Pros - stunning location on a spit at the northernmost point of Tintipan island. The water is turquoise blue and when you get off the boat here you feel like you've been marooned on a desert island. This is an ideal spot to relax and get away from it all. Carlos is a very welcoming host and makes some really good home cooked food. He was also fantastically tolerant of our poor Spanish as he speaks pretty good English. The "on land" and online (via Facebook) service provided by Fredy was super, again our lack of Spanish meant that we were struggling to work out arrangements for getting to and from Tintipan. Fredy was really helpful at sorting this out for us.
Cons - At $440k (£120/€140/$150US) per night (including 3x meals per day) for two people staying here and additional for getting to and from the island, mean that this isn't cheap by Colombian standards and as a consequence I would have expected more for my money. We didn't come to Puntanorte expecting 5 star luxury but the rooms are in serious need of a refresh. They desperately need a lick of paint and/or new furniture. From a service point of view it was slightly disappointing that nobody came to remake and clean the room during our stay. It was also disappointing that there was no offer made of trips for snorkelling or swimming elsewhere. This was never presented to us as an option so we didn't really feel we could ask. Finally, and perhaps most irritatingly, the website states that soft drinks are included in the price. This isn't the case in reality and we were charged for this. As there was no signal or wifi on the island I didn't have this information at my disposal when we visited to point it out to Carlos but since leaving we have reviewed this and feel that we shouldn't have been charged. These weren't expensive but, this and the other bits and pieces mentioned above did leave a sour taste in the month and me feeling a little ripped off.
Overall - I would recommend to others for the experience of staying here but I would make it clear not to expect luxury accommodation. This is basic hostel standard accommodation in a stunning location charged at a high price. Other options in the area include an actual hostel and luxury hotels so I guess Carlos is playing it down the middle price wise relative to the local market. I probably wouldn't visit again but I'm pleased that I came. Could be significantly better value for money.
Top tips - if possible try to take a trip to Tintipan from Rincon or Cartagena. We travelled to the island from Tolu which is a bit of a dump and really not worth visiting. Make sure you take all the cash you need. Make sure you take water shoes as it's pretty spiky under foot due to coral.
- 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