San Andres Island is a true pearl off of Columbia’s coast, the main gem in a sea of jewel colors, turquoise, emerald and sapphire. The sea surrounding the island is known as the ‘sea of seven colors’. Many people say there are more colors than that. Count them and see for yourself on this beautiful coral island.
So many diverse cultures have blended through the ages to make up the friendly people of San Andres Island. Spanish, English, Dutch and African influences have blended to make a colorful, lively people who celebrate life with reggaeton, calypso, and salsa dances. Don’t worry about the people not speaking your language. They speak English, Spanish and Creole- something for everyone.
Where you spend your time on San Andres Island is up to you. There are hostels, modern hotels and bed and breakfast to suit any taste. Hostels are the cheaper way to travel. You have your own bed, but may share common rooms, like the living room, with others. It is a great way to meet people, too. Try out the Hosteria Mar y Sol. They are noted for their great food.
Photo: Shachar Mizrahi
Maybe you and your sweetie are looking for something a little more romantic? How about a hotel on the beautiful beach, with plenty of sandy stretches to walk along under the moonlight? There are so many options that it will be hard to pick just one.
Activities on the island are plentiful, too. Being a coral island, the snorkeling is wonderful here. You can read more about “The best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean“. There are also places to fish, mangroves to paddle through, and beaches to explore. El Acuario is a fantastic place to watch fish and rays through the clear, warm water. Or, stay dry and still see the marine life from a glass bottom boat ride. San Andres Unlimited offers rides to the reef that are economical and fun.
No vacation is complete without wonderful local food. San Andres Island is full of great places to eat. Dishes of flavorful seafood such as snails and shrimp and lobster are seasoned with coconut, cloves and ginger. Rondon is probably the most popular dish on the island. Fish, plantains and dumplings are all cooked in coconut milk. Try it with some of the tasty breadfruit that is fried or boiled. La Regatta serves Caribbean style seafood in an over-the-water setting- and the food is delicious. Restaurant Capitan Mandy has an oyster bar and tasty chowders. Try the tasty crabmeat on plantains at Punta Sur. Locals recommend Bibi’s Place for the best seafood. You can only get there by water, so take a boat from the mainland.
Spend a week (or a month) exploring this gem of an island. Take your time to enjoy their food, their culture and the people of San Andres Island. Dance to the reggae music. Taste the different dishes. Shop from the locally made coconut crafts. Most of all, make the memories that will hold you until your next visit to San Andres Island!
Traveling the Caribbean can be quite expensive, therefore you may read the guide “How to travel the world almost for free”, Have fun!
Thanks Shachar for this glimpse into the Caribbean.