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:
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
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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.
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.
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 ;)
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.
Where to sleep? What to do? Where to eat? How do you get from one place to another?
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