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From Bogotá to Paradise: Welcome To San Andrés, Colombia!

Updated: Feb 18

Step into the Caribbean dream as we unravel my visit to the captivating island of San Andrés, Colombia. 🇨🇴✨ A true hidden gem with sun-kissed shores, vibrant coral reefs, and a rhythm that echoes through the coconut palms. This tropical haven is not just an island—it's a symphony of the "Sea of Sevel Colors" and the rich history of the Raizal culture. Join me on a journey where every wave whispers secrets, and every sunset paints a masterpiece. Welcome to San Andrés Island, a tropical haven that dreams are made of! 💚


San Andrés, Colombia

If you haven't read my last post about Traveling Through Bogotá, Colombia, check it out as I provide tips on how to maneuver through the capital before getting to the island.


Let me say that traveling to the most remote parts of the world isn't always the quickest to get to. Before we could bury our toes in the sand of Isla San Andrés, we had to go through the infamous Bogotá. Our layover between the two consisted of ~10 hours, which was the perfect amount of time to leave the airport to explore the mainland.


"It's not the destination, it's the journey." - Ralph Emerson

Getting to Isla San Andrés

We flew into Bogotá via #DeltaAirlines and transitioned to one of the main airlines in South America, LATAM Airlines. The journey was fairly easy thanks to Delta. All of the flights were managed via our App and within the Delta portal.


Since our seats automatically came with a checked bag and two carry-ons. We didn't have to worry about paying extra for our luggage during the trip.


The El Dorado International Airport is massive, but super easy to get around in! It took us under 2 minutes to breeze through the domestic LATAM security lines and 5 minutes to arrive at our gate.


After the long journey thus far, this last ~2 hours and 25 minutes was a breeze! 🙌🏾


LATAM Airlines in the Bogotá, Colombia Airport

Side Note: As I mentioned in my last post, I HIGHLY recommend non-Spanish speaking individuals to pre-download Google Translate or another translator app that is equivalent to it. Majority of the locals in the heart of Colombia do NOT speak English. Please do not take it for granted that the locals will communicate with you in your native language.


Exchanging Currency 💰

I also recommend that you exchange your local currency for Colombian pesos (COP) when you land and/or when you are in the airport prior to venturing around Colombia. Airports are known to have higher exchange rates compared to the currency exchange locations and banks within the towns, but it is better to have some handy!


My sister and I made this mistake when we landed by only exchanging a short amount ($60 USD), assuming we could exchange more later, and were inconvenienced as dollars and cards weren't always accepted.


I have also purchased currency within my hometown before heading on a trip to avoid this step.


The exchange rate is currently around ~ $3800 COP = $1 USD. The first exchange rate that we got was $3,910 COP in the BOG airport.



San Andrés Tourism Card 💌

Before you can board the flight to head to and to enter onto the island, you MUST purchase a Tourist Card if you are not native to the island. It costs $124,000 COP = ~ $31.71 USD at the highest and is available to be purchased at the gate. Cash is recommended.



Colombian San Andrés Island Tourism Card

It will require the following information to be written:

  • Your Name

  • Passport Number

  • Sex

  • Date of Birth

  • Nationality

  • City of Departure

  • Arrival/Departure Date

  • Airline Details

  • Lodging Location

  • Purpose of Visting


Keep this somewhere safe during the duration of your trip! You will need it later on as you exit the island.


After that, you're good to go!!

San Andrés Island, Colombia Tropical Trees
The Coast of San Andrés

The Culture in San Andrés 🩵

You would assume that SAI is centralized off the coast of Colombia with it being owned by them, but it is actually closer to Nicaragua than Colombia itself! The rich history of the Raizal people (Afro-Caribbeans) on the island is deep and it is the reason why, as a black woman, I felt like I was home while away from home!


They originated on the island long before Colombia claimed it as a territory. Due to the slave trade, Jamaicans were transported from their homeland in the 1600s onto what we know as San Andrés today.


The native language of the island consists of Creole, Spanish, and English. Although English is slightly known here, don't take it for granted that everyone knows it. Those in the tourism business (Hotels, Transportation Companies, etc...) are more prone to knowing English, while others may not.


This highly anticipated destination has been on my list for years now! My travel style favors destinations where I can blend in and feel comfortable without being or looking like the minority as I do in America.


All in all, if you like humble destinations, stunning beaches, and fascinating wildlife... then you will love San Andrés!


In my next blog post, I'll tap further into my experience by providing extra details about my visit with recommendations on places to go and activities!


Stay Tuned!!!




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