Providencia Island’s nickname: The Sea of Seven Colors. A visit to McBean Lagoon National Natural Park is really all you need for the quintessential island experience. It’s an otherworldly place where mangroves sway over waters that sparkle every shade of blue. Local fishermen will happily take you on an island tour or even to wrangle the day’s catch. Lounge on peaceful white sand beaches or take a romantic stroll across the wooden “Lovers Bridge” that leads to neighboring Santa Catalina island.
Things to do in Providencia Island
4.5 based on 430 reviews
Unfortunately, this place was an unbelievable letdown.
At this point, we have tried just about every restaurant on the island. I'd rate all of them somewhere between "alright" and "fantastic". This place, in terms of food at least, was awful.
For starters, even for Providencia, the prices are absurd. 65,000 for 6 tiny shrimp? It's more expensive than Western capitols. I'd have found this acceptable if the food was decent. The portions are for an infant.
We ordered the crab soup - it was fine, although the sesame was overkill. Nothing to write home about and not as good as the three or so bowls we tried on San Andres.
Then we shared the grilled "crawfish" (shrimp). Unbelievably bad - rubbery, tasted freshly dethawed. The salad was absolutely inedible - the dressing, apparently, was water.
The rice is just bad - watery, puffy, no notes of coconut at all. We specifically asked for fries and got plantain instead, so that was the icing on the cake of frustration.
I don't know if we came for an off night or what, bit you couldn't pay me to go back. For the last night in Providencia we wanted to go out, bit this has left a bad taste in my mouth both figuratively and literally. Really wishing we'd gone to honestly anywhere else.
4.5 based on 724 reviews
Hungry? Good, you're looking at the right place. The Plato mixto is huge & probably the best value on the island. You'll get half a lobster & 2 whole fried fish, squid, octopus and rice. Plus yummy super hot sauce to add if you're a chilli fiend like me. Octopus was pretty average but the lobster and fish were delicious! Get it.
4.5 based on 29 reviews
Old Providence Taste is the restaurant run by the Fishing Co-operative based in Santa Isabel, Providencia. It shares its building with the fish market so you can buy as well as eat!
There is generally a "Fish of the day" or Shrimp - either of which can be grilled or fried or cooked with garlic or coconut. It is served with rice and a nice salad. Each main meal comes with a fish soup to start the tastebuds tickling. With two beers each, our two meals were equivalent to US$23. We also bought two kingfish steaks to take-away and they were US$3.00 per pound [2 big steaks for US$4.50]
The staff are very friendly and the restaurant, restrooms etc are scrupulously clean.
4 based on 38 reviews
If you are freaky about flyes being around your food, go somewhere else. this restaurant is in front of a big mangrove patch, so flies are unavoidable. The food was cheap and good and they generally have 2 options on the menu.
4 based on 280 reviews
Great Capucciono pie, amazing! And Chocolate cake, and coffee. Nothing more to say than run there after a good swim is just perfect if you're craving good sweet on that island. They also serve savory things but didn't get to try them.
4.5 based on 257 reviews
Al fresco seaside dining overlooking the beautiful National Park. Creative menu infuses local, Colombian and international dishes.
We came here for dinner without reservation, around 8pm. The place has about 20 tables and only 5-6 were occupied, the hostess told us that they are fully booked and they need to reserve tables inside Incase it rains, that they will have to move people from inside to outside. Even though there was not a single cloud in the sky. We told them we can sit by the bar which was empty. So then the lady said the kitchen was full and busy...... again with only about 10 people dining here.. and then she said they have to wait to see if anyone would come in from the hotel without reservation as they have priority... Given the fact we just paid for the taxi ride and there is nothing else on this side of the island we insisted we would wait for cancellation and have a drink by the bar. She finally agreed, we ordered a good bottle of wine, and all of a sudden they found a table for us.
Our waiter was super nice, the food here is very good, delicious lobster and lobster ceviche... it also has amazing views. I can’t give this place a good rating, based on what happened in the beginning. The island solely survives on the few tourists that they get. So they need to learn to accommodate their customers better.
I guess it’s better to call and make Reservations
4 based on 97 reviews
Right on Southwest Beach. Extremely casual. BTW, Southwest Beach right now has a very large algae bloom so if you're near the water you can smell the decaying vegetation. We had a very nice lunch. Both came with a tasty fish soup. Mrs had lightly fried whole snapper and I had the mixed seafood grill which consisted of smaller lightly fried fish, shrimp, lobster and crab. (I didn't get the snails). Comes with patacon. Of my four items, I liked the fish the best. We also ate at Miss Mary's which is up the beach towards Sirius Hotel and Dive Shop. Got fresh fish there as well. We much preferred Arturo's to Miss Mary's.
4 based on 27 reviews
While staying at Miss Mary Hotel in Providencia I asked a local to recommend a good seafood restaurant. She immediately said "Pescaderia Nicanor". So my girlfriend and I decided to visit it that night. This establishment is a seafood market during the day, providing fresh seafood to the local restaurants and residents. But from 4-10pm is when Shana (the master cook) starts working her magic. We started with shrimp ceviche with patacones (fried green plantains) and new right away we had made a good choice. Our entrees were lobster au gratin and mine was lobster and crab meat in a creole sauce. My words can't do proper justice to this delicious meal. The meal is accompany by patacones and salad. The place is not fancy. But Maria del Carmen's (Nicanor's daughter) friendly service makes you feel as if you were at home. While in Providencia make sure you make a stop at Pescaderia Nicanor. We did twice and wished we had more time.
4.5 based on 21 reviews
For sure the best place to watch sunset, it is the pearl of the hotel “cabanas agua dulce”. Order your drink and just relax watching the sky change its color, stay a bit longer and probably would see some fish moving in the water. Because of a minor problem in the hotel we had been invited to have dinner there. Great food.
4 based on 196 reviews
Miss Elma and her husband started the tourism industry in Providencia in the 1960s. Their lodge as now grown and become one of the largest on the island. Affiliated with the Decameron Group, they offer package tours and this and their longevity means they are popular and busy.
I had lunch here and although it was low season the restaurant was almost half full from hotel customers, and day trippers to South West beach.
Sadly the place is no longer owner run and operated, so it is not as friendly as other island establishments. Service is also very slow. It took two hours to get a plate of grilled shrimp, a fresh juice and the bill. They preferred clearing tables rather than giving me the bill despite asking twice.
The positives are that they have a more extensive menu than other establishments and serve desserts (brownie with ice cream). Their fresh juices are superb and they are one of few places on the island that accept credit cards. But this means their prices are a bit higher than other island restaurants. My grilled shrimp were good.
When I asked for a motor taxi, they called a regular taxi instead who charged me nearly what it cost to get to the airport for the short drive to South West Bay!
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