Crab Cay (or Cayo Cangrejo) is a really beautiful island where the waters are lovely and warm. There is supposedly really good snorkelling there. Unfortunately the guys, who we paid to take us snorkelling there, did not actually take us to the island so I cannot really say how good it is once you set foot there.
My wife had been to Providencia before and had raved about how beautiful the waters were. The day before we met this guy called Israel who was showing a family to the Peak. He told us that he had a boat and he would take us for a 2 hour trip around the island and snorkelling around Crab Cay in particular for 50,000 Colombian Pesos each. He collected us from our hotel at 08.30 and then collected another family from a different hotel. His speedboat was called Lucia II and he had another man help him on the trip. However I sensed something was fishy (excuse the pun) when this other man brought a harpoon gun on to the boat.
Things started off okay as we set sail around the island, stopping off at some beach for about 20 minutes to have a quick wade in the water. However that was last any of the paying guests came to entering the water. Sometime later whilst out in the surrounding Caribbean Sea, this other man puts on his snorkelling gear and jumped into the water with the harpoon gun. 5 minutes later he returned to the boat having speared some unfortunate blue-coloured fish. Israel, the man who was supposed to be organising this outing, then proceeded to gut the fish in front of us, making a piece of fish meat which he attached to a hook and then used as bait for attracting barracuda. 50 minutes were spent going around Providencia island - in the distance you could see Crab Cay but we didn't stop. The only time we did stop was when we got a bite from a barracuda. Actually they trapped 2 barracudas and put them out of their misery for us to watch. I found the whole episode deeply unpleasant as it was not what I had wanted to see (and definitely did not want to pay for). In all this saga took almost 4 hours and we were returned by boat to our hotel with no one but the fish hunter getting any snorkelling. After protesting we did get a partial refund.
You could go on an official snorkelling trip organised by a hotel but this can be very expensive. The good people of Providencia are by and large very helpful and can give you a better deal. Just be careful when you organise your own excursion and question exactly what you are getting for your money - it helps if you speak Spanish but a lot of people here do speak English also. You might want to think twice if you see someone load a harpoon gun on board if all you want to do is have a little look underwater rather than go deep sea fishing...
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