If you had to wash up on any Caribbean island, the emerald-lined, white-sanded and turquoise-watered shores of Isla de Providencia would be an inspired choice.
Over 700km from the Colombian mainland and closer to Nicaragua than its motherland, many people travelling to South America will never have heard of Providencia. However, this is a Caribbean island with a lot of soul, winning over visitors with its beautiful beaches, sparkling sea, amazing coral reef and laid-back vibes.
It’s not the easiest island to get to; visitors must fly to San Andrés from where it is another short fight on a small aircraft to Providencia. What this does mean, however, is that it is blissfully quiet compared to other islands in the Caribbean.
The pace of life here is slow, and it’s the perfect place to simply switch off and unwind. The water is one of the main attractions here, and the island lies within the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve which helps to protect the local coral reef ecosystems. Snorkellers, divers and swimmers can enjoy the crystal-clear waters and colourful marine life along one of the largest reefs in the Americas.
Providencia island has its own unique culture and feels very different to the rest of Colombia. The island was colonised by the British in the 16th century who brought over slaves from Jamaica to cultivate cotton, maize and tobacco. Most of the islanders, who refer to their home as Old Providence, are descendants of these slaves and the language here is Creole as opposed to Spanish.
As you might expect, the seafood here is sublime. There are few things more blissful than tucking into freshly grilled lobster, cocktail in hand while watching the last of the sun’s rays dance over the glistening ocean.
What to do
- Snorkelling and diving
- Boat trips
- Enjoying the island's amazing seafood