The main attraction here for tourist has always been the coral formations along the eastern shore that gives the sea an unbelievably beautiful array of colours and the beaches with the whitest sand to be found anywhere. Visitors have also started delving a little deeper into the island's architectural styles, native dishes, music, dance and other common expressions of local culture.
It has become commonplace to see tourists at one of the lectures about defending the archipelago's ecological balance or to hear them exchanging opinions with the islanders during one of the reggae concerts.
More San Andres Vacation Information
Sprat Bight Beach This is the main beach of the island, located in North End. With a length of 450 m and white sand, it is a preferred site for enjoying the sun and the transparency of the water. It is an ideal place for groups to meet for informal recreation.
The Cove This is the bay where the sun goes down, and where the Colombian Navy and Caribbean Cruise ships anchor. It is a good place for scuba diving.
Johnny Cay A small island, visible from the beaches of downtown, it is a symbol and temple of tourism. Johnny Cay is a happy place, with palms, cocktails, local foods and a slightly rough sea.
Haynes Cay This coral island full of palms, located next to the Aquarium, is a calm, sandy cay. Both isles are surrounded by all the colours of the San Andres Sea. Most aquatic sports are practiced around these cays.
The Piscinita This natural swimming pool lets you enjoy a good sea bath and swim without danger or waves.
San Andres Destination Reviews
Rating: 4.0 - 3 reviews
Rating: "Interesting place. Highlight is beach in front of Isleno hotel and Jhonny Cay. Also good thing is that you can hop between 7 Decameron properties (6 hotels and Rocky Cay Beach Club." [...] Reviewer: Anonymous [via Escapes.ca] Date: Dec. 29, 2008
Rating: "San Andres very nice island, people very friendly and every where is safe day and night - one upsertting feature was the number of stray dogs roaming the city in poor health and neglected - many with fatal mange disease - a small islend like this should be able to control the population of dogs with some support by the tourist industry - for this reaon alone my wife and i would not return to San Andres." [...] Reviewer: Anonymous [via Escapes.ca] Date: Nov. 21, 2008
Rating: "The island is a wonderful place to visit. Everyone speaks English and we have never met such warm friendly people. We toured the island by ourselves and it didn't matter where we went on the island the people were just as friendly AND IT IS VERY SAFE ANYWHERE ON THE ISLAND! We enjoyed the snorkeling - some of the best we have every experienced. Shopping was good as well. We thoroughly enjoyed our vacation and we will definitely be returning." [...] Reviewer: Anonymous [via Escapes.ca] Date: Nov. 24, 2007
Things to know about San Andres Vacations
Activities & Sports
Almost all sports can be practiced in the islands, especially water sports. San Andres provides magnificent surroundings for scuba diving, with the certified PADI and NAUI diving schools. Dive sites include Sink Boat, Blue Wall, Cayo Albuquerque, the Lighthouse and Turtle Trap. Sports using sails, sailboats and windsurfing, are practiced and taught in the windy months of December to February and June to July. It is possible to see the island by cycling or running along both the coast and the hill roads. There are many places that offer waterskiing, jet skis, kayaks, wind surfing, kite surfing, horseback riding, submarine tours and many other options. Beach Volleyball is also practiced in several San Andres and Providence beaches. The islanders play basketball and they also like horse racing, which is organized on the Elsy Bar road, in the south of the island.
Morgan's Cave is not only a mysterious opening that time and the waves have carved out of the coral, but also a place that evokes a series of legends in which the islanders firmly believe in. Good swimmers can go into the cave and see for themselves if it is made up of the famous labyrinth that finally opens on to an all but deserted beach, which has remained almost undisturbed because it is so hard to reach.
Dining & Nightlife
There are bars, casinos, discotheques, all full of magic to illuminate the nights of San Andres. Here are also two more options with more local flair:
You will find many concerts, typical dancing group presentation, expositions and other forms of the cultural expression every Saturday at the north end Cultural Centre.
In the areas inhabited by native islanders, dancing is organized in the street using powerful audio equipment. During the tourist seasons, public concerts, at which local groups play local music and calypso, are organized on the beaches.
Crab Season occurs in the months of May and June, during the reproductive period. You can see large quantities of black crabs that travel from the inland forests to the sea to spawn. Of course at this time they make an appearance in restaurant menus as well. A favourite is the crab soup. Great local restaurants where traditional meals may appear are:
Mr Carrington's Coral View Restaurant
West View Restaurant
La Regatta Restaurant
El Rincon de la Langosta
Here you will find great duty free shopping opportunities, especially for electronics, perfume, gold, emeralds and designer clothes. The commercial district of San Andres is right downtown in North End, and on the beach avenue.
Currency: Colombian peso
Language: Spanish, some English and Creole
Climate: The islands have a warm climate that oscillates between 26° and 29° Celsius, but cool breezes blow throughout the year. The dry season period is changeable and can reach up to five consecutive months, while the following months are rainy with strong winds at the end of the year.
Electricity: 110 V, 60Hz
A passport, valid 6 months beyond intended stay, and an ongoing or return ticket are required. No visa required for touristic stays of up to 90 days.
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