Turquoise waters, dazzling white beaches, and lush coconut groves welcome thousands of Colombians who come for sun, sea, and shopping. This Caribbean island paradise was first colonized by the Dutch, then later seized by the British. Famed pirate Henry Morgan set up shop here in 1670 and caused havoc along the coast, stealing treasure and reputedly burying it on the island. Here the locals have a strong Afro Caribbean identity known as Raizal. This English/Creole ethnicity has experienced a resurgence in recent years, and lives on in old pirate monikers, Jamaican-influenced music, and Caribbean-style cuisine of the island.
Things to Do
Imagine yourself a Pirate of the Caribbean by visiting Cueva de Morgan, a coastal cave that is rumored to hold hidden treasure. Swim in the warm waters of La Piscinita, with its abundance of friendly, curious fish, or check out Hoyo Soplador, a temperamental sea geyser spraying water from a coral rock. Hire a bicycle and cycle around the island. The road is smooth and paved and the only traffic is the occasional golf cart. For those who wish to go home with more than just seashells, San Andrés is also a duty-free shopping zone, with stores offering bargains on luxury goods.
Sea turtles, tiger fish and king crab are just some of the locals beckoning you to join them in the crystal clear waters and pristine coral of San Andres, making it one of the top dive attractions in the World. Snorkel around the tiny offshore island of Johnny Cay or dive at the second biggest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere. Another excellent dive spot is the Piramide, in the north of the island, with its lively colony of sting rays, eels, and the occasional octopus.
Restaurants and Dining
This islands strong Creole culture is most obviously displayed in its many delicious dishes. Enjoy island coconut stew called rundown in the courtyard setting of Miss Celia O’Neil Taste restaurant that feels like somebody’s home. Sit on the terrace of Restaurante la Regatta with panoramic views of the sea while enjoying crab casserole with breadfruit or treat yourself to coconut curry in the Thai themed restaurant Mahi Mahi at the Hotel Casablanca.
Kick off your flip flops and slide your toes through the cool white sand of the island's longest beach—Sprat Bight. This palm-fringed stretch of perfect shore is the perfect spot to kick back and have your island paradise moment.