El Centro is the nickname for San Andrés main town. The town of San Andres is located all the way up north on the island and has a population of around 60.000 people; this is almost 75% of the island population.
El Centro is also the town of the government that manages the islands archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. The economy is fully fuelled by tourist and you will find hotels and shops everywhere. The town is also the main harbor where the big cruise ships tend to dock.
Things to do in El Centro
The town and island have been accommodating tourist for many decades and have been perfecting the art through the years. You will find fancy and budget restaurants all around the town. We can recommend the streetfood sold by the local vendors to fully experience the creole vibes. Don’t skip the clubs if you are ready to party, you will find a variety of them close to the beach Playa Sprat Bight.
Beaches in El Centro
If you are looking for a nice beach in El Centro you don’t have to look far just check out Playa Sprat Bight beach next to the main boardwalk that follows the coastline. You will find more beaches suitable for swimming and sunbathing all around. The locals refer to the beach as La Playa so just ask them “donde está en La Playa” and they will point you in the right direction.
Two other nice beaches are Playa Principal and Bella San Andres Playa Grande both facing the shallow island Johnny Cay which makes up for a good daytrip. You can book day tours to other beaches and snorkeling trips on the reef and around the Cay’s. Prices aren’t that expensive ranging from $20-50 so you should give it a try when you visit El Centro.
Staying in El Centro
White sand beaches and crystal clear water surround the town of San Andres. You can choose your accommodation depending on your own budget since San Andres offers five star resorts and budget hostels. The many restaurants offer great opportunities to try the local cuisine, which consist mainly of fresh fish caught along the coast.
El Centro is also one of the easy places to get money from banks/ATMs since the town of San Luis and La Loma don’t have one. One plus point of El Centro is that it offers duty-free shopping; so if you are looking for a bargain then the main shopping street is the place to be.