4 Cartagena Private Islands: My Guide For A Luxurious Stay

A detailed analysis of my favorite private Cartagena islands, thanks to my local contacts and long experience in Colombia’s tourism industry—since 2015.

🛑 Stop wondering where you should spend a luxurious holiday in Cartagena. Start discovering Colombia’s most beautiful private islands.

Did you know that you can rent your own private island in Cartagena de Indias?

These tiny coral islands located in the archipelago of Rosario are very popular with travelers. Who doesn’t want to wake up surrounded by 360 degrees of crystal blue Caribbean water for a “reasonable” price?

However, it’s not easy to plan such an experience. Between the language barrier, the response time (Caribbean style, baby), and the logistics, it can be stressful.

During my last month’s stay in Cartagena, I rented a boat to visit the most beautiful private island homes.

By reading this travel guide, you will:

  • Decide which luxury island you prefer.
  • Get my favorite recommendation before booking your private paradise.
  • Find out more about my best local contact for planning this extraordinary experience.

Vamos!


Who are we 👋

Since 2015, Adrien, Alejandra, and I (Tom) have been helping travelers explore Colombia. Here, you will find everything you need to fall in love with this beautiful country easily.


My favorite islands

Best deal
  • Where:
    In front of Isla Grande, 1-h from Cartagena.
  • From 2,200 USD/night
  • 4.4
  • Description:

    Isla Kalua, ideal for families, offers traditional charm, spacious rooms, and a saltwater pool. Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 14 guests welcome. Enjoy sunrise swims from the balcony and explore nearby waters with free snorkeling gear.

Big groups
  • Where:
    On Isla Grande, one hour from Cartagena.
  • From 3,000 USD/night
  • 4.6
  • Description:

    Isla Matamba, on Isla Grande, impresses with spacious accommodations. A deck surrounds the main house, while a wooden bridge leads to a guest house and a relaxing pool area. Perfect for 16 guests, it offers activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Small groups
  • Where:
    In front of Isla Grande, 1-h from Cartagena.
  • From 2,500 USD/night
  • 4.0
  • Description:

    Stay here for a blissful island escape. Modern comforts, sea views, chef-made meals, kayaking, and a rooftop for sunset. Three bedrooms, hammocks, jacuzzi, and room for eight.

Book with locals
  • Where:
    You decide.
  • From 400 USD
  • 4.9
  • Description:

    You'll need to hire a private boat (round trip) to get to your island. And that's never included in the price. Thanks to his network, Aymeric always has excellent prices and can handle everything.

Best deal
Where:
In front of Isla Grande, 1-h from Cartagena.
From 2,200 USD/night
4.4
Description:

Isla Kalua, ideal for families, offers traditional charm, spacious rooms, and a saltwater pool. Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 14 guests welcome. Enjoy sunrise swims from the balcony and explore nearby waters with free snorkeling gear.

Big groups
Where:
On Isla Grande, one hour from Cartagena.
From 3,000 USD/night
4.6
Description:

Isla Matamba, on Isla Grande, impresses with spacious accommodations. A deck surrounds the main house, while a wooden bridge leads to a guest house and a relaxing pool area. Perfect for 16 guests, it offers activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Small groups
Where:
In front of Isla Grande, 1-h from Cartagena.
From 2,500 USD/night
4.0
Description:

Stay here for a blissful island escape. Modern comforts, sea views, chef-made meals, kayaking, and a rooftop for sunset. Three bedrooms, hammocks, jacuzzi, and room for eight.

Book with locals
Where:
You decide.
From 400 USD
4.9
Description:

You'll need to hire a private boat (round trip) to get to your island. And that's never included in the price. Thanks to his network, Aymeric always has excellent prices and can handle everything.

Cartagena private island: Mini-reviews

In this section, you will find the 4 most beautiful places where you can stay in the Rosario Islands.

Pelicano Island: For small groups

This white house built in a modern style covers half of the island. The other half comprises a long deck to allow travelers to relax by the sea. After a delicious meal prepared by a local chef, you can use one of the two kayaks to approach Isla Grande or Isla Pirata. However, be back before 5 pm to enjoy the sunset from the rooftop. Couch, hammock, or jacuzzi? It will be up to you and your friends!

Isla Pelicano was recently renovated (2023)

  • Accommodation: 3 bedrooms with private bathroom / 8 pers max
  • Facilities: Hammocks, jacuzzi, lounge chairs, comfy living room, great rooftop, air-conditioning.
  • Meals (not included): Various menus, created by a well-known chef. Average: 100-400,000 COP /meals/pers.
  • Breakfast: Included up to 6 pers.
  • Activities (included): Kayak,
  • Activities (not included): Water-skiing, boat tour, snorkeling
  • Where: In front of Isla Grande, 1-h from Cartagena.
  • Price: 10-12,000,000 COP/night
  • Availability: Ask Aymeric

Isla Rosa: romantic private island

Although smaller than the other private islands on this list, Isla Rosa is nonetheless an idyllic place. This two-story house is tastefully decorated, with many sofas, vases, and paintings. The large windows on the main floor let in natural light and the sea breeze. Outside, you will find several areas to listen to the sound of the waves in the shade of the trees. Its palm leaf roof, the bright pink color of its walls, and its green vegetation make it the perfect Instagram place. It’s the most romantic Rosario island.

  • Accommodation: 4 bedrooms with private bathroom / 16 pers max
  • Facilities: Hammocks, lounge chairs, deck, picnic area, dining room, and living room.
  • Meals (not included): Full board. 350,000 COP/day/pers
  • Activities (not included): Kitesurf, massage, yoga, water skiing, snorkeling, diving.
  • Where: In front of Isla Grande, 1-h from Cartagena.
  • Availability and prices: NOT AVAILABLE AT THE MOMENT

Isla Kalua: affordable private island

Isla Kalua is spread over a hundred meters. The house’s architecture is rather traditional, with two simple but functional dormitories and a superb matrimonial room on the second floor. After a beautiful sunrise, you can decide to jump off the balcony for your morning swim. Its social areas are less cozy than the other private islands. This is compensated by the presence of a long saltwater pool. Isla Kalua will be the ideal place for families.

The island was recently renovated (2023).

  • Accommodation: 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms / 14 pers max
  • Facilities: Deck, lounge chairs, swimming pool.
  • Meals (not included): 250,000 COP/Pers/day
  • Activities (included): Snorkeling gears,
  • Activities (not included): Diving, kitesurfing.
  • Where: In front of Isla Grande, 1-h from Cartagena.
  • Prices: 8,700,000 COP/night | Min 2 nights
  • Availability: Ask Aymeric

Isla Matamba: luxurious private island

Isla Matamba is an impressive property that is located on Isla Grande. It is, therefore, not technically a private island. This does not take away from its attractiveness, quite the contrary. A large deck surrounds a spacious main house. On the ground floor, you will find a beautiful glossy wooden table and many sofas and hammocks. The second floor is dedicated to the bedrooms, with sunset views. You can reach a second guest house and a relaxation area with a swimming pool and many deck chairs from a small wooden bridge.

  • Accommodation: 4 bedrooms with private bathroom / 16 pers max
  • Facilities: Wooden deck, lounge chairs, hammocks, swimming pool, dining room, garden, tennis court, social areas.
  • Meals (not included): 400,000 COP/pers/day
  • Activities (included): Snorkel, kayak, paddle
  • Activities (not included): Massage, various day trips.
  • Where: On Isla Grande, one hour from Cartagena.
  • Price: 12,000,000 COP/night
  • Availability: Ask Aymeric

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How to pick your private island in Colombia

Isla-Rosa-Rosario-Islands

There are various things you should know before booking your private island. In this section, you’ll find all you need to choose wisely.

👉 Want to know everything about the Rosario Islands? 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 the Rosario Islands.

The houses are built on dead coral reefs

It means you’ll have your own private beach, but without sands on it. This is not really a problem as the private islands have pleasant outdoor areas with wooden decks, lounge chairs, and hammocks.

The budget to rent a Private Cartagena Island

There are several costs to consider when booking your stay in the Caribbean paradise.

First, the rental price.

Depending on the private island and the tourist season, you will pay between 8 and 12,000,000 COP/night. If you divide this by the number of people, it is still an affordable price. Ex: 8,000,000 COP/10 (pers)= 800,000 COP or 200 USD/day/pers.

You must also find a way to get to (and leave) the island. You can decide to book the island’s private yacht or ask Aymeric to organize it for you. It will be a lot cheaper. Depending on the number of people, Aymeric offers boat transfers from 1,400,000 COP.

You also need to budget for drinks and meals.

You will not be able to take your alcohol and food with you. Before coming, you will have to agree with the chef on the menus you wish to enjoy. The meals are delicious, and you won’t have to do anything. However, this comes at a price. Count 250 to 400,000 COP/pers.

Finally, you should also bring some cash to pay for optional activities such as diving, snorkeling, and boat trips to Isla Grande.

Local staff will be on the island with you

There is always a private dependency on the island for the staff (often 2 people). They will be in charge of the meals and the organization of the stay. You can also use their boat (at extra cost) to visit the other Rosario islands.

It’s not always a private island

Some establishments call themselves “Isla” for marketing reasons. This is the case of Isla Matamba, which is located on Isla Grande. This has its advantages and disadvantages. You will have more freedom (larger property), but you will lose a bit of the island vibe.

It won’t be a 5-star hotel

You will be on an island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. Don’t expect to find all the facilities of a 5-star hotel; the local staff is adorable but not bilingual, the sea erosion regularly damages the furniture, and the rooms are comfortable but simple. Let yourself be carried away by the magic of the Caribbean, and everything will be fine.

Prefer a more upscale experience? Las Islas Hotel on Isla Baru should satisfy you.

How to book your private Cartagena island

Isla-Pelicano-Rosario-Islands

In my experience, it is always complicated to contact the islands directly. They have a rather particular organization (chaotic), and the communication will be only in Spanish.

That’s why we are happy to work with Aymeric.

This young Frenchman fell in love with Cartagena a few years ago and became a real (friendly) Caribbean pirate.

He is THE person to contact if you want to find an island or a boat.

There are several advantages to booking through Aymeric:

  • He speaks Spanish, English, and French. Communication will be better and easier.
  • He knows all the boat owners and can organize boat trips for a better price than the private islands. You won’t have to worry about transportation.
  • Usually, the check-out is early in the morning. After your stay, you can ask Aymeric to include a fun day tour around the Rosario islands.
  • You won’t pay more by using our online forms!

Interested?

Learn more about Aymeric and the private islands on this page. You’ll also find an online form to contact him directly ;).

Book with locals
Stay on a private island with Aymeric
5.0

Since 2015, Tomplanmytrip (us) looks for the best local agencies in Colombia and put you in direct contact with them.

Pros:
  • Aymeric takes care of everything.
  • One of the most unique stays in Colombia.
See his profile
Book with local agencies we trust.

Bottom line: Cartagena private islands

In Colombia, it is possible to book a private island in the Caribbean for a reasonable price.

These islands are located in the archipelago of Rosario, 1 hour by boat from Cartagena. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. In any case, it will be an incredible experience to share with your family or friends.

👉 Want to wake up in the middle of a turquoise sea? Just contact Aymeric.

One last tip.

Plan your stay now because these islands are booked several months in advance.

What to read next?

Here are our most popular articles about where to stay in Cartagena:

INFORMATION: PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME LINKS ARE AFFILIATE S AND AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU, I EARN A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU MAKE A BOOKING. IT’S A NICE GESTURE TO THANK US FOR THE MANY HOURS WE DEDICATE TO TOMPLANMYTRIP 🙂

I have been traveling around Colombia and Mexico since 2015 to discover new experiences and help travelers make the right choices.

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