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How Much are Yacht Rentals in Cartagena, Colombia (2024)

And answers to the 5 best questions to ask yourself when searching for private boat tours in Cartagena.


people dancing and having fun on the top of a yacht
How to do a yacht day in Cartagena, Colombia - the right way


This blog post is in response to this question that I got on my This is How Much a Destination Wedding Costs in Cartagena, Colombia blog:


"Hello! I saw your blog about your awesome and very beautiful destination wedding in Cartagena! My fiancé and I are doing the same thing, yay! I was wondering if I could ask you a question regarding the yacht day. I'm struggling finding a boat for the amount of ppl in my group. I was wondering who you rented a yacht with? How many ppl where in your group? How much did it cost you if you don't mind me asking? I would appreciate any help with this and I hope to hear back from you! Thank you so much for your time!!!!!"

I’ll answer all of these questions, from my particular experience renting a private boat tour on a yacht, the day after our wedding in Cartagena, Colombia.


Table of Contents



1) How many people can fit on a yacht?


We found that not everyone in our group wanted to do the yacht day. It was the day after the our wedding and it’s kind of a party scene, so basically none of the parents signed up, and even some other of the “young people” who had kids and just wanted to relax, like our pregnant friend for example, opted to get massages and eat Michelin-start lunches or killer street food instead.  


This was the vibe, which is why my dad didn’t want to go:


girls twerking on a yacht
Cartagena yacht day vibes


We found that the number of people who did want to go was really close to 40 so we just gave a deadline to RSVP and capped it at 40 and it ended up being EXACTLY 40. The day of I think 2-3 people didn’t make it.


When we originally thought we had more than 40 people it seemed like the only option was to split into 2 vessels, which is more expensive and less fun.  So I’m really glad it worked out the way it did, and, if you can, I would consider trying to keep it at 40.


2) What is the best yacht company to see the Rosario Islands of Cartagena?


We looked at a few companies:



white Bona Vida Catamaran sailboat n the ocean
Bona Vida Catamaranes

(direct reco from a friend in Cartagena)



white exterior of Boating Cartagena Catamaran Lagoon yacht
Boating Cartagena Catamaran Lagoon 440, $4,000

on the open water with Cartagena skyline in the background
Boating Cartagena Catamaran $5,000


(direct reco from the same friend in Cartagena)


Girls cheesing and talking inside of of a Boating Miami yacht
Interior of a Boating Miami yacht

(direct reco from an American friend)


Lower back deck of a white yacht
Lower back deck

Lower interior of a yacht with wooden decor
Lower interior

Upper overwater hammock loungers of a Catamaran yacht on the ocean with the Cartagena skyline in the background
Upper overwater hammock loungers



We went with Elite Yachts. The Catamaran Lagoon 52 ft, to be exact. The pictures look dingy but its just bad photography, the boat was great.


I definitely recommend them with one caveat: they had a delay in something (idk what it was) when we got to the harbor and we were waiting to get on the yacht for about 45 minutes.


It was fine, we drank beers and hung out, but in the end that 45 minutes cost us Isla Cholón - our main destination. 


people drinking, partying, and having fun in bikinis in thatched hut cabanas in the water
TripAdvisor gris of Cholón


3) What kind of boat should I choose for a private boat tour in Cartagena?


And what kind of boats exist? What is the difference between a yacht and a sailboat, for example?


According to Ocean Independence:


"The traditional consensus in the yachting world is that, while motor yachts offer a higher level of luxury with more space to relax on board to take in the wonderful destinations you visit, sailing boats are all about the romance of harnessing the wind for blissful voyages."

Basically in Cartagena it's a decision between a speedboat and a catamaran.


Speedboat


white Speedboat in the open water
Elite Yachts Speedboat

Speedboats are smaller, for fewer people, and aren't really a yacht. It's like a nice fishing boat.


Catamaran


Large catamaran with sails, in the green water
Borrowaboat.com Catamaran

If you want a “yacht day” you need a catamaran. Or maybe a sailboat.


Sailboat


sailboat in the ocean behind a palm leaf frame
Exclusive Sailingyacht Privatcharter Sailboat

Sailboats never presented themselves to me as an option in Cartagena and I'm not sure why. If anyone has chartered a sailboat in Colombia I would love to hear about it in the comments.


One thing to consider when choosing a boat is how long it takes to get to where you want to go. For example, a factor in our decision was that our catamaran took 2 hours to get to the Rosario Islands that we wanted to go to, but some can take more like 4 hours.


4) Where to go on a yacht trip from Cartagena?


When you yacht in Cartagena you go to the Rosario Islands.


Isla Grande:


The biggest island, with beach clubs, the Laguna Encantada (“Enchanted Lagoon),” and bioluminescent plankton that you can swim in at night.


Tierra Bomba:


Super close to to Cartagena.


Isla Cholón:


Tiny party island. Has thatched hut cabanas in the water. Our plan was to go to Isla Cholón on the way back from lunch, after we were tipsy and ready to act like we were in our 20s again, but in the end, the captain drove right past it because it was too late and the wind had picked up early. I cried a little bit and my Colombian friends were begging them to stop. 


Isla Fuerte:


More quiet island with lots of nature to visit. Great snorkling.


Isla del Pirata:


Come here for the charm, the fresh seafood, and the views.


Isla San Martín de Pajarales:


This island has an aquarium (Oceanario Aquarium) with live dolphin shows, which sounds incredibly American and unappealing to me.


Barú:


Barú is a hippy place with super cheap (and basic) thatched hotels on the water. It's famous for its beautiful white beaches and for Playa Blanca. You can rent shaded daybeds for like $1. Its a great spot, but pretty overrun with vendors and tourists...


Our destination was lunch at the Aura Hotel in Baru. It was great food, quiet, peaceful....


a spread of seafood tropical lunch dishes on a wooden table
Lunch at the Aura Hotel in Barú $1,035 for 40 people

Great to do group pictures and be able to chat with your friends before you move on to the party places.


Swimming Spots


Between Cartagena and Barú we stopped at a really beautiful spot to jump in the water. 


man jumping into emerald blue ocean off of a boat
Swimming spot in Rosario Islands


girl in clothing in the water
Me, being pretty and loving swimming...



The winds pick up around 3:00-4:00 so Rosario Island trips have to be early. You have to start at 8AM - don’t be later than that, even if you’re still drunk from the night before.


If you end up wanting to stay out after 5:00 PM it costs $400 per hour, for our particular boat and company, but I assume it's a similar price-to-extra ratio for all of them.


5) How much does it cost to do a private boat rental or to rent a yacht in Cartagena, Colombia?


We looked at options as low as $60 pp and as high as $175 pp (with a group between 40-60). In the end, the sweet spot, at the end of the day cost $4,235.04 for a 40-person yacht, which was $105.88 pp.


This includes the price of the yacht ($3,000), lunch at Aura for 40 people ($1,035), and the tip for the yacht crew ($300). 


As far as food and alcohol on the yacht, we had stocked our hotel rooftop with food and booze for 60 people for 3 days for $1,822, and we consumed the last ~$800 of that on the yacht day.   


You need to put 50% down to reserve.


6) Where to eat in Cartagena after a yacht day?


fancy restaurant bar with orange art deco decor and greenery
Baruco by Cuzco


Cartagena is known for its stunningly beautiful restaurants with incredible food at shockingly affordable prices. You can find delicious street food in colonial squares just as easily as you can find a 21-course tasting menu at one of Cartagena's many fine dining restaurants..... read more



 

Hope this is helpful, as always if you have questions or want specific recommendations on yacht rentals, best restaurants, bars, or hotels, in Cartagena, Colombia, put them in the comments and I'll respond to all of them.









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