Colombia's Best Kept Secret? Guide to Providencia Island

Nestled in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, Providencia Island stands as Colombia's hidden gem, a paradise waiting to be discovered. While popular destinations like Cartagena and Medellín often steal the spotlight, Providencia remains a well-kept secret, offering pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and a unique Afro-Caribbean culture. From its natural beauty to its rich history, this is a spot you don’t want to miss!

Getting There 🛫 ⛵️

To reach this tropical haven, tourists must fly into Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport on San Andrés Island, the larger sister island. From there, a short flight or catamaran ride will transport you to Providencia. The limited accessibility has preserved the island's unspoiled beauty, making it a true haven for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Unspoiled Beaches 🌊 🏝

Providencia boasts some of the most pristine beaches in the Caribbean. One such gem is Manzanillo Beach, a secluded stretch of white sand surrounded by lush greenery. The calm waters make it perfect for swimming, snorkelling, or simply soaking up the sun. For a more active beach experience, head to Southwest Bay, where you can try your hand at water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding.

The McBean Lagoon National Natural Park 🦀 🦜

Nature lovers will find solace in McBean Lagoon National Natural Park, a protected area covering both land and sea. This sanctuary is home to diverse ecosystems, from mangrove forests to coral reefs. Hike the trails to catch glimpses of unique wildlife, including iguanas, tropical birds, and perhaps even a rare crab species found only on Providencia.

Dive into the Abyss 🐠 🤿

Providencia's coral reefs are a diver's paradise. With crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral formations, and an abundance of marine life, the island offers a world-class diving experience. Whether you're a seasoned diver or a novice eager to try snorkelling, the underwater wonders of Providencia will leave you mesmerised.

Afro-Caribbean Culture 🥘 🇨🇴

Beyond its natural beauty, Providencia is a melting pot of Afro-Caribbean culture. The locals, known as "islanders," are warm, friendly, and proud of their heritage. Indulge in the island's unique cuisine, a blend of African, Caribbean, and indigenous flavours. Don't miss out on trying the traditional dish, Rondón, a hearty seafood stew that captures the essence of Providencia.

Preserving the Charm 🌴 ♻️

One of Providencia's charms is its commitment to sustainable tourism. The island's residents actively participate in preserving its natural beauty and cultural identity. Visitors are encouraged to engage with the local community, respecting their traditions and contributing to the preservation efforts.

Starting from Skratch? Here are some links to help you get started:

Providencia Island — Facts before you go


🇨🇴 Creole, English and Spanish


💰Colombian Peso

Famous for…

🎊 Melting pot of culture

🏖️ UNESCO Marine Protected Area the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve

🌊 Pristine beaches

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Imogen Kemp
December 17, 2023

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