Beautiful waters, scuba diving, and a rich history are all characteristic of San Andres Island, Colombia. This island is part of an archipelago along with Provencia. San Andres is located east of Nicaragua but is actually part of Columbia.
San Andres has a history filled with piracy and conquests. In the late 1620’s San Andres and the neighboring island, Provencia, were settled by English Puritans. Although both islands had a nice climate and fertile soil, Provencia became more important because of its fresh water supply and military value. Eventually slaves were brought to the islands, and with the increase in trade came an increase in piracy. Eventually Spain grew tired of having its ships attacked while passing through the Caribbean and attacked Provencia causing most of the colonists to flee the island. Many slaves, and some colonists, decided to stay on San Andres and began building the culture and heritage seen today. Over time these islands have caught the attention of Spain, France, Panama, Guatemala, and Nicaragua but became part Colombia in 1822.
San Andres Island has a rich culture that reflects its mixed history. The official language of San Andres is Spanish, but many of the locals speak Creolle which is a mixture of English and French. Many people on the island also speak English. Some of the island’s English heritage can also be seen in some of its architecture and culture. Some of the culture on San Andres also has to do with the geography of the island such as fish and seafood being a large part of local diet. The interesting history and culture of the island along with its beautiful Caribbean climate and beaches make tourism a major part of its economy.
San Andres Island has a lot to offer tourists and visitors. The beautiful white sand beaches and various water sports offered on San Andres are the major focuses of most travelers. Scuba diving is very popular on San Andres and the other islands in the archipelago. Underwater caves, walls, sunken ships, and sea life are all there to be explored by divers. Large and active coral reefs and excellent visibility make these waters perfect for this as well as snorkeling. Those that are more interested in exploring the island itself can explore things like the twelve mangrove forests and Morgan’s Cove where it is rumored the pirate Henry Morgan hid his treasures. Visitors may also climb La Loma which at 120 meters above sea level is the highest point of the island. From this height visitors may view the beautifully mixed colors of the Caribbean Sea.
San Andres is a unique and interesting island. This island’s background and climate have allowed it to be a profitable tourist destination as well as develop a culture that reflects its history. Those that travel to San Andres Island, Colombia may enjoy this rich culture as well as the Caribbean beaches and waters.
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