Sport Barú Hotel, Isla Barú

Independetly owned Hotel Sport Barú is our preferred option for comfortable stays on Cartagena‘s beautiful Isla Barú

Sport Barú makes for the perfect two or three day escape for couples and families, with authentic island accommodation, the perfect location for making the most of the pristine white beaches, and a host of nearby activities to take advantage of.

The hotel maintains an intimate ambience with just 14 rooms offering a choice of family suites, junior suites and standard rooms. The hotel’s restaurant and bar is located on the beach itself and specialises in seafood and international flavours.

Programme

The Colombian Way plans your trip from start to end and takes the hassle out of making your own arrangements for marine transfers.

Your launch will depart from Cartagena Marina at 9am and within approximately 45 minutes you will arrive at the resort. We recommend a stay of two nights at Hotel Sport Barú.

Whilst there, take advantage of the amenities and activities which include spa services at the hotel and various nearby facilities providing kayaking, sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving and sailing.

On your final day your motor launch will return you to Cartagena Marina for a late afternoon arrival.

Price includes

The price shown on this page is per person based on two people sharing a standard double room and includes.

  • Welcome drinks
  • 2 nights accommodation and full board inclusive meals
  • Return transfers from Cartagena Marina to Isla Barú in a rapid motor launch
  • All port taxes, hotel taxes, hotel insurance fees and tourism taxes

Additional options

Available to plan locally with the hotel

  • Diving courses
  • Day trips to Islas del Rosario and Playa Blanca

Use our contact form to begin planning your own island getaway

Capurganá

Capurganá has a lot to offer the adventurous traveller. Located in the Caribbean close to the border with Panama it is more than just idyllic Caribbean beaches.

Its spectacular topology puts it at the base of the foothills of the Baudó mountain range in Cabo Tiburón. A perfectly unique setting adjacent to the turquoise and cobalt waters of the Caribbean.

The region is located close to the Darien Gap, the thick jungle which separates North and South America. In the off season, the area offers unsurpassed remoteness and tranquility, expect to have whole Caribbean beaches to yourself.

You would normally arrive in Capurganá by air. The town itself has an airport served from Medellín, alternatively it is possible to use other nearby airports from Bogotá combined with bus routes or transfers.

Programme:

Capurganá is not just a destination for tropical beach bugs, there are a great many activities that we are able to offer in this destination such as sailing, boat visits to Sapzurro and La Miel on the Panama border, a visit to the la Diana waterfalls to see the Black Howler monkeys. Other options include horse riding and walking.

Thirty minutes south from Capurganá is Playa Soledad a pristine white beach that makes the perfect haven for snorkelling and enjoying the underwater world of coral, tropical fish and stingrays.

On the way to Playa Soledad you pass Bahia de Pinorroa and Isla de los Pájaros, a popular breeding ground for birds.

For many, the highlight of a trip to Capurganá is a sailing trip to the San Blas Islands, the home of the indigenous Kuna Indians. The Archepelago of San Blas consists of over 300 small islands and is famous diving spot.

However you want your Capurganá programme, relaxed or adventurous, let us know and we will put together your package tailored to your requirements. Use our contact form to start planning your trip.

Price:

The price shown on this page represents our best deal package and is per person based on two adults sharing a double room for 2 nights during low season. Price shown includes breakfast and evening meal each day.

Taganga

Santa Marta’s neighbour, this formerly unassuming little fishing village now has become a uniquely Colombian seaside destination in its own right.

Taganga is still a fishing village and villagers help bring in the catch and shore up the boats of an evening, but in recent years Taganga has seen a far greater share of its income come from tourism.

Taganga has often been perceived as a destination that is overwhelmed by backpackers. This is not true, whilst Taganga has a nice mix of international tourists, the majority of visitors are Colombian families there to enjoy the beach and the ambience. It is a very compact town with a seafront spanning only about 8 short blocks. During the day visitors flock to the beach to enjoy the sun, have a beer in a beach bar, splash around in the water and enjoy a fresh fish lunch.

By night Taganga turns into a relaxed but bustling seaside village with a happy mix of locals, Colombian visitors and international tourists. There are a few bars in the village, but many prefer to buy refreshments from the store and drink al fresco on the sea wall or even the beach. Altogether this makes for a happy evening atmosphere. Don’t under-estimate how small Taganga is and don’t be surprised if you see the same groups of people a dozen times in the same night.

For us, Taganga is honest and humble fun with its feet firmly planted in Colombian costeño culture.

Thanks to the tourism that the village attracts, Taganga has built up a reputation for its diving so for diving fans, it is a great stop off between Santa Marta and Parque Tayrona, it is even possible to commence the hike to Ciudad Perdida from there.

Programme

Taganga is an ideal option for anyone wanting to avoid the remoteness of some of our other Santa Marta and Tayrona accommodation options. Consider adding Taganga as a stopover to use as a launchpad for a day trip to Parque Tayrona or even a side trip to Minca

We offer private transfers from Santa Marta airport and can also arrange collection from Cañaveral. Ask your driver to point out Pescaito on the way through Santa Marta. It is a simple and unassuming neighbourhood on the outskirts of the city but unusually it is the origin of a disproportionately high number of Colombian national footballers including Colombian legend Carlos “Pibe” Valderrama.

Taganga has a number of hotel options, however, the accommodation we offer in our Taganga package is somewhat special and a firm favourite of The Colombian Way. We offer well appointed private apartments that are situated just 20 metres from the beach and feature modern furnishings, complete kitchens, flat screen televisions, wifi, music systems and a roof terrace with beach loungers.

We will gladly offer suggestions and make reservations for you to wile away the hours in the area, check out the diving, go on a boat trip in the bay or party the night away in a disco. We are also able to offer suggestions for restaurants & waffle houses in the village for great breakfasts and dinners.

Price

The price shown on this page is an illustration of our best deal accommodation in Taganga. It is based on two people sharing an apartment for two nights and does not include breakfast.

Use our contact form to start planning your trip to Taganga

Cartagena

Breathtaking Cartagena is one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America. Above the historic city walls stands the Tower of San Pedro Claver. The charm of Cartagena is at times overhwelming, historic sites, narrow cobbled lanes and a bustling streetscape. Cartagena exudes the exotic charm of a Caribbean city.

Numerous high quality restaurants and hotels await you in the city, Cartagena is arguably the city most geared towards mainstream tourism in Colombia, a status readily endorsed by the international cruise liners that are making Cartagena a unique and unforgettable stopover in their itineraries.

In 1984 the walled city of Cartagena was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set behind those walls lies the imposing San Felipe Fortress, the perfect spot to watch the sun go down across the old town. If you prefer your sunsets with a cool tall cuba libre to hand, then check out the Café del Mar and watch as the sun slips below the horizon across the Caribbean.

After dark enjoy an evening at the Plaza Santo Domingo against the backdrop of the vallenato music that is typical of the Caribbean coast. Each night the unique atmosphere of Cartagena descends upon its colonial streets.

A sensational range of excellent boutique hotels awaits you. Typically built within large colonial houses set around multiple communal patios and courtyards, a journey to Cartagena truly is a journey back in time to the colonial era.

For all but the most ardent bus-fanatic, your arrival will be by air at Cartagena’s well appointed international airport. There is roughly one flight each hour from Bogotá’s El Dorado airport.

Tips

  • Do not underestimate Cartagena’s sunshine, especially at lunch time. Always wear a hat, drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and don’t forget a high SPF sunscreen.
  • Cartagena is Colombia’s most famous destination for not only international tourists but also for Colombian nationals. Especially around Easter and Christmas Cartagena becomes busy and the hotels book out rapidly. We urge you to plan well ahead for your visit to the city.

Programme

Cartagena is the perfect place to do precious little apart from soak up the ambience, relax and have yourself a cocktail. We would encourage you to base your visit around one of the colonial hotels in the walled city, and consider combining your stay with a city tour.

Also consider building Cartagena into a larger itinerary. Direct flights to Cartagena are available from both Bogotá and Medellín and it is common for holidaymakers to travel overland afterwards to Santa Marta and Tayrona before returning to Bogotá or elsewhere.

Heritage and architecture buffs should consider heading inland to Mompox, another UNESCO world heritage site and recently voted Colombia’s most photogenic pueblo.

Such is Cartagena’s popularity that it appears in six of The Colombian Way’s round trips. The Colombian Beach Hopper, The Colombian Extreme Adventure, The Colombian Pacific Explorer and our most popular tour The Colours of Colombia.

  • Cartagena is a wonderful place to do nothing, but to go deeper into the city’s history, we recommend a city tour.

Cartagena has far more opportunities for activities than we have listed on our website, contact us to ask also about fishing trips, craft workshops, snorkelling, kayaking, camping and horse riding.

Prices

The headline price on this page is for two adults sharing double accommodation for 3 days/2 nights in Cartagena’s historic Getsemaní district. It does not include flights or transfers. Use our contact forms to ask us about boutique hotels and other accommodation options in the city.

Ciudad Perdida

This destination is only available to clients booking an extended tour with The Colombian Way that already passes via Santa Marta, Parque Tayrona or Taganga. We are unable to offer Ciudad Perdida as a standalone destination.

La Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City) is a mythical site of the Kogi Indians. It was only rediscovered in 1975 by grave robbers “working” high in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It is nested in the world’s highest coastal mountain range. La Ciudad Perdida is one of Colombia’s most famous destinations as it is seen as representative of remoteness and mystery. La Ciudad Perdida is reached via a trek which commences in Santa Marta.

The adventurous trek takes 5 days along the Río Buritaca, the mid-point of which one discovers the remains of this ancient Tairona Indian city. The city consists mainly of the remains of circular Kogi buildings which are still built to this day in the same manner which can be seen along the trek.

Your guide will be able to give you a thorough explanation of the history and archaeological findings of La Ciudad Perdida and its importance on the Caribbean coast.

Not only is the La Ciudad Perdida an unforgettable experience but the trek itself takes you deeper and deeper through lush green slopes into the most remote parts of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. You will also be able to see authentic Kogi shacks in the village of Mutanyi.

Overnight you will sleep in hammocks or simple huts with beds. The tour takes between 3 and 5 nights and you must be in good physical shape to undertake it, not to mention have a stout pair of comfortable walking boots and light layered clothing for the hot days and cooler nights.

Important

  • It is important to remember that to undertake the trek, a yellow fever vaccination is absolutely mandatory.

Programme:

The tour starts in the small village of Mamey, also known as Machete Pelao, two hours from Santa Marta. You travel to Mamey in a 4×4 vehicle to commence the trek.

On the first day the trek is relatively easy, you will sleep in Donde Adán the first finca on the route.

The second day is somewhat more strenuous as you begin to ascend the sierra, you then descend towards a beautiful river where you can swim and relax. Continuing, you pass the Kogi village Mutanyi and shortly afterwards you will stop for the night.

On the third day after crossing the Río Buritaca several times you reach La Ciudad Perdida. In the morning of the third day you will reach the camp where you will spend the night, in the afternoon you then undertake the last section which leads to La Ciudad Perdida via a steep stone staircase. You will have a couple of hours to view the remains.

The fourth day is strenuous as you walk a distance equal to days 2 and 3, to complete everything necessary on day 4 you have a very early morning departure to give you a chance to eat something back at Donde Adán in the afternoon. Once again you spend your final night at Donde Adán.

Day 5 the final day, you will walk back to Mamey where transport to take you back to Santa Marta will be waiting for you.

You can start the tour from any of our accommodation options in Taganga, Santa Marta City or coastal accommodation close to Parque Tayrona. We will pick you up there, return you there afterwards, and organise for the accommodation to keep your luggage safely.

Contact us for detailed 3, 4 and 5 night itineraries

Price includes

The price stated on this page is per person and includes the following

  • Return transport in a 4×4 vehicle from Santa Marta to Mamey and back again when your trek ends. Additional transfer costs might apply for certain pick up locations.
  • A Spanish speaking guide and companion.
  • 3 meals per day
  • Overnight lodgings in the fincas and lodges specified in the package programme
  • Any applicable taxes, park access charges and accommodation insurance fees

Golfo de Morrosquillo

The Golfo de Morrosquillo is still a relatively unknown destination and the chances are you will only come across Colombians there. It is away from the typical Caribbean tourist destinations but at the same time is within easy reach of Cartagena. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of of Cartagena, The Golfo de Morrosquillo offers a certain tranquility, peacefulness and natural beauty.

It is the picture postcard view with everything that you would expect from a Caribbean destination, long white sandy beaches, palm trees and perfect sunsets.

Outside of Colombia’s high seasons the Golfo is quiet and calm, you can realistically expect to have the beaches to yourself for some undisturbed Caribbean indulgence. During peak seasons it is a popular destination for the Medellín’s Paisas and becomes a bit busier.

The area has some fascinating highlights such as the beautiful islands of San Bernado or the eco-hotels along the beaches, this is the perfect destination to enjoy Colombia’s Caribbean coast, the roam through mangrove forests and take photographs of the astonishing variety of wildlife in the region.

Thanks to the perfect clear blue Caribbean waters, the Golfo de Morrosquillo offers excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities and for the novice, some hotels in the region offer excellent diving instruction.

For something aboslutely unique, and somewhat out of this world, you can also take a boat excursion to Santa Cruz de Islote, the world’s most densely populated island where 1427 people share 97 houses on an island only a little larger than a football pitch. Santa Cruz de Islote can be visited from the San Bernado Islands.

We recommend the Golfo de Morrosquillo to travellers that want to go further off the beaten track than a triditional trip to Colombia. It offers them a chance to see somewhere that probably none of their friends have heard of, let alone visited. A place where the silence is only punctuated by the sounds of the blue waters washing up against the white beaches, or the occasional call of the native animals that inhabit the region.

Although the area is remote and tranquil, it is somewhat unique in that there is also a degree of tourism infrastructure and a range of interesting activities can be incorporated into your programme.

Programme.

We’d recommend a few days spent in one of the beautiful beach hotels from where you can take in the clue Caribbean and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the area. Enjoy the peace and tranquility, enjoy the excellent fresh fish and simply indulge yourself in the local hospitality.

We offer some spectacular eco hotels in the region, you can also include a trip to the San Bernado Islands depending on your budget and expectations.

The Golfo de Morrosquillo is reached by car in 2-4 hours from Cartagena or by aircraft to Monteria or Corozal.

We organise hotel transfers for you and staff from the hotel will be waiting to meet you when you arrive.

From your base at the eco hotel you can use your time as you wish, there are various activities available such as diving, canoeing and wildlife spotting in nature reserves such as Sanguaré.
To begin an ideal starting point for a journey along the Caribbean coast. If you are still a few hours in Cartagena.

This destination is a secret unique paradise, largely unknown and yours to discover. Please use our contact form to get in touch and let us know exactly how you want your visit to the Golfo de Morrosquillo

La Guajira

The Guajira is an area shrouded in mystery, a part of Colombia with virutually no infrastructure and nothing that could be considered “advanced” tourism. But that is what draws La Guajira’s visitors to the zone. If you are looking for a real adventure, then La Guajira is where you will find it.

La Guajira is a desert-like area at in the Northeast of Colombia’s Caribbean coast, the region shares a border with Venezuela and Guajira is home to a town called Maicao which has become a major trading centre for goods smuggled across the border.

The region is inhabited by the Wayúu indians living in typical Rancherias in the vast expanses of the region. They still live by the traditional rules of their own culture, the capital of Wayúu culture is Wayúu Uribia.
A trip to La Guajira usually commences in Riohacha, the capital of the department, from there you can reach the most interesting destinations overland by jeep. Accomodation in the region is simple and practical, either cabins or typical Chinchorro hammocks.
Probably the most notable destination in La Guajira is Cabo de la Vela, here you can see the striking contrast as the desert becomes an incredible Caribbean beach, then slopes away into the turquoise sea.
The region is inhabited by the Wayúu Indians. It is offering to walk along the beaches. Such a thing as “Pilon de Azucar”.

Other attractions include the salt mines of Manaure and the flamingo reserve.
For those in search of something really special, there is Alta Guajira. The region cannot be travelled to as an individual as there is insufficient transportation, you need a local guide with a good knowledge of the area and a jeep. When it rains the few roads that there are become poor and impassable. A tour to Alta Guajira requires precise planning and preparation.

Important

  • Temperatures can rise up to about 40 degrees celcius. Drink plenty of water and wear a hat. As always in Colombia, a high SPF sun block is important too.

Programme

The tour begins in either Riohacha or Santa Marta and we recommend a tour of at least 3 days if visiting the region. Subject to your wishes, your tour will almost certainly include Cabo de la Vela from where visits to Manaure and the flamingo reserve can be added.

For the true exlorer within, we absolutely recommend a visit to Alta Guajira too to see an absolutely unspoilt, untouched and largely undiscovered part of Colombia. A spectacular adventure with unforgettable destinations awaits you, the magnificent National Park Macuira, deserted beaches and unique landscapes.

You should allow 4 days to visit Alta Guajira, the roads can be bad and it can take some time between sites, but there is plenty to see there to keep you busy for more days if your itinerary permits.

There is no “off the shelf” Alta Guajira, all packages are individually organised and planned for you in a tailor made manner. Your accodation will be simple, your trip may be exhausting due to the temperatures, but it will be the trip of a lifetime.
La Guajira promises everything to satisfy the explorer within you, We organise your trip from head to tail, including your personal driver, a jeep and a guide.
Use our contact form to tell us what you want to do there and how much time you have to do it.

Minca

Minca is a small Colombian village that is slightly elevated in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

The village is so pretty that it is a must visit if you are in the area. Many consider it a colony of alternative thinkers, those that want to escape from city life and artists. It is the perfect place to find peace, happiness and tranquility.

Although Minca is close to the Caribbean coastline, due to its lush mountain location, the vegetation is completely different. An abundance of vibrant and dense green plant life. The area’s fertility made it one of Colombia’s first regions to exploit coffee cultivation.

The recent history of this beautiful setting is somewhat less idyllic. Historically the mountains around Minca have been the battleground for some of the most violent aspects of Colombia’s civil war. Only more recently with the demobilisation of paramilitary groups has the region become viable for tourism. Despite this region’s proximity to popular tourism destinations such as Santa Marta and Tayrona, it really is at the cutting edge of modern Colombian tourism. It is an area you genuinely should not have considered visiting just 10 years ago.

The village has now fashioned itself as a melting pot of exiles from all over the world, each having set up their own small restaurants, hostels, coffee shops and handicraft stores. The ambience is one of independence, creativity and friendliness.

Programme:

We offer packages from 1 night or longer in Minca. The village can be reached easily in under one hour from Santa Marta and we offer private transportation to get you there from either the airport in Santa Marta or your hotel in Santa Marta or Taganga.

The first day we can offer a guided tour through the village combined with a visit to a charming and charismatic coffee shop, overnight is spent on a beautiful finca in Minca’s surroundings. The second day you can visit el Pozo Azul a fantastic waterfall further up into the Sierra Nevada. There you can enjoy a picnic and afterwards we organise an ecological walk through the wild flora of the coastal mountain range.

During the ecological walk we will stop off at a traditional coffee farm which affords the chance to discover the cultivation and processing of coffee.

There are additional options to make your own perfect programme, for example a visit to an orchid farm or a visit to typical guadua housing, a type of structural bamboo which is commonly used for all manner of structures and is very typical in the Sierra Nevada.

To plan your visit to Minca, just use our contact form and let us know how you want it organising.

Birdwatching:

Minca is a top birdwatching destination, in this destination a specialist birding guide is available with expert knowledge of the local birdlife.

Price:

The price shown on this page represents our best deal for Minca and is per person based on 2 adults sharing a double room for two nights on a bed and breakfast basis in our preferred hotel in Minca. Additional guided tours, birdwatching guides and day excursions are available on request.

Mompox

This destination is only available to clients booking an extended tour with The Colombian Way that already passes via Cartagena. Side trips to Mompox will only be quoted with private transport from Cartagena.

A journey to Mompox is a journey back in time, everything is preserved as it was hundreds of years ago. The town boasts splendid churches and lets you relive the colonial era as many colonial houses with vast spaces and majestic courtyards are now hotels. Mompox is located on the Magdalena River’s alluvial deposits.

Located approximately 5 to 6 hours from Cartagena, for the easiest access we only organise tours to Mompox from Cartagena. The first 4 hours are by private transportation to the town of Magangué from where you will take a ferry to Mompox across the Magdalena river. Life in this charming town is very much focussed around the river and on its banks it is common to meet friends for a beer after work.

The heart of Mompox is Calle Real del Medio which is home to the town’s most beautiful manor houses from the colonial period. Also here you will discover the towns most beautiful churches such as the San Agustin church and the San Francisco church.

Mompox is world famous for its intricately crafted gold jewellery, there are numerous workshops where the jewellery is still made to this day in time honoured fashion with the original tools. A visit to the workshops make for an interesting day out.

Mompox is flat and lies at 25m below sea level, its swamps and islands provide the perfect habitat for a diverse population, caimans and capybaras. We will gladly organise a boat trip to explore this fascinating landscape.

We’d recommend one or two nights in Mompox, and it offers an easy and accessible side trip from Cartagena. We suggest an early morning departure from Cartagena arriving in Mompox in the afternoon.

Important

  • The heat in Mompox can be overbearing because of its location. Be sure to wear head protection and drink plenty of water.

Programme

Depending on how it fits into your other wishes and travel plans, we would recommend one or two days for your Mompox programme. The town can easily be explored without a guide. We provide transportation from Cartagena by truck arriving mid afternoon in Mompox after crossing the Rio Magdalena by ferry.

Mompox lends itself very well to a walking tour, we are happy to arrange a tour guide to steer you through the town’s narrow streets. You can also climb the tower of San Francisco church which affords you a beautiful view across the town. Take yourself back in time and enjoy in the unique colonial atmosphere.

Mompox offers some wonderful accommodation in hotels set in colonial style houses. From luxurious to simple, there are a range of accommodation options and it will be no problem suggesting a hotel to suit your travelling style and your budget.

We can also organise a full range of side trips from Mompox to the marshes and mangroves in the surrounding area. Contact us via our online form and tell us exactly how you want to experience Mompox

Prices

The headline price on this page is for two adults sharing double accommodation for 2 nights in our preferred accommodation in Mompox. It does not include flights to Cartagena or onward transfers to Mompox.

Providencia

Providencia is an island located 20 minutes away by plane from San Andrés, 700km to the north of the Colombian Caribbean coast.

This beautiful island is less commonly visited than the larger and more touristy San Andrés. The island is idyllic, surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. The truest of island paradises that has remained unchanged for many years and represents the epitome of what one would imagine a Caribbean island to be. The Caribbean sea around the island is known as the Sea of Seven Colours. In reality there are seven shades of blues ranging through turquoises to azures to cobalts.

There are abundant mangroves on the island, a natural source of numerous varieties of tropical fruits such as mangoes. The population of this mountainous paradise is just over 5000, concentrated in the old town and outlying hamlets. The old town of Santa Isabela is the only part of the island where you are able to find stores and ATMs. There is one principal road called the circunvalar which circles the entire island and visits all of the main attractions.

To the northeast side of the island the Old Providence McBean Lagoon national park is located, a beautiful park consisting of coral reefs, mangroves, lagoons and tropical dry forest.

Programme

We organise the flights both to San Andrés and then from San Andrés to Providencia. You will be met at the Gustavo Rojas Pinilla airport by your driver that will take you to your hotel on the island.

Thanks to strict planning regulations, there are no large towering resort type hotels on the island, the hotel accommodation that we offer is built in the traditional style of the Dutch Antilles.

We recommend Providencia at the end of one of our round trips, it is the perfect relaxation destination with incredible nature and diving in the pure blue waters. It is also an excellent contender as the perfect Colombian honeymoon paradise.

We recommend a stay of 4 to 6 days but shorter or longer stays are of course possible.

Use our contact forms to begin planning your perfect Providencia escape.