Islas San Bernardo

The archipelago of San Bernardo is composed of 10 paradisiacal islands south of Cartagena, on the Western Caribbean Coast. Unfortunately, 95% of the islands are private, and there is very little space to enjoy the beach freely.

The choice of the island and your hotel is, therefore, crucial!

  • Isla Tintipan has the most beautiful public beach. It is an excellent choice for couples.
  • Isla Mucura is mainly private, and the size of its beaches is very limited. It is the right choice for a group of friends.
  • Isla Palma is the closest to Rincon del Mar and has a hostel.
  • Casa en el Agua is a famous hostel/island but overestimated, in my opinion.

 

The prices are quite high, so it is not the ideal place if you have a tight budget. If this is the case, staying at Rincon Del Mar is a highly recommended option as the atmosphere there is magical and authentic.

Note: Avoid weekends as many day tours depart from Tolu and the islands are crowded 😉

 

Articles about San Bernardo you must read before coming:

 

How to get to the San Bernardo Islands?  (+)

From Tolu to the San Bernardo Islands:

  • Boats leave from Tolu around 8 am. The local companies there sell day trips, but you can ask to be dropped one Isla Mucura or Tintipan. | 1 hour

 

From Rincon del Mar to the San Bernardo islands:

  • Organize a trip with a local fisherman (100 – 150 000 COP) | 40 min.
  • You can also stop on Isla Palma | 25 min

 

From Cartagena to the San Bernardo islands:

  • Take a boat from the touristic harbor (Muelle de la Bodeguia) to the San Bernardo Islands. Tell them the name of your hotel on Isla Mucura or Tintipan. 8 Kg max. More information here | Tranquiteasy | 2 hours

Table of Contents

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Where to stay in Isla Mucura

There are not many beaches on Isla Mucura. You can walk to the tiny public beach or book your stay in the luxury Punta Faro hotel or in Hotel Mucura. In both cases, you can't enter if you're not a guest.

  • Hotel Mucura

    Hotel

    Hotel Mucura

    Vast resort with private cabins and a dorm. Many facilities. Restaurant, games, tours, beach.
    Get the best price
  • Club Mucura

    Hotel

    Club Mucura

    Resort with a massive wooden structure. Basic Comfy rooms. Restaurant. Friendly staff.
    Get the best price
  • Punta Faro

    Luxury

    Punta Faro

    Best hotel in San Bernardo. Top-notch services, food, and activities. Lovely private beach.
    Get the best price

Where to stay in Isla Tintipan

Isla Tintipan is the biggest island, but most of it is made up of mangroves. However, there is the loveliest beach in the area. Avoid the weekend, as many Colombians come for the day from Tolu and Rincon. It's 10 min away from Isla Mucura.

  • Isla Roots

    Hostel

    Isla Roots

    Hostel above the water, surrounded by mangroves. Young crew. A bit expensive for the quality.
    Get the best price
  • Punta Norte

    Hotel

    Punta Norte

    The best spot in the San Bernardo island. Delicious food. Very basic rooms. Thoughtful staff.
    Get the best price
  • Sal Si Puedes

    Upscale hotel

    Sal Si Puedes

    Clean and modern. Beautiful beach and access to the mangrove. Great staff and delicious meals.
    Get the best price

Where to stay in Isla Palma

Isla Palma is a small private island with a lovely beach. Before the island was a Decameron propriety. Nowadays, the island is split into 2 hotels. It's 20 min away Rincon del Mar.

  • Mistica

    Hostel

    Mistica

    Costly "party" hostel with dorms. A lovely beach and many activities. Cool vibe. Young crowd.
    Get the best price
  • Isla Palma

    Hotel

    Isla Palma

    The location is fantastic, but the value for money isn't great. Friendly staff. Basic rooms. Stunning beach.
    Get the best price

Where to stay in hotel-island

2 hotels are built on corals and look like if they were floating above the water. Both are near Isla Tintipan. There is no beach, and you have to use fisher boats to move around. However, there are many constraints when living on a home-island. Therefore, it's not for everyone ;)

  • La Gaviota

    Guesthouse

    La Gaviota

    Vast wooden house.Beautiful spot. comfy rooms. The food is delicious. It's new & a bit chaotic.
    Get the best price
  • Casa en El Agua

    Hostel

    Casa en El Agua

    Party hostel with cool vibes. A bit expensive. Book it in advance. No Spanish speaker.
    Get the best price

Things to do in the San Bernardo Islands

There is no local agency on the island. The easiest way is to ask your hostel/hotel if they know reliable locals to show you around. Most of them are also fishers and can move you around with their boat.

  • Beach

    Lay back

    Beach

    Pick cautiously your accommodation and lay back on their private beach.
    Learn more
  • Sunsets

    Natural show

    Sunsets

    Order a cocktail and observe the sun setting behind the sea. It's sumptuous!
  • Mangrove

    Water activity

    Mangrove

    Rent a kayak and explore the mangroves to look for birds. Perfect around 5 pm.
  • Snorkeling

    Water activity

    Snorkeling

    You can ask your hotel to organize a snorkeling tour or attempt by yourself from the shore.
  • Fishing

    Water activity

    Fishing

    Follow the local fishers while they're spearfishing. You need good apnea to enjoy it.
  • Isla Tintipan

    Boat tour

    Isla Tintipan

    Ask a local to ride you to Tintipan island with his boat and relax on the public beach. You can eat there.
  • Plankton

    Water activity

    Plankton

    Take a boat at dusk and ride to a lagoon surrounded by mangroves to swim with bioluminescent plankton.
  • Islote cruz

    Boat tour

    Islote cruz

    Most of the inhabitants live on this tiny island. You can do a short tour of the village for 15 000 COP.
    Learn more

Our articles about the San Bernardo islands

We went twice to the San Bernardo islands and wrote about ou travel experiences.

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