What to do on San Andrés IslandIf you’re asking yourself what to do on San Andrés Island, the answer is: enjoy it to the full! This island is not only beautiful and safe; it’s also home to many enchanting sites that you have to visit and activities that will tickle your fancy!
What to do on San Andrés Island by day?
Beaches of San Andrés
Main Beach (Playa Principal)
The Main Beach of San Andrés is located in the center of the island, just in front of where the commerce of the island can be found. Even though it’s close to the hubbub of the town, the beach doesn’t lose any of its beauty. All it takes is a walk to this beach to be able to appreciate the beauty of the sea around San Andrés, with its turquoise hue and white sand. You can explore this beach by foot and enjoy the sun and the rich ambiance of the island. To get to Main Beach, you can walk from the Center of the island in only 2 to 5 minutes.
Jonny Cay Beach
Only 15 minutes away by boat is the beautiful and unmissable Jonny Cay Beach. There are lots of palm trees here, and in some places along the beach there are exotic formations of coral that house beautiful pools of water. Another reason why you can’t leave San Andrés without visiting Jonny Cay Beach is its richly coloured water. There’s also a lot to do there: you can either spend all the day sunbathing, soaking in the warm waters, drinking a “Coco Loco” (a popular cocktail from the Caribbean coast of Colombia), or, how about taking a trip on one of the inflatable banana-floats that are pulled along by a boat that will, for sure, toss you into the water at the end!
To get to Jonny Cay Beach, you have to take a boat which can be hired from one of the boat-drivers in the cooperatives of fishermen that can be found on Main Beach or on the jetties of San Andrés Island. This trip shouldn’t cost you more than 8 USD, and in only a few minutes you’ll be in one of the most beautiful spots of San Andrés.
This area is inhabited by the locals of San Andrés, where you can appreciate the wooden houses and colourful Antillean architecture. Here, you can enjoy the warm and crystalline waters of the islands beaches and its gorgeous views. To get to San Luis from the center of the island, you can go by bicycle, motorcycle, taxi or bus, since it is only 3.5 kilometers away.
From San Luis Beach, not only can you see Rocky Cay, you can even walk there! This cay (a rock or coral bank or reef) is small, but beautiful, and the water is only around 1 meter deep, which lets you see the rich variety of colourful fish that live here. I’d advise you to head out to see the Rocky Cay since you can go snorkeling there. For that reason, it would be a great idea to bring along your snorkel mask and flippers.
Touristy Places in San Andrés
In addition to all those marvelous beaches I’ve already mentioned, there’s a lot more to do in San Andrés, so I’m going to tell you about a few more top sites to visit.
The Blow Hole (Hoyo Soplador) is about 15 kilometers south of the Center of San Andrés and is a site that lots of tourists to this island visit and enjoy. Basically, it’s a geyser that has formed over many, many years by a jet of water that shoots up several meters into the air! You can buy handcrafts here and also enjoy a delicious “Coco loco” while you contemplate and wait for the jet of the Blow Hole to burst forth from the ground.
To get to the Blow Hole, there are buses that will take you from the Center for around 1 USD, or in taxi for about 10 USD – it’s about a 40 minute drive to get there.
“Big Pond” Lagoon
The Big Pond Lagoon is in the center of San Andrés and is filled with rain water. There are Spectacled Caimans (“babillas”) that live in the lagoon that you can feed, as well as herons, crabs, palms and fruit trees. You can take a trip in the lagoon by boat to admire the beauty of the lagoon.
Because this lagoon is close to the center, it’s a piece of cake to get there, and some folks even walk there although the path is actually a little bit dangerous. For this reason, we recommend you to take a taxi or in one of the rentable golf carts that they rent in the center.
West View is an enchanting natural pool of 2 to 3 meters in depth. You can slide into this pool or jump in from a trampoline, although there are also stairs if you prefer a more conventional way to access the pool. You should also keep in mind that this is yet another great place to snorkel, thanks to the quantities of colourful fish and coral reefs. This beautiful spot is actually surrounded by an “Ecopark” in which you can stroll through Nature and go horseback riding. Entry to the park costs 2 USD, approximately. This is without a doubt one of the best of the things to do on San Andrés.
To get to West View from the Center, you can take the bus for around 1 USD, or a taxi for around 8 USD, and in 30 minutes you’ll be enjoying this fifth touristic site of San Andrés.
Morgan’s Cave, today, is an enigmatic park that offers a guided tour of five different stations. At each station, a guide will tell you about the epoque of pirates in which Henry Morgan guarded his treasures in the cave (to learn about the history of San Andrés, visit San Andrés Tourism). Entry to this mysterious cave costs 7 USD.
To get to Morgan’s Cave, you can also take the bus from the Center, which will take you by Cove Road, or in taxi.
What to do in San Andrés by night?
Ride in the Party Chiva Bus
These trips are usually available in the nighttime, and are held in a colourful party bus with great music for dancing. The trip lasts about two hours and takes you by the most popular tourist spots of the island; this trip will cost you around 10 USD.
White Party on the Catamarán
You have to dress in white to attend these parties, which are held on a bit white Catamarán. Be prepared to enjoy a night of dancing and good food! Entry to this party costs upwards of 30 USD and includes drinks and a buffet-style dinner.
Traversing the streets
If you like to take it a little easier on vacation, you’ll definitely like to take a walk around the streets of the Center, especially on 1st Street (Calle Una), which is located in front of the beach where most of the nightlife activities are organized. Having said that, we can’t guarantee that you won’t find yourself in one of the many parties of San Andrés!
As you can see, there are lots of things you can get up to on San Andrés Island, and lots of memorable sights to see!
Have you gone to San Andrés and visited some site that we haven’t mentioned?