Mucura Island and Tintipan Island (2020): Stop making mistakes

Mucura Island and Tintipan Island (2020): Stop making mistakes
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No, Tintipan island and Mucura Island aren’t mysterious places coming out from my imagination but, surprisingly, not many travelers are aware of their existence. Let’s give you all the tips so that you can enjoy these paradise islands.

Isla Mucura and Isla Tintipan: What you must know

Where: Mucura island and Tintipan island are part of the Archipelago de San Bernardo, on the Western Caribbean Coast. I listed more beautiful islands here.

How to get there: There are boats leaving from Cartagena (2.5h), Rincon del Mar (45 min) and Tolu (1h). Don’t hesitate to add it to your Colombia itinerary.

Things to do: Not much, except laying back on the beach, and chasing colorful fishes. Bioluminescent plankton is a good option if the moon isn’t bright.

Transportation: Fishermen offer boat rides between the islands for 6-7$.

Where to stay: Pick cautiously as most beaches on the islands are private. Prices are higher for lower quality as you’re far from everything.

Eat & Drink: Take a ride to Casa en el Agua if you want to drink cocktails during the day. Hotels offer half boars and there are some restaurants on the beach. They eat mostly fish and rice.

Weather on Isla Mucura and Tintipan: Don’t worry about the weather, although it rains more in October & November. The sea is rougher from December to April. Best time for Colombia here.

Safety on the islands: 100% Safe.

Best island tips: Avoid going on the weekend and on a public holiday. Bring tons of cash.

More information: Read our San Bernardo guidebook.

Need some help: Lay back while we organize your trip.

Have a look at our table of contents to get more in-depth information about the aforementioned topics.

How to decide which places you should add to your itinerary?

Where to travel after the San Bernardo islands

Take a look at our interactive map to find out your next stop. Each destination is linked to a practical travel guide article.

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Table of Content: Get the best of Tintipan and Mucura Island

  1. A few words about Mucura and Tintipan island
  2. How to get to Isla Tintipan and Isla Mucura, Colombia
  3. Where to stay on Mucura and Tintipan
    1. Hotels and hostels on Mucura Island
    2. Hotels and hostels on Tintipan Island
  4. Things to do in the San Bernardo Islands
  5. How much does it cost to eat on the islands
  6. Conclusion
  7. Start creating your Colombia Itinerary
  8. Lay back and let us take care of your trip
A dock in Isla Mucura
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A dock in Isla Mucura

What about the San Bernardo islands?

Both are located within The Archipelago of San Bernardo, a set of 9 coastal coral islands between Isla Fuerte and the Rosario Islands. With its corals, white-sand beach with palm trees,  and old Colombian hotels made of wood, Isla Tintipan And Isla Mucura are two secret paradises on earth.

Isla Mucura is tinier than Isla Tintipan but the cost of living is slightly cheaper. Tintipan island is the largest island of San Bernardo, with the main part being constituted from wetlands and mangroves. This last one has the best white-sand beaches. However, travelers are more “free of movement” on Mucura island.

Altogether, both are perfect to relax for a few days.

But, you should hurry up to come here before it becomes super touristic.

Important: There is no ATM on the Islands. Bring some cash with you.

Read more: Pick the right San Bernardo islands

How To Get To Mucura Island and Tintipan Island

Information you should keep in mind in this section:

You have to take a boat to reach Isla Mucura and Isla Tintipan. From November to April, it’s the windy season and the sea can be rough, especially in the afternoon. You should minimize the time spend on a speedboat if you’re not used to it, seasick or if you’re scared of boat rides.

The boat departures are from: Isla Fuerte, Tolu, Rincon del Mar, and Cartagena. The shortest boat drive to Mucura island is from Tolu and the longest is from Cartagena.

Mucura Island and Tintipan Island are only 15 min away from each other. It’s also the case for Casa En El Agua.

1. Island Hopping from Isla Fuerte to Isla Mucura & Isla Tintipan

It’s the perfect way to move around if you’re a pirate exploring the ocean with your bottle of rum.

Before arriving on Mucura island, I spent a week in La Playita, a great hostel based on Isla Fuerte. This island is even less-known than the San Bernardo islands, and my stay was memorable.

The owner of La Playita is a friend of the owner of Casa en El Agua – The most famous hotel in the Caribbean sea. They organize boat rides between the two hostels – According to the client’s demand.

The thing is that Casa en El Agua is only 10 min away from Mucura and Tintipan islands. And, you don’t have to sleep in Casa En El Agua to benefit from this service. You just have to show up at the right time.

They need at least six people for the boat ride Isla Fuerte – Casa En El Agua. Besides, there is no schedule. So you shouldn’t be in a hurry if you plan to do it.

Send them an email and try to organize a boat ride if you’re interested: [email protected]

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Isla Fuerte

Prices and duration to get from Isla Fuerte to Mucura Island (+)

Step 1: Take the speedboat from La Playita to Hostel Casa En El Agua | 100 000 COP | 2 hours

Step 2: Ask at the reception to find you a speedboat from Hostel Casa En El Agua to Isla Mucura or Isla Tintipan | 15 000 COP | 10 min

2. How to get to Isla Mucura from Cartagena

The walled city of Cartagena, with its romantic atmosphere, delicious restaurants, and upscale hotels, is a perfect stop to spend a couple of days with your partner or mates.

But, there is one thing missing in Cartagena. There is no pleasant beach. Fortunately, the San Bernardo Islands aren’t that far. Besides, it’s super easy to get there as you only have to take one boat.

Indeed, the famous hotel Casa En El Agua offers a daily shuttle service from Cartagena.

Entrance to the old town of Cartagena
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The Old Town in Cartagena

Price and duration to get from Cartagena to Tintipan and Mucura island (+)

Step 1: Book you boat ride online on their website | Approx 35 $

Step 2: The D-day, go to the dock in Cartagena – Called Muelle la bodeguita at 8h15 am. The dock is just outside the old city center. Boat leaves at 9 am. Ask for the Casa en el agua’s speedboat

Step 3: Check-in and pay the National Park entrance fee – The San Bernardo Islands are within a protected area | 17 000 COP

Step 4: 2h30 boat ride to arrive on the Islands!

Extra tips to get from Cartagena to the San Bernardo Islands (+)

  • Book and Pay your return ticket at Casa en El Agua’s office (at the dock) if you already know when you will come back to Cartagena. Cash only
  • Otherwise, you can pay your return ticket in Casa En El Agua. Show up at least at 11h30am on the day of your departure. Boat leaves at noon.
  • If you plan to make a round trip from Cartagena, let your big bags in your previous accommodation
  • You can stop on the following places: Casa En El Agua, Isla Mucura, Isla Tintipan & Isla Palma

Read more: Our Cartagena guidebook

3. How to get from Rincon del Mar to Mucura And Tintipan Islands

If you’re scared to travel by boat or if you’re seasick, then Rincon del Mar should be your first option.

Indeed, the boat drive to San Bernardo islands is the shortest you can find. Only 40 min!

Moreover, Rincon del Mar is a cute fishing town, with a long white-sand beach not yet invaded by touts and tourists.

Be aware that it’s not straightforward to arrive there. You first have to reach San Onofre by bus then take a moto-taxi or private car.

Once in Rincon del Mar, I advise you to spend the night there. It will be a peaceful stop before heading to the islands. Besides, the boats going to Isla Mucura and Isla Tintipan only leave in the morning.

Price and duration to get from Rincon del Mar to Tintipan Island and Mucura island (+)

Step 1: Go to the Main bus terminal in Cartagena | 45 min | 20 000 COP (Taxi)

Step 2: Take a bus in the direction of Tolu but tell them you want to stop in San Onofre | 2h30 |Around 25 000 COP | Bus Company: Brasilia, Unitransco & Rapido Ochoa

Step 3: Once in San Onofre, find a moto-taxi or private car to drive to Rincon del Mar | 8 000 COP (Moto) or 30 000 COP (Car) | 30 min

Step 4: Look early in the morning for a boat leaving to Mucura or Tintipan island | Around 25 000 COP | 30 min

Extra tips to get from Rincon del Mar to the San Bernardo Islands (+)

  • If you plan to make a round trip from Rincon del Mar, let your big bag in your previous accommodation
  • It can be a bit complicated to find a boat to Isla Mucura. Allow you an extra day in your itinerary.
  • The boat goes back to Rincon del Mar around 2h30 pm
  • A private boat cost 200 000 COP

Where to stay in Rincon del Mar (+)

As I said, Rincon del Mar is a great little town. Here is a shortlist of the best accommodations you could find there.

Hostel Beach House is a boutique hostel well equipped with fan, aircon, kitchen, and hammocks, based in front of the ocean. Besides, they offer lots of different activities (Not included in the price) – Find the best prices here

Hostel Blue Sea is another accommodation located right on the beach. Comfortable and clean room. The staff is welcoming and helpful – Find the best prices here

Dos Aguas is a superb new hotel in Rincon del Mar. It’s clean, comfortable and well decorated. You won’t be able to leave that place. Guests can’t use the kitchen but the meals are tasty. 2 nights minimum – Find the best prices here

Read more: Our Rincon del Mar guidebook

4. How to get from Tolu to Tintipan and Mucura Island

There are three main reasons why you would like to reach San Bernardo Island from Tolu.

  • You’re coming from Capurgana, one of my favorite towns in Colombia.
  • You plan to fly to Monteria then take a bus to Tolu.
  • You want to enjoy the nightlife in Medellin before relaxing on paradisical islands

Most of the time, you will have to spend the night in Tolu as the boats leave at 8h30 am from the dock.

Price and duration to arrive in Tolu (+)

From Bogota: Take a 1-hour flight to Monteria then a bus to Tolu (2h) | Around 150 000 COP for the flight + 18 000 COP for the bus

From Cartagena: There are buses leaving everyday | 3h30 | 25 000 COP

From Medellin: There are buses leaving everyday | 11h | Around 100 000 COP

From Capurgana: Take the boat to Necocli (1h30 / 70 000 COP), then a Van to Monteria (3h / 40 000 COP) then a bus to Tolu (2h / 18 000 COP)

The dock of Capurgana - Credit :Juanillo1970 / Shutterstock
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The dock of Capurgana – Credit :Juanillo1970 / Shutterstock

Price and Duration to travel from Tolu to Isla Tintipan and Mucura Island (+)

Step 1: Once you arrive in Tolu, pay 4 000 COP to reach the beach – Taxi bike

Step 2: Go to Club Náutico Tolumar and book your boat tickets for the islands. | 40 000 COP (1 way), more expensive during the high season | 1 hour

Step 3: Be ready at 8 am on the dock for the boat departure – 8h30

Extra tips to get from Tolu to the San Bernardo Islands (+)

  • If you take an early night bus from Medellin, you should be able to catch the boat for the islands at 8h30am the same day
  • Isla Mucura deserves more than one afternoon. Don’t take the 1-day trips and sleep there!

Where to stay on Mucura and Tintipan Island

Information you should keep in mind in this section:

The San Bernardo islands are isolated from everything. Respect the environment and be indulgent if there is a power cut or water restrictions.

Most of the accommodations are basic and more expensive than in-land. Isla Mucura will be your best choice if you’re traveling on a shoestring budget.

Casa en El Agua is famous, but we don’t think it’s a good option for travelers who want to enjoy the islands.

There are more mosquitoes and sandflies on Isla Tintipan.

1. Hostels and hotels on Mucura island

A. Hostel Isla Mucura | Open air & hammocks

More information (+)

It’s the biggest hostel on Mucura Island. The different “buildings” are made of woods and scattered within a vast open air. Clients can pay for the food package, for a reasonable price. No Internet. It’s a good option for backpackers as they have got (expensive) dorms and hammocks.

Isla Mucura Hostel San Bernardo Colombia
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B. Hostel Dahlandia | Peaceful and family vibe

More information (+)

At the end of the island, near the small town, there is another hostel even quieter than Hostal Mucura.

Hostel Dahlandia offers basic but comfortable accommodations to spend a romantic stay without breaking the bank. The owner is friendly and helpful.

Dahlandia hostel sunset over the ocean
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C. Punta Faro hotel | Luxury & Romantic

More information (+)

Do you want to celebrate a special event with your girlfriend?

In that case, Punta Faro on Isla Mucura will be a perfect choice. Peaceful place with excellent staff who speaks English and who organizes a bunch of activities for their clients. Besides, the food is delicious and the rooms fantastic. If your budget allows it, book it!

You have to stay a minimum of two nights. They own a private boat to pick you up in Tolu or Cartagena.

Punta Faro, best hotel in the archipelago of San Bernardo
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D. Mucura Club Hotel | Vast place made of wood

More information (+)

Mucura Club Hotel is an impressive building made with big chunks of wood. The staff is attentive to the client’s needs. Besides, the rooms are well decored and comfortable. The meals served are delicious and the pools are perfect to relax after a hard day on the beach.

Mucura club hotel, comfortable room made of wood
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E. Camping on Isla Mucura

There is a small village on Isla Mucura where travelers can camp. However, I don’t know if they provide a tent. It seems to be the cheaper option.

2. Hostels and Hotels on Isla Tintipan

A. Punta Norte | Cabins made of wood

More information (+)

Punta Norte is one of the oldest hotels on Tintipan Island. Located on a private beach, it’s a perfect spot to relax. The dishes at the restaurant are a bit expensive. The rooms are unpretentious but clean. You pay for the setting.

Punta Norte Hotel on Isla Tintipan, near the water
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B. Isla Roots | Social & Private island

More information (+)

Isla Roots is a great choice if you wish to meet other travelers. They offer many dorms, hammocks or private room options.

Located 100 m away from Isla Tintipan, this private island owns a private beach, a bar, and a restaurant. Besides, there are many activities that guests can book to animate their stay.

The only bad side is that you’re “prisoner” from the island regarding the meals, beverages, and activities.

Isla Roots, private island with hostel. Water games
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C. Sal si Puedes | Upscale & Disconnection

More information (+)

Sal Si Puedes is an upscale hotel that offers only 3 private rooms. Everything is made for that guests can relax in a quiet environment, cut from the rest of the world. The private beach is fantastic and the staff attentive and friendly. 2 nights minimum.

Sal Si Puedes Tintipan, upscale hotel with private cabins and hammock in front the ocean
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Things to do around Tintipan and Mucura Island

Dom and I Watching the sunset on Isla Mucura
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All the activities below can be booked with your accommodation. Price can differ.

1. Snorkeling in The San Bernardo Islands

There are some cool reefs around Isla Maravilla and Isla Palma. Most of the hostels and hotels on Isla Mucura and Isla Tintipan organize this trip for their guests.

Price: 35 000 COP

Duration: 2 hours

2. Bioluminescent Plankton

You can observe the bioluminescent plankton around the mangroves by night, near Isla Tintipan. You should do it when the night is dark – a new moon is the best. Jump into the water and start tumble-turning, you will put the luminescent little creatures into a magical tailspin.

Price: 35 000 COP

Duration: 1 hour

3. Beach, beach & beach

Isla Tintipan is where the most beautiful beach is. Spend the day on the white-sand beach while drinking cold Michelada then come back to your accommodation.

Few restaurants serve grilled fish, rice and patacones for lunch so don’t forget your wallet 😉

And if you stay on Isla Tintipan, don’t hesitate to spend one day on Mucura island. The beaches there are pleasant too!

Price: 15 000 COP / Boat ride

Time: 15 min

Flamingos in Isla Palma
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Flamingos in Isla Palma

4. Get a drink in Casa En El Agua

If you’ve got some spare time, you can decide to spend the afternoon in Casa En El Agua. There is a friendly atmosphere during the day, and the snorkeling around is pretty cool. Order a beer or a cocktail while listening to some good music, your body half immersed in the Caribbean sea. Besides, you can take some amazing pictures to make your friends jealous.

Price: 15 000 COP / Boat ride

Time: 10 min

5. Visit of Santa Cruz del Islote

Santa Cruz del isolate is the most densely populated island on earth with 0.12  km square and more than 1200 inhabitants. The streets are extremely narrow and colorful.

I don’t think it is mandatory to visit it. However, you could still spend a nice moment observing daily life on the island.

Price: 15 000 COP / Boat ride + 5 000 for the island tax

Time: 10 min

Isla del cruz in the Archipelago of San Bernardo - Credit: Matyas Rehak / Shutterstock
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Isla del Cruz in the Archipelago of San Bernardo – Credit: Matyas Rehak / Shutterstock

6. Water games around Mucura and Tintipan island

Most of the hotels rent kayaks or paddles so travelers can explore the surroundings on their own. It’s perfect to ride along the mangroves.

Prices: Around 25 000 COP / 2 hours

How much does it cost to eat on Tintipan Island and Mucura Island

It’s quite complicated to cook on the islands. There is only 1 shop on Isla Mucura. Besides, hotels and hotels don’t allow access to the kitchen for their guests.

Therefore, your best option is to opt for the full board. But, if you like to vary the places where you’re eating, you will find some restaurants on Tintipan Island (right on the beach) and you can ask some locals in Mucura to cook for you a lobster.

  • Menu of the day – Menu del Dia: 15 000 COP
  • Lobster: Around 45 000 COP

List of the hotels with full board or restaurants on Tintipan and Mucura Island (+)

Mangroves in Isla Mucura
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Mangroves in Isla Mucura

Conclusion about Isla Mucura and Isla Tintipan

Mucura and Tintipan islands are both paradise not yet uncovered by many. They are close to each other, therefore it’s easy to travel between them by speedboat. There, on the San Bernardo Islands, you will get a first impression of how it looks like to live on an island in the middle of nowhere.

Travelers don’t think to go there because it’s not on their Gringo trail itinerary. But, I assure you it’s not that complicated to reach the islands and it’s 100% worth it.

As it’s far from the coastline, prices for the accommodations and the food are higher than in-land. Therefore, don’t expect to arrive in a luxury Eco-lodge (except for Punta Faro). And be indulgent if there is a power cut or a water restriction. As Bob says, Simple life, happy life.

How to decide which places you should add to your itinerary?

Best information = Best decisions

Why bother if do it better?

Have fun while we do the hard job

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Isla Mucura and Isla Tintipan travel guide
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I fell in love with Colombia 5 years ago. Through this website, we help every month thousands of travelers to plan their trip to this beautiful country. Use our Premium service on the site www.Colombia-insider.com if you want us to take care of everything for the organization of your trip to Colombia.

5 comments

  1. Ashley says:

    This is so helpful! I am heading to Cartagena next month and cannot wait. I plan to stay at Casa en el Agua at least one night. I haven’t found much about hopping around islands without going back to a main port like Cartagena in between. Is it possible to take speedboats to other islands once you are out there? Do I need advance booking for other accommodations other than Casa en el Agua? I would love to head out to Casa for the night I booked, and then just play it by ear and island hop from there.

  2. Jason says:

    How strict are they with 8kg bag max on the boat from Cartagena to Isla Mucura? My wife and I are backpacking with 45L bags so I’m not sure what other option we have…

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