Colombia is a country surrounded by both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, which gives it a large number of coastlines and islands. Many of the islands are uninhabited, some are privately owned, others are owned by hotels and many are protected due to their fragile ecosystems and wildlife. Here’s some of the best.
San Andrés is a Colombian Caribbean island located 140 miles (225 kilometres) from the coast of Nicaragua. The island is situated within a National Park, which contains a section of the Caribbean coral reef – the third largest reef in the world. San Andrés has a number of resorts and hotels, one of the biggest all-inclusive resorts on the island is Decameron’s Maryland Resort. The hotel is small, unique and has Caribbean style decor. It is located on the largest beach on the island, with views of Johnny Cay and the endless ocean. The hotel offers scuba diving, an aquarium, kayak, windsurfing, surfing and access to a catamaran.
Providencia is located four hours by boat from San Andrés, and is often known for being home to the sea of seven colours, due to it’s large variety of turquoise and blue tones. The island has around 12 miles (20 kilometres) of coastline with the small island of Santa Catalina connected by a 100-metre (330-feet) bridge. Providencia has very few resorts or hotels and has been saved from commercialisation. Despite this the island has a luxury resort called Deep Blue Hotel, which is a tropical forest backed resort with luxurious ocean views. The eco hotel has an endless infinity pool, 12 stylish and elegant guest rooms, a fresh food cuisine filled restaurant. The resort offers a boat, diving, kayaking trips and access to the National Park, to discover a large variety of wildlife.
Gorgona Island is a National Park which was once home to one of Colombia’s most notorious prisons until 1984, now the island is home to unique ecosystems and a large variety of wildlife. It is located around 22 miles (35 kilometres) off the countries Pacific Coast, and is around 5.6 miles long (nine kilometres) and 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometres) wide. The National Park is home to endemic species, unique ecosystems, a sub-tropical forest and coral reef. The Parks aim is to preserve and protect the ecosystems and wildlife which inhabit the island.
The island has no population but the National Park owners created a small hotel, restaurant area and information area to allow visitors to stay and experience everything it has to offer. Gorgona has lots of areas to explore and visitors can take boat trips to get up close to Humpback Whales, Hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, reef sharks and whale sharks.
Isla Fuerte is a small island, around two miles squared (3.25 kilometres sq) located in the Colombian Caribbean Sea, around seven miles (11 kilometres) from the mainland and part of the Rosario Islands, the Archipelago of San Bernardo and Tortuguilla. Isla Fuerte Eco Lodge is a small boutique hotel with six rooms, created in native style architecture, with cabins and hammocks, housing up to 26 people comfortably. The resort is located close to a dry forest, ecosystems, mangrove swamps, places for hiking, surfing and wind surfing.
Isla Fuerte Eco Lodge, Isla Fuerte, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia, +57 320 222 7777
Isla Mucura is coral island located within the San Bernardo Island collection in the Caribbean Sea. The island can be reached from Tolu, a small town on the Caribbean coast of Colombia or by a 2 hour boat ride from Cartagena. The island is small remote and is relatively unknown to many Colombians and tourists, the only hotel on the island is Punta Faro. Punta Faro is an hotel with over 50 rooms, in suites, standard rooms and deluxe rooms. The resort has a private beach, buffet style meals and a large variety of activities, including; bicycle rental, water sports, hiking trails, tennis courts and a massage parlour. The hotel thrives to provide generous service, service with soul and conservation of turtles.
Punta Faro, Isla Mucura, Colombia, +57 318 3232323
Isla Grande is part of the collection of islands named the Rosario Islands. Located off the coast of Cartagena, Isla Grande is one of the biggest in the collection of 27. The Rosario Islands are predominantly uninhabited islands located between one hour and two hours boat ride off the coast of Cartagena. Isla Grande is one of the few islands with locals living there, giving it a community which provides visitors with somewhere to explore and experience the culture. Hotel Cocoliso Island Resort is a luxury resort located along the shoreline. The resort has two restaurants serving freshly prepared local produce, located within a charming surrounding and nature reserve. The hotel is all-inclusive, service is of high quality and the resort pays special attention to detail. Isla Grande offers diving and snorkelling within the Rosario Islands, coral reef National Park, a spa, canoe and watersports rental and access to the islands’ bird sanctuary.
Tierra Bomba Island
Tierra Bomba Island is an island with an area of 7.6 square miles (19.8 kilometres sq) located within Cartagena’s harbour. The island has a population of over 9,000 (as of 2011), many of which are native to the island and city. Tourists can see the island from the city of Cartagena but it’s very rarely visited, despite beautiful beaches, mangrove swamps, forest and clear surrounding water. The island is home to historic defences and forts, built to protect the city from pirates and invaders throughout history and in 2014 Tierra Bomba was awarded the honour of housing the next Cartagena naval base.
The island houses a small number of hotel and resorts, one of which is the boutique Blue Apple Beach House, a French inspired hotel, located on the islands shore, with six rooms designed in unique local architecture. The hotel runs yoga classes, massage rooms, access to a boat, scuba diving, a restaurant serving local produce, volleyball, paddleboarding and kayaking in beautiful surroundings. The small number of rooms gives guests a personalised experience and high quality service.