Seniors Discover “Secret Island of Providencia”

Unspoiled white sand beaches, crystal clear seas, friendly Caribbean locals living on a mountainous and forested island – Providencia, seniors learn,  is perhaps the greatest hidden gem of the Caribbean.

With a population of just 5,000 people, a dozen small hotels, a blissfully undeveloped landscape and surrounded by the crystal blue Caribbean Ocean, this is the Caribbean of yesteryear.

Providencia, only 13 square miles, is a Colombian island in the Caribbean Sea, part of the Archipelago de San Andres which encompasses over 96,000 square miles. Attached to it by a floating bridge is Santa Catalina Island which is only one square mile in size. The average temperature on the islands ranges between 77°F and 86°F all year long.

Providencia Island (Isla de Providencia) is a unique destination, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Thanks to its 20-kilometer coral barrier, world’s third largest coral reef, it offers splendid conditions as a diver and snorkeling paradise.

Its beaches are solitary, beautiful, and extremely peaceful. Providencia though not spoiled by tourism, is rapidly becoming a fashionable spot for Colombian tourists.

There are great places to stay in the small towns on the island including spots along the beach and hostels. You will also find some great B&Bs on site and my wife and I would head for one of these right away.

Mixed Traditions Greet Senior Travelers

Many other islands in the Caribbean have sold their souls and are now blighted by over-priced sprawling resorts. This is how the Caribbean was before the dawn of mass tourism – beautiful, peaceful, friendly and unspoiled.

The seas bring the islanders food, scenery and amusement. With their history of colonization by the English, the Dutch and the Spaniards, they have mixed traditions: they drink tea, speak the Caribbean English version of creole and love their music. The most enchanting thing about Providencia is its rich creole culture.

The island was the site of an English Puritan colony established in 1629 by the Providence Island Company, and was taken by Spain in 1641. The infamous pirate Henry Morgan used Providencia as a base for raiding the Spanish empire, and rumors suggest that much treasure remains hidden on the island.

TripAdvisor suggests top-rated restaurants and attractions like Crab Cay, the Peak Forestry Reserve and the McBean Lagoon National Natural Park. Crab Key is a small island located off the east coast of Providencia. You can walk to the top of the island to get a view of what is known as ‘the seven colors of the sea’ which describes the 7 blue hues of the sea brought on by the volcanic rocks.

Sounds to me like one neat place to visit.  Maybe we’ll see you there.  jeb

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