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Isla Providencia or Old Providence is really a mountainous Caribbean island laying half way between Panama And Nicaragua, and Jamaica. It's located roughly 60 miles north of the San Andres Island, and about 400 miles to the northwest of Cartagena and 150 miles to the east of Nicaragua.
This small isolated island possesses spotless white sand beaches, sparkling clear water ideal for snorkeling, water sport and fishing as well as mountainous palm forests. A sightseeing tour around the Isla de Providencia cruise port will lead you from the hub of Santa Isabel to the small communities of Aguadulce, Agua Mansa, Casa Baja, La Montaña, Pueblo Viaje, Pueblo Libre, San Felipe and Cur Oeste through the single road that extends around the island. Isla de Providencia cruise port is an exemplar of a tiny narrow corner that lots of goodness has been preserved.
 
Where You are Cruise Ship is Docked
The main harbor is located at Santa Isabel. As cruise ships aren't able to pier here, visitors will be tendered ashore. This tiny isolated island features impeccable white sand beaches, hilly palm forests and translucent water perfect for scuba diving, aquatic sports and angling. An excursion round the island will give you in the center at Santa Isabel towards the small towns of Pueblo Libre, Pueblo Viejo, San Felipe, Aguadulce, Sur Oeste, Casa Baja, Agua Mansa and La Montaña through the sole street that stretches round the island.

The island has one principle coastal road (which goes around the circumference of the island), and a few other smaller roads. There is no public transport to speak of, although there are taxis. A taxi from one side of the island to the opposite side, costs no more than 20,000 pesos (USD $12). Another option for tourists is to rent a motorbike or golf buggy. Mopeds can be hired for 50,000 pesos (USD $30) for 24 hours, to hire a golf buggy costs 100,000 - 120,000 pesos (USD $60) for 24 hours. Both Santa Isabel and Aguadulce have places to hire vehicles, alternatively any hotel can have one delivered for you. Providencia is a small island - it takes just 30-40 minutes to drive in a loop around the whole island in a golf buggy, and no drive takes longer than 15-20 minutes. It's great fun to explore the island - allow various days to be able to enjoy all the sites and beaches.
Santa Catalina does not have any roads, there is only one footpath.
 
Get around
The island has one principle coastal road (which goes around the circumference of the island), and a few other smaller roads. There is no public transport to speak of, although there are taxis. A taxi from one side of the island to the opposite side, costs no more than 20,000 pesos (USD $12). Moto-taxis are the most popular option used by locals, costing around 6.000 pesos to the go halfway round the island. They will generally take two people but will charge double. Moto-taxis will usually be wearing a small satchel, but if in doubt ask a local to help you find one. by Hitch-hiking is quite easy.
Another option for tourists is to rent a motorbike or golf buggy. Mopeds can be hired for 50,000 pesos (USD $30) for 24 hours, to hire a golf buggy costs 100,000 - 120,000 pesos (USD $60) for 24 hours. Both Santa Isabel and Aguadulce have places to hire vehicles, alternatively any hotel can have one delivered for you. Providencia is a small island - it takes just 30-40 minutes to drive in a loop around the whole island in a golf buggy, and no drive takes longer than 15-20 minutes. It's great fun to explore the island - allow various days to be able to enjoy all the sites and beaches.
Santa Catalina does not have any roads, there is only one footpath.
 
Transportation
You will find couple of streets hooking up the cities from the island. The El Embrujo Airport terminal is offered with a daily non-stop flight from Gustavo Rojas Pinilla Airport Terminal in San Andrés. From San Andres Island you will find direct plane tickets from Colombia, Panama And Nicaragua, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Cuba.A ferry leaves for Providencia 3 occasions per week from San Andres island. Employ a golfcart or moped look around the island - golfcart hire costs about 100,000 Colombian pesos (US $40) for twenty-four hrs, while a moped hire costs about 50 % that.
 
 
Things to See and Do
Providencia's carnival occurs in June, normally over the penultimate weekend of that month.
 
Isla Providencia unspoilt whitened sand beaches, blue seas, friendly Caribbean local people living on the hill and forested island - Providencia (or Old Providence in British) is possibly the finest hidden jewel from the Caribbean. Having a population of just 5000 people, only a dozen small resorts along with a completely undeveloped landscape, this is actually the old worldly Caribbean. A number of other islands within the Caribbean have offered their souls and therefore are now blighted by over-listed sprawling resorts, but Colombia's Providencia offers something completely different. This is the castaway someplace sunny and warm was prior to the beginning of mass tourism - beautiful, peaceful, friendly and unspoilt.
 
Not even close to landmass Colombia, rarely visited Isla Providencia is really a warm and friendly place. A tropical tour goes to some parochial school along with other sights ashore. Or, venture to snorkel or dive among a number of seafood, including colorful tangs, cuttlefish, and barracuda, available one of the island's barrier reef. Along with the world's third biggest barrier reef, Providencia Island is really a all scuba divers dream.
 
Most people travel to Providencia to either experience the beautiful palm fringed beaches or to go scuba diving. The worlds third largest barrier reef is found in Providencia. The snorkelling is great and the sea almost always very calm - most hotels can organize snorkelling tours, plus various other excursions and activities. It's highly recommended to visit Crab Caye (Cayo Cangrejo), a spectacularly beautiful little island off the East coast of Providencia. Another great activity is to go kayaking in the calm, crystal clear waters - this is the best way to experience McBean Lagoon National Park, of which Crab Caye is a part.
 
It's also well worthwhile to spend a day visiting neighbouring Santa Catalina Island, which has a couple of lovely peaceful beaches, two of which can only be accessed by kayak / private boat. On Santa Catalina one also finds a couple of old forts, remnants from the days of piracy on the island. Rumour has it that the pirate Henry Morgan hid huge amounts of treasure on Santa Catalina, and it's easy to visit the cave where some of it was found.

Providencia's appeal lies in it's beautiful unspoilt volcanic scenery, white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, scuba diving, snorkelling and fishing. The majority of beaches are unspoilt and undeveloped.
Bahia Aguadulce is the main tourist area of Providencia, there are 5-6 small hotels, a few restaurants and a supermarket - all of which are walking distance to the beach.
 
Santa Isabel is the main town in Providencia. It has as a couple of Internet cafes, a cafe, bakeries, two banks with ATM machines, a few supermarkets, a variety of miscellaneous shops, a tourist souvenir shop and a couple of billiard halls/local bars. Santa Isabel also various local restaurants. There is a footbridge to Santa Catalina called the Lovers Bridge.
 
Santa Catalina (population approx 100 people) is a smaller island connected to Providencia, and is considerably less developed. It has one shop, a few beautiful beaches and a couple of restaurants. On Santa Catalina one finds Morgans Head, a large rock formation that resembles a head and is named after the pirate Henry Morgan, who used Providencia and Santa Catalina as a base for raiding the Spanish colonial empire many centuries ago. There are also the remains of an unexcavated Fort that dates from the days of piracy on the island. There are a few beautiful, calm beaches on Santa Catalina island - none of which have any development at all.
 
Bahia Suroeste has a long calm beach with a handful of simple restaurants and bars.
 
Bahia Manzanillo is a beautiful beach with the "Roland Roots Reggae Bar", featuring beach-parties and live acoustic music on the weekends.
 
Almond beach is a beautiful small beach that has good snorkelling and where there are often no people other than the owner of the simple restaurant there.

Crab Caye is a beautiful small island off the East coast of Maracaibo. The snorkelling here is excellent, and the sea an amazing shade of turquoise. Along with the other small, beautiful islands named the Three Brothers Cayes, Crab Caye forms part of the McBean Lagoon National Park. In Maracaibo you can hire kayaks or hire a boatman to take you to visit Crab Caye.

"The Peak" is the highest point on the island - and offers beautiful panoramic views towards the distant barrier reef, which runs along the East coast of the island. Excursions can be arranged by most hotels.
Scuba diving around Providencia is excellent - here one finds the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world.
15km to the North of Providencia, at the top of the barrier reef, lies the remote little island called Low Caye (El Faro), which can be visited on fishing trips. Even further North and East lie other even more remote islands such as Roncador, and idyllic atolls such as Serrana and Serranilla. Such remote islands aren't marked on most maps and are almost never visited by tourists.

One gets a better grasp of the island by seeing it from the sea. As such, boat tours are highly recommended. Fishing is also great fun.

The black mountain crab migration occurs annually, usually culminating in late April / early May, when masses of black crabs descend from the mountains into the sea to lay their eggs. Military personnel are brought in to protect this environmental phenomenon, forbidding driving during late night/early morning along certain parts of the island, which become teeming with mountain crab and their newborn young.
Providencia's carnival occurs in June, normally over the penultimate weekend of that month.
 
Dive centers are abundant on Isla de Providencia port of call. You can rent mopeds and travel around the islands. There are a number of beaches equipped with beach bars. Also, there is a hotel area but it is different from the condos and hotels in areas such as Cancun and Costa Rica. It feels unspoiled and isolated and a lot of tourists love it.
 
The past of the island as a haven for pirates is very apparent. In fact the name Morgan prominently features in most geographical names- Morgan’s Head (a rock formation), Morgan’s opposite of head (appropriately termed Split Hill) and Morgan’s Channel. The Fuerte d La Libertad (ruins of Fort Warwick) on Santa Catalina contains cannon pointing at the harbor and can easily be reached by foot through a malecon.
 
Eating Out
Water is drinkable from the faucet in the majority of the major metropolitan areas, but be ready to buy some bottles if put forth the countryside. Agua Manantial Canned water is suggested, it develops from a natural spring near Bogotá. A guidance make certain you don't use ice, or drink any beverage that may contain non sterilized water, request when the beverage is made from tap or canned/boiled water.
 
The most preferred restaurant for many tourists is the Bamboo, which is located on the island of Santa Catalina. The costs of food is very reasonable and local foods are always delectable. Choose a table on a tiny pier facing the restaurant, where you can see the wonderful spectacles of the harbor and Isla de Providencia. This restaurant is one of the restaurants in the island where you can actually ask for a vegetarian dish.
 
If you are craving Italian cuisine, go to Il Postino, located in San Felipe. The restaurant is only open for 4 months each year. They specialize in pasta.Aguadulce’s best restaurant is the Caribbean Place, also known as Donde Martin. There is a broad array of dishes being offered in this restaurant. There is also a range of beach front restaurants, which include Mr. Arturo and El Divino Nino. El Divino Nino is popular for its mixed plate- a huge dish includes conch, crab, fish and lobster at an inexpensive price.In general, all of the finest restaurants (in terms of quality of food, worth for money or both) are independent establishments and not connected to the hotels. Many bars are located along the beaches.
 
The vast majority of the food on offer is sea-food - lobsters, squid, fish, crab, and prawns. Try their corn flavour ice cream, made locally. For a massive bowl of seafood soup visit El Nino on SouthWest beach, where all the seafood is fresh and delicious. Also try Caribbean place in Agudulce, which serves more seafood as well as meat and pasta dishes. On Santa Catalina Island, there is just one restaurant called Restaurant Eneida. Santa Isabel, the capital of the island, has a variety of cheap places to eat, including a pizza restaurant. The most upmarket restaurant on the island is found at Deep Blue in Maracaibo, located with beautiful sea views in front of Crab Caye.
 
Nightlife is limited on the island. Over the weekends there are often beach parties, during the week everything is very low key.
The main nightlife destination is Rolands Bar, on Manzanillo Beach, where there is a bonfire and beach party for most of the weekend (10.000 cover on Fridays).
San Andres Island has more nightlife - tourists normally come to Providencia to chill.
 
Shopping
Isla de Providencia is a small island and can only be explored in a few hours by car. It is a resort town for the locals coming from the mainland Columbia. The island has a small shopping area that houses various stores. You can buy everything from attractive resort outfits, to watches and perfumes. All stores offer items with great style and good quality. Nightlife is limited on the island. Over the weekends there are often beach parties, during the week everything is very low key.The main nightlife destination is Rolands Bar, on Manzanillo Beach, where there is a bonfire and beach party for most of the weekend.
San Andres Island has more nightlife - tourists normally come to Providencia to chill. Bush Rum is the local type of firewater. Imported alcohol is also surprisingly cheap here, and is one of the original reasons that attracted Colombian tourists to San Andrés.



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