there is an airport with direct flights from Medellín and Bogotá.

You can make it even easier by taking a night bus from Medellín with the company Rapido Ochoa.

As for Capurgana, take a van from Necocli.

Once you arrive in Monteria, take one of the Sotracor buses.| 1 h | $

For more information on Capurgana: discover our guide
For more information on Bogotá: consult our guide
For more information on Medellín: read our guide

From Cartagena to Lorica (+)

Just take a bus with the Expreso Brasilia Company | 4 hours | $

For more information on Cartagena: Read our travel guide

Where to stay on Isla Fuerte?

There are a few simple and inexpensive hotels in the village. This is an economical solution if you are traveling to Colombia on a tight budget.

Go directly to the hotel and try to negotiate the price there. Some offer full board for less than 100,000 COP/pers (3 meals + accommodation).

If you would like a little more comfort, we have different lodgings to offer you.

Hotel prices on Isla Fuerte are higher than on land (and less luxurious). You pay for the setting.

$$ – Hostel La Playita – Social & music

La Playita is a hostel opened by a group of friends who love surfing and the beach. They are the same owners as Casa en El Agua, in the San Bernardo archipelago. The property extends over a large area and even has its own small private beach. With its beach volleyball court, music in the background, and its bar open to the sea, it is a perfect little spot to socialize with other travelers. The wooden huts are very simple, but they are part of the charm of the place. There are some VIP rooms with “real” walls and a private shower for those who want a little more comfort. Otherwise, it is the shower with buckets of water. The atmosphere is rather peaceful, and you will sometimes have to be patient with the service. Hostel La Playita offers many activities, and the restaurant prices are not excessive.

Isla Fuerte La Playita

$$$ – Eco Lodge Isla Fuerte – Dive Center

If you want a place with more comfort and quietness than La Playita, then book a room in Ecolodge Isla Fuerte. The private rooms are quite simple; however, there is better customer service. The Ecolodge has its own diving center and will gladly organize your transportation from Lorica. From your arrival by boat, you can see the property stretching along the coast. The garden is particularly well maintained, with hammocks and deckchairs arranged in the shade of the trees. It is an ideal place to alternate invigorating baths, readings, and naps. However, you will have to walk for 5 minutes to reach the nearest beach. This will allow you to digest the tasty dishes that come out of the kitchen.

Eco Lodge Isla Fuerte
Credit: Eco Lodge Isla Fuerte

$$$ – Eco House Isla Fuerte – Romantic

Sometimes, you just want to rest in a beautiful location while swinging around in your hammock. Eco House Isla Fuerte is the most peaceful and pleasant establishment you can find on the island. The cabin rooms are tastefully decorated, and the stone bathrooms will seduce many. These blend in perfectly with the trees on the property. Along the sea, well laid out paths lead to the various cozy corners. Hammocks, sun loungers, sofas, cushions, nets over the water, you have many options to choose where to digest the chef’s delicious dishes. He is an artist in the kitchen. The staff is at your service and will gladly organize the activities of your choice.

What to do on Isla Fuerte?

It’s nice to be on an island, but it can be boring. Fortunately, there are some cool things to do on Isla Fuerte. They are more exciting than burning all day long on the beach.

Each of the hotels listed in the previous section offers different tours for its guests. Check with your hotel for more information.

1# Find yourself a quiet little beach

Even if your hotel has its own private beach, that doesn’t stop you from exploring others.

The most beautiful beach is Playa San Diego. Located 15 minutes‘ walk from the village, it is an ideal place to sip a fresh “agua de Coco” while watching the sunset.

And, if you want even more peace and quiet, the small beach La Cebolla will delight you. It is 5 minutes from the Eco House Hotel Isla Fuerte.

San Diego Beach Isla Fuerte

2# Stroll on Isla Fuerte

The vast majority of the island’s land is privatized and protected by fences. They distort the landscape a bit, but they allow people like you and me not to wander around anywhere. We can’t blame them :).

Many trails criss-cross the island. It’s quite confusing for those who don’t have a sense of direction (I plead guilty!). Don’t hesitate to ask for directions.

If you don’t get lost, you should find:

  • Captain Morgan’s little cave.
  • Beautiful trees like a Ceiba and El Arbol Que Camina (the walking tree).
  • Sloths playing hide-and-seek.
  • Mangroves.

This activity is proposed by the 3 hotels.

Sloth Isla Fuerte

3# Snorkel in Punta Ingles

Are you ready to hold your breath and swim behind colored fish?

Punta Ingles is an area in the north of the island with beautiful corals and abundant underwater life. There are also other spots such as Rosa Vieja, Los Venados, and el Naufragio.

The trips last an average of 1 hour to avoid you drinking too much seawater.

Every hotel has its favorite place.

4# Move on the water like Jesus

Well, unlike Jesus, you’re gonna have to cheat a little bit. The various hotels provide kayaks and paddle boards for travelers to explore the outskirts of Isla Fuerte.

These rentals are usually not included in the price of the night and cost about 25 – 35,000 COP/hr.

Paddle Isla Fuerte
Credit: La Playita hostel

5# Surf the wave like Brice (or not)

This is the specialty of La Playita Hostel, and I think you can contact them even if you don’t stay there.

Their surf spot is in Punta Ingles. Beautiful waves form from November to April. They are not easy to catch, and there is only very shallow water. Beginners should refrain! It would be a pity to get injured or damage the coral. Besides, there is no hospital on Isla Fuerte. Everything is taken care of with a machete (joke) (kind of).

In any case, check with La Playita and follow their recommendations.

6# Explore the ocean floor

There are some very interesting diving areas 1 hour from the island by boat.

  • Bushnell is a very well-preserved reef 3 km in surface area.
  • Burbujas is an underwater lava volcano.
  • El Planchon is a 30-meter-long wreck where sharks live!

On Isla Fuerte, the cost of diving is higher because the sites are quite far from the island. Count about 350 000 COP for 2 dives.

The dive center that belongs to Eco-lodge Isla Fuerte has a good reputation. You can contact them on their website.

Hostel La Playita also offers this service.

Visibility is best when the sea is calm, so from May to November.

Scuba diving

So, do you want to add Isla Fuerte to your itinerary to Colombia?

Don’t hesitate to give us your feedback!

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Ebook to plan your trip

Why bother if we do it better?

Have fun while we do the hard job

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. It’s a nice gesture to thanks us for the many hours we put in Tomplanmytrip 🙂 
How to visit Isla Fuerte