Discover Isla de Providencia in Colombia’s Caribbean
Isla de Providencia is an island worth discovering, says Sarah Griffiths.
Isla de Providencia is an island worth discovering. As you fly in to the tiny landing strip from the nearby island of St Andrés, you will have already been enchanted by the Sea of Seven Colours, which ranges from deep green to translucent aqua-blue. A day’s fishing-boat trip will bring you closer to these amazing hues, as you snorkel around Crab Cay or dive after seafood to barbecue for your dinner.
On this rugged, remote Caribbean island, in Colombia’s Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, you will find yourself lazing in a hammock, slung between two trees on a deserted beach, and enjoying some fresh mango while you wait for lunch to be cooked in the embers of a wood fire. Dreamily watching the endless ocean may lull you to sleep before you take to the water again or set out to explore this fascinating island.
Those of you who have a real yen for adventure and are happy to enjoy a very early morning can hike up The Peak before the heat of the day sends you back to your hammock and the sea. From the summit, you will be rewarded by 360Â° views of Providencia and its magnificent surrounding reefs.
Another extraordinary adventure is to walk across the wonky bridge – which really lives up to its description – to the minute island of Santa Catalina. A hike around its shores past some little coves will bring you to the beach by Morgan’s Head, a huge rock named in memory of the English pirate Henry Morgan who sailed these waters in the 17th century, which can be seen to stunning effect from a boat. The snorkelling here is also fantastic.
Finally, what could be better after a busy day swinging in a hammock, in between swimming, snorkelling and gentle hikes, than to sit back and watch the sun lower into the sea? Hiring a golf buggy will enable you to make a round-the-island trip to discover many enchanting beaches, including the Freshwater Bay area. This stretch of the coast faces west, so you can enjoy the most magical of sunsets. There is also a good choice of spots to have dinner here. Make sure you try the local lobster.
The best place to stay on Isla de Providencia is the charming Monasterio del Viento, meaning Monastery of the Wind, a rustic-chic house with four bedrooms. Four nights here would be perfect. It is possible to book an individual room but we would recommend taking the whole house, even if there are just two of you, so you can enjoy the privacy, beauty and wonder of this hidden gem in full.