The Days and Nights of Baru, Colombia.
I wondered for a while why people in Colombia call it Baru Island. However, a peninsula can only be called an island if it is close to paradise. Barú is synonymous with pleasure, fun, and relaxation. In Barú everything is magical, from the accent of the people from Cartagena to the request of a piña colada from the tourist with a foreigner accent.
The background music constantly reminds me that I am traveling in the Colombian Caribbean. I know it is only a short time which I’ll miss. The beach is clean, the water is warm, the sand is soft, and the sky is a clear blue. The clouds look like cotton balls strategically located to cover the sun's rays; they’re there when you want a seat on the ridge, not for tanning, but to hear the beating of the sea.
I stayed at the Decameron; transportation from the airport of Cartagena is part of the package they offer, in addition to alcoholic beverages, meals, and some water sports. The place has three giant pools, and the buildings are strategically located near the seashore to offer tourists a view from their room.
There were five days of delight with every detail and activity. The native foods were a reflection of that terrestrial area in which Barú is located. From the traditional cheese & yam soup called mote to the Italian culinary skill of the immigrants who came to stay for several decades in the Caribbean region.
There is plenty to do: snorkeling, jet skiing, water skiing, sailing, surfing, diving, etc. My favorite activity was to go swimming at nightfall and observe the fluorescent luminosity of the phosphorescent plankton, which could not be picked up by the camera lens—or at least not from mine.
Near Barú there are two incredible places that I recommend visiting: Playa Blanca, which can be reached by land or boat, and is a beach located south of the Barú Decameron. There, you can have lunch and play with white sand, then ride either a banana boat or water bike. From the Decameron, transportation is available to Islas del Rosario, but you have to make sure they tell you where you are going and for how long. You may not get back in time for another scheduled activity.
The sea was a little bit choppy while we were in Isla del Rosario and it was a bit frustrating not having anywhere to get on solid ground. In addition, by looking for cheap boat rides, I ended up riding in a boat traveling like a city bus as it stopped in several places to pick up and drop off passengers—awful!
Barú has affordable prices. It's a San Andres Island type of beach, but a little more sophisticated. There is no commerce, but on the seashore vendors still offer beautiful and natural pearls, a lot of shrimp cocktails, the inevitable hair braids, and the massages that the people from Bogota like so much.
One of my pet peeves is that, while the Decameron benefits so much from the area, the road to get to the resort has no pavement and there is too much poverty outside of the resort. One would imagine that the Decameron would want to show a good face to the tourists, but it is not like that. In addition, every time you decide to leave the resort you are asked to sign that it comes at your own risk.
Barú has that magic of the Colombian Caribbean, but still needs government attention. Everything is extraordinary within the hotels. However, when leaving to the area where the locals inhabit, one notices the deterioration of the infrastructure that makes tourists nervous.
While I find a place to be, I will be in the "moon" thinking way too much or in my bed (not thinking at all).