|Minimum Stay||2 nights|
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Sal de Mar is a large, breezy, thatch-roofed beach house constructed by local artisans, nestled between the Caribean Ocean and the Mangrove wetlands.
Downstairs you will find a dining room, a large salon for hammocks, an open kitchen and caretaker's room, toilet and 2 (two) showers (one indoors and one outdoors).
The upstairs area sleeps 10 (ten) guests comfortably in its 3 (three) large bedrooms. In addition to this you will enjoy wide hallways and 2 (two) decks. You will be amazed by views of the Caribbean Sea, white sandy beaches and plenty of coconut trees from the front balcony and mangrove forests and wetlands from the back balcony.
The house is located in the area of San Bernardo del Viento Archipelago on a secluded beach in coastal Colombia (Departamento del Sucre) and can be accessed from Cartagena by public transportation, a 2 h 30 m ride to the nearest village, Rincon del Mar, followed by a 20 (twenty) minute boat ride. Geographically, it is in the area of the Islas de San Bernardo del Viento, the southern most tip of the Parque Nacional Islas del Rosario. The 7 (seven) islands, known for their natural beauty and flour-like sands are surrounded by coral reefs. Some of the natural atractions are:
Santa Cruz del Islote, is a mere square mile in size and features the highest population density in the world. It has been said about this tiny island that 'people sleep so close together that they dream the same'. Cabruna Island, just in front of the house, is a bird sanctuary. Tintipan Island, the largest one, features several 'cienagas' inside it. Mangles Island has one of the best coral formations. Palma Island where you can see dolphins as you pass by.
Come and enjoy a vacation like no other where you will live among the natural elements without the hassles of modern life, still with all the comforts that you would want.
We wanted sun, sand, warm water and a simpler life away from the hustle and bustle of city/work life and this is exactly what we got! We swam, walked, exercised, did yoga, read, listened to music and did not use our phones! :)
It was just the two of us and the extra space was just what we needed to unwind. The house is beautiful and inviting – the décor and furniture are very nice. Nubia, the housekeeper & cook was amazing. At first we didn’t want her to cook because of our specific dietary needs and she didn’t speak English nor did we speak Spanish. But she watched us prepare food and soon understood our needs and simply took over and made us the best fresh fish and shrimp. Her husband also kept the beach clean and got us coconuts whenever we asked. The neighbours on either side were also very inviting and friendly. We went out on the boat with a family vacationing from Argentina and went snorkeling – best day ever!
The days were great but we did struggle with the humidity at night a bit and took us a few nights to figure out what worked best for us – sleeping with clothes on (because of the bugs and the stickiness) and keeping the fans cranked.
The bird wildlife is amazing! Since the house backs onto a mangrove, which you can kayak in, we saw an array of birds and at sunset watching the bird island/sanctuary as the birds hover and settle for the night was beautiful.
Teresita and Alberto were very good at communicating and helped us whenever they could. They took great care in making sure we had a good time at Sal de Mar. Highly recommend this place and would return again.
some facts about the property that need to be changed in order to make it a "paradise":
- the property does not have an emergency backup generator! We were out of electricity for 30 hours, no light, no fridge, and as the pump did not work we also had no water for the shower and the toilet flush!!
- toilets seats and lits are rotten and unsanitary
- double bed mattrass needs to be changed
- during a thunder storm with heavy rain, we got wet in the bed
-would not recommend to go there in the July/August - too many bugs and rain
- additional hammocks or deck chairs for the beach would be nice
- car transfer price arrangements confirmed per mail by the owner were not adhered to on the way back, so we had to pay more.
We reserved this property from the July 6-10th for 2 families with 4 adults and 4 kids. The home is in a very remote area accessible by a 20 minute boat and a 2 hour drive from Cartagena. On the night of Tuesday the 7th we got hit with a bad storm that knocked the power out. The house is not equipped with any type of generator, there were no candles and 2 tiny flashlights. We awoke Wednesday morning to NO power which means NO showers, NO running water and NO toilets. The housekeeper and the grounds keeper (owner's brother) both stated that when the power goes out you NEVER know when it will come back. We decided to go ahead with our excursion of the neighboring islands as planned in hopes that when we returned the power would be back. No such luck we came back around 2 and no power. The food in the refrigerator would soon begin to spoil. We had to get buckets of water to be able to use the one toilet and to shower. We made the decision to leave Thursday morning instead of Friday. A couple of reasons why #1 we were 2 hours away from Cartagena with no transportation the driver we hired had to come to get us, there were 8 of us so it's not like we can just call a cab #2 we had to arrange a boat to the town from the house #3 we had 4 kids whose safety and well being was a priority to us #4 leaving would mean making arrangements for an additional night in Cartagena #5 NO power is NO fun. In spite of making this decision we still had to spend Wednesday night there since there was no way for us to leave that day. Late Wednesday night some of the power came back but early Thursday morning before we left the power went back out again. Upon our return we notified the owners which we knew they must of been aware of already. We asked to be reimbursed for the night of the 9th which was the night we did not spend there and they responded with "you can cancel your trip up to 30 days before your arrival and your money will be refunded. Once you pay the total amount (half at reservation and half 2 weeks before arrival), there are no refunds" leaving because your property has NO POWER does NOT constitute a cancellation. We did file a complaint with HomeAway. Beware of pricing for excursions and services, what the owner quoted and what the locals wanted were at opposite ends. Other than sitting enjoying the beach there are no activities for the kids, no fishing rods, no boards, no canoes, board games they will eventually get bored.
Sal del Mar is what we expected. We wanted a place to unwind and relax. We can say mission accomplished. We were a party of 10 ( 8 adults and 2 children). We stayed at Sal del Mar for 6 days. The owners are very good at answering any questions we had and they always responded in a prompt manner. We enjoyed delicious meals made by Ciri the new cook. She made us arepa de huevo for breakfast and any special request we had she made it happen. We were there during the off season, therefore we did not have the fisherman coming to the house every day, but with the help of Ciri and Jader (He was the person, who took us to the house from Rincon Del Mar) we had fresh seafood everyday (lobster, prawns, shrimps, octopus, red snapper etc). Rodrigo the new groundskeeper spoiled our daughter with fresh coconut water every day. He also played soccer and beach volleyball with us. There were local kids on the beach, who were friendly and spent time with our daughter so she got to practice Spanish.
We walked the beach every day. You can actually walk to Rincon del Mar. It is about one hour each way. We were swimming every day and also went with Jader to different islands as well as snorkeling. We had never snorkeled in a mangrove and it was beautiful. We had lobster ceviche while visiting Titipan Island and it was exellent. The mangroves behind the house were rather dry and this caused a lot of mosquitos. We used the mosquito nets but still got bitten. It was very nice though falling asleep listening to the waves and having the natural breeze.
These are the reasons we did not give 5 stars to Sal del Mar:
- The water tank of one of the toilets broke so in order to flush the toilet we needed to use a bucket with water. This was a bit of a nuisance.
- We had bought groceries in Cartagena, but we needed to pay Rodrigo for some food he had bought before we came. This was rather unexpected for us.
- There is no drinking water at the house, so it is easier to underestimate how much water you would need.
We will recommend this place if you like to be away of touristic places and surrounded by nature.
We stayed at San Lazaro Art Lifestyle hotel in Cartagena. They found us a cheaper transfer service to Rincon Del Mar. The service was outstanding.
Jader, owner of La Cubana boat, provides excellent service. I found the prices for the snorkeling and trip to the islands reasonable. He also can bring you food suplies.
Sal de Mar (Sea Salt) is the name of the house we stayed in twice in 2013. It is Paradise.
The character of this vacation home is open, breezy, fresh. You feel like you are one with nature. Yet, it has enough comforts to make the experience very enjoyable. The details in the decorations inside the house (the ceiling, the mosquito nets jems, the windchimes, the paintings, the wooden bateas, the sea shells lining the floor in the shower and sinks), and also outside of the house (the wooden sculptures on the beach, the flowers) show the love and the good taste that the owners must have for this place. The hammocks entice you to rest. The beach invites you to see the sun set. This mood made all our group romantic.
We were a group of 5 adults, a six-year-old and a three-year-old. The setting, with the sand and ocean a few steps away from the house, is perfect for kids. It is very relaxing for adults as well. There is absolute peace in this remote part of the world. The only commerce you are exposed to is the smiling fisherman who comes every morning to show his catch. Once in a while, a lady from the nearest town walks by offering massages and hair braiding.
Each morning, after eating arepa de huevo (typical Colombian breakfast) prepared by Eidys ---part of Sal de Mar’s staff--- we’d relax on the hammocks, where we had a clear and close visual of the kids making sand castles in front of the house. Later, we would swim in the ocean, or hire one of the wáter taxis to take us snorkeling to a beautiful coral reef about 20 minutes away.
The house has 3 rooms on the second floor, about the same size. One room has 3 single beds and a small closet. Another room has 3 single beds with the option of a pull out from underneath, with no available closet. The third room has a full bed and a small closet. There is a sofá outside of the rooms (in an open balcony) that could be used for sleeping as well. The pillows and mattresses are a bit knotty, so if you need a good pillow, I recommend bringing yours along. Because the house is open, mosquito nets are provided with each bed. Beware, though: you will be bitten, so bring along plenty of repellent and after bite ointment.
Bathrooms are basic, but what you would expect in this --more rustic-- type of vacation home: upstairs there is one private toilet; downstairs, there is another toilet. Sinks for both are located outside in the open. There is
REVIEW TO BE CONTINUED ON A NEXT POSTING
This place is beautiful! The house is amazing, very clean, organaized and comfortable. We were a party of 10 and every one had enough space. The service is exceptional Aidis and Carlos made our stay magnificent, we are really greateful with them, they took care of everything and everyone. The arepas con huevo, la Paella, the drinks at the beach during sunset, in conclusion everything was perfect, no doudt about it.
The beach was clean and the sea calm and colorful.We felt like we were in paradise,We cant believe Colombia has such hidden treasures. We felt like we were in Bali. The fishermen came to our door with the fresh fish they caught that morning making the cuisine delicious and fresh!!
It is a must see.
The only thing I will recomend is, it would be nice to have sun bathing chairs.
The owners were really friendly and helpful, They gave us some many recomendations that help us to fully enjoy our vacations.
We hope to go again very soon.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.