Guest post by Daniel. Daniel is a 25 year old Australian and full-time traveler. He has spent the last 13 months backpacking in Latin America and writing about all of his adventures and stories on his blog called Destinationless Travel.
5 Things to Do on San Andres Island, Colombia
San Andres Island is a well-known holiday spot among Colombian tourists, however, for many international travelers Colombia’s small island located off the coast of Nicaragua is rather unknown.
I came by this magical place only by chance – and I’m really glad I did!
Due to its locality (in the middle of nowhere) its waters are pristine and the air is crystal clear. The beaches are mostly surrounded by a protective reef making them the most beautiful beaches in Colombia!
Yes, I said it, and I can’t imagine anyone could contest that!
Keep reading for the best places to take in the island’s beauty in my Top 5 Things to Do on San Andres Island.
#1 Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
I would have to say that scuba diving on the reef that surrounds San Andres is the most amazing ocean diving I have done.
With the lack of people and an abundance of fish it is the perfect place to see beautifully coloured coral filled with life!
Most dives on the island are only a short boat ride away, but there are also many dive and snorkel spots right off of the shore.
The southern tip of the island and surrounding west side are the best places for snorkeling and diving from the shore. This part of the island is protected from any swells that hit the east side making it a calm spot where both fish and humans come to swim!
Overall, this is a great activity for all levels of experience and for anyone looking to get scuba certifications there are plenty of professional dive shops on the island that teach PADI dive courses!
#2 Relax on one of the Islands Many Beaches
When I said San Andres has the best beaches in Colombia, I meant it.
However, don’t just stay in the touristic areas in the north and east side of the island near Rocky Cay.
Instead, head to the southeast side of the island where there are many beaches with much less people around. Some of these beaches even come with their own natural pools, perfect for those that don’t swim well or just want to sit back and enjoy a Pina Colada!
Please be careful though, as in some areas sea urchins (those black things with hundreds of spikes) can be found hiding in the rocks.
#3 Enjoy a Magical Sunset
The sunsets that fill San Andres’s sky with beautiful colors are breathtaking!
Every afternoon Bailey and I would head to the west side of the island to our own secret spot. We would sip rum and cokes while the sky glowed in yellows and reds and sounds from the ocean filled the air. It was perfect.
Every day I looked forward to that time spent gazing out at the sea, and no matter what, we didn’t miss it.
The best place to watch the sunset (this will depend on the time of year though) was near the “I LOVE SAI” sign on the west side. That exact spot can attract a few people but there are plenty of other clearings nearby to enjoy by yourself.
Our favorite spot was located at the blow hole (just ask any local or tour agency where “the blow hole” is located).
#4 Rent a Buggy/Scooter and Explore
One simply can’t leave San Andres without renting a buggy or scooter to explore the island.
Bailey and I actually rented a buggy for the entire 5 days we were there.
The island is small but it is not small enough to walk.
Public transport is not the greatest so having the freedom to roam around as you please is much more convenient. It can be expensive but getting a group together for a buggy can reduce the cost a lot with some buggies fitting up to 6 people.
Otherwise a scooter is quite cheap and also makes parking a lot easier!
It is mandatory to have a license in your country of residence to drive a vehicle on the island.
#5 Head to West View
Located on the west of the island is a great place called West View. It is the “theme park” of the island.
Now, I say that very lightly.
It’s really just a slide that drops off 2m into the ocean, diving board, and other activities like scuba diving with the helmet, wave boarding and speed boat rides. Although simple, it’s still a great place to hang out (the slide even made the “Top 10 Slides in South America”) and it is pretty fun!
The area is also filled with fish and feeding them is allowed with bags of food for sale.
This place is also near all the great places for sunset making it a great spot to end the afternoon. Note, it is a lot less busy later on in the day than in the morning with the tour bus crowds.
There are many other things I left out of this list like Jonny Cay and Caption Morgan’s cave. This is due to the fact they are extremely touristic and finding info on going is very easy on the island.
Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy your time on the island and hope this blog helped you enjoy your stay!
For information on planning a trip to San Andres please check out our complete guide to San Andres Island here!
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