The Islands of El Rosario are an archipelago of about 30 coral islands on the coast of Cartagena de Indias. The islands are a national park to protect the integrity of this wonder of nature. The landscapes are of great beauty with clear water and soft breezes, which make these islands the perfect destination for travelers seeking nature and relaxation.
The El Rosario Islands can be reached by air, or, more commonly, by sea as it only takes about an hour from the continental coast to get there. Travel agents and tour operators offer different options to explore the islands. You can, for instance, make a 90-minute tour around the archipelago or get to know the islands during a day trip. If you want you can also enjoy various water sports or enjoy relaxing on the beaches with fine white sand, a truly refreshing and incomparable experience.
The magical ambiance surrounding the islands will make a lasting impression on you. The clear water permits watching the corals at the bottom of the sea, along with exotic marine plants and animals which make up one of the most abundant and healthy ecosystems in the Caribbean Sea. You will be delighted watching the countless species of algae, fish, corals and many others exponents of local flora and fauna that inhabit this archipelago.
Especially for those who love water sports will the Islands of El Rosario be an unforgettable experience. Activities such as diving and snorkeling allow the observation of the aforementioned underwater species in the Caribbean Sea.
Among the other sites recommended to be visited by tourists are the National Natural Park Corales del Rosario, with its abundance of coral reefs and a huge diversity of species. The area was declared a National Natural Park in 1977, and visitors are expected to leave the ecosystem intact. It is forbidden to take animals or plants as souvenirs.
The corals covering the entire ocean floor can be as close as 30 meters, which allows swimmers to observe the reefs and seahorses that live in them. Occasionally dolphins swimming along with visitors as well as sea turtles can be sighted. The mangroves with their inhabiting native species are also worth to take a look at in this tropical climate.
The Oceanarium of these islands can be visited on the island of St. Martin de Pajares. It is a research center which additionally serves the purpose of conserving the aquatic biodiversity of the Islands of El Rosario national park.
Visitors of the Oceanarium can experience the magic, color and beauty of the marine life of the islands. Experienced guides with a great knowledge will take you around the bio-natural museum and explain the forms of live that exist in front of your eyes while walking on the platform just above the sea.
However, not all species found on the El Rosario Islands can be watched in the Oceanarium. As some species are only to be found in their natural habitat it is really recommended taking a tour around the islands to also watch the flora and fauna that can only be seen in their natural habitat.
The activities on and around the islands are not confined just to those referred. If you have more time you can consider a few days vacation on the El Rosario Islands. There a various hotels to stay and relax for a few days before leaving, and you may want to consider other sites of unique beauty such as los Pájaros Island and Playa Blanca – the few islands with a sand beach – as well. Also worth exploring are Lake Mohan, the Maravilla Island, Palma Island and many others sites of the El Rosario Islands that you will certainly like and enjoy.