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San Andres: Colombia's Lesser Known Paradise

by Lesly A. Patterson

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For Years I'd been trying to visit San Andres, Colombia, S.A., but the timing or airfares never worked out in my favor. San Andres is an oval-shaped island in the Caribbean Sea, closer to the coast of Nicaragua, although p politically part of Colombia. This small island is a culturally diverse mix of Afro-Caribbean descendants called Raizal, and Colombian immigrants who came over from the mainland to work in the tourist industry. The people and culture feel of the island is definitely more that of Caribbean rather than Colombian, however. It is a very rich ecosystem of reefs, geysers, mangroves, and cays. 

With what may be the worst of the Pandemic behind us, things seemed to line-up during a random airfare search. I booked my flight on American Airlines from Las Vegas to meet my travel partner in Miami for a 3-day stay, then a direct flight to San Andres Island for another seven days of sheer paradise. If you just hate crystal clear blue waters that range in about seven different shades, then don't go here. I'm talking jaw-dropping beauty! It's perfect if you're into diving, snorkeling, and general outdoor exploring. Sightseeing and boat tours are available in the center of town near the popular Spratt Bight Beach. If you're into a bit more quiet and secluded beaches, you'll find some of the best ones around the Southeast side of the island, in my opinion. However, you can rent a moto (jeep) for a full or half day and explore the entire island in just a few hours. If you're a foodie like me, then I'm always looking for the good places to eat. Depending on what you're looking for, there are a variety of places to find good eats. The more up-scale or commercial type restaurants all served decent care, but I like asking the locals for those little small tucked away spots that you know a sistah knows her way around a kitchen. One such place is Delicias de Ayora. The owner Ayora, is as sweet as she is a good cook. If you're not sure what you want, just tell her. She'll disappear, then return after awhile with something that will surely make you want to go back to her place to eat again. 

As for where to stay, you can find choices on Airbnb.com, or search your typical hotel booking sites.

One of the best things about San Andres, is that it's not well-known like other places in the Caribbean. It's a secret that I wasn't sure I wanted to even spill (LoL). It's mainly requented by tourists from the mainland of Colombia, with a few Europeans sprinkled in. North Americans seemed to be pretty sparse, which I liked for some reason. So, if you'd like to experience a piece of paradise off that's not overrun with tourists, You may want to keep San Andres Island, Colombia on your radar.

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