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The most visited Colombian island in Latin America
As far as the sea is concerned, Colombia has in its vast territory true tourist jewels of sand and salt. For this reason, we could not fail to mention the most beautiful region in this corner of the world: San Andres Island; also called by locals and visitors alike the Sea of 7 Colours, due to the varying degrees of depth that can be seen from the sky.
Where is it located?
It is located in the archipelago of Colombia, composed of three large islands, which are Providencia Island, Santa Catalina Island and San Andres Island, the latter being the capital of the island department. It is surrounded by more than 15 keys, accessible from the island and with a wide geological variety.
Beaches and parks of San Andres Island
Like any other island, San Andrés has hundreds of beautiful areas to visit; but in terms of tourism, there are some that stand out, either because of their location, the strength of their waves or their beauty, which are the most frequented by local and foreign tourists. Below we will detail some of them with official information from the map elaborated by the Government of the Archipelago.
- Downtown Beaches: Main Beach and Spratt Bight Beach are preferred for their proximity to the shopping and recreation area. This coastal area is very clean, despite being located so close to the city, and its turquoise waters and white sands allow visitors to walk leisurely along the beach without shoes.
- Jhonny Cay: Established in 2000 as a Regional Natural Park, Jhonny Cay is a beautiful islet only 15 minutes away from San Andres Island. It is open to the public from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and you can enjoy recreational and sporting activities, as well as the sale of handicrafts, spas and ecological walks.
- La Piscinita: if you want to throw yourself hundreds of times from the top into a deep sea with no waves, you must visit this small tourist complex. With a slide, a trampoline and several high rocks, you will have a pleasant and fun time. You can also go snorkelling and scuba diving and even visit the sculpture of Zeus under the sea.
- Charquitos Beach: solitude and plenitude is what you will find in this coastal area. It is an uncrowded beach with a wide extension of land and surrounded by palm trees. Its current is weak and the water is crystal clear, which forms small pools near the shore that are ideal for the youngest members of the family to have fun.
- Big Pond Lagoon: a freshwater oasis in the middle of a salt paradise. Alligators, turtles, iguanas and birds inhabit this small lake, surrounded by lush vegetation, not to be missed on a visit to San Andres Island.
- La Loma: the oldest village on the island. Inhabited mostly by islanders and with colonial architecture, La Loma will take you back in time as you stroll through its narrow streets and you can also admire the majesty of San Andrés from the top of the viewpoint of the San Luis Church.
Annual cultural programme
In addition to the places already mentioned, the entire coastline of San Andres Island is adorned with hotels and lodges to suit all tastes and budgets, as well as many other cays, natural parks and coral reef aquariums for visitors to enjoy.
The island’s nightlife leaves nothing to be desired. Bars, discos, pubs, restaurants and plazas are filled every night with local and foreign visitors. Culturally, San Andrés has been home to so many different nationalities that the island has been exuberantly enriched throughout its history.
The most important dates of San Andres Island
- The patron saint festivities of San Andrés, which take place during the month of November with an elaborate schedule of carnivals, pageants, dance, music, theatre and art.
- The International Triathlon Festival in April, where disciplines such as swimming, cycling and athletics are practised. The competition starts from the Jhonny Cay to the island, where it continues its journey.
- The Caribbean Evening which is held every Friday at the Casa de la Cultura del Centro with performances by various local dance and music groups.
- The Green Moon Festival, held in September, is the most important festival on the island. For more than a week, it brings together hundreds of local, national and international groups, with Caribbean genres such as reggae, dancehall, Haitian konpa, zouk, soca, calypso, salsa, merengue and the traditional native culture of San Andres.
How to get there?
So far, the island is only accessible by air, with flights departing from Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena and Medellín. There are still no shipping lines connecting the island to the mainland and flight prices vary according to the season.
For getting around the island, public transport is very functional and inexpensive. There are also 24-hour taxi lines and golf cart rentals for some areas of the island.
San Andres Island is worth your visit
There is no doubt about the beauty and the ecological, recreational and cultural variety that this island has to offer. Many people venture, with much or little budget, to get to know and enjoy it. If you decide to visit the island of San Andres on your next holiday, you can be sure that the experience will be wonderful. This paradise in the sea of 7 colours is waiting for you.