Imagine relaxing in a tropical climate, cool Caribbean breeze blowing through your hair and nothing but coconut palms to keep you company, the dazzling kaleidoscope-sea a multi-shaded turquoise lapping at your toes and miles of beautifully-unspoilt beaches, devoid of buildings and people, waiting to be discovered……Sounds like paradise, right?
Fifty-six miles north of the San Andrés archipelago is where you will find this remaining gem known as Providencia Island; an idyllic and peaceful place that is one of the few remaining Caribbean islands that has yet to suffer mass tourism. The English-speaking island is a glimmer of a Caribbean that once was, some 50 years ago, before mega resorts sprang up and package tourism took over. With very limited connection to the mainland, its customs and traditions have remained fairly well preserved; its culture closely resembling that of nearby Jamaica, and vastly different from that of the Colombia mainland. Today, 15,000 tourist pay visit each year, most of this tourism concentrated on the west coast, in the tiny hamlets of Aguadulce and Bahía Suroeste. There, you will find small cottages, hotels, and cabañas, and a handful of restaurants sprinkled throughout.
For those seeking a little adventure, many activities can be enjoyed on the islands. Providencia Island is one of the best regions for scuba diving, its reef, the 3rd largest in the world, a smaller version of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Belize’s Meso-American Reef. Snorkeling here is also wonderful, as waters are almost always tranquil. Many tourist hike to El Pico, the highest point of the island, for a stunning panorama. And, as the waters are not overfished, sport fishing is certainly a highlight—from bonefish to deep sea varieties, to kingfish and dorado. Or, for you lazy bones, kick back in privacy on one of the several remote beaches plus neighboring Santa Catalina Island’s beaches and soak up the sun – maybe watch the black land crabs in migration scuttle by.
If you ever wanted to get away, Providencia Island is a utopian escape for both sun tanners and adrenaline-lovers alike, where you might just find your sojourn lasting a little longer than planned.