Isla Baru is absolute paradise. It’s one of those places I close my eyes and dream of on a rainy day. Sure, it’s quite isolated and not easily accessible, but once you get there you have no desire to leave, so the lack of mobility isn’t an issue at all. We spent two nights/three days there, and although part of me would like to stay forever, it was a perfect little escape.
Isla Baru is actually a peninsula, but for all intents and purposes it might as well be an island because it’s only accessible by boat. We learned that the hard way – We had been told that it’s possible to drive to Baru, and in fact Google Maps shows a little roadwinding down the peninsula. We set out from Cartagena by car and about two hours into our drive we came upon a bit of a makeshift roadblock. These guys had blocked the road with their truck and approached our car to let us know that the road had washed away. It all seemed a little informal and sketchy, but our driver said he thought it was ok if we got in the little lancha, or boat, with these guys to go the rest of the way. Once we got in the boat, Dad checked it email and found an email in Spanish explaining the road condition. Lesson learned: always read your hotel emails.
After some negotiation, we got a decent price and got dropped to our hotel, Hotel Sport Baru. There are a few little resorts and hotels along Isla Baru. They’re all quite rustic but have varying levels of service. Hotel Sport Baru is probably on the higher end – we had beautiful rooms, running hot water, nice showers, excellent food and drinks. There’s definitely cheaper options, but Sport Baru was perfect for us.
There was surprisingly a lot to do at Baru! The resort had kayaks and paddle boards you could take out for free, and there was a public beach across the water with some bars and restaurants. The resort also arranged day trips to other beaches and to go snorkelling nearby. We arranged to go snorkelling with them, and they also took us to a little beach that was more of a narrow strip of sand with the ocean on one side and a sheltered lagoon on the other side. This one had a little beach hut selling drinks and a lot more people around than at the hotel beach.
Definitely the coolest thing we did in Baru, and maybe on the whole trip, was the starlight tour put on by the hotel. The starlight tour is actually a bioluminescent plankton tour. We were the only ones who signed up for our night, and when the boat came it was already pitch black. It was only about a twelve minute boat ride to the lagoon, and when we got there it we just sort of stood and stared at the water until our boat driver threw a rock in the water and the water lit up with blue spark-like light. It was amazing. I basically ran into the water after that, and it all lit up outlining my body. I couldn’t tell you how long we were there for but it was all incredible. The coolest thing to do was lift up your arm and watch the little balls of light roll down back into the water. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
Baru was such a perfect getaway and exactly what I needed coming from the Canadian winter. I’ll be dreaming of it as the cold hangs on over the next few months. I definitely can’t wait to go back! I’d give anything to be sitting down at the beach sipping a Colombian bear and watching the sunset.