If you’re looking for warm, blue-green waters and soft sand beaches while in Cartagena…then the Islas Del Rosario is where you need to go. The key though is going to the right island(there are over 20 of them)…. I’ve read a number of mixed reviews on these islands and the key is picking the right island and tour operator. I went with Islas Del Encanto (arranged by my hotel the Allure Chocolat) and had a great time. The staff was friendly and professional, the hotel property is beautiful, they provide a nice buffet lunch and there is some pretty good snorkeling(this is optional) a 30 minute boat ride away.
While I didn’t stay at the Isla Del Encanto Hotel overnight I did use their facilities during the day. They offer a number of water-sports to keep you busy or just chill on a daybed, deck chair or swing from a hammock. This would be a great spot to get away from it all for a few days. Of note, the ride to the island is about an hour and on the way there fairly smooth…on the way back on the other-hand the first half is very rough due to the waves and currents (if you get seasick take a Dramamine)…then it’s calm waters again with great views of the Walled City.