I told you I met this very nice French-Colombian girl, S. She works at a travel agency here, called Aventure Colombia. And not only does she work there, she has no colleagues at the moment so she is taking care of the Cartagena agency all on her own, that's impressive (btw, if you know someone who is based in Cartagena and speaks fluent Spanish, French and English, she is recruiting!). So anyway, S works long days, alone, for a salary that is quite a lot here but compared to France, not so much. However, she has some good employee benefits, like for example she gets to test excursions and then decide if the agency will offer them to tourists or not. That is why we spent today swimming, tanning, kayaking and eating at Isla del Sol. Thanks for inviting me to join, S!
Isla del Sol is a part of an island called Isla Grande, which is one of the 27 islands called Islas del Rosario, about one-hour boat ride away from Cartagena. The flyer promised a "relaxing and enjoyable stay, in the nature, on a paradisiac island", for a price of 140 000 COP (40 euros), though we didn't pay anything because we were "testing". We took a ferry, lancha, at 9am and saw some beautiful landscapes on our way.
When we arrived to Isla del Sol, everyone had some fruits as a welcoming snack, and me and S were also served a drink by the pool. The surroundings were breathtakingly pretty, so far nothing to complain about the visit.
We decided to be good tourists and test some additional activities, even if we had to pay for them. I participated in a one-hour walking/canoeing tour around the island, and S went snorkelling for the same time. I went with a small group of 5 other visitors and the tour guide took us through a tiny village where locals, mostly fishers, live.
After that we took the canoes and went for a tour in a lagoon, covered with mangroves. We turned back at the south side of the island, where the water was more turquoise than what I had ever seen.
I liked the tour a lot, and after the walk it was time to enjoy the sun on the beach. S joined me soon and we went swimming, and then kayaking. Kayaking was the only activity that was included in the excursion price and we loved it. I couldn't take my camera with me because it would have gotten wet but I so wanted to take a picture because the water was extremely beautiful. I especially loved the contrast of our coral-red kayak and the pure turquoise sea, if I ever draw a painting that is what I will paint. Kayaking in the middle of nowhere, by an island in the Caribbean Sea, I once again felt so on holidays and very far away from my old life in Paris. I think I like Cartagena more and more every day. :)
Lunch was also included and it was delicious, although S said she expected more variety in the buffet. But we ate a lot and were happy.
After lunch some chilling at the pool. That was a big plus of Isla del Sol, according to S not all the excursions offer a free access to a pool, only to the beach. Unfortunately, around 2.30 we already had to head back to Cartagena. We found the visit way too short, it would have been great to stay a couple more hours. But the ferries need to get back before the sun starts to set, and before it gets too windy. There was a hotel at Isla del Sol and I already started planning how nice it would be to stay there overnight and really have time to enjoy. Maybe one day...
When we took the ferry, S wanted to sit in the very back because she thought the ride would be smoother. Maybe she was right, we didn't get seasick but instead we got soaked because water constantly flew in to where we were sitting. This, together with heavy wind, made the trip very uncomfortable. My eyes hurt and even if I had my hair tied up it is still (after two intensive conditioning treatments) such a tangled mess that I think I have to have it cut soon. However, when we slowed down and I could look, the landscapes where amazing again.
Despite the extreme boat ride back, I loved the trip and spent such an agreeable moment on the island. I totally recommend!
About S, even if she is doing a great job at Aventure Colombia, that is not what she is passionate about. What she really loves is cinema and making films. She is a promising young film director (if only someone paid for the job she is doing...). Here's one short-film, L'addition SVP!, that she made last year for a competition, I found it very amusing. And as I imagined (and she confirmed), it is crazy how much time, energy and money you need to make a 2-minute film!
French-speakers, take a look:
I'm Emilia, Finnish-Parisian, a recent Master's graduate. I'm currently traveling around the Caribbean and on a volunteering mission in Colombia. I'm passionate about writing, music and different kinds of sports. I can't wait to discover new places and cultures - and share my adventures with you!