Is Isla Baru Colombia Worth The Trip From Cartagena?

Last updated on May 5th, 2024 at 10:11 pm

isla baru colombia

Smiling faces, crystal-blue, Caribbean waves, and smooth sands. Isla Baru, Colombia is a dreamy gem located about an hour outside of Cartagena’s main walls. Solo travel around Isla Baru is very common.

Known for its beaches, water sports, friendly locals, it’s high on the list for solo locations to visit in Colombia. If you want to immerse yourself in Colombia’s vibrant culture, be sure to add Baru to your Colombia travel itinerary.

Checkout my complete guide to Solo Traveling around Colombia here!

Getting to Isla Baru

Take a Taxi

A taxi from Cartagena airport to Isla Baru will be about an 1.5 hours, and will cost you anywhere between $15-$20.. Before getting into ANY taxis in Colombia, make sure you discuss a price before the trip starts.

Another safe option is to use Cabify, which is basically the South American equivalent of Uber (preferable for solo travelers, so you can track your route on the map.)

Travel by Boat

There are numerous boating options to reach Isla Baru; however, for the fastest way, opt for a speedboat! The waters surrounding Baru are breathtaking, and in just under 30 minutes, you’ll arrive to the crystal-clear waters here (and at a budget-friendly price of under $16!)  

cartagena to isla baru colombia

Take a Shuttle Bus

A cheap and air-conditioned alternative, there are also many choices for bussing it to Isla Baru. This tour has several departure times from both Cartagena and Baru, for under $13 (50,000 COP). 

Use Hotel Transportation

Due to the fact that Baru is quite a distance away from Cartagena, most hotels out there offer transportation at a small price. I stayed at Soy Local Baru, and our driver picked us up at the airport and then dropped us back to the airport when we departed (around $60 roundtrip split between two).

Our driver, Juanchito, was WONDERFUL. He waited at arrivals for us for two hours (immigration, ugh), and then picked us up for our early early departure at 5am. For us, arriving to a new country, this was just way easier and hassle-free!

sunset isla baru

What to Pack for a Two-Day Trip to Isla Baru

Due to its proximity to the equator and along the Caribbean seas, Cartagena is known for being significantly warmer and more humid than most other parts of the country. The humidity here is unbelievable, and will take you by surprise when you exit the airport!

My biggest advice is to bring loose fitting clothing and hats. All I wore on Baru were bikinis, cover-ups, and flowy clothing to avoid sticking in the humidiy.

Hats will also be your best friend, because the sun is very very strong and you’ll be thankful for a little shade. Bring a mix of shorts, skirts, and longer pants and tops. If you get burnt day one, you’ll be happy to cover-up your skin! Below is a mini packing guide for your two day Isla Baru trip! 

isla baru hotels

Isla Baru Hotels

About an hour and a half from Cartagena airport is Playa Tranquilla. An alluring area of Isla Baru that’s lined with beach front properties, unique restaurants, soft sands, snorkeling, blue waters, and sociable locals. Soy Local Baru was our choice of accommodation, and it truly was the oasis getaway we needed.

Immediately upon arrival we were blown away by the friendly atmosphere and warmth of this family-run business. Jose and his brother are out of this world hosts, and their cousin Juanchito was an excellent chauffeur to and from the hotel.

The hotel has a few rooms, which all offer Caribbean sea views. While the rooms are not air conditioned, that thatching offers a night-time breeze, and circulating fans help during the day. Each room has its own, little outdoor area, so you can enjoy a morning coffee or cocktail with a view.

There’s also a small kitchen on the property, run by the locals. They are amazing, and offer traditional Colombian meals like arepas with scrambled eggs and fresh caught fish with salad. The people who work at the hotel are just so friendly, and if needed will give you recommendations of where to eat, what to do in the area, and will even help you book some excursions at a good price! 

I would rate Soy Local Baru 5 stars for your Isla Baru, Colombia trip. The area of Playa Tranquilla is filled with locals staycationing (which is always a good sign!) It’s also an extremely safe area to stay. The family-feel and hospitality are the main reasons I’d 100% stay here again.

Other Stay Options

colombia travels

What to do in Isla Baru

If you’re not in the mood to plan a tour, you can wake up, grab a coffee, and wing it! Beaches are teeming with banana boats, boat tours, beach massages, jet skis, and more!

If you spend the day just walking up and down the beach front, you’re sure to find an activity that’s enjoyable for everyone! Another good way to find out what to do is to ask the locals- they’re always willing to help.

colombia beaches

What to Know Before Visiting Baru, Cartagena

  • Most places do take card here, but sometimes it’s a lot easier to use cash. 
  • Bugs thrive in the evenings, especially in humid, beachy locations. Bring a good spray.
  • Opt for airport/hotel pickup if it’s available through your accommodation. 
  • Bring a reusable bottle to re-fill and a steri-pen.