A trip to the island of San Andres and the archipelago!
During your trip to Colombia, you may want to relax on a sandy beach accompanied by the best music in Colombia. The archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina is a perfect place for all this; you will have the opportunity to discover this wonderful place for water sports and especially for diving lovers in amazing places, the most beautiful turquoise waters where a great Creole culture lives.
San Andres or the sea of seven colors
Colombia has a large number of islands and the archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina is one of the most popular destinations of the Colombian islands. Located off the coast of Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea, this archipelago has 91% of the coral reefs in Colombia and because of this it is also known as the sea of seven colors.
Discovered by the Spanish in 1500 and colonized by the British in 1629, the islands were used for centuries as a military base and were mainly the scene of many battles between pirates and settlers; who were British, Dutch, French and Spanish. The Archipelago of San Andrés did not become part of Colombia until 1822.
A colonial and creole legacy
The legacy of these various European conquests left characteristic traces that make these Colombian islands a place full of charm, a mixed population (Afro-Colombians, Indian, Colombian and European mosquitoes), a place that speaks three languages (Creole English, English and Spanish) and finally a variety of traditions and surnames of British families.
The Archipelago of San Andres is composed of the island of San Andres, the capital of the department, with a total area of 26 square kilometers, Providence the volcanic island of 17 square kilometers and other islands like Santa Catalina, Albuquerque Serrana, Roncador, Quitasueño, East, Southeast.
San Andrés, capital of the department
Let’s not lie to you, San Andres Island has crystal clear water, but you won’t find the best beaches in the archipelago; in fact, the island has experienced intense tourist development and its coast has been enormously concrete. However, it’s a shopping paradise because you can buy all kinds of souvenirs that are duty free; it’s also the starting point for diving excursions or simply boat trips. For example, you can visit the island of Johnny Cay and sunbathe in this place full of white sand beaches (it is advisable to visit this place during the week and excluding school holidays or high seasons, because the place is very touristy). If you like to practice this kind of sport, you can find the groups that do this activity in the center of the island, to go and explore the bottom of the sea from the rocks of the little pool or Cove Bay.
The quiet village of St. Louis will give you an idea of the old life on the island of St. Andrew, where you can see wooden houses of different colors, very typical of Caribbean architecture. Finally, we recommend you to enjoy the nightlife of San Andres, where reggae and cocktails are a good mix.
Providence, an ecotourism paradise
A few minutes by plane or boat, a few hours from San Andrés, you can discover its charming neighbor, Providencia. In this place, nature reigns, Providence is an example of environmental preservation! Its inhabitants are proud of their islands and have fought against large hotel constructions planned by the mayor’s office 25 years ago.
Providencia is a volcanic island, where you will have the opportunity to walk in the hills of the island, including the mountain that leads to the highest point of the island, Pico, at 360 meters. Don’t forget to drink lots of water and bring sunscreen! For snorkel and diving lovers this is your place, because it is here that the coral reefs, the turquoise waters and the white sand beaches make the landscape unique and charming. You can also take a walk on the small island of Santa Catalina, which is connected by a bridge to the island of Providence.