800 km northwest of Colombia and 230 km off the coast of Nicuaragua lies the small island of San Andrés. This little known Colombian island in the Caribbean Sea is a gem in South America and provided us with a drastically different experience than any other destination thus far. Even though the island belongs to Colombia, given its location it has much more of a Carribean/Creole vibe than Latin. During our eight nights we enjoyed the laid back and rastafarian feel while sitting on white sand beaches and swimming in that daydream inducing turquoise water.
We had a great apartment ($55 a night) located on Sound Bay on the east (and less touristy) side of the island and right across the street from the beach. The beaches right there were virtually empty and it was a much more authentic local experience as we were almost always the only gringos around. The location was right on the bus line so we constantly hopped on the local bus catching 60 cent rides around the island. The only time we took other transportation was when we rented a golf cart on the last day and spent 5-6 hours mobbing around the island listening to Katie’s reggae inspired “Bookey Beach Mix” on our JAMBOX. The nice thing about doing it on our last day is we just took the cart right to the airport when it was time to fly out and left it in the parking lot (only on a small island would this be possible).
- Boat tour to Johnny Cay and Acuario Cay (if you plan to go – Johnny Cay had great food and people watching but was pretty busy. Aquaria key was insanely packed with tourists. Definitely a trap there. Both should not be on your list if you want a relaxing beach experience. Only go to people watch and enjoy the crazy blue water.)
- Riding beach cruisers to and swimming in the La Piscinita on the west side of the island. Great for seeing fish and snorkeling.
- Long beach runs
- Birthday drinks at Aqua Beach club which is a highly rated place about a mile north of where we stayed. They also were slick and gave you a buzzer button you could press every time you wanted another drink. Winning!
- Catching a 48-hour flu and being totally laid up for a few days. Good thing I had a great nurse to take care of me!
- USA soccer team playing Colombia while there and losing 2-0.
Keeping this post short as pictures do most of the talking here: