Friday, October 28, 2016

San Andrés - A Colombian island paradise

San Andrés beach

San Andrés is a small island in the Caribbean off the coast of Nicaragua. Although it is part of Colombia, it has a very distinct carribean culture - including its own Creole language.
The island is relatively underdeveloped with only a few large expensive resorts. The town is mostly just a laid back local place.

San Andrés town

The island is known for it's beautiful blue waters and white sand beaches.

San Andrés from the boat to Johnny Cay

And it's excellent snorkelling, especially on its nearby coral quays.

Boats with Johnny Cay In the background

Johnny Cay

To get to the main coral quay (Johnny cay) you can take a boat from the main beach (tickets are sold from the yellow transport co-op building).

It's better value to buy the trip that goes to the acuario Island too which is better for snorkeling.

Fish at Acuario Island - my phone doesn't take great photos underwater

As well as Johnny cay and Acuario Island, there is another coral quay easily reached from the main town. Just outside of the village of San Luis is the excellent snorkelling spot of Rocky Cay.

San Luis beach

Rocky Cay

You can easily walk out the 250m through the shallow water to the island

Walking out to Rocky Cay

where there is excellent snorkelling around the reef and the sunken ships that are nearby.

A Rusting ship

Further up the coast is a short nature trail through the mangroves which is filled with birds and other animals. 

The walkway

The river through the mangroves

Mud crab in its burrow

After many trips out snorkelling and trekking through mangroves, San Andrés is also the perfect place to relax on the beach with a cocktail or two - including the (in)famous Coco Loco, an incendiary mix of liquor served in a coconut.

One of the many beach side bars

San Andrés is the perfect place in Colombia to relax and enjoy the carribean without the stress of some of the larger cities. 

Another part of San Andrés beach

It's beautiful beaches, laid back culture and small town feel made it the perfect place to relax before continuing my journey away from the coast - inland to the city of Medellin.

San Andreas from the air