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“Lovely, relaxing and very filling!”
Review of Hotel Puntanorte

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Hotel Puntanorte
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Isla Tintipan
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 24 December 2013

Like most of the other reviewers, we found Punta Norte to be a beautiful escape on a quiet, mangrove based tropical island. We spent three nights in the Punta del Tia separate bungalow which provided amazing views, privacy and a place to unwind.

Carlos and Carolina were wonderful hosts. Very attuned to what we needed..chatty at times, giving us our space at other times. The boat rides to the various reefs to snorkel or to take a look at Isla Isolte or the funky jellyfish among the mangroves were fun. We especially enjoyed snorkeling with Carmelo who knew where to look for creatures like puffer fish!

As others have mentioned, the actual accommodations are very basic..no fans/ac, a very limited shower facility, and certainly no tv/internet (yeah!) Nice for us, but do know what to expect...and bring a flashlight. Also, there's no "long walks on the beach" from the hotel itself, although they can drop you at a different part of the island that has more land if that's your thing.

And yes, the bugs are dreadfully fierce in the early morning and late afternoon. Our mosquito net was in fine shape, but anywhere outside the cocoon during those times led to some pretty unpleasant biting (our bug repellant wasn't especially effective though we did try). Definitely the biggest downside for us....and we would still go back in a second!

The upsides, however, are many: The water was beautiful. The days were unstructured and were basically arranged on our schedule. That said, if you're a late night person, this probably isn't the place for you. No hassles at all. And as mentioned, the food was delicious....as long as you like seafood, you will enjoy each and every meal. Among other meals, we had crab omelets (homemade bread!), lobster, crab, fresh fish. Yum!

So if you're looking for a simple retreat with great eats, you found your place. Many thanks to the hosts and the staff for a lovely visit.

Room Tip: The Punta del Tia cabana is really special. And they are building another separate cabin as well.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Saya_Senang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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18 - 22 of 67 reviews

Reviewed 26 September 2013

Stayed three nights 9/17-9/20/2013 at Punta Norte: three beautiful nights and four awesome days. Carolina, the owner, was an absolute dream from the moment we stepped off the boat until the moment we left four days later, promising to come back. She and Carlos (her husband, and the other owner, who was not there at the time) have done some amazing things in their lives, and she has a lot of great stories.

The food was great - but you must love seafood. Fresh lobster, fish, octopus, and coconut rice.

We got to Tintipan via the boat to Punta Faro/Mucura, where we also stayed for a few nights. The accomodations are basic - we stayed in the Cabana Punta del Tio and one night was super windy - if you're not used to that kind of noise it might keep you up. The shower pressure leaves something to be desired but enough to rinse off if not to luxuriate under. We snorkeled or scuba dove each day, and Miguel drove us around the island, showed us where his kids were in school on El Islote (the island with the very high population). We stopped seemingly random places that ended up being awesome snorkel spots to drift above reefs, went fishing, and laid on beaches all over the island. We also drove the swampy/mangrove part of the island. Carolina, along with Miguel & MariaElena, took care of our every need. One day I was feeling sick and it was like a four-alarm fire: I was drinking concoctions make my MariaElena (actually the very best thing I have ever had for a sore throat) and Carolina was on the phone confirming which, if any, medicine I might need. Don't come here for fancy accomodations, come her to turn off your phone, pull out a book, eat well, get to know the other guests, the owners, and staff, and to spend your days doing whatever you'd like - laying in one of the many hammocks or exploring the ocean.

Room Tip: Cabana Punta del Tio is separate from all other rooms, has its own deck facing north, and a patio sp...
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Bobbi-Jo D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2013

My girlfriend and I spent 3 nights here at the end of December 2012. We were looking for something off the beaten path, remote, beautiful, and authentic. Very little information was available about Hotel Puntanorte prior to us booking, but the photos that we did see were enough to convince us that this place was what we were looking for.

Indeed, Puntanorte delivered the type of getaway we desired. Let it be known, this is not a luxurious hotel by any means, in fact using the word "hotel" is a stretch. It's best described as an ecolodge, with the cabana that we stayed in ("Punta de Tio") made of primitive materials and the "bathroom" needing water refilled via by hand almost daily. Having said that, Carlos and Carolina (the owners) are meticulous in their upkeep of the premises. Any minor problems we had were immediately addressed by Carlos and his staff.

The natural beauty of Tintipan is immense. Everything you'd imagine in a remote tropical paradise is there, clear water, beautiful beaches (although the best beaches were on a different section of the island, more on that later), and abundant sunshine. Carlos owns a boat, and ensures that his guests are given free rides throughout the neighboring island, at your leisure. This was one of the most enjoyable aspects for me, taking day excursions cruising around the islands, spending hours at some of the most beautiful beaches I had ever visited. Chico, our "captain" would give us a selection of islands/beaches to go, and we'd choose depending on our mood. One day we felt like drinking beer at a remote beach with the most incredibly soft white sand and blue water. The next, we wanted to visit Santa Cruz del Islote, the world's most inhabited island (a must see by the way). Everything was arranged simply by asking Carlos in the morning.

The food was another highlight - everything was freshly prepared morning, day, and night. Carlos and Carolina keep track of what their guests eat, making sure that lunch and dinner is always different. The seafood was literally pulled out of the water and served to you the same day. Trust me, you will be very satisfied. I definitely gained some weight with all of the beer (as many as you can drink!) and fresh food.

At night, the guests would hang out in the central area, drinking beer and socializing for hours. Obviously, your mileage may vary in terms of who else is staying at the time, but we had a blast, making good friends that we still keep in touch with. Carlos and Carolina stayed up with the guests in the evening, and we became good friends in no time. They are very, very warm people with rich life experiences that draw you to them.

My only complaint is that the bugs can be quite intense during the night and in the morning. It's just part of the ecolodge experience, and the annoyance is mitigated by the provided mosquito nets. However, I encourage you to bring a [--] of the strongest bug spray/repellent you can get your hands on in Tolu, it is not provided and you will need it!! Also, 2 out of the 3 nights were hot as balls to sleep in. As the other reviewer mentioned, there's definitely no a/c or fans here. This slight annoyance can be mitigated by either drinking heavily, or taking leisurely daytime naps in the shade. Or both.

Bottom line, if you're halfway adventurous and value natural, undeveloped beauty, you'll love this place. If you're into posh super luxury, you probably haven't even made it to this part of the review. We made great memories here, and hope to come back one day in the future.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Harry G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2012

There's very little info on this place. It seems everyone that comes here is usually recommended by someone they know. I found it my going to google maps and looking up other islands besides the Rosarios.


This little slice of paradise is on an island called Isla Tintipan. It is a part of the San Bernardos Islands off the caribbean coast of Colombia. It is a bit of work to get there. You can get there via Tolu from a tour boat or the way I came was via Cartagena. I had to take a Brasilia Express bus to San Onofre which was about an hour and a half. Then a mototaxi from San Onofre to a coastal town called Rincon del Mar and finally a boat to take me to the island which Carlos the owner can arrange.

Hotel Puntanorte is an eco hotel and the island is not really that developed so you will need to keep this in mind when you go. In other words it will be a bit like roughing it. There are no ceiling fans and definitely no AC to stave off the heat at night. Electricity in my room was powered by battery. In the main house I believe the electricity is run on solar power. The jejenes or sand fleas are brutal so it is imperative that you take a LOT of repellent and make it strong and any allergy medicine you may need. Bring a pair of long pants and long sleeve shirts as well. They subside when there's a breeze during the late morning/afternoons and Carlos and Carolina make sure to light fires to deter them with smoke in the morning for breakfast.

For all of these things, however, you will be handsomely rewarded by having a really beautiful cabana right over the water that they call Punta del Tio. It is almost like a hut on stilts. Carolina is an artists and you can really see her colorful touches throughout the property.There are 2 daybeds on both sides of the room and a bed in the middle with a mosquito net. The shower is small and there's no hot water (again it is REALLY eco). The toilet sits in a corner and is shaded from public view by overhanging palm fronds from the roof of the cabana and a small sink.

You will have your own balcony looking out to the endless sea and the horizon with lovely sunsets. If you look down from your balcony you will see several star fish in clear emerald water and watch as pelicans nose dive into the sea for fish. You will also see fish skip across the surface of the water. You can view all this from the two rocking chairs on the balcony or from the hammock that hangs just inside the cabana before getting to the balcony. There are rocking chairs and hammocks underneath the cabana as well. This is a place to completely relax and quite frankly to get away from it all. There are other rooms on the property as well, but really try to aim for the Punta del Tio cabana. A smile will come across your face as soon as you see it.

Carlos and Carolina made fantastic meals and it was a real bargain as drinks (including beer) and all meals were included in the price. It goes without saying you will have the freshest seafood every day and they don't skimp..you will get fat by the end of the stay. :D Boat day trips to the other islands were included as well in the price.

Carlos and Ana are so incredibly nice and after a bit they felt like family to me. They both speak english, not super fluently but good enough. We would have some really nice conversations at dinner time. They have some great stories of how they met and how they came to be on the island. Dyro (?) and Mariana who assist them on the property are also really nice. Dyro drives the boat so you will see a lot of him.

Knowing what I know now I will probably return when I need to forget the world again. Hopefully this has been helpful and if you decide to go for it, have a happy journey!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled solo
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9  Thank sologrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Google Translation

Room Tip: las habitaciones están junto al mar, así que cualquiera es buena
  • Stayed: December 2016, travelled as a couple
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Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Puntanorte

Address: Tintipan Island, 57, Colombia
Region: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Archipelago of San Bernardo > Isla Tintipan
Amenities:
Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Isla Tintipan
Price Range: RM356 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is a wonderful place and green, with the best meal of the archipelago of San Bernardo, a place to rest and enjoy the most beautiful marine landscapes! Do not miss it! ... more   less 

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