Visit San Andres, the jewel of Colombia

When thinking of Colombia, one does not automatically think of it as a beach holiday destination, yet the Colombian island of San Andres is an outstanding example of tropical paradise.

The idyllic island of San Andres

Closer to Nicaragua than Colombia, this tiny island located in the Caribbean sea is the perfect mix of Caribbean Creole and Latino cultures.  Take the 2 hour flight there from the Colombian capital Bogota.

Although, small at just 26 square kilometres there is plenty to see and do here.  Head to Johnny Cay regional park, a small and perfectly formed island just a mile off the coast of the mainland.  Day trips here are cheap and you can spend the day snorkelling in the crystal clear waters, sunbathing on the pristine white sands, whilst keeping an eye out for the colony of iguanas that inhabit this tiny island.  Pay a visit to El Hoyo Suplidor geyser.  Although only active when conditions allow, it is worth taking a look, because at times it can put on quite a show and creates great photo opportunities.  San Andres is also a great place to scuba dive.

The island has a number of affiliated dive shops where you can complete PADI courses to gain your scuba qualifications. There is plenty of marine life to see here, including sting rays, turtles, sharks, barracuda and at the right time of year there is even the possibility of seeing whale sharks in the warm waters here.

The Colombian Island offers a great variety of diving experiences.

Health in Colombia

All visitors to Colombia should ensure that their Hepatitis A vaccination and Tetanus vaccinations are up to date.  It is best to get these at least 2 weeks before travel to ensure full effectiveness.  Hepatitis A is contracted via food and water so even after vaccination, it is important to be cautious as no vaccine is 100%.  Contaminated food and water can cause a multitude of stomach bugs.  Be prepared by purchasing one of our tummy kits in clinic.  They contain a variety of medications to treat mild to moderate stomach bugs and can save you a lot of time and hassle whilst on your trip.  Discuss this with one of our specialist nurses.

Much of Colombia is considered to be at risk of Yellow Fever and vaccination is required for most parts.  The disease is contracted via the bite of infected mosquitoes and can be particularly nasty, resulting in internal bleeding and in some cases death.  The vaccination is very effective and lasts a lifetime.  It is a good long term investment if you are visiting Yellow fever zones.  Regardless of vaccination it is vital to use a DEET based mosquito repellent all day and all night.  Mosquitoes can carry many other diseases that cannot be vaccinated against, so preventing bites is the safest option.  For anyone visiting Colombia for longer periods or heading off the beaten track then additional vaccinations may be required.  Rabies is a risk in Colombia and can be carried by any mammal.  The vaccination course requires 3 vaccines to be given over 1 month prior to travel so it is essential to plan ahead.  There is also a risk of Hepatitis B in Colombia which is transmitted via blood and bodily fluids.  This vaccine also requires a course of 3 to be given over a month.

Some parts of Colombia have a high risk of Malaria and in these areas anti-malarial medication is required.  If you plan to travel to Colombia then book with us now to discuss your options with one of our specialist travel nurses. Remember consultation is free, you only pay for vaccinations or additional purchases. Find your nearest London vaccination clinic here.

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