Colombia has several island territories in the Caribbean and in the Pacific.
|Islas del Rosario |
One of Colombia's most popular national parks, with beautiful island beaches of the San Bernardo archipelago, and coral reefs that make for great snorkeling.
|San Andrés |
An island 200 km east of Nicaragua specializes in all-inclusive budget vacations that cater to Colombian tourists.
A very scenic island, with lovely empty beaches that is politically a part of Colombia, but geographically closer to Nicaragua. It is attached by footbridge to a smaller island, Santa Catalina.
|Isla Gorgona |
Formerly one of the world's most beautiful prisons, the island is now a national park.
|Isla Malpelo |
A remote island nature preserve and a UNESCO World Heritage site, uninhabited save for a small military outpost.
Northeast of San Andrés and Providencia are several uninhabited shoals, banks, and atolls (some of which are wholly submerged either all the time or during high tide), which are administered by Colombia. They are nearly all mired in territorial disputes with various Central American states as well as the United States, and are not tourist destinations.
The main language spoken is Spanish, but many speak English as well. The actual natives from the island speak "patua", which is a mix of English, Spanish, and French.
Daily flights serve various Colombian cities (Medellín, Cali and Bogotá) to San Andres's Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport (ADZ IATA). All flights to Providencia (PVA IATA) are originated in San Andrés.
The closest mainland area to San Andrés and Providencia is Caribbean Nicaragua, particularly Bluefields. There are sometimes cruises or ferries, but they are rarely advertised online and just going to the port and hoping you get lucky will likely not work.
Bus is the main form of transportation on the island. It is cheap and convenient. Most buses connect the main city of San Andres with other parts of the island. Also there are many places to rent everything from cars, to motorcycles, to bikes.
Scuba Diving is amazing here, as is snorkeling. There are many places that offer jet skis, kayaks, wind surfing, kite surfing, horseback riding, submarine tours and many other options. There are also many people that come here mainly for the great duty free shopping and cheaper electronics.
San Andres is perfectly safe Caribbean island to visit, that is many many miles away from some of the problems found on the mainland.