San Bernardo Islands And The Floating Hostel

We continue the  Colombian adventure with a trip to the San Bernardo Islands, located at the Gulf of Morrosquillo in the Caribbean sea. We walked from the Cartagena hotel to the marina area, where a fast boat takes you on a 3-hour ride to these islands.

We passed several other amazing paradisiac islands.

We finally arrived at our hostel, Isla Roots. This place (and another hostel in a nearby island) are the only places where you can stay, so it feels very remote.

We splurged with the suit here. No luxury here,  it was just us, nature and stinky backpackers who don’t understand how showers work.

The tiny island has some nice amenities, like hammocks, a bar, board games, and snorkel rental.

We really never relax like this while on vacation, but we really couldn’t go anywhere which kind of forced us to chill.

Sarita the bartender.

Eitan “The Lobster Conqueror” Noodle. That thing has thorns and it really hurts to hold it, so do not recommend. Don’t let my brave face make you think I’m enjoying this.

Time for some fresh food for lunch! it was really good.

We had to explore the tiny island. It took us 3 minutes!

If you cannot splurge on the luxury suite, you can stay in the hammock room which is open to nature. The room includes some yellow fever and malaria for free!!

The view from the room.

More time to explore the island before our first tour (I told you we cannot relax!!!)

We took a short boat ride to visit the Islote de Santa Cruz.

It is a very  very small artificial island where its significant population compared with its small size results in its being one of the most densely populated islands on Earth!

Eighteen families live in 97 houses, there is a school, a restaurant that functions as a port. The economy is based on fishing and services including cleaning, cooking, tourism guides, which locals provide to the luxurious hotels in neighboring islands (like ours ).

The island has a total area of just under one hectare (10,000 m2).

This is where the crab is stored until they cook it. They don’t really have electricity (besides some solar panels and some generators) so refrigeration is not really an option.

There is no clean drinking water or sewerage, and there are problems with the handling of rubbish and pollution.

People here were not the “nicest” and the tour felt a little like visiting a slum…. bunch of western tourist going to see the misery of how these people live. Some blogs mention that the locals here look happy, but we didn’t get the same vibe.

We were on our way back to prepare for our second tour of the day!

The next part of our adventure was to take a boat ride for about 30 min until we got to a pitch-black area were we could swim.

We jumped to the water and immediately we saw the magical sight.  Every time we wave your hands through the water in front of you, the bioluminescent plankton glows in a neon blue color. We didnt have someone to take photos while we were swimming, so I grabbed a few photos online to show what it was like.

Certain creatures both on land and sea can produce light through chemical reactions taking place within their bodies known as Bioluminescence. The bioluminescence results from a light-producing chemical reaction also called chemiluminescence. Certain types of chemicals when mixed together produce energy which ‘excites’ other particles on vibration and generate light which causes the glow.  Bioluminescence is used to evade predators and acts as a defense mechanism in dinoflagellates. Dinoflagelletes produce light when disturbed and will give a light flash lasting a fraction of a second. The flash is meant to attract a predator to the creature disturbing or trying to consume the dinoflagellate. The light flash also surprises the predator causing it to worry about other predators attacking it, making the predator less likely to prey on the dinoflagellate.

The next morning we made a quick stop at the other nearby hostel “Casa en el Agua”, which is the more party hostel,

It was really cool as well, but a little smaller than ours and without a beach.

After another 3 hours ride, we were back at Cartagena where we met Erin and Jenna Maria for dinner.

Bonus Pic Of The Day: How to poo instructions!!

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