The following sponsored guest post was submitted by Dan Chaber: As the plane goes downwards towards its final destination, all passengers excitedly look through the oval small windows to a majestic Caribbean island. The island is largely covered with green vegetation and is quite small in size, so its entirety can be taken in only one single view from this position. It is surrounded on all sides by a calm sea of coral. That strange piece of the white and green earth seems a bit out of place among the iridescent sea water which encloses it. As we get closer to our destination, the spots of blue, yellow, pink, and orange concrete peer through the green landscape of the island. The plane lands on the single tiny runway of an airport and we finally touch the land of San Andres.
When speaking of the Caribbean, the island getaways of Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, or the Dominican Republic are often the first thoughts that come to mind of European and North American travelers. San Andres is an isolated coral island in the Caribbean Sea nearby islands of Santa Catalina and Providencia. Fortunately or unfortunately, this magnificent island is often left of the tourist map of the western world for various reasons. Despite being much closer to Nicaragua, it politically belongs to Colombia. Actually, San Andres Island is lost gem in the midst of the Caribbean.
The local people vary from blue-eyed blond-haired Argentineans of European ancestry to dark-skinned Rastas. Although the majority of the population on the island are English-speaking people, Spanish is the main spoken language here. Therefore, most of the hotels and resorts here cater to the South American travelers from Colombia, Argentina, and Peru. In addition to Spanish and slanged Caribbean English, some locals also speak Creole language. Despite this great difference in language, San Andres manages to reflex the same image as the more famous Caribbean Islands.
Among others, this lovely place offers white sandy beaches full of seashells, transparent sea water that looks like swimming pools, as well as a wide range of water-related activities. A night-time production of the island features a wide diversity of dance and music, from African rhythmic drumming to Colombian salsa.
San Andres Island has much to offer, but nevertheless, it is not a popular travel destination and is often “off the track” in the Caribbean Sea. This godforsaken island offers all the comfort of the travel lifestyle. On the other hand, it tickles adventurous spirit of vacationers searching for a new challenge.
What makes San Andres different from other Caribbean islands is its diversity in culture, history, and language. Its history boasts of a colonial past, since this is the place where the free-wheeling pirates waged proxy wars with European powers. Speaking of religion, the majority of islanders are Protestant, especially Baptists. There are also other religious groups, including Roman Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Muslims, and Jews.
Aside from language and culture, the architecture also exemplifies the diversity of this island. The buildings on the island are thickly coated in pink, blue, and yellow, which hides the effects of humid salty air and pounding tropical rains. Modern tall resorts and hotels sit side by side to pink Caribbean houses in the urban area. The main tourist attractions on San Andres are Islena House Museum, North End (the center of San Andres), La Loma (where you can see the traditional island architecture), Cocoplumbay Beach, Rocky Cay Beach and Cliff or Penon.
How to get to the island? Thanks to the Copa Airlines daily flights from Bogotá and Panama City, it is quite easy to reach San Andres. Flights from New York, Miami, and Los Angeles are also connected through either Bogata or Panama City. Besides, you can also get to San Andres via sailboat; although trips leaving Colombia and Panama are more expensive and infrequent.
Where to stay? There’re a lot of hotels on San Andres, ranging from seas-side modern resorts to colonial hotels. If you are looking for a resort, DeCameron Resorts chain is the best option because it provides all-inclusive packages (for both food and activities) at an affordable price. As for the hotels in downtown San Andres, I recommend Noblehouse Hotel. This hotel provides well-kept rooms and brilliant atmosphere.
This Colombian island is perfect for travelers looking for both adventure comfort, especially for those who are tired of overcrowded Caribbean resort islands.Author’s Bio:
Tv scholar. Subtly charming entrepreneur. Pop culture evangelist. Twitter fan. Friendly internet aficionado. Ultramarathon distance runner.
Dan Chabert hails from Copenhagen, Denmark. He owns Runnerclick and Nicershoes which eats up his time when not preparing for a marathon. He has been featured in a lot of popular blogs all over the world.