Finding Paradise on San Andres Island

After our time in Bogota, we took a short 2 hour flight to San Andres Island to chase after some sunshine and ocean breeze. The warm climate was a nice change from rainy Bogota, and we simply couldn’t wait to jump into the Caribbean Sea that glistened with the most glorious shades of blue!

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We stayed at the Hotel Sol Caribe San AndrĂ©s, which was conveniently located by the public beach and all the shops in the main city center. It’s an all inclusive hotel, but to be honest, I didn’t like it that much because the rooms were in dire need of fixing (lots of leaks in many of our rooms throughout our stay), the restaurants on property were nearly impossible to book because they were so small, and the staff were not very friendly or helpful at all.

The entire oval shaped island is tiny, and takes maybe 2 hours at most to drive around the whole island. We found that the best way to do so is to rent one of their open air jeeps/golf carts/buggy (whatever you want to call it!) so that you can enjoy magnificent views and cool ocean breezes along the way. Each one can fit up to 6 people, so we rented 2–perfect for our group of 12!
We were able to make a number of stops as we drove around the island, some for photo opps, and others to check out some cultural places. Although San Andres Island belongs to Colombia, it definitely felt a lot more Jamaican and Caribbean to us!

Our hotel had a sister property further away from town, so we stopped by there for lunch. The sun was right above us as we arrived, so when we saw the beautiful, empty pool, we could not resist jumping right in! (Tip: always wear your swimsuit when you’re on an island, as there are so many opportunities to get into the water throughout the day!)

Personally, I liked this sister property more, even though it’s not as conveniently located to the town center. It felt newer, cleaner, and more serene, which is what I would want when I’m staying on an island! It was also closer to the private beach that belonged to the hotel, which was where we ended up spending most of our afternoon that day swimming, lounging, and jetskiing.

On our last day in San Andres Island, we took a boat ride out to the deeper ocean for some amazing snorkeling. This part of the Caribbean Sea is known for its clear water and diving, so the snorkeling did not disappoint. We saw a ton of fishes, a stingray, and even a shipwreck!

The current was pretty strong while we were at sea, so life vests were definitely necessary. My uncle jumped right into the water without a life vest and nearly drowned! The water always looks more tame when you’re looking at it from the boat, but once you are actually in it, the currents are no joke and can totally catch you off guard.

There is one restaurant that everyone must go to when visiting San Andres and that is La Regatta. It’s a super cute restaurant that’s housed on a pantoon over the sea, with an amazing menu filled with seafood options. Upon arrival to La Regatta, you’ll be greeted by the coolest hand made decor as you make your way to the actual entrance of the restaurant itself, from a mix of materials like glass, wood, etc. We tried making dinner reservations from the day we arrived but they were always fully booked, so we finally settled on a lunch reservation right before our flight. I’m so glad we made it there because it was definitely one of our favorite parts of the trip. The view was extraordinary, the food was delicious, and we just loved everything about that restaurant!

Prior to this trip, I had never heard of San Andres Island. I’m so glad my Uncle Kenny introduced this island to us and that we got to explore it for a few days because we had a ton of fun. Island life suits Bridgette very well, and the low key vibe of San Andres Island was a nice contrast to the busy city of Bogota. Many people who visit Bogota likes to take a side trip to Cartegena too, but San Andres Island is another good option, one that’s less touristy, with more beautiful beaches!

 

 

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