Top 10 Things to do in Providencia Island, Colombia

February 16, 2018 Viva Honore

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.
Restaurants in Providencia Island

1. Crab Cay

Providencia Island, Colombia
Excellent
86%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 820 reviews

Crab Cay

Reviewed By KiwiFan17 - Canada

Fulfilled a life list item of swimming with sea turtles here! There are currently four there who are very calm and used to visitors. The water was so clear and clean. The reef is healthy and home to dozens of varieties of fish. You can snorkel all the way around the cay if the water is calm enough.
Do yourself a favour and book your visit with Ocean View Glass Bottom Boat Tour to visit this cay at your own pace as well as other amazing spots along the reef. Derrick Martínez and his partner Luís are the best in the business. They are very proud of this natural island and surrounding cays. Recommend arriving early in the morning before the other tours arrive.
Take a little walk up the stairs for a stunning view of the sea of seven colours. Light snacks and beverages are available after 9:00 a.m. There is a little bit of shade at the dock and a fairly easy set of stairs to help you get in the water with your snorkel and fins.
We visited twice in three days. It was awesome! Can't wait to return.

2. The Peak Forestry Reserve

Providencia Island, Colombia +57 310 2747540
Excellent
79%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 185 reviews

The Peak Forestry Reserve

Reviewed By Camilla C - Rome, Italy

Probably the best thing to experience after diving in the reef. We trekked absolutely alone in a magic atmosphere and once we reached the peak we had the best view ever: 360 degree around all the island! The view leaves you breathless: it is quite tough (wear trek shoes if you have them!) but really worth it!!

3. McBean Lagoon National Natural Park

Providencia Island, Colombia
Excellent
79%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 115 reviews

McBean Lagoon National Natural Park

Reviewed By MRROJASM - Bogota, Colombia

This is a place where you can find excellent places to do snorkeling, where you can spot al kinds of fishes, in really clear waters. Even if it rains, it's a great plan.

4. Sonny Dive Shop

Fresh Water Bay, Providencia Island 88564, Colombia
Excellent
80%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 124 reviews

Sonny Dive Shop

Diving tours, Diving courses and everything that conserne scuba

Reviewed By kelly-l-hayes - Brooklyn, New York

Located in Freshwater Bay, Providencia, Sonny's Dive Shop is close to all the major dive sites. Sonny's is run by Gerardo Arenas, who took over the business for his dad and is a lifelong resident of Providencia. Gerardo is now teaching his own children how to dive. All that is to say that Gerardo and his most amazing staff (Halbert is a great dive master!) have an appreciation of the island's history and at the same time are looking toward the future. Providencia is a special place, untouched in some ways by the modern world and I feel really lucky to have dived there.
Diving with Sonny's was a totally relaxing experience. First, you don't have to show up until 8:30 am. Next, the staff is really organized, and because they are so on top of things, you really don't have to worry about much of anything. Also, the dives all happen at a nice, slow pace so you really have time to explore the critters of the reef. Lastly, the staff really make you feel like an old friend. When my credit card wasn't working, they told me I could just come back to pay later, all very relaxed. We saw sharks every day but my personal favorite of the trip was a juvenile spotted drum! All in all, some of the most enjoyable diving I have ever done. I would absolutely dive with Sonny's next time I visit Providencia.

5. The Dive Shop Old Providence

Bahia de Manzanillo / Manchianeel Bay | Bahia de Manzanillo, Sector Bottom House, Providencia Island 880027, Colombia
Excellent
98%
Good
2%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 50 reviews

The Dive Shop Old Providence

We offer safe, high-quality & environmentally responsible diving services around the world’s 3rd largest barrier reef in Providencia Isla / Old Providence. Services & courses include: Nitrox courses & dives; equipment rental & tank filling; Discover Scuba Diving; PADI & NAUI all-level certifications; children courses 8 yrs&up; physically-challenged students & divers welcome. Bauer comp & top gear

Reviewed By Santiago D

Providence is probably one of the best places to dive in the whole world + When you dive you want to do it with the best. Excellent equipment, professional guidance and the most heartwarming crew! Alejo please say hi to Ame, Alex and Nemo. Tks...MoreIt was a pleasure to dive with both of you! Thank you for your review and we hope to see you again!

6. Morgan's Head

Santa Catalina Island, Providencia Island, Colombia
Excellent
53%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 212 reviews

Morgan's Head

Reviewed By sallythode - Gunnison, Colorado

We stayed at a small hotel on Santa Catalina Island and were able to rent a kayak and snorkeling gear to take advantage of the great waters between our hotel and Morgan’s Head. We first investigated the waters by hiking a trail on the island to Morgan’s head. The hike was also very nice.
The waters around Morgan’s Head were fairly rough when we were there, but the 3 or 4 sheltered bays between Morgan’s Head and the popular beach where locals swim were great for snorkeling and kayaking. We rented kayaks twice and kayaked to Morgan’s Head then snorkeled back to the popular beach towing the kayak behind us. We also hiked the trail and carried our snorkel gear with us then accessed the water near Morgan’s Head and snorkeled our way back to the beach. From the beach, we were able to hike the trail back to our hotel.
While the snorkeling itself is not spectacular, we had a great time in the calm waters. The corals are decent and there are some decent sized fish swimming in the bays. Overall, we would rate this as a very good and satisfying experience. Highly recommend as a relaxing way to get away from the hectic pace of life elsewhere.

7. Felipe Diving Center

Cabanas El Recreo | Agua Dulce, Providencia Island, Colombia
Excellent
69%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
5%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 157 reviews

Felipe Diving Center

Reviewed By Heribert_Schnauz - Vienna, Austria

We did 7 dives with Felipe and can't recommend this dive shop, mainly due to safety concerns, quality of equipment, friendliness/management and professionalism/conservation.
1) Safety:
- Sharks are attracted by hunting lion fish and feeding them. Sharks come really close and get nervous due to the prey. Dive Master don't tell you beforehand that there will be a number of sharks getting very (!) close, which could make people nervous under water leading to even higher risk. We have heard that there have already been a number of accidents with sharks in the last couple of months.
- Our Dive master did not keep a close eye on the group, which is really big of up to 10 people. I was never asked how much air I had left.
- Open Water divers from our group were allowed to go down 30meters (instead of 18meters).
- The dive master and me were the only one carrying a dive computer. I was always at the same depth as him and the rest of the group. When my computer showed a 7minutes decom stop, the dive master and I went up to decom stop, however, the rest of the group stayed 10meter below us for another 3 minutes and surfaced at the same time as we did, some even earlier. The dive master didn't seem to care and did not show them to get up with him. As there is no hyperbaric chamber in Providencia, having decompression sickness would be a serious problem.
2) Quality of equipment:
The oldest equipment I have ever dived with - worst of all: not maintained well. Issues encountered: 2 times leaking BCD (dive master suggested to disconnect it from air tank for the entire dive when I found out about the leakage when I jumped into the water - who needs buoyancy?!), tanks not fully filled, mouthpiece giving half water half air, literally every second O-ring had to be replaced, wet suits in terrible conditions and limited range of sizes
3) Friendliness/management
Owners and dive masters were very unfriendly and always seemed grumpy (don't even greet you and don't know your name after a couple of days). Chaos every morning because you just show up without booking at 8:30am, which seemingly surprised them every morning. Given the large amount of people, there were never enough tanks for two dives, so the boat has to go back after the first dive. People have to carry the heavy equipment four time to and from the boat. There is hardly any help or communication from the staff, just rude orders ("you go red boat").
4) Professionalism/conservation effort:
Dive Masters do not seem to care at all about ecology and do not display any interest for conserving the reef - even in the contrary: they touch fish with their hands and disturb them with the harpoon to make them move, they grabed onto the corals with their fins, seem to only care about lionfish-hunting to feed the sharks (see above) and did not point out any other species. Also, some inexperienced divers from our group, destroyed corals, which the dive master did not seem to care at all.
There was never any proper introduction to the dive sites. After the dive, there was no debrief explaining what fish/species we saw.
Most dives ended after 40 minutes even though some of us (the ones without leaking equipment) still had plenty of air left.
You should not get disencouraged to dive: the reef is amazing and unique!!! However, this dive shop is the most unprofessional dive shop we have ever experienced (we have dived in 7 countries around the world).

8. Mare

Providencia Island-Colombia, Providencia Island, Colombia
Excellent
82%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 57 reviews

Mare

Reviewed By Canadian_Jeremy - Vancouver, Canada

The Island of Providencia has some beautiful quiet Beaches. Some of them have a great reggae vibe....I really enjoyed my times at Playa Manzanillo in Machineel Bay...Rolland Roots & Reggae bar is a fun place to eat and drink and Rolland is a blast. Actually loved this island. My only complaint is the prices are insanely high. Look to pay the same price for food, drink and accommodations as you would in the developed western world.

9. Almond Bay

Providencia Island, Colombia
Excellent
59%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 98 reviews

Almond Bay

Reviewed By Randal M - Algard, Norway

The beach is located on the right hand side driving south from the main town. There is a small cemented parking area beside an outsize octopus. A nicely paved path slopes down to the beach. You pass through a small cafe at the entrance, the owner will supply you with all the drinks you require and even supply you with some chairs.
Swimming is safe and if you have snorkeling equipment with you there are a lot of fish to be seen. It is also known as Allan Bay!

10. Sirius Dive Center

South West Bay | Sirius Hotel Providencia, Providencia Island 57000, Colombia
Excellent
74%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
2%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 68 reviews

Sirius Dive Center

Reviewed By EscapistNever - Devizes, United Kingdom

My wife and I have been diving since 1991 and over the years have seen the workings of a great many dive operations, from the Maldives, to Sharm el Sheik, to Thailand, the Philippines, etc. With this dive shops we did six dives, in mid-February, 2017. It is run by a man named Daniel, and we thought it was perfectly fine. We had no complaints whatever -- nothing but good experiences. The equipment is very good, if not all that plentiful, and well maintained. (They are short of wetsuits, but on my six dives I didn't use a wetsuit and didn't suffer. It was very freeing.) For one thing, he has assembled a very fine team of young dive masters. We got to know and dived with Juan, Charles, and one other whose name slips my mind at the moment. They were genial and relaxed, but thoroughly professional. They were told and understood throughout that my wife sometimes has trouble eaualizing, and were therefore patient and watchful. We were diving in mixed groups, some of us with Rescue or Advanced PADI qualifications, some just finishing their first courses. The dive masters were excellent at keeping an eye on everyone while not stifling the tendencies of the more advanced divers to explore a bit more widely. For what it's worth, those on courses seemed very happy with the instruction they were being given, and the southwest beach--by far the nicest beach on the island--has great shallows for some preliminary work, as well as good dive sites at varying depths nearby. Very good experience all round. I wish them all the best!

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