Providencia & San Andres – the idyllic Caribbean islands

To Providencia or not to Providencia???

“If you go to Colombia, you HAVE to go to San Andres” a friend of a friend told me a while ago. I then heard about Providencia, the little island off San Andres, and spent far too long deliberating whether to go, as it can be a bit of a hassle to get there… and would it be worth it?

The ultimate guide to San Andres & Providencia

How to get to Providencia from San Andres

There seemed to be only two ways to get there:

  1. Take a 300,000 col pesos (approx 108 usd) catamaran boat, each way. Roughly 3 hours and apparently so rough that most people are sick, so in total spending 6 hours and 600,000 col pesos and quite possibly puking.
  2. Or take approx a 400,000 col pesos (approx 138 usd) flight, each way. Only about 25 mins, and even though it’s a tiny flight, the likelihood of vomming is much lower / non existent.

Now, as it was becoming so difficult to get to, I was getting more and more intrigued to go. If I didn’t go, I know I would have always thought – ooh I wonder what Providencia was like – and would most likely end up going again as the envy and curiosity would have got too much.

So I did a lot of research. Where would I stay, would that also be super expensive?

Then…. 💡 BINGO! 💡

I found a great deal with Miss Elma hotel which gave FREE flights to the island with a booking in their hotel. I got 2 nights accommodation + breakfast + flights for 600,000 pesos (108 usd). The same price as the transport via boat one-way, crazy deal.

The first thing to say is – 100% it is worth it.

Providencia is so different to San Andres. Yes the sea is beautifully blue in both but it really is on another level in Providencia.

The photo below is UNEDITED.

Providencia sea - unedited

Providencia sea


I may have been lucky, going during low-season which is why I got such a good deal, but now with hindsight, I can honestly say – I would go back in a heartbeat.

The beauty of Providencia is that the extra faff to get there prevents heaps of tourists going.

So if you can’t get a deal on travel, I would still recommend going there – and has some good deals on accommodation here.

Best places to go in Providencia:

An absolute must do! I’m not a fan of touristy trips, but this one goes round a few different little islands, and the colour of the sea is literally something I have never seen before. The view from the top of Cayo Cangrejo is insane.

Caye Cangrejo - Providencia island

Caye Cangrejo

Possibly my favourite spot on the island, this is run by super chilled guys making some insane cocktails. Deffo sample the strawberry pina colada. I’m pretty sure I spent all my money here – not because they’re expensive, but because they taste so delicious it’s impossible not to drink 10.

La Sirenita - best cocktails in Providencia

La Sirenita – best cocktails on the island


  • Lunch at the restaurant next to La Sirenita

This island is so chilled I’m not even sure if this place has a name, so I’m going for ‘the place on the right of La Sirenita’. I shared a fish platter with a friend there – it was all the local catch of the day, so unbelievably fresh. And around 4 times the size of my head. I don’t have an abnormally sized head by the way.

For roughly 50,000 col pesos (17 usd), so only approx 8 usd each – and it was so big it would deff feed 3 people. Although we were greedy and had it between 2.


Fish platter

This is a popular spot to drink or party at night  – it’s chilled and has a bonfire, with lots of coco locos.

Rolands - party place in Providencia island

Rolands – party place

San Andres

For me, it doesn’t compare to Providencia – it’s much less chilled, and much more touristy.

However if you do spend some time here too, Johnny Cay was my favourite beach. It’s about 30 mins away from the airport, so a little further out, and a little less touristy. It’s beaut….but when you see Providencia, you’ll see, it just can’t compare!

Johnny Cay - San Andres beach

Johnny Cay – San Andres beach


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  1. elles

    How did you find this deal? I am so so curious? I found a great deal with Miss Elma hotel which gave FREE flights to the island with a booking in their hotel. I got 2 nights accommodation + breakfast + flights for 600,000 pesos (108 usd). The same price as the transport via boat one-way, crazy deal.

    • hats

      hey elle, I’d heard about them so then I got my colombian mate to call them and they gave us the offer over the phone. good luck!!!

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