Travel Guide to San Andres Island

read the post

How to get there

By Plane

From Bogota, Medellin or Cartagena you can fly in approximately 2 hours to San Andres Island with Viva Colombia , Avianca or Latam Chile . Prices start at 70,000 COP = $25 one way with Viva Colombia. Make sure to only bring a small backpack (free of charge) otherwise you will get charged about 45,000 COP for your big backpack. A lot of backpackers do leave their big backpack in Colombia, many hostels in Cartagena or Medellin are okay with it. 

Note well: print your boarding pass before or your may be charged 27,000 COP. If you have nowhere to print, buy for 7,000 COP the printing services online with your booking number. See all information here . You will also be asked to pay for the entry tax to the island at the airport in Colombia. After checking in, you must stop by the desk and pay 150,000 COP. You will not have to pay when you leave the island.



Playa Rocky Cay, San Andres Island

Where to stay

- Hostel Palo Alto 

Located near the airport and near the center, this small hostel offers AC dorms and private rooms with shared bathroom, kitchen, TV, terrasse and laundry service. Count 45,000 COP for a night in dorm.
Book Now >


- Posada Arthur May Beach


Are you looking for off the beaten tracks accommodation with the sound of the waves whilst you sleep, a 360 view terrasse over Rocky Cay Beach and stay in the heart of creole culture? We've found the perfect spot for you in San Luis. For 70,000 COP per night per person, live your dream in a relax blue house right in the Caribbean sea in a double bedroom or triple bedroom. They do offer laundry service, Free unlimited wifi, TV, Fan, Fridge, Private Bathroom and towels.
Contact Edwin:
edwingelis@gmail.com 
+57 315 2136894​⁠​ 
Posada Arthur May Beach, Blue House Top Floor
Looking for a place to relax, watch sunset & sunrise and sleep with the sound of the waves? 
View over Rocky Cay from Terrasse of the Posada Arthur May Beach
View from Terrasse of the Posada Arthur May Beach

Where to eat

Soup and Fish Meal in San Luis Comedor
During the day:

- El Corral , fast food chain in the center of San Andres, easy spot for burgers and salads with AC and bathroom right by the beach.
- Juan Valdez Cafe , the Starbucks version of San Andres with Free fast wifi (very rare on the island!) and delicious frappuccino, perfect for the heat! Located on the promenade, right by the beach near El Corral. 
- Seaweed Cevicheria , for salads, sandwiches, ceviches and natural juices. Try the tuna sandwich with mozzarella, tomatoes and oregano bread with a blackcurrant juice, it's a killer! Located near the marina, in the center. 
- Comedores in San Luis, starting from Rocky Cay to San Luis we've tried all the comedores (restaurants opened in houses during the day) and can't think of one being better than the other. So you'll have to try them all!  You will recognise them right by the road. It's a house turned into a restaurant with tables and chairs and usually says Doña with the name of the lady who owns it. From 10,000 to 13,000 you can get meat or fish with a juice and a soup. Try the fish steaks (see photo) and the agua de canela (sugar cane water), it's typical of the island.

At Night:

- Pastel de queso, jamón o pollo (pies in english) open from 1:30 AM to 9 AM, perfect snacks after partying and before going to bed! They also serve soft drinks. Ask any mototaxi to bring you there, there are very famous and located right off the center.

- La Parrillada Hooker in San Luis, barbecue spot for the locals offering chicken, porc, beef or vegetarian for 10,000 COP and latin music. Located right after Rocky Cay Beach Entrance, on your way to the center on your left. 

- Sandwiches in San Luis, open only at night it is a small spot offering different size sandwiches from 5,000 to 10,000 COP and natural juices. Try their tuna sandwich, it's the best! Ask any mototaxi to bring you to the sandwich place in San Luis, they will know for sure, which one you're referring to!

- Street food by the beach, if you're in the center of San Andres, at night the promenade gets busy with craftsmanships, people gathering drinking and dancing and street food. From 10,000 to 20,000 COP you can get a full plate mixed with creole food. Ask for takeaway and eat it on the beach watching up the stars!


Things to do

Rocky Cay

Isla Rocky Cay
Probably the most beautiful and relaxed beach of San Andres, Rocky Cay offers plenty of activities for kids and adults. Jetski, Banana, Boat Tours, Snorkeling, Wreckage exploration, Bars & Restaurants, Massages, Sunbeds, Braids etc.

Prices:

- Piña Colada with Rhum at Reggae Bar for 13,000 COP
- Beer at any beach bar for 4,000 COP
- Coconut Rice from the main restaurant at the entrance for 4,000 COP and Guayaba, Lulo or Nispero Juice for 6,000 COP
- Banana Boat Ride for 15,000 COP 8 minutes per person
- Jetski for 100,000 COP 15 minutes for 2
- Mototaxi from San Andres center to San Luis 5,000 COP (bus is 2,200 COP but takes longer!)
Rocky Cay Island accessible by foot
Reggae Palm Trees in Rocky Cay Beach
Wanna try a strong local drink? Ask for Coco Loco (Crazy Coco in Spanish). Don't tell me I did not warn you, it is very loco!
Best Piña Colada with Rhum in Rocky Cay Reggae Dancehall Bar
Jet Ski in Rocky Cay Beach

Boat Tour

Lancha in Rocky Cay Beach
Come onboard a two-hour ride around the island of San Andres to discover the jelly fishes, mangrove, starfishes, snorkel with plenty of fishes in the coral reef, touch the sting rays and relax at Acuario. Book your tour with Ronny and Jefferson on Rocky Cay Beach. Ask around for these two in order to spend a great afternoon in their company!
Sting Rays discovery during Boat Tour
Snorkeling in the coral reef during Boat Tour

La Piscinita

La Piscinita Snokerling with fishes
For 4,000 COP get to swim and snorkel with millions of fishes in the Caribbean Sea. Get bread at the entrance to throw at the fishes and get more around you. Warning some of the fishes can get aggressive and bite you! You must leave any drinks or food at the entrance since there is a bar and restaurant on location. Jump from the reef or dive deep down, make sure to bring go pro, flippers and snorkel gear!
La Piscinita
Bring your flippers and snorkel gear to explore underwater

Others

- West view 
- Acuario & Johnny Cay tours
- Providencia Island

Where to party

Beach Bars:
- Reggae Beach Bar on Rocky Cay, Reggae Dancehall
- Black Zobombo Kella in San Luis, Reggae Dancehall

Nightclubs:

- Coco Loco , Salsa Bachata Merengue Electro Reggaeton
- ÉxtasisSalsa Bachata Merengue Electro Reggaeton
- HangoverReggae Dancehall Champeta

Bars:

- Aquarius , Salsa Bachata Merengue Reggaeton
- Caribbean MarketSalsa Bachata Merengue Reggaeton
Kella Reggae Beach Bar in San Luis

Getting Around

Rent a buggy in San Andres
The easiest way to get around the island is by mototaxis. There are more motos than cars in San Andres, expect when it's raining! You can be two (three with the driver) on a moto and can get one by raising one hand or telling them to stop or slow down. Caribbean way of hitchhiking! Some mototaxis are wearing a jacket that says so but most of the locals will bring you anywhere as soon as you pay something. Always ask your direction and the price beforehand or you may have some surprises. Prices increase at night, especially after party time since they become rare to find. Try not to get on a real taxi as they will charge you a ridiculous amount of money for such a few distance. 

Bus is another option, slower though but cheaper, a ride is 2,200 COP whereas a minimum mototaxi distance will be about 5,000 COP. Always try to negotiate the price, mototaxis are very friendly and accommodating. If you get along with one, it is very common to give your WhatsApp number to one and he becomes your sort of private driver for the rest of your stay. Very convenient and reliable! If you're traveling in group, you could also rent a buggy for one day in order to discover the whole island. All the rental vehicles can be found in the center. 
Find more information about San Andres here
One word: RELAX!

Marion Payen
, Founder of Hibiscus & Nomada

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself”

@Hibiscusandnomada

63 photo galleries

Follow my blog with Bloglovin