Get to know Providencia, located in the San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina archipelago. Let yourself be captivated by the comfort of the Caribbean Sea and it’s marine fauna and flora surroundings.

Providencia, located in the Colombian Caribbean Sea, is the second largest in the entire department, with 17 km2. Its infinite colors on the surface, lush underwater landscapes, and mangroves that color the sea green are home to tiny vibrant fish.

Playa Providencia
Photo: Charly Boillot

Providencia Island shines with its blue-toned waters.

Here arrive lovers of ecotourism and water activities such as diving and the snorkel. They come to marvel at the gorgeous coral reefs and the biodiversity that can be appreciated under its crystalline waters. They also flock here to visit Old Providence Natural Park, declared a Sea Flower Biosphere Reserve since 2.000 by UNESCO.

How to get to Providencia?

The first thing to do when you arrive in San Andrés is to begin your journey to the island, either by air (which is shorter, approximately 15 minutes) or by boarding a catamaran from San Andrés to Providencia, a journey that takes around 3 hours.

A diversity of ecosystems, mangrove forests, coral formations and a small extension of tropical dry forest await you in Providencia. Now is time to let your journey get started!

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What to do in Providencia?

Upon arriving in Providencia Island, you can begin your adventure at the largest coral reef in the country and the third longest barrier reef in the world, at Old Providence McBean Lagoon National Natural Park. You can also visit Crab Cay, a small island where you can snorkel and see the colorful fish.

Pequeña isla de Cayo Cangrejo en Providencia | Colombia Travel
Photo: Sebastian Sanint

Crab Cay in front of the Providencia Island coast, in the San Andrés archipelago.

You can also enjoy a beautiful view of the sea of seven colors at San Andrés from the top of Crab Cay, at 30 meters height approximately. Remember that you must catch a boat from Providencia to get to the park. In the meantime, you can admire the Three Brothers Cay and Morgan’s head.

On the other hand, you cannot miss El Pico viewpoint, perfect for trekking, as it is the highest mountain on the island. Here you’ll be able to enjoy an unforgettable view. Don’t miss the chance to visit Santa Catalina, crossing the Lover’s Bridge, a structure from the 1800s.

Puente de los enamorados entre las islas de Providencia y Santa Catalina | Colombia Travel
Photo: Sebastian Sanint

The Lover’s Bridge in Providencia Island.

Unique experiences

One of the best travel experiences you’ll have is meeting the islanders. They are friendly, smiling people, as well as music and gastronomy lovers. Also, they are always ready to share the secrets of island life with tourists.

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The islanders make their living mainly from tourism and fishing. The sea provides them with food, landscapes, activities and other distractions. Due to their history and the English, Dutch and Spanish colonization, they have traditions such as drinking tea, speaking Creole (a Caribbean variation of English and African legacy) and love for music.

They still preserve their typical dances, among which are the vals, quadrille, schottische, mazurka and polka, although they enjoy other rhythms much more, such as reggae, socca, calypso and others from the interior of Colombia like vallenato, salsa and merengue.

Its culture is also reflected in its architecture, whose style has remained since colonial times. Colorful handmade Caribbean wooden houses with fish and crab carvings pay tribute to the sea. There are no huge concrete structures in Providencia. This truly is the perfect paradise for resting!

Activities you cannot miss in Providencia

The first place you should visit is downtown Santa Isabel. There are several supermarkets to buy some groceries and also a tourist office. By the same road to the southwest, you reach Old Town, the oldest village.

From there, you follow the road to Fresh Water Bay, where you would find cabins for lodging and a small area for restaurants. Along the same path, you can access Bottom House, a hamlet that leads to Manchanel Bay, place of the best beaches on the island where you can also savor the local cuisine.

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  • Wear comfortable and light clothing to enjoy the warm climate in the Colombian Caribbean Sea (28°C on average). Also, bring a cap or hat and sunscreen in a suitcase.

  • Bring sandals, flip flops, and proper shoes to walk on the hot sand, as well as to get into the water to avoid burning or cutting your feet with the rocky surfaces and corals.

  • Remember to take private transportation that picks you up at the airport and takes you to your accommodation.

Providencia island will become your favorite destination for resting. Come and enjoy the Caribbean breeze in a paradise you’ll want to return to again and again.

Photographs of our visitors