The Island of San Andres and Providencia

Island of San Andrés
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The jewel of the Caribbean Sea, the islands of San Andres and Providencia has become a legend. The colour and complexity of its religion, the beauty of its people and the tranquil richness of its landscape are living expressions of the rest of the world’s vision of what a tropical paradise should be. Warm Caribbean waters sometimes called by locals as ”The Sea of Seven Colours”, a graceful tribute to an island which keeps its innocence in spite of the growing inroads of the modern commercial world and top San Andres Hotels.

Colombians calls these beautiful islands “Archipiélago de San Andrés, Providencia y Santa Catalina”, and recognize its claims to special fascination. Even when set beside the vigorous cultures of Caribbean’s many other islands, San Andres and Providencia’s high level of artistic achievement in painting, music and dance and the unique traditions of its religion have always stood out. Artists and writers have come to look and stayed for a lifetime, caught in a spell which is too enticing to break.

Seeing the tranquil, friendly faces of the San Andres people which reflect an equally serene and warm landscape, it comes as a surprise that this island has had a turbulent history. War has played just as decisive a part in the archipelago’s past as religion, with a thousand years of periodic upheavals recorded in the chronicles of the island.

The hunters of the early Stone Age were the first inhabitants of these islands. Probably related to the famous “Java Man”, who inhabited the archipelago while Europe lay under the ice age, they were probably among the first human inhabitants of the world.

Much later began the countless migrations from the Asian mainland which periodically washed over Caribbean. With them came the first ancestors of modern Caribbean’s and the cultures of the stone and iron ages. By 1500 BC, migrants from Southern India had introduced to Caribbean an elementary agricultural society based on village units, and the Bronze Age (300 BC – 100 AD) the island was already well populated.

There’s So Much More To A Trip Abroad Than The Beach And A Hotel Bar

Male model wearing racing briefs, 2003.
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Why not look into tailor made travel arrangements next time you’re thinking of going abroad? Rather than going on the run of the mill package holiday excursions that just show you a few points of interest around the town where your hotel is located how about a little bit of adventure?

We’ve all been on holidays where we intended to get out into the mountains, into the forests and plains, to the historic old town and the museums and galleries and then just ended up spending ten nights drunk and ten days hungover, sprawled out on a sunlounger on the beach. Well, we all have when we were much younger anyway.

These days, if I want to tan while drunk there’s a twenty four hour tanning salon opposite at least two rowdy pubs not ten minutes drive from me so I have the covered now. When I go abroad now I want to learn, to discover and possibly have a little bit of an adventure. I’m more interested in the history and culture of a place these days than how cheap the beer is and how expensive the clubs are.

So I was looking into some holiday companies, ones that offer tours like the Japanese blossom tour and sightseeing vacations in South America. I realised there are tours that can take you anywhere you can imagine. Limiting yourself to one particular town for the duration is kinda daft when you think about it. Like a gap year student I realised that the final destination isn’t the point, it’s the journey.

Zen? Possibly, but what’s the point of going somewhere if you don’t enjoy the journey? You find yourself in a resort hotel that could have come off of a production line then come home again browner, poorer and in no way otherwise fulfilled.

I used to enjoy that kind of holiday but now I’m older, wiser, less fit and I don’t look so good in Speedos any more! So now I’ll take a sedate trip to the grape growing regions of France, buy a few bottles on the way out and rip it up when we get back to the hotel. I may be getting on but I’m on holiday after all!

These vacations might end up being a bit more costly than ten days in Benidorm but the relaxation, the ambiance and the experience certainly make it worth while.

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