About Rosario & Baru Islands
The Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Park is located in the Caribbean Sea, 45km southeast of Cartagena’s bay at approximately one-hour away by boat. The average year-round temperature is 24.7ºC. This is one of 46 national parks in Colombia and it was created to protect one of the most important coral reefs bordering the Colombian Caribbean coastline. The park comprises 120,000 hectares and extends from the underwater platform and coral reefs west of Barú Island, the Nuestra Señora del Rosario and San Bernardo archipelagos reefs and the underwater platform in-between them, to the Tesoro [Treasure], Rosario, Múcura and Maravilla Islands.
Three ecosystems thrive here: coastal lagoons, mangroves surrounding them and tropical forest.
Barú Island is next to the Rosario National Park at approximately 40 minutes from Cartagena’s bay by boat or three-hour drive by land. Within its 7,000 hectares are the beautiful towns of Ararca, Santa Ana and white-sandy beaches such as Playa Blanca, Punto Iguana, Playita Cholón, and Playa del Encanto. All of these are blessed with clear turquoise waters and surrounded with multicolored mangroves and dreamlike landscapes where the locals serve up and offer you delicious platters of lobster and shellfish while welcoming you to their home.
The natives of this island are descendants of the Caribes tribe who were the first inhabitants of the Rosario and Barú islands during pre-Columbian times. Later, during the colonial period the islands were inhabited by slaves, brought from Africa, who dedicated their time to fishing and collecting mollusks. Today, the islands are a must-go destination for every visitor.