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“Day Visitors- be warned.”
Review of Isla del Pirata

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Isla del Pirata
Ranked #18 of 248 Specialty Lodging in Cartagena
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 5, 2013 via mobile

Recommended by our hotel to take up this option for island visits. We were promised quiet, peaceful getaway- maximum 30 people on island other than hotel guests.

No wonder there are so many pissed off comments here about day visitors. On our visit, 3 day trip boats arrived, max 50 per boat on an island with sand covered rock "the beach" no bigger than some people's back yards, and the grimmest Restuarant/ Bar area I've seen in a long long time.

Thank God we found Diego within minutes of arriving, who took us from there to a gorgeous stretch of beach just a little further down from San Pedro de Maqagua with only 4 mini boats of people.. Cooked fresh friend plantains with delicious tomato onion salsa and salad for lunch, chilled there for 4 hours and boated back just in time for the thrilling return journey. Had read about the choppy conditions but had such a smooth ride over, assumed we'd been lucky so sat at front of boat. 35 mins of rollercoaster wave crashing thrills before we entered the calmer seas of Cartagena bay, but loved every minute of it !!

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank anthonyruk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 23, 2012

This is a great place to relax as the island is very small, the amenities are minimal and the setting is incredible. The staff are great, the food is authentic and delicious and the common areas are nice. That said, the rooms are basic and the bathrooms are very poor, especially considering the price. I agree with JF S that more appropriate prices would be around the $100 mark and maybe upwards of $125 (consider that for day trippers it costs approx. $28 to get there by boat and have a lunch, so another $100 for a night and three additional meals seems fair considering prices in Cartagena). If that were the case, then perhaps those bathrooms could be overlooked, but even then...my hostel for under $20 a night with a private room had a luxurious bathroom by comparison...

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank dynoghetti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2012

Its all about expectations. If you are looking for a pleasant place to relax, swim and just enjoy being on the islands, Isla del Pirata is very nice. If you are looking for 5-star, all inclusive luxury, go somewhere else.
We had a "suite" right on the water with our own veranda and steps leading down to the water. (We had booked a "junior suite" but were given a "suite" on arrival). We went snorkelling several times a day and saw many fish while swimming around the island. We also kayaked to the next island, Isla Grande, and walked around the island where there are several hotels and a local population. The sunrise was amazing. The 3 daily meals were nice. Bring some extra water from the mainland to make sure you have enough.
This was a great way to end our 3 week trip to Colombia, and escape the heat of Cartagena. Highly recommended to those with the right attitude.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JoelDSLO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

this was the first time for me at la isla del pirata. And I must say this was exactly the vacation I had in mind for years: a small exile from the chaos of civilization, without giving up to its comforts. Peace, tranquillity, silence. But also excellent food, nice pina-coladas and other delicious treats.
This stay at Isla del Pirata really restored all my energies, spent during a year of hard work.
I leave hoping to come back again as soon as I can.

Room Tip: the n°4 bungalow is a very good choice if you want to experience the true tranquillity of the island...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank dadim83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2012

We stayed on Isla del Pirata for two nights and three days in July 2012 and I'm struggling to decided what I thought of it.

First the good; the place is beautiful, we had a 'suite' which had direct access to the sea and, as you can see from the photo's, the view from the room and the private balcony is perfect. There are three type's of room and the basics one, though cheaper have several drawbacks, for example they are a lot smaller and don't have access to the sea which means you have to find a spot yourself on what is a fairly small island.

The sea is warm, though watch out for the current that can get very strong near the corners of the island. Each day the island, as well as hosting those staying, has a day boat that comes from the mainland. This boat can hold, at most, 50 people and so, potentially you are sharing the island with 50 other day trippers as well as those staying. I did n't find this a problem, we had our little balcony on the sea and even at it's busiest - the day we arrived the boat was full - the most I saw were 10 other people in the water.

We stayed from Monday to Wednesday and were given our room upon arrival and allowed to keep it until 1 hour before leaving. This also happened to the other couple how arrived with us. Tuesday was definitely the quietist day with only 29 people on the day trip and 8 people staying on the island over night.

The food was good. Fresh fish every day and they also catered for people who did n't want this. The website notes that meals are included but does n't state the hotel is all inclusive (though on the phone I believe that was mentioned). It is NOT all inclusive. Beer is $3000-4000, cocktails are $10,000 which I thought was fairly reasonable as I paid more in some places in Caratgena (a beer in the supermarket is $1300 for reference). I would advise you to take some water, we took 5 x 1.5l bottles for three days and, with other drinks, that was sufficient. You get drinks (non-alcoholic) with breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a cocktail in the evening.

Every day when people arrive they are given a couple of activities to participate in should they wish. You could go snorkelling and / or to the Aquarium. I've dived a lot in Egypt and honestly there is n't much round the island to see; some pipefish, a few angel fish and thats about it. If you have a snorkel mask bring it definitely (swim up by the pier the shoals of fish as fun to watch) but renting one if $20,000 or the guiding activity is $40,000 which personally I doubt is worth it - though as I say I did n't do it. With regard to the aquarium trip I didn't go so can't comment but the reason I did n't go is the reviews and things I've heard about it; google it or talk to other who have been.

One things to mention; the island has no beaches, just sandy areas to sit which are raised above the sea. I did n't find this a problem.

And now for the bad:

So far so good, excellent location, good food and friendly staff. Now we have the down side. If I had walked in to a room like the one we had in any other situation I would have been demanding a refund and probably compensation. These are not suite's not junior suites, they are rooms and slightly bigger rooms with better access to the sea. But the whole place is desperately tired and in need or refurbishment. I've put some pictures below; the concrete is cracked, the bathroom is a nightmare. The pictures of the tiles are n't dirty - the maid cleaned every day - they're just old and chipped and cracked. I appreciate it's a place by the sea and in a hot climate but we did have a bit of a cockroach problem which I think that partly down to the cracks and places they can hide. The second day we had an ant problem as they'd made a colony on one of the beds.

The other annoyance is the vendors. The hotel allows people to come and try to sell you things and, when the island is busy it can get very, very annoying. Head phones on, sunglasses on and dosing in the sun - yep they'll wake you up to sell you beads, fish, anything. A practice that should be stopped.

Looking at the pictures on the website I'm guessing they're fairly old as none of the concrete or walls are cracked or paint is peeling.

Summary:
So in summary, if you are in the right frame of mind I would say book a suite and go, the island is lovely, the sea is warm and blue and you'll only spend a small amount of time sleeping in the room. I DID have a fantastic time here, the annoyances and the room really pale into insignificance when you've spent all day messing about is a light blue sea under the hot sun and you're just about to eat a lovely fresh meal. This has to be tempered with the cost though; I would expect a room that bad to be less that £20 (US$31, $56,000 Colombian) a night in Europe. For reference we paid about $1.2m (Colombian) for 2 nights / 3 days (£424 / US$666)

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank disestablishman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2012

We had an amazing time in one of the most exotic places in the Caribbean. Great service and excellent food! Would love to go again soon!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Rodrigo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2012

Hotel Isla Pirata in the archipelago of the Rosario Islands, sits on a pristine Caribbean ocean, its a picturesque and charming resort with turquoise waters surrounding the place, with 12 bungalows. I stayed with fiends in the two suites, steps away from the ocean, a very comfortable one bedroom furnished Caribbean modern style accommodation. It has lush gardens with native plants and coconut palm trees. The meals were also very good, they usually serve a typical fried fresh fish with delicious coconut rice and coleslaw salad, for dinner they have different menus with meat and poultry, we also had the choice of buying live lobsters and crabs that were specially cooked for us, served with chilled white wine ordered at the bar. Breakfast was also very good, tropical fruits such as papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple, natural fruit juices, eggs to order, empanada de huevo and bread and coffee. They have snorkeling tours at a nearby coral reef. We had a great time, for sure it is wonderful place to relax and enjoy the Colombian Caribbean.

Room Tip: I recommend that you stay at two of the 12 suites located in the waterfront, steps away from the nat...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank IVONNELEMAITRE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Isla del Pirata

Address: Calle 6 No 2-26 | Rosario Islands Archipelago Colombia, Cartagena 130013, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 248 Specialty Lodging in Cartagena
Price Range: $106 - $449 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pirate´s Island Hotel is located in one of the thirty islands that form the archipelago and natural park of the Rosario Islands in the Caribbean sea. It has 21,000 sq. feet area surrounded by palm trees and lush vegetation, protected by the barrier reef of the Rosario Islands Natural Park. Only 50 minutes away from beautiful colonial Cartagena de Indias. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Isla Del Pirata Hotel Cartagena

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