Getting around in San Andrés is easy and sometimes an adventure. The island is pretty small with just 26-27 square miles in size but it offers some challenges. The island is around eight miles long and just two miles in width. It has some elevation but not that much with its highest peak Cerro La Loma just reaching 60 meters above sea level, commonly know as El Cliff.
San Andrés itself is covered with grass, tropical vegetation and palm trees. The coastline is almost entirely made of sand beaches. The roads are paved or in a good condition and all well connected to the circular road around the island.
Getting around is easy with the Coobusan, which stands for Cooperativa de buses de San Andrés and functions as the main public transportation on the island. You can also take the tourist train which is an improvised train/tractor/car that brings you to beaches and towns.
But the most fun and fastest way around the island is by hiring a beach buggy, golf cart or scooter. You will see golf carts everywhere as this is the best priced option.
From north to south
In the north of San Andrés you will find the town of San Andrés nicknamed El Centro. It is located in the north end of the island and offers the largest concentrations of hotels, resorts and hostels. You can also find banks, the government and tour operators here. Be sure to rent your buggy, golf cart or scooter here as it’s the most logical place to start.
Going down south will bring you to the village of La Loma. This is a small town that mainly consists of native inhabitants. The town is located at the highest point of the island and offers great views over the Caribbean Sea on both sides of the island from the main viewpoint. Did you know they call the Caribbean Sea thee “seven colored sea”? This is because the color changes throughout the day, but it is mostly turquoise blue. Read more about the small town of La Loma.
Going up north a little bit further and follow the road to the east side of the island you will find the town San Luis. This is another small tourist town that offers exclusive white sand beaches that come with stunning views at sunrise and sunset. The town is small and mainly tourist are living here. This is one of the places where you want to lay down on the beach and snorkel around in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
Cross the island sideways by main road and you will reach one of the most famous snorkel spots of the island called La Piscinita. The water is crystal clear and often compared to a natural pool/aquarium. Be sure to stop and get a refreshing dive at this stunning place.
Driving down the main road will bring you to the southern point of the island where you can find the natural blowhole El Hoyo Soplador and various restaurants. You will be able to sunbath on the many beach around such as Playa de Sebastian or Playa Charquitos.
In 1970, I walked around the island. It was rocky on the east coast and sandy on the west. Black people spoke Elizabethan English but mostly perfectly understandable and were very friendly. At the southern point was a blowhole where the sea came under the ground and periodically rose through a hole 30-40 Feet into the air. great place especially the sandy beach on the west coast. Palm trees, sand and sea.Loved it.