Monday, August 18, 2008

Good food on San Andres and Providencia, Colombia (2000)

One of my favorite Caribbean trips was a five-day, four-night stay on the island of San Andrés, which is on the western side of the Caribbean and belongs to Colombia. We went there with the whole family in 2000.

The all-inclusive travel package included a stay at the Sol Meliá hotel "Sol Caribe Campo" in the center of the island. Part of the charm of this place was a great view of the Caribbean (it was perched on a hillside) along with the delicious food. The breakfast buffet was the best I've seen anywhere. It fell short when it came to the local cuisine, but what it did offer was well-prepared and abundant, even with small slices of pizza available for a midnight snack. Even though the hotel was not on the beach, it did have a strip of land by the beach where you could have your lunch and enjoy the water there. I also enjoyed having a slice of fresh coconut.

The family was content on San Andrés, but I was eager to check out the quieter sister island of Providencia. I wound up staying overnight at another Sol Meliá hotel: the Sol Caribe Providencia. There the food was a sit-down affair but in terms of quality it was even better than on San Andrés: for $60 a night, I had two meals included and enjoyed the most succulent crab meat I have tasted anywhere, along with a delicious dessert made from island-grown blueberries. When we returned to Bogotá and I told my wife's relatives about that hotel on Providencia, they said to me: "You paid that much?"

See my webpage on Colombia at

Other websites:

Caribbean Folk Arts Network (Caribfolk) - Caribbean cultural network:

Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas (Latin American Cultural Roots) - a nonprofit organization I founded in 1991 that presents Latin American cultural shows, exhibits, and workshops:

Raicesnews - Latin cultural events in the Philadelphia area:

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