The Beautiful islands San Andrés und Providencia
The Colombian island San Andres is located in the Caribbean sea around 770 Km away from the Colombian mainland. Even though this little paradise is closer to the mainland of Nicaragua it still belongs to Colombia. Both islands Sand Andres as well as the neighbour island Providencia offer the typical Caribbean postcard motives including palm trees, coral reefs, white sand and turquoise water. Povidencia is a little rockier and has more hills than the rather flat San Andrés. The constructions on Providencia are strictly regulated in order to avoid massive construction like in Thailand.
The island is not only a tourist magnet for foreigners but also Colombians enjoy a short trip to San Andres especially during their holidays.
How do you get from the Colombian mainland to San Andres and Providencia ?
Basically flights go frequently from all the larger Colombian airports.
Very cheap flights are frequently offered buy the cheap flight airline, Vivacolombia. Still it is definitely worth to compare prices cause sometimes even other airlines like Avianca have great offers..
- Viva Colombia (www.vivacolombia.co) – Offers cheap flight directly from Medellin.
- Copa (www.copaair.com) – Offers flights from Bogota, Cali, Medellin, Cartagena* and Barranquilla.
- Avianca (www.avianca.com) – Avianca has direct flights from Bogota and Cartagena*. Avianca is always a good choice for me personally one of the best airlines in South America.
- Aires (www.aires.aero ) – This budget airline offers flights from Bogota.
- Lan (www.lan.com) – Direct flights from Bogota.
*Flights from Cartagena – Copa and Avianca offer 3-4 direct flights to San Andres per week.
The prices for a one way ticket start at COP$ 79.990.
From San Andres to Providencia
Take a plane with Satena (www.satena.com). The flight only takes about 15 minutes.
You can also go for a 2,5 hour catamaran ride (www.catamaranelsensation.com) but sometimes the sea can be pretty rough and it can get quite uncomfortable. The boat leave every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. if the weather is bad the trip might be cancelled on short notice.
In San Andres you will have a variety of accommodation possibilities in every price range
- For backpackers and budget travellers I recommend the camping zone Camping Villa Verde (you won’t need your own tent) Price: 13 Euro per tent
A few more cheap places with a great value are the following::
- The guesthouse Ground Road Native Palace offers double bedrooms for a decent price of 16 Euro. The Posada Nativa Atardecer Isleño or the Sea Star Inn are also great money for value deals
On the island of Providencia the lodging possibilities are rather limited and prices tend to be a little higher.
- If you look for something a little cheaper that fits your budget you should consider the Hotel Old Providence.
- If you want to have a very unique experience for a suitable price you should try the Yellow Home CasaBaja.
- If you prefer having your own apartment on the island you should have a look on Airbnb. Here you will even get an extra 19 Euro/Dollars for free for your first booking.
Activities on Providencia
- Enjoy your time and relax on one of the beautiful beaches like the Manzanillo beach. Grab a drink sit back and relax.
- Rent a boat or a kayak
- Visit the tiny neighbour island Santa Catalina
- Visit the little island Cayo Cangrejo
- Go snorkelling or diving
- eat fresh fish in one of the little restaurants and bars on the island
Activities on San Andres
The best way to move around on the island is by taxi, scooter or by bike.
- Visit the Acuario and Johnny Cay (I suggest you try to avoid colombian puplic holiday and holiday season as otherwise these places get very crowded)
- Visit El Hoyo Suplidor a geyser
- Diving: Diving is one of the main attractions on San Andres. no matter if you want to see tropical fish, dolphins or a shipwreck here you will be able to see all of it.
- Enjoy the great view from the viewing point The Hill
- Rent a bike or scooter
- Go shopping: San Andres is a duty free zone, that’s why alcohol, cigarettes and perfumes are extremely cheap.
- Morgan’s Cave: The legend says that the pirate Henry Morgan hid his treasures here.
- Enjoy your time on one of the many incredibly beautiful beaches.
As I mentioned before visit San Andres outside the Colombian holidays as i believe this will be the best way to enjoy the island to the fullest. Like this the island will be quieter and it will be easier to enjoy the time at the beaches. This applies only for people who rather enjoy their peace instead of crowds of people. If you know the Colombians you will most likely know that they like to go on holidays with their entire family and that can create quite some noise sometimes. But still there is always the option to switch to Providencia which is such a magnificent place. Here you can enjoy the beautiful beaches and nature and it sometimes feels like the time is standing still.