Getting there wasn’t easy. It took a cab, a bus, a car, and a boat but we made it to the Rosario Islands. My sister Caroline and I sent several emails back and forth and spoke on the phone for at least an hour about which hostel we were going to choose, but as it turns out, all the hostels listed on HostelWorld are in the exact same place and run by the same woman. The one we chose was beautiful, though. All white carved wood with hammocks and balconies and mosquito netting on the beds. I told Caroline and Anna that this was the type of house I wanted if I ever got to live on a beach down south.
In the afternoon we swam in the warm blue water and in the evening we ate dinner in the hostel restaurant. A tip for anyone visiting the Rosario Islands- pack a lot of food. There was a kitchen but not many groceries available on the island. Don’t get trapped into eating expensive restaurant food for every meal. We did end up buying some groceries in the tiny little town on the island. We bought some plantains, rice, oil, and peppers and made a little stir fry.
Besides the food though, we were really there to enjoy the beach and go snorkeling! On our first day at the beach Anna and Caroline went swimming with their goggles just a few meters out from the sand. The look of delight on Anna’s face was absolutely worth every moment of frustration trying to get to the island. She burst up from the water every minute or so to tell me and Caroline about the amazing fish or school of fish she had seen. The water was so much clearer than we’re used to at the Jersey Shore.
In order to get the true snorkel experience, the next day we rented the big face-mask goggles and snorkels from the hostel (Caroline brought her own and saved the 20mil) and headed out on a boat with some local guides and a few people we had met at the hostel. I had never been snorkeling before and it was truly amazing to see everything so clearly in the transparent blue water. Unfortunately none of us had a waterproof camera so I have no photos of my own to share, but we did see some neat stuff. Off a little rock island there was a sunken airplane covered in plant life and surrounded by schools of fish. Then we headed out to the coral where we saw all sorts of fish and sea urchins including the rainbow-colored parrot fish.
The other incredible part of our island trip also couldn’t be documented without a waterproof camera. Along with about 6 other women from the hostel and an Argentinian guitar-playing guide, we trekked across the island to see the “enchanted lagoon”. We were lucky to go on a cloudy night when we could witness the full effect. When we arrived at the lagoon we stripped down to our bathing suits and put our feet in the water and kicked. As our kicking disturbed the water little sparks came off our feet. I volunteered to jump in first, and it was incredible! Each movement I made created little glowing sparkles, like pixie dust coming off my skin as I swam through the dark black water. The effect comes from bioluminescent plankton that live in the lagoon. And the fact that the water is so clear makes it possible to see the glowing even several feet down.
Truly an incredible trip!