Isla Grande, Rosario Islands

We spent four nights in Cartagena and decided it was time for some well deserved beach time. I know, woe is us!

We hopped a taxi to Muelle de la Bodeguita Harbor, the main staging area in Cartagena for boat tours and cruises to the nearby Rosario Islands. Many hundreds of people congregate in the morning to hop onto 50 passenger speed boats to do day trips to the resorts scattered throughout the islands. Our boat was booked specifically to take us to our resort and we had probably 25 people, maybe 6 of which were staying at the resort and the remainder just day trippers going to to the resort to hang out at the pool, have lunch and then head back to the mainland. There were good city views from the boat heading out of the harbour.

We were originally going to book 10 nights but decided on 7 and this turned out to be very good decision.

Our accommodation, Cocoliso Eco Luxury Resort was a worn out resort with the only semi-redeeming feature being a nice pool. The rooms were okay aside from the mould around the bathroom sink and literally no water pressure in the shower and no hot water. Zero hot water. The grounds were nice but that was probably the only thing that keeps this place occupied.

There were no English menus in the restaurant so we relied on Google Lens. The food choice was seriously limited and the prices for the some of the worst food we had were outrageous. Breakfast was included and it was cold and the coffee was cold and weak until we finally asked for cafe fuerte, strong coffee which was brewed for another guest because they couldn’t stand the wash water that was served.

Finally, and we’re not sure why but it seemed anything that could be stored in a fridge such as bread, fruit, or anything porous had a taste of burned plastic or electrical. The food really sucked!

And there was no beach! The photos of the “resort” had definitely been embellished.

We were seriously thinking about leaving after 5 nights and eating the $400 + cost but lo and behold, not more than a 7 minute walk from our place was a nice resort with not one but two beaches, a good selection of food and an ENGLISH menu! Suffice to say we spent our days there, had nice lunches and then headed back to our hotel where we would have a few drinks and then dread ordering a dinner entree of something they called food.

At least we got a sun tan and we didn’t we get sick. Well until day 5 when Joyce met me for a drink at our hotel bar, had one sip and immediately started to feel nauseous. She spent the evening and night in the bathroom and and all the next day in bed unable to keep anything down and also suffering from a massive migraine.

Fortunately she felt better the day of our departure because the ride back in the boat was extremely rough. She was a little wobbly when we got off the boat and hopped into a cab and then proceeded to get really nauseous from the overwhelming smell of aftershave or car cleaner or something. I was staring to feel sick too and both of us nearly passed out before arriving at our hotel. Joyce felt worse after the taxi ride than after the crazy boat ride. Oh well c’est la vie.

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