FOUND PARADISE IN COLOMBIA’S CARIBBEAN: ISLAND PROVIDENCIA

After 3 years living in Colombia it was definitely time to travel to the islands San Andres & Providencia and to discover the sea of the 7 colors! The low cost airline VivaColombia made it possible with a great deal of about 120 USD that I took a last minute decision to finally discover the islands.

Together with my friend Theresa we took the flight to San Andres in the evening. Before you go on board you need to get a tourist card which costs about 25 USD where you need to fill in your personal information and where you are going to stay! The flight takes about 2 hours. From the airport we walked about 15 minutes to our hostel El Viajero! As our boat to Providencia left already at 7:30 in the morning we decided to get some sleep instead of going partying with the hostel crowd. In the morning we grabbed some breakfast and walked to the port for about 15 minutes to catch our catamaran “El Splendor” to Providencia. We were already warned that it would be an adventurous ride going there fighting against the waves! First we sat down at the back of the boat where all the luggage was stowed but the benches there were not very comfortable and it got pretty adventurous right away. So we decided to go inside even though a “fridge” awaited us! Unfortunately they always put the airconditioning on a freezing level! But luckily they gave us some blankets and the seats were very comfortable so we fell asleep right away! After 3 hours we arrived in paradise: the island Providencia!

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From the port to the hotel Deep Blue where we stayed the following nights it was about 20 minutes to walk and as we didn’t have much luggage (VivaColombia only allows 6 kg without any extra charge) we decided to enjoy the beautiful sunshine! We walked through the town center and headed to the hotel and on every corner we met friendly people that explained us where to go! At the hotel Deep Blue we were warmly welcomed by the friendly staff with a delicious coconut lemonade (the best one I have ever had!). Our room was very nice and spacious with a balcony and an amazing view! Then we had a delicious lunch in the restaurant of the hotel while enjoying a beautiful view – we could already tell why it was called the sea of the seven colors! Afterwards the pool of the hotel invited us for some time to relax – Isn’t that a wonderful place? Don’t you feel in paradise by just looking at these pictures?

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The next day it was time to explore the island! We rented a golf cart from the hotel to drive the 18km around the island. First we went to Santa Catalina Island by crossing the colorful bridge from Providencia. Here you can see how the locals live in their colorful houses and climb up the hill from where you have a great view of the surroundings! Furthermore we visited the different beaches and made some hotel inspections.

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In the afternoon we relaxed some time at the beach of Freshwater Bay. The island actually has only some small beaches but even here you do not see that many people and can enjoy swimming in the crystal clear sea. At night we went to the restaurant on the island Santa Catalina and enjoyed again some delicious fresh fish and sea food. Afterwards we went around the island and discovered its night life! We found out that the locals actually feel much more connected to all the Caribbean Islands than Colombia with their way of life! They even have their own language which is a mixture of English and Spanish and it was even more interesting to see that they prefer to speak English than Spanish.

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The following day we went on a boat trip to explore the sea of 7 colors and its underwater world! On the pretty luxury boat of the hotel Deep Blue we went to Cayo Cangrejo and then to different spots for snorkeling! Here we saw many coral reefs, colorful swarms of fishes and even a shark! The water was so crystal clear – just an amazing experience! We went around the island and saw now all the beaches that we had discovered on our golf cart tour the day before and we also went by the famous pirate Morgan’s Head which is formed out of the rocks along the bay. It is named after the English pirate Captain Morgan who supposedly has hidden all his treasures here – unfotunately we didn’t find any…!

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In the afternoon we went on another boat trip to El Faro which took us about an hour to get there. Again and again I was surprised by this amazing sea which changed its color every couple minutes from dark blue to turquoise, almost green, light blue and all different tones of blue – a sea of that many beautiful colors I have just never seen before! Amazing!

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On our last day on this beautiful island we decided to head to the peak with our great guide! Once we started walking and he showed us where we would go we thought that we would never reach the peak as we needed to be at the port at 2pm to catch our boat back to San Andres. But we were much faster than we thought and the many stories of our guide made our walk very entertaining! He told us many things about the culture of the locals, his own life story and everything about the flora and fauna on the way. The island has just as many green tones as its sea wih its different colors. And from the top we enjoyed a beautiful view of the island and sea! Then we walked back and had a last coconut lemonade at the hotel.

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It was very hard to leave but knowing I can always come back was making it easier to catch the catamaran back to San Andres. The boat ride back was actually very smooth and relaxing and we were told that you sometimes can even see whales or dolphins – unfortunately we weren’t lucky enough but that is just another reason to return! By the way if your stomach is not the best one I would recommend to fly from San Andres to Providencia – it only takes about 30 minutes in a small aircraft – at least on the way to Providencia! The way back can always be a nice experience taking the catamaran “el Splendor” or “Sensation”. At the end I can only tell you about this trip: I found PARADISE!

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