The island of Providencia and Santa Catalina are connected to each other with a small wooden sea bridge. It is therefore possible to visit both islands by walking from Providencia to Santa Catalina. There are a few things to do on both the islands that are worth the money and will give you an amazing day.
National Park McBean Lagoon
The National Park McBean Lagoon is located between Maracaibo and Rocky point. It is a big lagoon that offers stunning views over the barrier reef protecting the island. The colors in the water are an amazing sight that you normally find in a vacation magazine. McBean Lagoon does offer more than only a lagoon because the park also offers mangroves and tropical forests. When you plan to visit Providencia in April/May then you can see the Black Land Crabs breeding migration. These crabs normally live on the small hills of the island and descend to the sea to lay their eggs. It is a stunning piece of nature’s significance since they mass down in the thousands at ones. The park is accessible for the entire day and all year around except on National Holidays. The price for foreigners to enter the park is 14.500 pesos, nacionales 8.500 pesos and kids 4.000. This is an absolute highlight of Providencia and must be visited by anybody travelling to the island.
Santa Catalina Isla
The second highlight after McBeans Lagoon you should visit is the island of Santa Catalina. This Island can be reached from Providencia by a colorful 100-meter long wooden bridge that connects both islands. The bridge is named Lovers Bridge because the islands are considered two lovers. Santa Catalina offers nice beaches and some remaining pieces of an old army fort. The island of Santa Catalina was ones a refuge for Caribbean Pirates such as Henry Morgan. There is a particular strange looking rock that looks like a head and is called Morgans Head. Don’t forget to bring your snorkel gear to this island since the lagoons offer beautiful water full of tropical fish.
Food, relaxing and snorkeling
The main activities on both Isla Providencia and Santa Catalina are relaxing on the beach, eating a fresh caught lobster and snorkeling among the Caribbean fish. The island offers great facilities for tourists to settle in and enjoy the Caribbean vibe. Don’t expect the luxury of San Andres since this island is a totally different world. After a long hard day on the beach you can grab a snack or drink at one of the local bars. We can recommend you Rolands Roots bar/restaurant, Caribbean place by Martin or Alberts restaurant/bar. One thing you should not bring to the island is work, the Internet is slow and it will destroy the vibe. The native people are relatively young and are enjoying life just follow their example.
Watch out for land crabs!
When the land crab invasion begins in early April you should watch out where you are walking. Law protects the crabs since they are endangered and an isolated species on the island. The crabs are everywhere and can block the small roads, just push them aside if you want to pass them. The locals also respect the crabs and will report you if you don’t. The invasion lasts until the end of July.