A little corner of my heart can now rest in peace, knowing that water the colour of blue highlighter pen does in fact exist.
Isla Baru’s famed Playa Blanca, near Cartagena, was my first look at a beach whose waters were reminiscent of a Photoshopped postcard. Nothing of the journey there reveals very much. The main road passes stringy chickens, wiry crossbreeds and a pair of misplaced villages where equally stringy, wiry young kids kick footballs and helmet-less passengers zip by on taxi-motorbikes.
Only at its dusty car park will a general buzz of activity lead you down a path where the sound of water and the slight tinge of salt in the air finally tell you that the beach is close…
Roadtripping to Playa Blanca
Tours can be arranged from Cartagena, but for travellers who enjoy a more DIY approach, public transport will get you there just fine. So grab your sarong (and coooopious amounts of water!) and go have a wander…
In Cartagena, take a bus from Plaza de las Indias to Pasacaballo, 1500 pesos
From Pasacaballo, take a very short ferry ride across the water, 2000 pesos (negotiable as smaller lancha boats also exist)
Once across the water, get to the beach via motorbike taxi for 5000 pesos, or negotiate a lift from one of the cars riding the ferry with you. (The driver might ask for a payment – three of us “hitched” for 10,000 pesos.)
Hitch hike or take a motorbike taxi back to the ferry stop.
The ferry in the late afternoon was free – after 6pm or so.
Remember, the last Pasacaballo – Cartagena return bus leaves at 6pm. As we’d missed it, we chatted with drivers aboard the ferry and hitched to a place outside of Cartagena – this time without a payment.
A final taxi to our hostel, 10 000 pesos in total.