Colombia Nurse sharks at the aquarium at Islas Rosario, near Cartagena. Photo:

Published on May 12th, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut

Nurse sharks at the aquarium at Islas Rosario, near Cartagena. Photo:

VIDEO: Islas Rosario – Sun, Sand & Shark Feeding, Near Cartagena

Cartagena de Indias is Colombia‘s biggest destination for international tourism. And one of the most popular side trips from this vacation hotspot is to the Islas Rosario, a group of some 27 islands about an hour away by boat.

I did a day trip to visit San Pedro de Majagua, a tiny resort hotel that offers a day trip package that includes roundtrip transportation and access to two small but attractive beaches. You can also join optional excursions to snorkel and scuba dive.

The high point for me, however, was a boat trip to a nearby aquarium. En route, I passed both quaint and luxurious private homes on impossibly tiny Caribbean islands. But the real point of this boat trip is a visit to the Oceanario, a small, open-air aquarium. The facility’s small size allows you to get quite close for the shows, which include a predictable but fun dolphin performance.

The most interesting — and bizarre — part of the live show was feeding time, during which the staff works up some of the aquatic residents into a feeding frenzy. And if you think the small fish are exciting, wait until you see the nurse sharks. These creatures, which can weigh up to 330 pounds, are not known to be the most trainable of animals. But at the Oceanario, they’ve got to work for their meal. A brave trainer gets on top of a floating platform and uses food to convince the sharks to pull themselves right out of the water at his feet. You won’t want to miss the video I made of this strange shark feeding.

For additional reports about my most recent visit to Cartagena, visit the Cartagena section on For general information about travel to Colombia, visit the official tourism portal.

Trained dolphin at Islas Rosario near Cartagena, Colombia. Photo:

Shark feeding at Islas Rosario near Cartagena, Colombia. Photo:

Tiny island house at Islas Rosario near Cartagena, Colombia. Photo:


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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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