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Home > Destinations > San Andres

San Andres

The tiny Colombian island of San Andres is located approximately 180km east of Nicaragua and some 400km south of Jamaica in the heart of the western Caribbean Sea.

Aquario CaySan Andres is a part of the San Andrés Archipelago which consists of three main islands - San Andrés, Old Providence, and Santa Catalina - and several uninhabited cays. These islands are surrounded by some of the largest and most productive coral reef systems in the Western Hemisphere. The barrier reef off Old Providence Island is almost 20 miles long and covers 98 square miles, making it one of the largest reefs in the Americas.

San Andres boasts creamy white beaches, turquoise waters, great watersports, duty free shopping and an active nightlife. A variety of accommodations await you from all inclusive resorts to intimate small hotels.

Fresh seafood is a must. Don't miss the crab soup (sopa de cangrejo). Also be sure to check out Avenue La Playa in the evenings for taste of home-made specialties prepared by the locals. This street is parallel to the beach and hopping with hotels, restaurants and reggae music.

San Andres and its sister island are a diver's paradise. The Archipelago contains 57 known species of coral and more than 270 known species of fish; scientists believe many more species are yet to be discovered. Some of the species found in the Archipelago are found nowhere else in the Caribbean.

Snorkellers will love Johnny Cay with a white beach and its party atmosphere on Sundays.

Above the water line, the mangrove swamps and outlying cays provide important habitat for birds; 18 species are year-round residents, 76 more species migrate through the islands yearly, including two endangered endemic species (found only in the Archipelago) and many more subspecies. An endemic subspecies of cuckoo, the old man bird or rainbird, is a local favorite that is the subject of local legends - and unfortunately in danger of extinction.

Photograph © Big Juice's San Andres Island, 2003

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