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“Absolute paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Punta Faro

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Punta Faro
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Colombia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Isla Mucura
Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Absolute paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

This was a perfect antidote to Cartagena.

A 2 hour, 150.000/RT boat ride away from the hustle and bustle of Cartagena is Hotel Punta Faro on Mucura Island. It is exactly how you imagine Caribbean resorts used to be -- lots of palm trees, coconut trees, thatched roofs, pina coladas and mojitos at the beach bar, private beach without people trying to sell you necklaces.

The place is a little rustic. There's no hot water (although it's not bad since it's so hot). The cabins are basic at best, although they do have large flat screen TVs with satellite cable and more English channels than in Cartagena. There aren't a ton of food selections at meals, but everything is tasty, and if they don't offer a protein that you want, they'll grill up something special.

But this is a place to get away from the world. Spend a few days here, ideally away from the Internet (although you can get it if you really need it), and recharge. It's pricy, but that's the price of getting far away.

Definitely take advantage of the boat ride to the nearby islands. Santa Cruz del Norte is a fantastic experience. Also take the eco walk around the Isla Mucura.

I highly recommend this place and can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
california
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

This is a long overdue review for Punta Faro. We visited last February for three nights and had a wonderful stay. I was somewhat unsure as to what to expect since there weren't that many reviews at the time and some were older and mixed. It turned out to be a great stay all around. To start with, the boat ride to the Island was fine. I was a little nervous about that but it was ok. The ride took about 45 minutes and was a bit choppy at times, but overall was pretty good, even fun.

The resort itself was great. It is a beautiful private location. The resort is also a perfect size. Not too large and not too small. I prefer small intimate hotels rather than a large chain hotel. The beach is beautiful with clear water and white sand. There are lovely hammocks throughout the island to just chill and relax. The meals were also very good. The food was simple, nothing super fancy, but very fresh and tasty. The staff was also extremely friendly and helpful and very eager to please the guests.

Overall, it was a very relaxing and nice stay and I would definitely return again without hesitation.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Decided to book a couple days at Punta Faro after reading about it on Tripadvisor. And I'm SO glad I did. It was absolutely beautiful and serene. The facilities were modern and clean. The island and beach were some of the most beautiful I have ever been to. There were lots of activities to do (trips to nearby islands, snorkeling, kayaking, spa treatments) and I could not have asked for better weather. The food was good and the seafood especially was very fresh. I recommend the pineapple smoothie. We spent most of the time sitting on the beach, but our kayak trip around the island (which only took 1hr) was maybe my favorite part. The boat ride from Cartagena was 2 hrs and not included in the price, but was on a brand new safe power boat. The boat leaves from the harbor right outside the walled city (ask for Monica!). The staff was very helpful, and even let us stay an extra night without any hassle. The only downsides were the length of the boat ride, that alcohol was not included, and that if you speak no Spanish, you will have a hard time talking to any of the staff.

Highly highly recommended!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
arrowatty
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We have stayed all over the world in a variety of exotic beach resorts, especially in some of the less traveled parts of the Caribbean, such as Peter Island, Vieques, Culebra, Antigua, Tobago, etc. Punta Faro ranks with the best of the best. The resort is pure relaxation. The beach is spectacular, with crystal clear water and powdery white sand. Moreover, even in January the water was like a bath. The accommodations were somewhat Spartan, but exceptionally clean and almost new in appearance. We had a room (No. 43) with a small, private porch overlooking the Caribbean. Spectacular! The food was mostly excellent, although there were a few misses. For the most part, however, it was well prepared and fresh - especially the fish. Most importantly, the staff was incredible. They could not possibly have done more to make you feel at home. Special thanks to the owner, Oscar, his friend from Medellin (Jorge) and Patrice, who oversees the place. It is incredibly well-run, the staff constantly raking, cleaning, polishing, etc.

My suggestion, get to Punta Faro before it becomes more accessible and ruined. Apparently, the Colombian and USA governments prohibit sea planes and hydrofoils because of an out-of-date program against drug running in the Colombian Caribbean. So, the only way to get to the island is by a launch. I am not a big boat person, but thought that the trip was O.K. - but it is long (about 2 hours) from Cartagena. On the other hand, because it is far from the mainland, it remains an idyllic place.

Given Colombia's progress in many areas, someday the ban will be lifted. Just like Cartagena is becoming a "must see" destination, someday Punta Faro will become more accessible. Who knows, maybe you'll start seeing day trippers with their sneakers and knee-high white socks roaming the grounds.

Only negative was no hot water, which we knew about before we left. I was told that they are slowly adding hot water to select rooms. Also, it would be helpful if you knew some Spanish as English is not spoken by the staff.

Otherwise, GO!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

I thoroughly researched options for resorts in Islas del Rosarios y San Bernardos - the archipelago of protected marine parks closest to Cartagena, Colombia. In the end, I was so happy I went with Punta Faro. Even though it is a bit more expensive than other options, it is DEFINITELY worth it.

I actually visited my second choice option (San Pedro de Majagua) and really felt there was no comparison.

First: THE BEACH
Punto Faro has a lovely white sand beach with crystal clear, turquoise water. It is barricaded from any rough water by two jeddys. There are some bamboo lounge chairs and bed huts tastefully fringing the beach; they have white pads that are comfy and cleaned nightly. There's also a number of gazebos, hammocks and shade structures - including three bamboo hammocks in the water. The beach bar is closeby - they are always ready to help you (with fresh blended fruit drinks made to order) but leave you alone and don't bother you.

Most importantly, there are NO VENDORS like at Playa Blanca and the other resorts in the islands. I was shocked how San Pedro de Majagua let so many vendors pester you while you are just trying to chill on the beach.

THE LOCATION:
Punta Faro is a small, 24-acre island that is the last in the archipelago (2 hours by boat from Cartagena), of which the hotel owns half the island. The rest of the island consists of mangroves, a small fishing village, and a lively local beach that attracts day trippers from nearby islands and the mainland, but it isn't really crowded.

The resort's grounds are well kept, with soft grass dotted with palm trees.

THE ATTITUDE:
The vibe here is very relaxed and chill. Hammocks are everywhere and no pressures you to but or do anything. The hotel employs local staff and invests in the local communities. There are actually no keys or tipping and everyone is very trustworthy (there are safes in the room). Anything you need - just ask, everyone is ready to help.

The island is fairly green, they forbid any motorized watersports to protect the reef, they have very conscientious water management (seawater toilets, reverse osmosis of seawater for sinks and toilets, purification of drinking water), and are working on putting in solar. Many of the fruits and vegetables are grown in their back garden.

THE AMENITIES:
You can do nothing or stay well-entertained: scuba, snorkel, tennis, windsurfing, kayaking, mountain biking, lots of board games, even a jungle gym for the kids.

They give you a complementary nature walk around the island and boat tour of the surrounding islands. They also throw in a 1-hour free windsurfing lesson.

We did the snorkeling, it was $12 and they take you out for maybe an hour and a half. It's definitely worth doing.

I did not do the diving, however it was very cheap ($40!). To be honest, I was less than impressed with dive master... But if you're experienced and with a buddy- why not! (Note: I did dive with Planet Dive from Cartagena in the Islas de Rosarios and it was EXCELLENT.)

THE REST:
The resort is all inclusive, except for alcohol which was expensive for Colombia, but pretty reasonable. They have mini fridges, so we brought beer and wine with us; it wasn't a problem.

The food mediocre, but always fresh. Soup and salad with every meal, usually a seafood and either chicken or meat. I did get sick one day of the trip, possibly from the shrimp there but also possibly from something I ate in Cartagena.

The rooms are lovely, wood floors and walls, with A/C and modern bathrooms. There's no hot water, but you don't need it. The last night they upgraded us unexpectedly to a larger room on the water with its own private deck. It was awesome.

A special thanks to Sergio who took such good care of us! We hope to return soon.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

We stayed there for 3 nights the first week of December 2012 and really enjoyed. I was a little confused by the contradictory reviews I read online, however after staying there I now understand them. If you are going to this resort you need to understand that this is not a typical Marriott/Westin resort you would find in the Caribbean, e.g., a number of restaurants to choose from, 24 hour room service, an infinity pool, steaming hot showers, etc. And, when you read some of the guide books which describe this place as 'swanky' and the best resort in the country - I can see where people may expect this. Instead, it is something much better. It reminds me of what a resort might have been back 30 years ago – a nice isolated beach, excellent service staff and activities that may appear 'ad hoc' but are actually one-on-one and customized to your schedule and wants. There have been several comments about issues with food quality. This was not a problem for us and we are NYC-foodies. The food was very good. The staff the first day upon seeing that I did not take any fish, asked me immediately if I was a vegetarian. I told them I was not and that I simply did not like fish. As soon as I said that they immediately went back to the kitchen and cooked me up some chicken. This is the type of service I am talking about. In addition, on a trip to visit another island a fellow traveler bought some live seafood and brought it back and the kitchen prepared it for them that evening. You would not get this kind of service at big hotel! In closing, if you are looking for a typical chain resort-experience this may not be for you, but if you want a nice relaxing get away this is a great choice.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

First vacation that I was able to enjoy... the relaxation, food, environment, staff, and non-abundance of people.....ever! We enjoyed it so much we stayed 2 extra days. We went with 10 family members and all of us didn't want to leave, and vowed to come back again soon. Every day we were excited to know what we were going to experience for lunch and dinner. Every meal was fantastic! The staff was great and available if you needed them. I loved the rawness of the whole island! I will come again with all of my friends!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oscar A, Manager at Punta Faro, responded to this review, December 20, 2012
Google Translation
Gracias al huésped que nos ha interpretado nuestra filosofía y logística un servicio natural y artesanal y natural a nuestros visitantes, diferente a la hotelería tradicional.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Punta Faro

Also Known As:
Punta Faro Hotel
Punta Faro Cartagena
Address: Colombia
Phone Number:
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Archipelago of San Bernardo > Isla Mucura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Isla Mucura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Punta Faro 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Mucura Island, Hotel Punta Faro is a dream oasis of white sands and warm sea breezes, where you will find the perfect escape to your routine, due to its unique and exclusive style. You'll find as well the best of Caribbean gastronomy and beautiful landscapes that will make your stay an unforgettable experience. ... more   less 
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