Islas de Rosario and Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca is the beach that travellers speaks so warmly of and that all travel agencies across the Colombian coast try to sell you. We had our tour booked through our hostel who afterwards booked the tour from the company running it called Sea and Land Tours at a price of 55 000 Colombian Pesos plus a port fee of 13 500 to be paid at the harbour. Since Elise did not feel well in the morning and wanted to stay at home, I ended up going with the English, American and German travellers we met a couple of days before.

We had been told that the departure of the tour would be at 8 o’clock, but we had to wait at the harbour for a long time before we were allowed into the small speedboat that departed more than an hour after it should have. Another fifty minutes later we arrived at our first stop, Islas de Rosario where all except us and another guy went off to visit the aquarium on one of the islands, before we drove another five minutes away from the aquarium to go snorkeling. We had our snorkeling gear ready and was about to jump into the water when the boat driver told us that it cost 30 000 pesos to go snorkeling, even with our own gear! One guy paid the money, got a rental snorkel and jumped into the water to snorkeling a littlebit while we had to wait on the boat and watch him before we drove back to the island. The driver got more and more angry when we tried to argue with him and tell him that noone could stop us from swimming in the ocean, but at the end we had to give in and wait an hour and a half until the rest were finished snorkeling and going to the aquarium. The next half an hour was also not pleasant where we were sitting in a speedboat driving maximum speed through huge waves, having to keep our eyes closed for the whole ride with seriously big waves splashing over us every third second, like buckets of warm water were thrown at us non-stop.

 When we arrived at Playa Blanca everything got ten times better. Our fish lunch was good, and the white sand beach stretched far along the big lagoon. Boat loads of people came in all the time, and there were plenty with beach vendors but it did not matter as much, since the beach was much more beutiful than any of the beaches we had previously visited in Colombia. The tour itself was a bit of a tourist trap, and was many times more expensive than just taking a ferry and a motorcycle taxi there, but if you decide to go my advise would be to ask the driver to drop you straight off at Playa Blanca, skipping the Rosario Islands, and staying over for a night or two, as I can imagine that the place gets much nicer once the day tour tourists has left it, so that you can enjoy the beach just with a handful of other people.

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