Old Providence Colombia

Many people avoid travelling to Colombia because it has a reputation for being dangerous.

Yes, it’s true. Colombia does have more than its fair share of killing and kidnappings, but it is rare for tourists to become involved, unless they actively search out some sort of involvement.  It’s a pity that Colombia does have such a bad reputation, because you can get to some very pretty and remote parts of the coast that are entirely safe.

One of those rugged, remote and romantic places is the Isla de Providencia, or Old Providence in English, which is an island in the Caribbean which although Colombian is close to Nicaragua.

Isla de Providencia is a very scenic island, with lovely empty beaches, a typical Caribbean climate, laid back atmosphere and friendly people. While the island depends quite heavily on tourism, it is not at all ‘touristy’ and only small hotels are present. The hotels on the island resemble more “guest lodges” than 5 star hotels, and everything is very low key. The restaurants and bars are relatively basic, and Providencia does not have any clubs or discos.

Providencia’s main appeal lies in its beautiful volcanic scenery, white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, scuba diving and fishing.

Bahia Aguadulce is the main tourist area of Providencia. And it is not at all over-crowded as there are just 5-6 small hotels, a few restaurants and a supermarket – all of which are walking distance to the beach.

Isabel Village is the main town in Providencia; it has an internet cafe, a cafe, two supermarkets and a few miscellaneous shops. There is also a footbridge to the island of Santa Catalina.

Santa Catalina is a smaller island connected to Providencia, and is considerably less developed. It has one shop, a few beaches and a couple of restaurants. On Santa Catalina one finds Morgan’s Head, a large rock formation that resembles a head and is named after the pirate Henry Morgan, who used Providencia and Santa Catalina as a base for raiding the Spanish colonial empire many centuries ago. There are also the remains on an unexcavated Fort that dates from the days of piracy on the island.

Providencia has a population of just 5000 and receives about 15,000 visitors per year. The island is also a popular scuba diving destination, with a barrier reef protecting the Eastern, North and South parts of the island.

To get there you can fly to San Andres and then catch the catamaran for the two and a half hour trip to the island.

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