Snorkel, swim, kayak, and paddleboard in tranquil turquoise waters
Just 60 miles off Cartagena’s coast lie the Islas del Rosario, a coral-reef archipelago made up of 26 islands, many of them uninhabited. It’s well worth zipping out on a half-day (or all-day) trip to explore them—and the Conrad concierge can help arrange a luxurious, no-fuss excursion by private boat. Avoid the closer, more tourist-packed beach stops like Baru, and instead have your captain set a course for the more remote (and far more charming) Isla Majagua, typically a 45-to-60-minute boat ride from Cartagena. As protected national parkland, the island is sparsely populated—there’s a tiny rustic village, a few eco-hotels, and a handful of secluded villas belonging to wealthy Colombians. As you step off the boat you’ll be greeted with a glass of fresh-squeezed citrus juice, then you can indulge in your choice of island activities: scuba dive in the teeming turquoise waters, snorkel above the coral reef, trace the coastline on a stand-up paddleboard, or head out in a canoe or kayak for a gentle ride among the mangrove trees in Isla Majagua’s tranquil lagoon. Of course you could also opt for none of the above, and just snag a chaise on the island’s small sandy beach to while away the hours before lunch. The latter is served at a breezy alfresco café shaded by towering tropical trees that are home to all manner of exotic birds and darting lizards—and which, it turns out, make entertaining and ever-curious dining companions.
The Conrad concierge can arrange for half-day or full-day private-boat excursions to the islands (Isla Majagua is just one of many itinerary options).