The beautiful island of San Andrés is located in the Caribbean sea but belongs to Colombia. It is definitely worth a visit if you enjoy white beaches and crystal clear blue water. Here’s a guide on what else you can do on the island.
Rent a caddy and visit la Primera Iglesia Bautista
Best thing to do in order to get to know the island is to rent a golf caddy. It is pretty easy to find a place to rent one. Just go downtown to the pietonal and you will find some when walking around. There are different caddies, though. The cheaper ones are not as strong and usually you won’t be able to go up the hill. These cost around 90,000 pesos a day (30 USD). The better and stronger ones, on the other hand, cost around 150,000 pesos a day (50 USD) but you can drive uphill.
It is very convenient to get to know the different beaches and places in a day. Moreover, you have the chance to go to the „Primera Iglesia Bautista“ in La Loma uphill. For 5,000 pesos (1.80 USD) you can enter (open until 6pm on weekdays only) and climb the church. You have a wonderful view over the entire island.
Right next to San Andrés there are two little islands you can go to and hang out at the white sand beaches having a drink. The islands are called Jhonny Cay and Acuario. You can find some amazing spots to snorkel, too. If you wanna go to one island only it costs about 15,000 pesos (5 USD). However, it is possible to do both in one day and you would pay around 20,000 pesos (7 USD) for both. Where to buy the tickets: there are a lot of salesmen in the center. Otherwise you can go to „la muelle de la casa de la cultura“. Right next to that you’ll find the place where the boats start their tours.
Kayaking in the mangroves
This is a very nice activity that you can do in an afternoon. In a transparent kayak you will float through the mangroves and learn about the place from a local guide. The costs are around 70,000 pesos (22 USD) for 3-4 hours including a snack and a juice at the end of the tour. These tours are offered by EcoFiwi.
Diving – learn how to dive
For beginners as well as professionals – San Andrés has some beautiful dive spots. Even if you have never dived before you can do a mini-course which includes a 1-hour training and a 40 minutes dive. Costs: ~150’000 pesos (50 USD)
The dive spots are at the westside of the island. However, most of the offices are located in the center. A very recommendable place is Sharky Dive Shop. Super responsible and patient people. Their office is right across the street of „la muelle de la casa de la cultura“.
Shopping in the center / relaxing at the main beach
Experience downtown by doing some shopping, have a fresh juice and hang out at the close by beach when you get tired. You will see many local teenagers doing sports at the main beach. Also, it is very beautiful to have a walk in the pietonal along the beach at night. Feel the breeze and listen to the sea.
Rocky Cay and other beaches in San Luis / eat Rondon
The beaches towards the south of the island in the area of San Luis are less crowded than the main beach in the center and more peaceful. You’ll find different beaches but one of my personal favorites is the Rocky Cay beach. There is a tiny island like 100 meters off the shore where you can walk to and do some snorkeling. Anyway, no matter what beach you go to you might wanna try the typical dish „Rondon“. It is a fish that comes with different side dishes. It’s a heavy but a good meal.
La Piscinita / West view
In these two places you encounter kind of a natural aquarium. You get some bread when entering (cost: 4,000 pesos/each) and you can go feed and dive with the fishes. The places are rather small and not much space to hang out. However, West View is a little bit bigger and there is also a water slide as well as an underwater statue you can visit.
San Andrés is also home to a lot of water sports. Jetski, snorkeling, or kayaking – you can find different activities. Also kite surfing. You can do it at the main beach (more difficult because more crowded) or go towards the south – close to the hotel Marazul there is a great spot with experienced people to learn how to do kite surfing. Save your energy the day you go. It can get pretty exhausting. But it’s heaps of fun. Check it out. Cost: 1 hour for 150,000 pesos (50 USD) with all the gear included.
The hollywood movies
If you wanna enjoy the latest movies or have a relaxing night: There is a cinema close to the main beach in the center.
La Noche Blanca / Coco Loco
If you wanna do some dancing you might wanna go to „la Noche Blanca“ first and the to Coco Loco. La Noche Blanca is an event on a boat where you pay around 90,000 pesos (30 USD) – there are different offers – and you get food and drinks as much as you want. The boat leaves around 8pm from „Muelle Portofino“ and comes back at around 11pm.
Otherwise, or later on, you can go to Coco Loco which is the most famous nightclub on the island. Coco Loco is also the name of a cocktail – it’s basically a mix of different alcohol. The entrance fee is 15,000 pesos (5 USD) for men and 10,000 (3USD) for women. Other nightclubs are: Caribbean (across Coco Loco), Hangover (3 min walk from Coco Loco), and one on the top floor of the hotel Sol Caribe. Caribbean and Hangover are usually visited by locals.
El Hoyo Soplador
It’s a hole in the cliff located in the very south of the island. Depending on the tide, the water splashes out of the hole. Or you can swim under the rocks, look up and take some nice photos.
A sweet water lagoon with crocodiles in it. It’s a peaceful place. Nice to visit for a bit. No more, no less.
This is the cave where allegedly pirate Henry Morgan had buried some of his treasure. The cave is 120m long, but it’s filled with water, so you see only its mouth. Personally, I was a little disappointed. You can’t enter the cave and there is not much to see. Moreover, the guide didn’t explain very well and I had to re-read the information at home. Other than the cave there are a few other things to visit, e.g. two locals dancing calypso.
Cost: 15,000 pesos (5 USD)