Review: Hotel Punta Faro, Colombia

Hotel Punta Faro is a small beach resort located on Isla Mucura, about a 2.5 hour boat ride away from Cartagena. There are about 45 rooms on the property and there is a minimum 2 night stay requirement. As for the food, it’s all inclusive/full-board; 3 buffet-style meals per day are provided. In addition, the hotel has a no music rule to maintain a peaceful and calm setting to relax and enjoy nature.

View of the resort from the boat

We spent 2 nights at Hotel Punta Faro in May during our trip to Colombia and share details about our stay in this post to help you decide if you want to stay here.

Location: 16/20

Hotel Punta Faro is located on Isla Mucura, a small island in Colombia’s Caribbean region. The resort is only accessible via speedboat from Cartagena. The speedboat ride takes about 2.5 hours and it is over open ocean. On our way to the resort, the boat ride took a little over 3 hours due to rough ocean conditions that made the trip a little scary to be honest. We were expecting some bumps but this was much more intense than that and we arrived to the resort completely soaked and happy to be getting off the boat. Thankfully, the return trip was much better and more pleasant. The setting is very peaceful and when you come to Hotel Punta Faro, it’s to relax and enjoy being there.

Please note that there are limits on how much luggage you can bring due to limited space on the boat. Please see the hotel website for more information.

The boat

Bed & Sleep Quality: 18/20

Our bed was comfortable and we slept well. We stayed in a Suite with Sea View and the room was either soundproofed well or the other guests were very quiet as we did not hear any noise. We also had a nice view of the sunrise each morning. There was a nice breeze but we had to sleep with the door closed as there was no screens and no ceiling fan.

Room and room amenities: 18/20

We stayed in a Suite with Seaview. The room had a king bed, a mini-fridge, safe, a nice deck with lounge chairs, a hammock, and a table and chairs with a view of the ocean. The room had a cottage feel to it but was very comfortable and styled to be rustic. Two bottles of water were provided on arrival but not replenished daily. Daily housekeeping was also offered and very efficient and impeccable. There is also no television in the room which is nice and the bed faces out towards the view.

Bathroom: 7/10

The bathroom was basic but clean: the toilet was in a separate room, the sink in a separate area and the shower was outdoors. The outdoor shower with a view of the ocean was a nice feature. They also provided L’Occitane toiletries which were great but a local option would have been nice too.

Hotel public areas and amenities: 7/10

The resort is very laid back and casual and appeals to couples, families, and large groups traveling together. We met people from the UK, Spain, USA, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and France.

There are no room keys and since it is all-inclusive, you don’t need to walk around with cash (you can leave a tip at checkout in a box). There is ample space for relaxing on the property and at the beach; everything is first come first serve and so you don’t have to book cabanas, etc. The wifi is spotty but works and it is nice to not have access to the internet on the beach to disconnect.

There is no pool but the beach is very nice and the water is very calm, perfect for swimming. There also water activities for a small fee: kayaks, stand-up paddlebords, snorkel gear, etc. The hotel also has other activities, like diving, bike tours of the island, a boat trip to other islands, a catamaran tour, and tennis. There is also a spa on site.

The resort is also dedicated to the local community by hiring locals and offering training opportunities. Many of the employees do not speak English and so you should know some Spanish but there is a translator on site as well.

The hotel also has a conservation project onsite to help preserve the sea turtle population and re-educate the local residents who used to depend on the sea turtles as a food source. There is staff dedicated to the sea turtles and you can watch them swim as well.

The hotel offers full board meals; 3 meals per day and non-alcoholic beverages during meal times. It is all buffet and things change daily but some things are similar. Breakfast is more or less the same per day: cold and hot options like fruit, cold cuts, cheese, pancakes, waffles, pastries, plantains, rice and beans, eggs, etc. Lunch also has hot and cold options: there is always a soup and usually a meat or chicken option, fish, rice and beans, salad, and a dessert option. Dinner is similar to lunch: there is always a soup, a meat or chicken option, fish, rice and beans, salad, and a dessert option. Dinner was nice as they change the location each night and light candles. Meals are always outside and homemade.

Overall, the food was adequate, good quality, and prepared with care in the kitchen. As people who like to travel and experience food, we managed our expectations about the food served at Hotel Punta Faro as it is located in a remote setting and supplies need to be brought in by boat. The soups were delicious and a good way to minimize food waste but we understand why some people may have not appreciated them as soup is not what you normally expect to eat in very warm weather. For the record, Max loved the soups!

As for drinks, the hotel offered a daily happy hour for cocktails and we enjoyed them very much. The price of drinks was very reasonable for a resort on a small remote island.

Service and staff: 8/10

Overall, the staff were friendly and helpful: the service met our expectations and requirements. The boat ride was probably the worst thing as we had no idea what to expect and since we arrived late and soaked, we almost missed lunch. As mentioned, most of the staff did not speak English but they were very patient with our limited Spanish.

Overall Value: 8/10

Hotel Punta Faro is not cheap but the prices are reasonable for what you are getting. The boat ride is included as are the meals: some other hotels charge for the boat ride and the hotel restaurants/bars can get expensive.  We had a resort experience without all the things that annoy us about resorts: no DJs and pool scene, no reserving and paying for beach chairs, and tipping was done at the end (was really nice to not have to carry cash around everywhere).

We are very happy we chose Hotel Punta Faro after having a tough time deciding between 3 other properties: Blue Apple Beach, Sofitel Baru Calablanca, and Hotel Las Islas. We ruled out the Sofitel due to the negative reviews and Hotel Las Islas due to the cost. In the end, it was really difficult to choose between Punta Faro and Blue Apple but Punta Faro was the better choice for us. We totally respect what Blue Apple is doing for the Tierra Bomba community and think their accommodations look very nice but the party scene is not for us and thankfully, they are upfront about that. The nicer beach, no party scene or loud music, and no day pass guests made it worth spending an extra hour in a boat to get to Hotel Punta Faro. In the end, we supported one of two local companies with social and ecological values that care about their community.

We really enjoyed our 2 nights at Hotel Punta Faro after spending 3 nights in the mesmerizing heat and energy of Cartagena. We had such a memorable and relaxing experience and appreciated how easy it was to disconnect from the world here: it was worth the effort and addition to our itinerary (…despite the boatride to get here!). We do regret not going to visit Santa Cruz del Islote, the island we saw in the distance which happens to be the world’s most densely populated island!  

Overall: 82/100

Would weleavetoday to go back? NO as we would like to visit other destinations in Colombia, like Santa Marta.

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