The archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina is located to the northwest of the Colombian mainland in the Caribbean and was declared a UNESCO Biosphere reserve in 2000. It is believed that the islands were first discovered by Christopher Columbus on his second journey and then they were administered by the English from 1631. This led to a period of colonization, in particular, by people of African descent. In 1670 the infamous pirate Henry Morgan established his base on the island of Providencia and there are still some who believe the legends that some of his treasures remain buried here. Due to the history of the archipelago the language spoken on the islands is a patois, the mixture of English and Spanish.  

For many reasons the archipelago is a combination of backgrounds; it is geographically close to the coast of Nicaragua; has strong historical ties to England and politically makes up part of Colombia. For all of the aforementioned reasons the archipelago has many cultural contrasts to compliment the breathtaking scenery which all make this an interesting yet paradisaical destination set to the lilting rhythms of reggae. The average water temperature all year round oscillates between 27 and 29 ºC.

San Andrés is the largest island in the archipelago and is the administrative and financial centre and has drawn in tourists for several decades. It is well known for its beaches, some with pink coral in the sand, the sea of seven colours with its clear turquoise blue waters in varying tones, its points of interest such as Johnny Cay found just a ten-minute boat ride from San Andrés, Morgan’s Cave, where supposedly the pirate hid some treasures and other fantastic places.  

Providencia offers similar beautiful landscapes and it makes up part of the second largest coral reef in the northern hemisphere. The island is known for its colonial history, its inhabitants, its Caribbean style colourful wooden slat houses and its tranquillity. The island is a 20-minute flight from San Andres or an 8-hour boat ride. The 17km2 of empty bays found here make this an ideal location for enjoying the sea and the beach, perfect for relaxing or water sports such as scuba diving or snorkelling. Santa Catalina is another small island in the Caribbean and is connected to Providencia by a colourfully painted wooden bridge. There are 57 different types of coral here, 12 species of mangrove, three types of marine plants and four types of sea turtles that lay their eggs in this area. It is as if the island is situated surrounded by some of the most beautiful and complex coralline formations in the world.