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Full Version: San Andrés, Colombia Guide (2019)
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This is going to be a trip report, rather than a data sheet. San Andrés is somewhere where you will probably want to take a girl with you rather than go solo as it's family and couple heavy. I only saw single girls a few times per day; and that was with about 10,000 tourists on the island.

*small photos can are enlarged on click*

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History, Language & Culture

The island has a long history of control by multiple entities. It was originally settled by The British and was long a place of operations for pirates. In the late 18th century it was taken by the Spanish and later became a part of Estados Unidos de Colombia.

It was settled by The British in the 17th century and they remain in small numbers to this day, speaking English. They are fairly easy to spot when you see them owing to their inability to cope with the sun.

Then there are the blacks and Raizals. The latter are mixed descendants of The British and slaves from Africa. The blacks are from West African stock (Ghana etc.) so they start off athletic and nubile and once they leave school start packing on the pounds to develop big fat asses and to a lesser extent chests. If that's your thing girls around 25 often have a thick figure, before hitting the wall and rapidly deteriorating. While the blacks in mainland Colombia are of Central-Western African origin (e.g. Cameroon), so they are slimmer with smaller assets. Some of them can only speak English, some can only speak Spanish and some speak both. If they speak English they also speak their own form of creole.

They mainly live in the small settlements that straddle the island roads and work in the restaurants in the capital, San Andrés.

The culture is similar to that of Jamaica, but more relaxed, less unpredictable and with a softer accent. Many have converted to Rastafarianism and mother dress in that style.

The main group is now Colombians who have been migrating over the last few decades and made Spanish the most common language. They don't speak much English. They are mainly in San Andrés and San Luis and do most of the non-menial jobs on the island.

There are also a number of immigrants from Lebanon.

There are a lot of churches on the island of many varieties, including strict ones like baptists and seventh day adventists. You can walk into most of them.

Weather

The most popular month to go to San Andrés is January when there is the least chance of rain. In this month there are about 50,000 visitors, while the island has a population of 75,000. Avoid going in June to November, as at this time of year there is 3-5 times more rain than in January.

The temperature averages 29 in the day and 25 at night, all year round.

Things to Take or Buy

* Snorkels, which you can buy there for $10
* Shoes like this for going in the sea. Some of the beaches have a lot of smashed up coral and these shoes will spare you from the pain of having it burrow into your skin
* Something to keep your phone or camera waterproof and carry money and your key in. I would recommend leaving with just money and your phone. You don't need towels or anything else. You can dry off in the sun in 20 minutes. But if you want to take a bag, most beaches will rent you a locker for about $2-3

Getting There

You can get there by flight from Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Medellín, Pereira (seasonal or canceled) and Santa Marta in Cololmbia. If you book from within three weeks you can get a inbound flight for around $30 (extra for bags) and they don't go up more than about $60 if you are booking late. From outside there are flights from Guatemala City, San José (Cost Rica) and Panama City. These are around $125-150. The domestic flights are operated by Avianca, LATAM, Viva Air and Wingo. I think Avianca is cheapest as they include bags. You need to have an outbound ticket to be allowed on the plane (including Colombian citizens).

There is also a $33 tourist fee, which you pay before you board the plane. You need to keep this and give it to the airport staff before you leave or you will have to pay it again.

Once you get out of the airport hail a taxi. If you are going to city of San Andrés then it should cost $5 for a ride less than 10 minutes.

Notes on Taking a Girl

Plan everything without any of their input. There is little information of how to organise your trip online, like transport, so I will provide all I think you need to know here. Plan what you are going do for food, what you will do each day. Take their cedula or passport from them and just tell them to relax, you are treating them. Don't let them have any input into anything. It will save you from having to deal with any novela-style dramas.

Accommodation

Most things on the island are twice the price of Colombia and lower quality. The cheapest hostels are about $25 per night. Apartments start at about $35 per night and might not come with many facilities or be in good condition. Most places don't have washing machines and the only services on the island aren't in the tourist area. For all-inclusive you can get something for $80 per night, but you'll likely pay $100+.

You can get some cheaper places in the sticks, but that will require you to have transport rented for each day.

You're best off staying in the tourist area, which is this part:

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of San Andrés city.

The main tourist area is fairly well kept, but as you progress into the city it will get dingy with badly constructed buildings flaking away.

Getting Around

Most people rent buggies (also called golf carts). There are various types and you'll need a more powerful to get up La Loma, to see the highest point of the island. You can get one from here (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Danilo...81.6945512) for $30 per day. If you want to rent for longer you will need a parking space with your accommodation, but I would only get one for one day. For that you can circle the island, visits some attractions and take a dip on some of the non-tourist beaches. You can also get scooters for about $20 per day and you can probably find somewhere to park those on the street. You'll need a driving licence to rent transport.

Taxis are expensive and you'll end up paying about as much as you do for a buggy.

The best way to get around if you just want to see one or two places is by bus. They stop at several places in the city. Both go by this point (https://www.google.com/maps/@12.5827249,...312!8i6656) about every ten minutes from 8 AM to 6 PM. The cost is about $0.75 per person per journey. The bus routes are something like this:

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The blue one has a sign for Morgan's Cave on the front and the red one has a sign for San Luis. If you want to get on the bus, just flag it down and to get up just stand up.

Food

Most food is 2-3 times more expensive than cities on the mainland. A personal pizza will cost you about $10; and a good meal for two will cost $30-40. The closer you are to the main beach the higher the price. If you slip back into the city you can get some cheaper. But I would recommend getting most of your meals from here, which is located here (outdated street view). They sell large spinach and cheese wraps for $1.60 and two falafal sandwiches for ($3.20). If you get all your meals from them you will be well filled for $10 per day and not have to bother with cooking.

Food from supermarkets is expensive for Colombia, 2-3 times what you'd pay on the mainland.

Of places I went for food, the best were The Grog and Beer Station.

Most places on the island are closed form about 12:00 to 14:30 for siesta.

Drink!

I didn't pay much attention to drink, but beers are about $1.60 and cocktails are $5-6. Good and popular ones are Pina Colada, Coco Loco (with toffee) and Coco Freza (with strawberry).

The water is not drinkable and a two liter bottle is about $2. You can get 5 liter bags of water here for $1. They also sell protein powder and there are several other shops that sell supplements.

Girls!

Virtually all the tourists were families and couples. I saw about ten groups of girls the whole time I was there. There are plenty of likely SA babies showing off their implants while their sponsor relaxes his old rolls and other average-ish guys milling about with their fake bob wives. A number of nice tanned behinds can be seen on the beaches.

There are a couple of night clubs, the most popular being CocoLoco but it's pure couples on holiday.

I asked a guy in a restaurant what would be the best place to meet local girls and he said at one of the reggae clubs or bars, mainly Extasis Discoteca.

Attractions

One of the main attractions is the island of Provedencia, which you can get to by catamaran or plane. A return flight is about $125 per person. I think the catamaran is is around $70.

It's meant to be the best place for scuba, snorkeling and shells.

The main attractions are the two larger cays, which are about a mile or two off the coast. You can get to these by boat for about $25 per person. You can book a trip from guys who will hassle you on the main beach or by the tourist shack on the main beach. There is a more upscale tourist agency who can hook your up with private boats and bigger boats; as well as other activities.

I would take separate trips to the two main cays. You can buy a package to both on the same day, but they only give you about two hours on each.

One of the cays is Johnny Cay, which you can see from the main beach. It has a good beach at the front with the most aqua blue sea I have seen and the rest of the island is circled by shallow rock pools, which are good for snorkeling. There are plenty of restaurants with exotic island food with coconut rice, colourful salads and sauces.

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The other is The Aquarium, which is right next to another one.

The Aquarium is made of a few shallow channels surrounded by an expanse of shallow aqua blue sea. Very good for snorkeling and there are a lot of stingrays here. Get a Coco Loco. Best drink I've ever had.

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The most popular beach is in the tourist zone, Playa Spratt Bight. There is a volleyball area and you can pay for various activities like jet skiing, kite surfing, para-sailing etc. The part between the aqua and deep blue colours in front of the white boat here is a good place for diving for shells.

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The second most popular beach is Rocky Cay. You can get here on the San Luis bus. There is good snorkeling around the wrecked ship.

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The third is Cocoplum beach, which is next to Rocky Cay.

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The best snorkeling is at West View. They also offer scuba-diving. Entry is $1.50. You can get here on the Morgan's Cave bus.

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Other attractions are a geyser; Morgan's Cave Museum; the botanical gardens, which has the second best view on the island; and this church which has a 360 degree view of the island.

Cost for Two

Return Flight: $160
Airport transfer: $10
Apartment for 7 nights: $380
Cheap food: $80
Restaurants: $50
Drinks: $50
Tours/attractions/tax: $140
Buggy hire: $30
Misc: $30
Total: $930
Good breakdown I appreciate you writing it. But why would you take her passport lol?
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