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.
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