My wife and I flew in from Toronto last December to San Andres. We arrived to the island on a rainy afternoon where we were picked up by the usual run down taxi that brought us to the Aquarium. We had requested the new tower but were put in an older one. We had went to San Andres twice before and didn’t make a fuss about the new tower not being available. We previously stayed at the Maryland and the Los Delfines and found the rooms to be quite acceptable. When I walked into my room, I must say that I was very disappointed. I found the room very used and somewhat dirty. I told my wife that we should at least talk to management to see what could be done for us. I must say that we had a spectacular view from our balcony of Johnny Cay. We unpacked our stuff and went directly to the pier bar where we met 10 other Canadians stating their holidays. From then on, the room wasn’t an issue anymore. The hotel is quite unique, no beach but a series of docks that leads you to a bar, a restaurant, a disco and 2 sport centers. You can even swim from one of the docks to an area where you can snorkel and see schools of fishes.
I found the restaurants at the hotel to be very good. I liked the Italian restaurants so much that we ate there twice. I had the sea food spaghetti and I found it to be quite tasteful. We also liked the Thai restaurant and the buffet. We didn’t like the seafood or the patio restaurant. We ate at the Maryland buffet, the Los Delfines (my favorite) and at the San Luis buffet. All were quite enjoyable!
There only one nice beach in my opinion and that’s the public beach located at the front of the Isleno Hotel. I rented a beach tent and two sun chairs for about 5 dollar. We swam part of the day, sunbathed, ate at the lunch buffet (hamburger and fries) and drank a few cold cerveza con limon at the Isleno bar (my favorite bar).
Tons of shopping in this freeport (you pay no taxes) but after a while, you get tired of seeing the same thing (perfume, name brand shoe and clothing, electronics, etc).
I found it relatively easy and safe to take money out from the ATM. Bring a few US dollars as they don’t cash Canadian traveler’s checks anymore.
Things to do:
We rented a golf cart for about 40 us dollars from Esmeralda (in front of the Aquarium hotel) and did the island tour thing. We had done this twice before and each time we enjoyed it very much. We saw the pirate cave, the natural pool (tons of fish to see while snorkeling), the blow hole and the north point. We stopped at the San Luis for lunch and then drove to Rocky cay and finally up the hill to see the Baptist church and a fabulous view of the island reefs from atop the mountain. It was quite a nice trip done at our pace were we stopped where we wanted to stop.
Overall I can’t say enough good things about the many Colombian friends I made while in San Andres. Everyone seems happy and they aren’t happy just because they want to make a quick buck off of you. I like the culture and the smiling faces I see every time I go to San Andres. This is truly an exceptional island.
Things that make you hum the first day will make you sing “take me back to my San Andres…” when comes time to pack your bags and hop on that cab that will bring you to the airport. I only have nice memories from my trip to San Andres and my stay at the Aquarium and I know I will be back to that wonderful island pretty soon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the midst of an Antillean environment, this resort has an exceptional architecture with circular towers overlooking the sea at ‘Punta Hansa’ – at the northern end of the Island of San Andres – which allow for wonderful panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. These buildings are alongside a long wooden dock that leads to a natural pool in the sea and with an aquatic platform ideal for snorkeling and other water sports. The Decameron Aquarium is located approximately 10 minutes from the airport and is a well sought out location for tourists since the longest and most beautiful beach of the island is located only a few blocks away, surrounded by a boardwalk, parallel to a commercial area with restaurants, discos and the most exclusive bars. You will enjoy an enchanting paradise that can be explored completely on foot and where a cultural mixture of English, Spanish, Pirates and Corsairs can be explored. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Decameron Aquarium Hotel San Andres Island