Nice People. Very Safe. Nice beach, Excellent Food
HEAT, don't drink the water, Street vendors
As they sing in a popular song there... "Please, take me back to San Andres."
La Loma is a little town in the central hilly region of San Andrés where traditional island life continues. It's where the natives (Raizal people) live. The Raizales are a Protestant Afro-Caribbean ethnic group speaking English Creole language of the archipelago. Most inhabitants live on agriculture. La Loma is one of the places where you can...more
Visitors seeking a quiet alternative to the tourist-focused capital of San Andrés will enjoy San Luis. Located on the island's east coast, the so-called town has no centre and is in fact just a small village, a simple 3 km string of houses along the coast. This is a tranquil place where the sound of the waves can lull you to sleep, and most of all,...more
If you like snorkeling, don't miss the west coast of San Andrés. I think it's the best spot on the island to snorkel. Make sure to stop by West View at La Piscinita, a natural pool formed by island cliffs, where you safely swim among colourful fish. The place is described by the locals as a sea-bath due to its calm warmth. There is no beach; you...more
Johnny Cay, sometimes called Islote Sucre, is the nearest small island to San Andrés and the most beautiful. It's a joyful place with coconut palms, famous for its calypso, reggae and socca music as well for its fresh fried fish and rum and coconut cocktails. It offers white sandy beach and transparent waters though the sea can be rough. You can...more
A tiny layer of water (only about 60 m) separates Haynes Cay from Acuario so you can walk there on foot. Dense thickets of coconut trees provide plenty of shade not far from Acuario. This pretty, palm-covered islet is often part of a standard boat tour around San Andrés, usually a short stop-off for a spot of snorkeling. Sharp exposed coral make...more
Acuario is a sandbank surrounded by shallow and calm water with the abundance of fishes that swim around you. The snorkeling here is very nice. If you forget to bring your snorkeling gear you can rent some on the beach. It is necessary to wear water shoes because there are lots of rocks and coral. You can also rent them here or even better buy as...more
West View is nothing more than a short pier out into the ocean, from which some tourists feed the fish while others snorkel around in the water, watching the fish eat. A couple of slices of bread are included in the entrance fee. I spent one whole day here and had a good fun. Actually, it was the last day of the year 2008, so one more reason to be...more
The inner area of Johnny Cay is a palm tree grove with a handful of little bars and restaurants (they all use the same kitchen to prepare the food) selling fresh fish and cold drinks. It's a joyful place with colourful wooden benches and tables, and plenty of shadow to enjoy your favourite tropical cocktail, perhaps the famous Coco Loco - crazy...more
I was staying in Monica's Place, owned by Caselita Forbes, part of the island's homestay programme Las Posadas Nativas. She offers an option with accommodation and breakfast, and other with all meals included. Since there were no restaurants close by I thought it would be better to have a complete supply on one place. But on the other hand, most of...more
Dancing then ight away... or better watching people dancing the night away, in the very lively and packed Kiss Me disco... talking the night away with our new friends, which are noone else than the two owners Giuseppe and Luigi, and their girlfriends.
There are two floors... the ground floor where the bar is and people dance, and the upper floor where it's a bit quieter and has with a breezy terrace on the sea where to enjoy some chats and cocktails.
It's frequented by locals more than tourists and the music played is Caribbean.
Dress Code: Being very untouristy, local people tend to dress up very casually so you can really wear what you want. However msot local women tend to wear skimpy outfits, so may may feel more comfortable with either a miniskirt or a tight-fitting t-shirt.
Flights between San Andrés and Cartagena are operated by two airlines, Avianca and AeroRepublica. Most of the flights with Avianca have connection in Bogotá (or even Medellin) and there is one direct flight with Copa. I booked my flight at the same time as the one from Cali to San Andrés (three months in advance). I took a direct flight with Copa...more
Getting around on the island is easy. There are lots of buses, taxis and motorbikes to take you were you need to go. Taxis are quite expensive (as anything on the island) but you get use to it. When the taxi takes other people on the same trip it's called colectivo and it's much cheaper. Taxis from the airport have fixed prices to anywhere on the...more
Two airlines have flights from Cali to San Andrés, Copa and Avianca. Most of the flights have a connection in Bogotá, and there is usually one direct flight daily with Copa (operated by AeroRepublica). I booked the direct flight. It was a night flight, with the departure from Cali at 10:30pm and arrival to San Andrés at 12:25am. It was US$ 205 one...more
One of the things that was included on the tour was a chance to stop and shop. But the weather was so miserable that we didn't want to do that. I actually did no shopping whatever on the island. I just took some pictures as we were riding by Since this is Columbia, apparently Colombian emeralds are a good buy. There are also duty free shops.At the...more
I bought all of my souviniers from this man on the beach. There were 2 different men who had stands set up on our hotel's beach selling various touristy items. His name was Ritchie and I reccommend him to anyone who will be in the area. When I was there his stand was the white one to the left. He was very friendly and remembered my name. His prices...more
The island is also a great place to shop for electrical and its tax free. The shops will ship back whatever you buy. On one part of the Island you will find tons of shops selling everything from Televisions, stereos, walkmans... l still have mine.. They also sell sporting goods, womens and mens clothes, and local crafts.more
The culture of the archipelago of San Andrés is linked to its people, who have diverse ethnic origins. The Raizal, people of African and British origin, speak Creole (the language originates in English but it has its own phonetic, grammar and many expressions from Spanish and African dialects). They refer to themselves as 'native islanders' in...more
Rondón is a rich, delicious traditional dish, very popular throughout the archipelago. The vast variety of seafood available to the people of San Andrés in combination with the foods they cultivate on their land, keep them well fed. In the past, preparing a meal rarely involved visit of the shop. It was simply a matter of 'running down' the...more
In contrast to austere concrete buildings of hotel blocks, restaurants and duty-free shops in San Andrés town, a native area of the centre of the island is notable for its traditional wooden houses and picturesque Caribbean architecture. The brightly painted single-storey wooden houses of the local population sit amongst palms in San Luis and La...more
We were to take a taxi tour of the island. Among the things we were supposed to see were * El Hoyo Soplador or Blow Hole a a sea water geyser at the southern end of San Andrés* La Cueva De Morgan or Morgan's Cave - a sea cave which is a popular attraction due to the natural effects and the treasure legend We were also supposed to stop for Duty free...more
This is just a warning, because at no time do I feel that we were in any danger. There are some locals that hang out around the resort areas, such as the man in this picture, who want your money. They all have something to offer you for it, but you may not always know what you are agreeing to. Remember, if someone want's to give you some coconut...more
There are at least two major tourist traps in San Andres, located around the island's perimeter. The first one is La Piscina, a place where in theory you can swim among colourful fishes. You have to pay 1000 COP to enter, and you will be given a slice of bread.. Why? So that you can feed the colourful fishes while you swim among them. Very sad, and the fish are by now obese.
The second tourist trap is the Cueva de Morgan - Morgan's cave... the place where the rogue pirate Henry Morgan is said to have hidden his treasures. However there is really no evidence that Morgan had ever stepped foot in this cave... the only thing that you will find is a small colony of stinky bats.
Fun Alternatives: La piscina: go to El Acuario instead and swim among colourful fishes for free, and in a much nicer location. As for theCueva de Morgan: you may skip it altogether.
The Hoyo Soplador (which literally can be translated in the blowing eye) is also known as the Blowing Hotel, a natural attraction in the south of San Andrès island... mayeb it's a bit overrated, but it's still a fun sight to see/experience.The blowing hole is well.. a hole in the ground - connected to the nearby ocean by a rocky tunnel... when the...more
Museo Casa Isleña is the Island House Museum - or if you prefer THE museum of the island, meaning that there are just no other ones (July 2008). It's about 10 minutes drive from the airport and - as you would guess from the name - it's a traditional Carribean house, both in architecture and in the rooms layout.The main house, where the family...more
you must take a short boat trip to the Aquarium.... thats what they call it but its in the middle of the ocean no glass or tours, just you and mother nature waste deep in the middle of the ocean. The fish are all around and it goes on forever. Truely a once in a lifetime eventmore
San Andres island is the paradise for diving. San Adres uhartea paradisua da must uger egiteko, Koralak oso ondo daude beste toki batzuen aldean eta belakiak, batez ere, goi mailakoak dira. marrazoak ikusteko aukera ere badago eta otarrainskak eta amildegi ederrak ere bai. Dena alokatu ahal duzu bertan. You can rfent all you need there.more
Islands of San Andrés and Providencia have the largest coral reefs in Colombia, with more than 85 species of corals, as well as a rich marine life with over 270 fish species, sea turtles and sponges. Underwater visibility is remarkable and conditions are calm with minimal currents and water temperatures of around 27ºC most of the year. It is not...more
The primary sports activities that we observed the most was the fishing by locals.For tourists on the island, snorkeling, SCUBA and similar water based activities appear to be the best. The island is surrounded by reefs which make for good snorkeling, but don't make wide beaches.There are PWC for rent and there may also be surfing at some times of...more
In addition to lighthouses, one of the things I usually do when traveling is to look for cemeteries to document how people handle the deceased. Taking photos was difficult and the only cemetery that I got any photos of was San LuisOur driver said the Colombians were Catholic, and the uneducated Colombians (some of whom the driver said couldn't even...more
Our taxi driver told us that there were seven lighthouses on the side of the island where the ship anchored. We could see two from the ship and saw 3 or 4 others on the tour of the island.My reference for lighthouses is The Lighthouse Directory. When we went to San Andrés, the only lighthouses that were listed were well offshore. I sent my photos...more
All non-residents, whether Colombian citizens or foreigner tourist (except children under 7 years), who enters San Andrés island must acquire a tourist card that can be purchased upon check-in on mainland Colombia or upon arrival in San Andrés International Airport. It was COP 35.000 (January 2009). The card must be presented at your departure from...more