10 Things to Do in San Andres Island That You Shouldn't Miss

March 1, 2018 Janette Largent

The coral island of San Andres is a diverse ecosystem of reefs, geysers, groves, and cays. Needless to say, it’s perfect for diving, snorkeling, and outdoor exploring. This paradise has multicolored warm waters and 12 mangrove forests, and the beach cedars of Johnny Cay are like natural condos for beach birds. Keep an eye out for overlooked pirate treasure at Morgan’s Cave before chowing down on rondón, a signature Caribbean dish of fish, pork, conch, plantain and coconut milk.
Restaurants in San Andres Island

1. Native Horses

San Luis,Sound Bay # 71 - 96 | Al frente de Donde Francesca, San Luis, San Andres Island 054428, Colombia +57 318 5500247
Excellent
92%
Good
4%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 21 reviews

Native Horses

Reviewed By Frogtree71 - Kugluktuk, Canada

We chose the two hour option and had an excellent experience. The horses were well looked after and healthy, and were very well mannered. The ride was a circular path, which was nice as never back-tracked. Our guide was awesome, giving us a history of the island and it's economy, as well as details on the various trees and plants. He could speak both Spanish and English fluently. We enjoyed a coconut up on the hill, and were treated to native cinnamon tea and home baked syrup cake when we returned. Native horses also kindly picked us up and returned us to our hotel by pickup; which made things very easy. We highly recommend this excursion. Apparently there is another longer route as well. The route we took had one slightly steeper section, but it was not very steep, or long, and was easily handled by the horses; making this a pleasant ride for all levels of horse rider, including people who have not rode before.

2. Playa de Spratt Bight

in front of the hotel Decameron El Isleno, San Andres Island, Colombia
Excellent
57%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 600 reviews

Playa de Spratt Bight

Reviewed By JoeGSP - Europe

Don't come to San Andres to relax. And definitely not to this beach to re-charge batteries. Altough the beach is beautiful and the ocean is impressive, the beach is overcrowded, dirty, noisy, people screaming, and full of small family- or friends groups, each of them with own music-speaker so you'll hear all types of (loud) Music in just a few meters distance. It's a shame. The island is not prepared to receive european or north-american tourists. I will not recommend San Andres to anyone, unfortunately.

3. Cayo Bolivar

San Andres, San Andres Island, Colombia
Excellent
77%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Cayo Bolivar

Reviewed By fufaita - Zaragoza, Spain

Cayo Bolívar is indeed a beautiful place to spend the day, with clear waters and coral-reef sand. I'd like to recommend it but it was just too crowded to really enjoy it.
Unfortunately, the day I went there the number of tourists was huge. As soon as we got there, we ran to lay our towels under the bushes because there is no shade (unless you pay for it) and the sun is strong. At lunch time, you had to wait for free chairs and tables (if you didn't want to eat on the floor). Finally, they ran out of all drinks except for that Colombian apple soda drink... It seems this tour has become so popular that companies take more people than really recommended.
The snorkeling tour at the cay was just following a guy who took a blowfish and forced it to blow up and then used a knife to take a small octopus from a rock. Only to show them to us! First lesson of any snorkeling and diving tour: don't touch anything!!!!! I was really disappointed by that. The only interesting thing was swimming with sharks.
The ride to and from the cay can be rather tough with high waves. There is no dock at the cay, so you'll need help to get in and out of the boat.

4. Playa de San Luis

San Andres, San Andres Island, Colombia
Excellent
50%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Playa de San Luis

Reviewed By Harri P - Helsinki, Finland

san Luis is a nice beach further south from the downtown area and therefore it is more peaceful beach. shore gets deep rather quickly and waves are quite strong - nice to swim there though! one sad part is definitely the lack of services around this beach.

5. West View

Avenida 01, Oeste, San Andres Island, Colombia
Excellent
61%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

West View

Reviewed By Carolarolyn - Bogota, Colombia

This was my favourite activity on the island! You can reach West View via public bus or taxi. There is a cover charge of 4,000 Colombian pesos, and the attendants give you a piece of bread to feed to the fish. At the little bar on the left side of the path, you can store your personal belongings. There's no fee, you simply tip the attendant what you think is reasonable. (Each person in our group tipped 5,000 pesos, and we were there for over three hours.) You can rent snorkel gear including a mask, breathing tube, and life jacket. It's 5,000 pesos for the mask and tube together, another 5,000 for the life vest. There is no time limit on how long you can use them.
There are two ladders to help you get into the water, a diving board, and a water slide. The water here is fairly deep, about 10 meters. For the more adventurous visitor, there are a couple of statues that you can check out underwater. There is also an Aqua-nauts activity where you can rent a space helmet that they gets oxygen pumped in. It sits on your shoulders and you walk along the ocean floor while the guide gets the fish to swarm around you and takes your picture. I heard that there are also rays in the water, but I didn't venture far away enough from the main site to see them. (This activity was 95,000 pesos in June 2017, too expensive for us but maybe ok for others.)
Pros:
Awesome marine life!
Very affordable!
No time limits on your stay.
A variety of things to do and see.
Cons:
Lots of crowds, so it's best to go early or late. The crowds fluctuate as tour buses bring large groups here.
Special tip:
Don't toss your bread on the surface of the water. Instead, take it underwater with you and tear it into small pieces. You can feed the little pieces to the fish and they'll even snatch bits out of your fingers if you're lucky!
Buy a water guard for your phone or camera before you go. You'll want pictures!

6. Cayo El Acuario

San Andres Island, Colombia +57 316 8759613
Excellent
62%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Cayo El Acuario

Reviewed By 682jeffl - Las Vegas, Nevada

This was a really unique and great experience! Cayo el acuario is another short boat ride from the main island and is a spectacular site to notice. You this very tiny area just verily above water with a small building for Seating, getting refreshments, snorkeling gear and there is a large locker area. There are a few kiosk and a very small area where tourist believe they can lay down to sun bathe until the first big wave comes to soak everything that they have with them. The snorkeling area is huge and you can even walk to the next cay / tiny island next door in the water. The area is way to crowded and you really have to get a locker for 10 mil or $3.25! The rocks are very sharp so you really need some water footwear or slippers. The cost for this excursion is also very cheap 25 mil or $8! The water is also very very shallow here so children can also have a chance to view the fish and have a good time, in the process. There are no restrooms here, so try to go beforehand!

7. Rocky Cay

Santo Andre, San Andres Island, Colombia
Excellent
52%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Rocky Cay

Reviewed By Harri P - Helsinki, Finland

Rocky cay has a bit hidden entrance, but actual beach is nice, there's nice restaurant services at site and peaceful environment. actual beach is quite shallow, so not so ideal for enthusiastic swimmers. one funny activity is to walk to the island in front of the beach, but wear seashoes just in case if stepping on sharp coral or other hidden items.

8. La Piscinita

S/d, San Andres, San Andres Island, Colombia +57 8 5124212
Excellent
55%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

La Piscinita

Reviewed By Jenny M - New York City, New York

I am completely underwhelmed by this experience and feel like this is just another example of TripAdvisor steering me wrong. The place is a tourist trap. The grounds are poorly taken care of. The staff are miserable. You have to pay 4,000 pesos to enter the place and it’s just a small corner of rock formation. They give you white bread to “play with the fish,” which is a completely irresponsible practice that is damaging to the ecosystem they are exploiting. Seems like prices for renting snorkels fluctuate: it was 15,000 pesos to rent with a 50,000 peso deposit! We didn’t even have to put a deposit down for the buggy we rented for the day! Anyway, the snorkels were crap. What you see underwater is kind of abismal. The coral is all dead. You’re likely to get kicked in the face by a child while trying to watch the various fish fight for a piece of gluten. The whole thing is just depressing. We left after five minutes.

9. Jardin Botanico de San Andres

Harmony Hall Hill | Universidad Nacional de Colombia, San Andres, San Andres Island, Colombia
Excellent
40%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 196 reviews

Jardin Botanico de San Andres

Reviewed By LucyCN - Sao Paulo, SP

Is a enjoyable tour where you can see differents kind of plants, flowers and birds, easy going people, easy access.

10. Primera Iglesia Bautista

San Andres, San Andres Island, Colombia
Excellent
24%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
32%
Poor
5%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 1 reviews

Primera Iglesia Bautista

Reviewed By Annemarie E

We rented bicycles to go here. First, that was a mistake because it as an uphill climb the entire way and the bikes didn't have gears and were old/junky. When we finally reached the church we almost elected to not pay the $5,000 pesos to enter. This would have been a mistake. As part of the paid tour there is some great information provided about the church and the history of the island. We were allowed to climb the stairway to the very top of the church bell tower, which provided the most spectacular view of the island. I highly recommend going on this tour, if even to just see the pano view.

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