Did you know that Tierra Bomba island is only 15 minutes by boat from Cartagena de Indias? While this destination is not as paradisiacal as the Rosario Islands, you can still have loads of fun.
I’ve been twice to Tierra Bomba Island!
In this article, you will find the best information to decide whether or not to add it to your Colombia itinerary.
Tierra Bomba: Overview
Location: In front of Bocagrande (Cartagena’s district)
Why come to Tierra Bomba: Have fun outdoor activities, drink cocktails on the beach, and visit el Fuerte de San Fernando de Bocachica.
Favorite experience: Mountain bike tour (7h)
Favorite area: Southwest of the island
Best Beach Club & Hotel: Blue Apple
Duration: 1-2 days
👉 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.
1. Take a local boat to reach Tierra Bomba island
The good thing about Tierra Bomba is that the island is close to Cartagena. So you can easily make the round trip in one day – whereas this is not the case for Isla Grande.
The boat ride takes between 10 and 25 minutes, depending on where you want to go.
There are 2 ways to head to Tierra Bomba from Cartagena.
Travel to Tierra Bomba on your own
It’s cheap but a bit complicated if you don’t speak Spanish.
- First, go to the beach of the hospital of Bocagrande (It is here).
- You will find many small boats.
- Tell them where you want to go. The captains will probably be lazy to move if your group is less than 5-6 people (or you will have to pay more per head).
- The boat trip costs about 10,000 COP/pers for 1 way.
2 things to know:
- Some captains will try to trick you into going to another beach club. I advise you to know in advance where you want to go.
- Say that you will pay them when they come back to pick you up.
Or Take the beach club’s boat
Several beach clubs on Tierra Bomba sell day-pass with transport included. It’s more expensive but a lot easier.
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2. Party or relax in Tierra Bomba Beach clubs
It’s one of the 2 reasons you would like to visit Tierra Bomba.
This little island is one of the local’s favorite places to party on weekends.
Depending on your budget and desires, you can go to different places. Let’s see which ones.
It is the closest beach to the city of Cartagena — you’ll still be able to see Castillo Grande’s buildings. There are many small local bars all along the shore, with colorful plastic chairs and umbrellas made of dried palm leaves.
Travelers looking for something more hip and comfortable can head to the following clubs:
- Palmarito. For 130,000 COP, you get a welcome cocktail, lovely sand beach, transportation, lunch, swimming pool, and a sunbed.
- Namaste. For 180,000 COP, you get a welcome cocktail, a lovely sitting area, transportation, 40k Consumable Credit.
- Fenix. For 195,000 COP, you get a welcome cocktail, sand beach, transportation, lunch, swimming pool, and a sunbed.
From what I know, Palmarito offers good value for money, Namaste is a place to relax, and Fenix is perfect for taking Instagram photos and having fun.
However, there are some drawbacks on this side of Tierra Bomba:
- Many street vendors.
- Not the prettiest beaches.
- The seawater can be a bit dirty.
Playa Linda is a good alternative if you are looking for something quieter.
The beach is more extensive, and you will not find any fancy beach clubs. On the other hand, you can come and rest at Amare Beach.
This beautiful wooden house painted in white and pink is located at the end of Playa Linda. The owners are not into superficial things. Here, the staff focuses on 3 things: alcohol, food, and music.
- Amare Beach: For 165,000 COP, you get 120k Consumable Credit, transportation, lovely sand beach, and access to the 25m pool.
SouthWest of Tierra Bomba
It’s the best side of the island.
There are fewer street vendors here, and the seawater is much cleaner.
2 beach clubs stand out.
- Blue Apple Beach: For 230,000 COP (during the week), you get a lounger, 2 Course Lunch, 2 Cocktails, illimited Water, and transportation.
- Makani: No information about the prices. It’s the new luxury beach club on the island.
Blue Apple Beach is Amare’s big sister. The facilities at the beach have nothing special, but it doesn’t matter too much. People come here to dance around the pool and eat good Mediterranean food. It’s a great day trip to have fun on the weekends.
3. Explore Tierra Bomba on a mountain bike
I did this tour with Valerie, and it was a great way to visit the island.
My mountain bike tour experience
After a quick stop at Valerie’s house, we cycled to Bocagrande’s beach to jump on a speedboat. Once on the island, we followed dirt roads to cross Tierra Bomba (about 1 hour) and reach Bocachica. There were fewer technical sections, and a local from Tierra Bomba was constantly in front of us on a scooter to warn the other motorcycles.
On our way to Bocachica, we stopped at 2 old fortifications: Bateria del Angel San Rafael and the Fuerte de San Fernando.
Because of its wealth, Cartagena has often been the victim of pirate attacks. To protect itself, the city built in the 18th century an underwater wall to prevent entry through Bocagrande. The boats then had to go around and through the narrow passage of Bocachica. There, the Spaniards built fortifications on each side to bombard anyone trying to enter the bay. There was even a long steel chain to prevent the boats from passing. #deathtrap
After an exciting moment in Cartagena’s history, Valerie took me to a local restaurant on the beach to enjoy a delicious fried fish with coconut rice and patacones.
After this gastronomic break (and a cold beer), it was time to get back on the bikes to reach our last stop: Playa Linda beach and the pretty pink house of Amare — read the previous section.
Why book this mountain bike tour
- It is an excellent way to visit the island and get to know a little-known place by tourists.
- You alternate sports activities and cocktails on the beach.
- You discover the passionate history of Cartagena
- You avoid the crowded area
Price & details
- Price: 110 USD
- Minimum of people: 2
- Other travelers can join this tour
- Prices include boat rides, mountain bike and helmet rental, water, Gatorade, bilingual guide, and typical lunch.
- Departure time: 9h00 am in Bocagrande
- Return time: 3h30 pm in Bocagrande
Things to know before booking it
- The Tierra Bomba Tour is for SPORTY PEOPLE! So if you don’t know how to ride a bike or are looking for a “promenade,” you better not book with it.
- If you like sports and want to sweat but are not familiar with mountain bikes and gears, don’t worry. Valerie will teach you.
- It is not recommended for people with health problems.
- Dress code: sneaker shoes, long-sleeved shirt, sports pants or shorts, sunglasses, sunscreen. Valerie will provide a small backpack to you.
- Tours depend on weather (unfortunately, when it rains, the trails get too muddy and bike rides become impossible for several days…)
How to book this tour
Our mission on Tomplanmytrip is to help travelers book unique experiences with reliable local partners.
Easy steps to book your mountain bike tour:
- Use our online form below to contact Valérie.
- Confirm prices and availability.
- You’ll pay on-site.
- Let’s go.
Easy peasy, no?
4. Spend a couple of days in a nice hotel
Before booking your hotel in Tierra Bomba, there are a few things you should know:
- Don’t expect crystal clear waters.
- If you want to hang out on a beautiful white sand beach, you should go to Isla Barú or Isla Grande.
- You’ll spend most of your time inside the hotel’s property.
- It’s not cheap.
However, this can be a good alternative if you have little time and want to enjoy a stay at the beach — It is always better than the beaches near Cartagena.
Here are two of the best Tierra Bomba hotels.
Hotel Fenix Beach – To chill out at the beach
Hotel Fenix has put all its efforts into building Instagrammable sets, planning activities, and improving its facilities on the beach.
- Breakfast is delicious.
- Food and drinks are expensive.
- Helpful and friendly staff
- The vibe is excellent. Don’t hesitate to participate in their dance class.
Price: From 450,000 COP/2 pers | Cancellation policy: none | Location: Punta Arena
Hotel Blue Apple Beach – Upscale and trendy
The Blue Apple Beach team is no beginner. They know how to welcome guests, and they’ll pamper you like a newborn. You’ll fall in love with the delicious meals and the beautiful bungalows scattered among the vegetation of the hotel.
- Fun events on the weekends.
- Upscale rooms are well-decorated and comfy.
- An excellent horseback riding experience.
- Pleasant facilities and pool area.
Price: From 840,000 COP/pers | Cancellation policy: none | Location: SouthWest of the island
Bottom line: Tierra Bomba
Although visiting Tierra Bomba is not at the top of my list of things to do in Cartagena, the island can be a cool destination for travelers who want to relax for a day with music and cocktails. If you’re an active and curious person, I recommend coupling your cocktail/beach day with an exploration of the island by bike. This will allow you to go to sites that are not often visited by tourists and get to know the history of Cartagena a little better.
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