This archipelago located in the Colombian Caribbean is comprised of two islands and several cays, which have spent almost all of their lives uninhabited. Until the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the Spaniards, who took possession of them around 1502. But nobody had the courage to stay. The first European populations to settle were from England and Holland more than 100 years later. At that time they had a famous neighbor: the Pirate Morgan, who used them to hide the treasures and riches that he plundered from the Spanish colonies in the New World.
Subsequently, control passed back into Spanish hands, and remained so until Colombia's independence. Specifically, this territory was liberated in good part thanks to the French corsair Luis Aury who took the islands and gave them to the cause of Simón Bolívar's troops. San Andrés and Providencia joined Colombia in 1822 and 1823, and is currently the only department made up of islands in the country.
In recent decades there have been complaints from Nicaragua and claims of sovereignty over this territory, although none have been successful.
What is fascinating about the history of these islands is their original inhabitants: the Raizales. This is an African community that originated from the slave trade from Africa to the American continent during the time of the colonies. They have maintained a unique and different culture from the rest of the country, so they are followers of the Baptist church, have particular traditions and even use a language of their own: Sanadresano Creole, which is a mixture of English and African languages. If you find native islanders who speak it.
To enter these islands it is necessary to pay an entrance tax (tourism card). This is a tax on tourism which in theory is intended to improve the infrastructure on the island and for social projects. This tax has to be paid upon entry to the island.
The island of San Andrés has a road that surrounds it completely along the coast, with approximately 22 square kilometers. It also has streets and access to the traditional sectors of the island where we can find various attractions such as the viewpoint, the cove lagoon, the first Baptist church, among others.
Here are several transportation options to get around San Andres.
Rent a motorcycle:
It is among the most economical options for independent and private transportation. In order to travel around the island during the day, it is necessary to have a parking lot where you can leave your vehicle at night. The vehicle is usually taken and picked up at your accommodation.
Rent a golf cart or mule:
If you do not have budget problems, it is the best option, because having a roof protects you from the sun and the high temperatures that usually exceed 30 degrees under the sun. The mules are similar, but with the difference in greater speed and strength, which is very useful to visit the sites that are in high location or climbing hills. This increases slightly in price with respect to golf carts. The capacity of these vehicles ranges from 2 to 8 people per vehicle. Depending on the model, capacity and time of the rental.
This is the group option that consists of a bus that makes the tour of the island by the coastal area, making stops at various sites and attractions of greatest interest on the island, where it remains for about 20 minutes per stop, the value varies according to the tourist company that sells but generally.
Being this the most economic option, it has 3 routes to cross the island (San Luis, Loma Barack, Loma Cove,) when taking this option we must bear in mind that these routes are not in the routes that make and none makes the return to the island totally, for this reason we must locate in the map the sites to visit to be able to choose well the route of bus that we are going to take.
This is a slightly more expensive and particular or private option to travel around the island or to access different places on the island, generally there is no exact fare for the trips or taximeter in the vehicles, so we recommend consulting with the driver the value of the trip before occupying the service, so we avoid confusion. We must take into account that as it is not a standardized means of transport, the vehicles do not have a distinctive color or mark or their drivers do not have a uniform. And generally the vehicles are high-end. Therefore, we must pay attention to distinguish the vehicles that provide the service from those that do not.
Throughout the island you will find a wide range of attractions and with different prices for all types of tourism, in our establishment we provide our guests upon arrival a brief description and recommendations that will help you make better use of your time and budget. In the most searched for attractions you will find:
It is one of the favorite beaches for tourists for its calm beaches and quiet atmosphere for tourism of all ages, in this you can walk to an islet that connects to the beach through a line of buoys tied with a rope. On one side of the island we found a historic shipwreck which you can access with the help of the islanders who found on the island, you must be careful, because the surface of the boat is damaged by time and salinity, if you manage to overcome this enjoy an adventure full of adrenaline to jump from the top of the boat. You will also be able to snorkel right next to the islet where you will find different species of fish. Access is free of charge.
Island House Museum:
It is a beautiful space where you will find adequate spaces with typical elements and a typical house from the 1800's, the time when the island was colonized. You take a tour where they explain the local history and at the end there is a dance where they teach you the steps of the traditional island music.
The legend of the pirate Henry Morgan used this island to hide the treasures he plundered from the Spanish galleons and from the unprotected cities of the New World's coasts. And his lair was near the cave where it is said that he hid his treasures. You will find an exhibition of the history and an atmosphere designed to enter the history of pirates, their exhibitions, their dance shows, as well as the cave.
West View y La Piscinita:
They are spas facing the sea with crystalline waters where you can do excellent snorkeling, and adrenaline activities such as jumping off the diving board, aqua tours or crazy boat. The access from the street to the spa is through an entrance where they will give you a bread pad, for the fish. The special recommendation is to bring bread because it attracts the fish directly to your hands while you snorkel. At the entrance to the sea you will find mini bars with reggae and island cocktails. On the other side of the beach you can enjoy tropical cuisine and typical dishes.
It is a natural formation of a subway tunnel that comes directly from the sea to a hole in the ground where a fun and powerful water pressure comes out and fills your moment with laughter, joy and emotion. It must be taken into account that being of natural origin depends much on the tide so if the weather is low tide or calm, you will not be able to enjoy the main attraction, so we must evaluate the entrance to the site which has a value that varies according to the season.
Laguna Big Pond:
This beautiful natural lagoon is the only exposed repository of fresh water outdoors on the island. It is surrounded by an exuberant nature and the species that accompany it such as babillas, white herons, crabs among others. In this place you will be able to enjoy typical cocktails stories of the place and feed the babillas (medium sized reptiles similar to small crocodiles.)
Viewpoint of La Loma:
This is a magical place where you will have the opportunity to observe in 180° the beauty of the landscape seen from above and where you will be able to take crazy pictures adorned with the landscape behind. To contemplate the different colors of the sea on the horizon.
First Baptist Church:
The name does not deceive, is the first Baptist church that was built not only on the island, but in all Latin America, back in 1847. It is made of wood and is quite beautiful. In addition, from the interior you can climb the bell tower, where there are views of the entire island.
Ecological trail to the mangroves of Old Point Regional Park:
Here you will find a passive trail that goes into one of the largest mangrove formations of the island with 4 stations and where you can see different species of birds in peace and communion with nature the last station you can see the union between the sea and the mangrove where you really breathe peace and feel the communion between the spirit and the land.
In the same coastal contour you will find a diversity of beaches where you can relax and enjoy the peace of sun and sea, in the south of the island the beaches are generally quieter and less crowded.
The main beach of San Andres is the most popular and where you can find water sports, groups of people with music, renting tents, is an interesting atmosphere very group and intense from where you can see on the horizon JHONNY Cay fell one of the jewels in the crown.
This is the beach that connects to Rocky Cay. Quiet beach attended by coastal kiosks that will provide you with different particular services such as massages at the seashore, eating fish at the seashore, typical cocktails and obviously music, reggae.
Surely you can not miss this beach is one of the largest beaches on the coast of San Andres and is in particular changes its constitution in the form of sand waves and clarity in the water definitely have to walk it.
Obviously there are many activities to enjoy with the family as a couple or alone, all full of varied and exciting experiences. Among those you will find:
Johnny Cay, The Aquarium, White Night, mangroves, manta ray tour, jetsky ride, parasailing, kite surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, semi-submersible, paddling, rumba reggae, shopping tour, among others. We are sure you deserve to enjoy this paradise in the Caribbean.