Discovery of the Week: San Andres, Colombia
This post is part of a weekly feature called Discovery of the Week. By discovery, I mean a place, a custom or dish that is not widely known. See, I love to read travel magazines, websites and books. Very often, I find beautiful and interesting gems that not a lot of people seem to know about. That is why I thought about introducing this feature because I am sure it will expose a lot of astonishing places. Additionally, I enjoy learning about the many amazing places in the world. I believe my readers also enjoy this activity.
Discovery of the Week: San Andres
Where it is located: 140 miles off the coast of Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea. Even though it is close to Nicaragua, it is part of Colombia since 1822.
What it is: A coral island which forms a department of Colombia with the nearby islands of Providencia and Santa Catalina.
I have known of San Andres for a long time. However, the island came to my attention a couple of months ago when I read an incredible story involving a Puerto Rican fisherman. This guy, as usual, was fishing in the west coast of Puerto Rico. His motor died and he encountered himself in open sea. His family reported his disappearance but the Coast Guard couldn’t find him. He was declared dead. The incredible part of the story is that he was found more than 20 days later in San Andres. The current took him there. We are talking about more than 1,000 miles. The fisherman survived by drinking rainwater and, you bet, fishing to fill his belly a little bit.
But we are here to talk about San Andres. This paradisiacal island was initially settled by English puritans. Spaniards and Dutch tried to gain control over the islands without success. In the 18th century, the Spaniards spread Catholicism thru the island. At the start of the 19th century, the island inhabitants requested to depend on the Viceroy of New Granada (part of the Spanish crown). Later, the island was occupied by Simon Bolivar’s independent forces and it became part of Colombia.
Another interesting part of the island’s history is its nexus to pirates. At one time, Henry Morgan used it as the center of its operations.
Today, the archipelago formed by San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina in addition to part of the Caribbean Sea, have been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The islands are very popular because of its perfect beaches, rich culture, excellent water sports, diving and ecotourism.
For more information on how to plan a trip to the islands, check out Colombia’s Official Travel Guide.
Here are some photos so you can take a further look at San Andres.
Did you know about San Andres? Let me know in the comments section below.