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Casa en el Agua - San Bernardo Islands - Colombia


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Casa en el Agua - San Bernardo Islands - Colombia


 

A Eco-Hostel in the middle of the Caribbean ocean of the Colombian coast.

Discovering unique places can change your trip.. Profoundly. We believe the Casa is such a place. We’re talking a solar-powered, eco-friendly backpackers hostel run by our cheerful, local crew. The hostel sits among the San Bernardo Islands, just two hours by boat from Cartagena. The Casa - a former holiday home owned by a Colombian family - is a 23-year old wooden house built on a concrete foundation under the sea water. Over time, coral formed on the foundations, much to our delight, as colorful sea life can now be viewed whilst you’re chilling in your hammock.

As you will be vacay-ing on a secluded, private island, you and your fellow travelers, determine the hostel vibe. It is you and your temporary family who decide whether to detox, unleash your inner yogi and enjoy the serene environment, or crank up the volume and get the drinks flowing. Whatever your choice may be, we dare to say we offer the best hangover cure in South America: a bed-to-ocean dive from the first floor deck into clear Caribbean waters. If that doesn’t cure things, your other option is to find yourself a hammock & enjoy a refreshing cocktail from our ‘Bar en el Agua’. 

 
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ACCOMODATION


a Million star Accomodation

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ACCOMODATION


a Million star Accomodation

 

Includes the essentials: breakfast (fresh fruits, eggs, toast & cereal), bottomless coffee, drinking water, bed linen.

In addition we offer lockers for all our guests.  

It’s important to note, in fact we must stress, that we are an eco-friendly hostel situated in a national park. So for the sake of Mother Earth and so that you know what to expect upon arrival, please read these links for information regarding our famous bucket-shower and amusing toilet. Read more >

Some items you need to bring yourself: (bathing) towel, sunscreen (you’re in the middle of the sea and the sun is relentless), bug repellent.

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Restaurant


Bar & Restaurant

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Restaurant


Bar & Restaurant

RESTAURANT

Yes, you may bring your own food, however due to limited space guests cannot use the kitchen nor the fridge. But why eat your highly processed, nutrient-free, highly artificial instant noodles when you can treat yourself daily to freshly caught seafood.. making your hair shine & skin glow?!

The fisherman's from Islote (island close to the Casa) bring daily fresh cod fishes, lobsters, octopus, caracoles, and many more... Vega? No problem just tell the staff while you sign up for your meal!

We try and accommodate all dietary requirements to the best of our ability but due to the fact we are a house in the middle of the ocean there is a lot of shell fish served, so anyone with allergies please take this into consideration. 

$15.000     EXTRA BREAKFAST

Hungover and need more?

 

$25.000     LUNCH & DINNER

Freshest catch of the day

 

$20.000     VEGETARIAN

Daily veggy option

$60.000     LOBSTER

Prize per x pound

 

$35.000     CEVICHE

Lobster, octopus, fish

 

$40.000     CEVICHE MIX

Freshest catch of the day

 

BAR EN EL AGUA

We have an amazing bar, the ‘Bar en el Agua’, where our staff create delicious, refreshing cocktails. If you don’t like Piña Coladas (or getting caught in the rain) or prefer not to drink at all, we serve cold beers and fresh juices too.

We don’t encourage guests to BYO booze, but if you do be prepared to share… Your fine 12 year old Macallan whiskey will be divided amongst 25 guests until the very last drop.

 

$20.000     COCKTAILS

Coco loco, Pina Colada, etc.

 

$15.000      MIXES

Gin tonic, Vodka ginger, etc.

 

$12.000     CUBA LIBRE

Rum and Coke

$6.000      CLUB COLOMBIA

Colombian beer

 

$5.000      AGUILA

Colombian beer

 

$6.000      NON ALCOHOLIC

Coconut of juices

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What to do


What to do

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What to do


What to do

THERE'S LOTS TO SEE & DO AROUND THE CASA

Whether you’re a modern day Sporty Spice or just a regular guy with a mild case of tanorexia.. The Casa & its waters will woo you.

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Plankton tour

$40.000 cop 

Interested in nature and the extraordinary things in life? Don’t mind taking a dip in the dark? We highly recommend joining us for our plankton tour. ‘Plankton tour.. say whaaat?’ Well, we go by boat, and as soon as we hit the mangroves, the water starts to glow due to these wonderful bioluminescent little creatures. By the time you jump in, you’ll be surrounded by glittering, glimmering simply gleaming critters! Or as some of our guests describe it, “underwater fairy dust”. We provide snorkel equipment for this tour.

Pro Tip: Dive down a few meters and start tumble-turning, you will put the luminescent little creatures into a magical tail spin and your audience will love you.

Snorkeling

1H = $10.000 cop  3H = $15:000

Since we are surrounded by clear Caribbean waters snorkeling is a must do - if exploring life under the sea is your thing. Obviously you can stay close to the Casa and explore the world below the surface nearby. However, if you swim a little further into the mangrove forest you can see very different types of sea life, hiding out between the roots of the mangrove trees.

Additionally, we can take you close to “Maravilla Island” a 30 minute boat ride from the Casa and you can snorkel these waters too. This will give you a more colorful experience.

Islote

$10.000 cop 

Officially named: “Santa Cruz del Islote”, this is the most densely populated island on earth - legit guys - it’s in the Guinness Book of Records. It’s so crowded (1,200+ people living on 100,391 km2) that the inhabitants now use surrounding islands as a cemetery and recreation grounds. The people of Islote are tightly packed in, nevertheless, it is a tranquil piece of earth. At least until they throw a festival.. this community really knows how to party. We drop you off by boat so you can explore the island for an hour or two - the timing & duration of your visit is up to you. We recommend late afternoon to get a good feel for the community and the local people.

 
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Day at the beach

$25.000 cop 

If you find yourself getting a case of Casa cabin fever we’d love to take you to Tintipan beach. Come stretch your legs and feel soft white sand between your toes. Relax on this picturesque postcard-worthy beach where you can enjoy a full day of fun in the sun, complete with a Margarita or two.

SUP board / Kayak

1H = $20.000 cop 3H = $50.000

SUP-ing, or Stand Up Paddle-boarding: Some argue it looks lame. Some would say it’s for those who can’t surf. We disagree with both sentiments! Call it what you will, it originally originated in Hawaii as an offshoot of surfing, its good fun and is a damn good workout too. The Casa is a great spot for an afternoon of SUP, glide peacefully across the sea while working your abs, legs, butt & arms, improving your core stability AND building that tan! One minor thing though 

Kayaking: Paddle solo or with friends over to Islote where you can explore this densely populated little piece of earth. Again, check the wind!

Diving

2 x $240.000 cop 

Juan will be your experienced dive instructor. He's been diving for over 8 years and is a former Marine in the Colombian Marine Corps. Below are brief details on what the courses entail, however, please contact us beforehand or at the reception in the Casa for further information.

NOTE: please contact us at least one week in advance if you want to sign up for either the Rescue Course or the Divemaster Program. And keep in mind that there should be a minimum of 24 hours between your last dive and your flight.

Read more

 

Be creative!

Bring some paper, paint, pencils etc. and get inspired by the environment! 

Read a book!

Jump in a hammock with a book (or e-reader)! We have some books available but always good to bring your favourite!

Floaties

Chill out in the floaties with a drink. We mostly have some in the Casa, but feel free to bring your own.

 

Kite king?

It can be very windy from November till May. So if you are a pro, have your own gear and think that you can beat the reef? GO!

Firefly Squid

Regularly after sundown we have some lovely squid flirting around. Sit down at the edge of the house and watch the incredible light show!

Jump!

Back-flip-bomb-dive-king and want to impress the chica's? Jump from the platform at the 1st floor. Tip: don't break your neck! 

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How to get there


How to get there

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How to get there


How to get there

 

There are 3 easy options to get to the Casa. Take your pick!

 
 
1: The fastest and most convenient way! The Tranq it Easy is our sister company. Our boat captains deliver you safely to the Casa, or back to Cartagena aboard our 230 horsepower speed boat. The journey is about 2 hours each way. 

1: The fastest and most convenient way!

The Tranq it Easy is our sister company. Our boat captains deliver you safely to the Casa, or back to Cartagena aboard our 230 horsepower speed boat. The journey is about 2 hours each way. 

 
 
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Don’t mind taking it a little slower, take the land route!

NOTE: Casa en el Agua is not affiliated with the below transportation companies. The use of their services is at your own risk. In addition, the presented prices can fluctuate depending on the season and your bargaining skills. Finally, both the itineraries are based on Cartagena being your point of departure.

2Tolu

From the old town city center, take a taxi (approx. $20.000, 45min) to 'Terminal de Transportes de Cartagena' (main bus terminal). From there you take a bus to 'Tolu' (approx. $25.000, 2,5 hrs). Once you've arrives in Tolu, go to the Marine an ask for the boat service to the Casa, Isla Tintipan. The scheduled boat service (approx. $35.000) runs daily at 8am. So be on time! There are no buses from Cartagena in the early morning to Tolu, therefore you might want to book a hostel (approx. $30.000). Bear in mind, if you're with a large group, they use different boat sizes and therefore capacity is limited. Boats from the Casa to Tolu leave daily around 2 pm and you'll de in Cartagena around 8 pm.

Total: (approx. $100.000)

3Rincon del Mar

From the old town city center take a taxi (approx. $20.000, 45 minutes) to the ‘Terminal de Transportes de Cartagena’ (main bus terminal). From there you take a bus to ‘San Onofre’ (approx. $25.000, 2 hrs). Next, get on the back of a bike or so called ‘moto taxi’ (approx. $10.000, 30 min) that will bring you to Rincon del Mar. Finally, you have to hire an entire boat at Rincon del Mar that will bring you to the Casa (approx. $150.000 for one boat suitable for 6 persons, 45 min). So if you’re just with the 2 of you then you still have to pay the same price. Prices may vary depending on the size of the boat, the amount of horsepower and if the boat captain takes a liking to you! These boats operate between 6 m and 2pm.  

Total: (approx. $70.000) by 6 persons

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Reservations


Reservations

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Reservations


Reservations

Searching Availability...

We only take reservations for one month in advanced!

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Eco friendly


eCO FRIENDLY

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Eco friendly


eCO FRIENDLY

Our lovely wooden house...

...sits in the San Bernardo National park, smack bang in the middle of glorious mother nature., therefore we’re constantly seeking new ways to reduce our footprint. We ask that you, as our guest, help us maintain our little slice of paradise. Below we briefly explain the different ways we are minimizing any potential negative impact on the beautiful ecosystem around us. In addition, some details on what to expect regarding our bathroom facilities.  

 

TOILETS Many guests laugh the first time they visit the Ladies or the Gents. Why the amusement? Well here at the Casa, number 1s and number 2s are managed differently. Number 1s are filtered in a tank under the house, breaks down fast and is then swallowed up by the big blue sea. Number 2s on the other hand contain phosphor. Yes, even the floral lady ones made up of unicorns and fairy dust. Phosphor isn’t popular with the big blue and its inhabitants, therefore, we collect your creations in a big tank and take it to Tintipan Island. There we have space for compost. This system doesn’t flush the conventional way so we ask you to throw some chalk and saw dust mixture into the tank once you’re done. Chalk has a ‘drying’ effect and in combination with phosphor encourages plant growth.  The saw dust is simply there to protect your nose and creates a nicer environment.   

BUCKET SHOWERS Now who doesn’t love the feeling of fresh water running over their sun kissed skin after a long warm day in the sun? At Tintipan Island we have two water tanks holding up to 100,000 liters of clean rainwater. Although this may sound like a lot of H2O, it’s unfortunately not. The Casa uses about a 1000 liters daily, which is brought over in jerry cans on a boat each morning and evening. Our shower is not a normal shower but a bucket shower.. Just like the good ‘ol days! (It does add to the Robinson Crusoe feeling though). As this precious water is limited, we ask guests to please only take evening showers.  During the day you can wash your hands but please conserve where possible. We understand the temptation to grab a bucket in between dives, get back that silky hair feeling right?!. But we hope you can resist. 

SOLAR ENERGY Our energy is derived from solar systems on the roof of the Casa and the ‘deck’. Generally, the sun shines strong enough to provide enough energy throughout the day and keep your beers cold.  We obviously rely heavily on the weather, therefore, at times we may offer you a romantic candlelit. Yes, we do have a backup generator but this is only used for essentials such as keeping the daily catch fresh and edible. And at times the mood calls for it, we’ll use this back-up energy to give our sound system a run.

TRASH We try to separate our trash as much as possible. Glass, plastic, organic and others. Please help us in doing so. In addition, we encourage our guests to take their trash with them back to the mainland to dispose of it.

LOCAL COMMUNITY We are proud of our friendly, cheerful and hardworking local staff. Almost the entire crew lives with their families on the Island of Islote, with a few others coming from the mainland. Casa en el Agua has created employment opportunities for the local people, creating a positive effect on their lives with particular reference to wealth and access to healthcare. We aim to educate them about conservation in their environment, for example, how to preserve sea life. Additionally, while on our small island they are exposed to and educated about different cultures - this is something ourselves and fellow travelers agree is extremely valuable. 

NATIONAL PARK The official name of the National Park is the: “Parque nacional natural Corales del Rosario y de San Bernardo”. No we won’t judge if you cannot recall this somewhat extensive name, even we still struggle memorizing it. The park was established in 1977 and covers 1,200 square kilometers. The park holds the most extensive, diverse and developed coral reef in the entire Colombian Caribbean continental coastline. Most is underwater, so the park aims mainly to protect marine ecosystems & coral reefs - these are living in depths of up (or down!) to 30 meters. The park is home to 170 species of fish, 52 corals and 25 sponges in a stunning rainbow of colors. The flora is characterized by mangroves and seagrass beds.

We sometimes (spontaneously) organize ‘cleaning the reef’ activity around the Casa, Tintipan and Mucura islands. What does this entail? It’s quite simple.. jump on into the clear Caribbean waters, snorkel equipment and a (big) bag in toe, to collect plastic, glass and other rubbish. Even if you’re just heading out for a little snorkel off the Casa, don't hesitate to do a little trash collection of your own, the ocean will love you and good karma will be coming your way! 

 

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tips


Inside knowledge

Flip your screen and what do you see? 
We live in the middle of a 'seahorse'

 

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tips


Inside knowledge

Flip your screen and what do you see? 
We live in the middle of a 'seahorse'