During my backpacking trip through Colombia, I traveled both inland and along the coastal towns. Colombia has some wonderful beach destinations like, San Andrés, Costeño beach, Palomino, Rincón del Mar and Cartagena. But what was truly a paradisaical destination for me was tiny Isla Múcura. White sand beaches, a crystal blue sea and swaying palm trees on a tiny island.
It’s the perfect destination for a little nothing, except swimming in the sea, tanning with a cocktail in your hand and taking the time to read a good book. Exploring the island is quite difficult due to the dense mangroves, so you’ll spend most time at your hotel.
One of the best things to do on Isla Mucura, is a plankton tour on the nearby island of Isla Tintipán. During this tour you will jump into the lagoon at night and see the plankton light up in the water with every move you make. A truly amazing experience! In Cambodia, I went on a similar plankton tour which was amazing.
Archipelago of San Bernardo
The San Bernardo archipelago, together with the Rosariokoral Islands, belongs to the national park with a beautiful underwater world. Than means, you can do some great snorkeling and diving. On the islands live several exotic animals such as, iguanas and macaws. In our hut on Isla Múcura we even had a macaw as a roommate who decided to sleep under our roof every night.
Isla Múcura is located in the San Benardo archipelago in the Caribbean Sea and is only 26 hectares big. The island is barely inhabited and only has one small village.
The largest island in the San Benardo archipelago is Isla Tintipán. The choice of accommodations is a bit more extensive on Tintipán.
A very special accommodation is Casa en el Agua which is, yes, in the middle of the water! It’s a nice place to stay if you like parties and don’t mind spending a few nights sleeping less. Of course, that also depends on the people who are staying there at that time!
The smallest island of the San Benardo archipelago is Santa Cruz del Islote. With a population of about 1250 people on 0.012 km², it is the most densely populated island in the world! The island can be visited with a tour.
Isla Palma also is a fairly well-known beach destination that belongs to the archipelago. It’s located closest to Rincón del Mar and is divided into two hotels. The most beautiful part of the island is playa Isla Palma with the turquoise sea on both sides.
Best accommodations on Isla Múcura
There are just a handful of accommodations on Isla Múcura, but actually all options are a good choice.
One of the cheapest options is Dahlandia for around €55 per night. The fairly basic cabins are located in the west on the island with a nice stretch of beach right on your doorstep!
I stayed at Hotel Isla Múcura in the east of the island, with beautiful large grounds and a heavenly stretch of beach (see photo below). They offer several cabins and bungalows with prices starting at €100 per night. Not cheap, but a great experience. What made my stay in early December so great was that there were many other young travelers, especially couples. The staff is very friendly and took us to the village during one of the evenings for a birthday party. Dancing with the locals on the sandy street to blaring Colombian music was one of the most fun nights of my trip!
The most expensive option, but also the best reviewed, is the all inclusive Hotel Punta Faro located in the north-west. Prices per night here are around €200, but that’s all inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner.
How to get to Isla Múcura
Isla Múcura can be reached by boat in several ways.
From Cartagena to Isla Múcura it’s about a 2 hour trip by large speedboat. This is quite a rough ride and not very comfortable if you get seasick easily. The boat leaves from the Bodeguita dock.
It’s also possible to travel from the village of Tolú to Isla Mucura. There is a speedboat going to the island every morning around 8:30.
But the best way to get to Isla Múcura is from the fishing village of Rincón del Mar. The speedboat takes about an hour and occasionally makes a short stop on one of the surrounding islands. There is no set schedule, but most ho(s)tels can easily arrange something.
Bring enough cash and a credit card, there is no ATM anywhere.