San Andres is basically a small-sized island that is located just off the coast of Nicaragua, in the Caribbean. It is a province of Colombia. The charming island is most noted for its bright white sandy shores, coconut and palm trees, clear blue water as well as its all-inclusive hotels and resorts. It is a component of an Archipelago which other components are Santa Catalina and Providencia. San Andres has three main cultures. Its culture combines the influences of Latin America, Creole and English. It is also known to contain vast coral reefs as well as an outstanding variety of marine life. Politically San Andres has ties with Colombia but it has historically been known to be connected with the United Kingdom.
Things to do while in San Andres
Staying in San Luis
San Luis is on the eastern coast of San Andres island, just south of where the main luxurious hotels and resorts are. It is a pretty little settlement that is situated along several of the most beautiful beaches that can be found on the island. However, to be honest, most parts of the island are stunning when it comes to the 7 different shades of blue. Especially in the very south of the island where it is just rock, the water is stunning. If you are not into the luxury hotels and that San Luis is another alternative, however, most tours and that are in the northern part of the island, up to you really, you could rent a bike or “golf buggy”, however, walking and having a dip in the ocean was a better alternative for me. Naturally, San Luis is a more peaceful alternative to San Andres where eating out and getting accommodation can be quite a hassle and stressful for some. Really depends on your budget and what you want to do. The island is only 12km from top to bottom, tiny really. We rented a motorbike for about $20 for a day and did a loop of the island and stopped off at all the places to see. I would recommend doing that for at least a day, especially if you are staying in the more tourist spots.
Get a whole load of the best fresh seafood from San Andres
If you are a seafood lover, then San Andres has to be the best spot for your stomach delight. With it being an island that is strategically located in the Caribbean, it is ideal for freshly prepared fish from the sea as well as the most amazing seafood prepared by well-trained Chefs in Caribbean cuisine. So, visitors are spoilt for choice. However, you can find almost anything there from fast food to decent restaurants.
El Acuario or the acuarium
El Acuario is a predominantly little sandbank located in the middle of the ocean and is near Haynes Cay. Visiting the Acuario is a predominantly common day trip, for some snorkeling adventures. Manta rays, beautifully-coloured fishes as well as turtles are frequently seen around the calm, lucid waters of the El Acuario. There are several little restaurants or food stand as well as bars that are scattered on the small islet, basically selling snacks and cocktails.
The boat will take you there and give you a few hours to have a look around. There are 2 islands, and you have to walk in the water to the other the acuarium. The water is about waist high and there are some stones or coral in the water.
The idea of putting you on one island is so that you can rent water shoes, storage for your bag in case they get wet, it is a tourist trap and a way to get money out of tourists. However, it is something you have to do while there.
There is also a ship about 2km from there which literally sunk due to running into some coral, you can get a jet ski out there. I could only see it as I didn’t venture out there, but it seems really nice.
The acuarium got its name as when you get to the other island, walking through waist deep water with the odd manta ray swimming by your legs, you get to the islet and see it has swimming pool like structures, for that reason it got its name, but nothing special. So remember, bring water shoes when going here as you can step on some coral and damn it can hurt a lot.
El Hoyo is among the places to visit in San Andres. Known as El Hoyo Soplador or just the Geyser, it is a simple hole that is located around the rocky stretches of the shoreline. Due to the combination of the pressure from the waves that are building up under the hole, it frequently erupts pushing out enormous spouts of sea water. This causes everyone and location around it, to be soaked with sea water. While it gives a unique experience, it is a famous tourist attraction. El Hoyo is a favourite spot of lots of visitors who stop off at the location to catch a glimpse of the amazing wonders of the “Geyser”.
To be honest, I was very disappointed as it wasn’t what I expected. People gathered around it and expected it to shoot our water, but in the end the waves were not strong enough and I think it was a thing of the past, again another tourist trap. They make you pay to go in to see it or for free if you order a cocktail at 10am lol no thanks. We paid I think about $1USD and were not happy lol but we just got back on the bike and went on to the next location. Have a look yourself. It has a volcanic type rock, which is quite sharp, so please be careful as one fall and you could break a leg.
We came across this place, it is basically a swimming pool but very deep, gorgeous water, very resfreshing, at the temperature can be quite high we just came across it and had to pay about $1USD to get in and jumped in. The water is the southern part of the island is stunning, check out this pic of the different shades of blue.
Visiting Johnny Cay, Islands
Johnny Cay is among the most beautiful and famous cays located within the San Andres area of Colombia. The day is situated approximately a mile forward from the coast. At other times, the island is referred to as Islote Sucre, which roughly translates to Island of sugar. This is due to the white sandy beaches. Typically, the primary activities for tourists who visit the island is picnicking and relaxing out in the beaches and taking photos of the iguanas on the island and there are hundreds.
Johnny Cay is one of the wonders of San Andres
The magical beaches of Johnny Day Island is worth visiting because of its beauty, its wonders and the total experience. The island is a tropical island off the coast of San Andres which is full of palm trees. These palm trees produce fresh coconuts on a daily basis. Furthermore, tourists who visit the island are up for some local socca and reggae music, while savouring delicacies of the island such as the deep fried special fish plus a bottle of tasty rum. With this combination of experience, you would certainly feel what it is like to live a life of a pirate.
Johnny Cay Island is famous for its cocktails of fresh coconut and it offers some pretty amazing reefs right off the eastern coast of the island. However, visitors should keep an eye out for the currents of the sea, because they are potentially dangerous.
A brisk walk about the island could last for a period of fifteen minutes plus you could go on some pretty risky adventure trying to avoid the local crabs and iguanas. Tourists who visit Johnny Kay, will find nothing but lounging, relaxation and beaching.
Access Johnny Cay Islands through El Centros
Because Johnny Cay islands is located within view of the sea horizon of El Centro, visitors can actually rent any charter boats that can be hired to bring them straight to the island for an affordable fee. Traveling with a large group would certainly attract some discounts. You could run into numerous Colombians when you visit the island in the high season. Colombians are known globally for their affinity to holding long conversations. You can go into a tour agency and get whatever tour you need as they offer everything to do with the island itself. I would recommend this because whatever problem you have they are there “physically” to solve it compared to some guy who sells it on the street.
We stayed in a basic hostel with AC, no breaky but a lot cheaper compared to the resorts and that. We did go to a 5 star hotel for breaky every morning and paid $10USD and ate like kings, so check out booking.com and see what is available, what your budget is. You can stay on the island for about $200USD for a week for 2 people, and save money to spend it on tours and different things, as we did not really spend time in the hostel itself, just for showers and sleep. Most of the day we were on the beach and visiting the island itself. 3 to 4 nights are enough to see the island and available tours. We stayed for 6 nights and changed our flight to a day earlier.