Due to connectivity issues getting to Providencia used to be even harder than to getting to San Andres, nowadays you can get there pretty easily by using one of the 2 airlines that cover that route daily or the catamaran that sails every other day.
On any given day there's at least 4 flights going to Providencia and 4 flights coming back, that's 68 seats on each route, the company that runs the catamaran operation offers around 70 seats everyother day
By Plane from San Andres
Two airlines flight to Providencia from San Andres with daily flights usually in the early morning and in the afternoon (3PM) These tickets can be bought in most of the travel agencies located in San Andres or directly at the airline.
Since the beginning of 2013 the government started subsidizing a big chunk of the fare, this obviously made the price of the ticket go down significantly. As of June 2015 the The cost of these airplanes tickets round trip is around $330.000 COP
Flying with Satena.
Out of the 2 airlines, Satena is the only one that's bookable online, the website is all in Spanish, but if you have booked a flight with any other airline in the world, I'm sure you can figure it out as it follows standard usability practices up until the payment where the credit card's expiration date is backwards.
This information it taken directly from the Satena's intranet, this is subject to change, I recommend you check the schedules directly with the airline first before making any plans.
Providencia - San Andres
In low season Satena offers two frequencies between the islands, in high season they increase these 2 frequencies by one or 2 more without any kind of previous notice. The plane takes 15 minutes to get there.
Flying with Searca.
Searca is a charter company that has been hired by Decameron to transport people staying at the Decameron managed hotels, you cannot book this airline online, you can however book it in any of the recognized travel agencies in San Andres or in the Decameron office located at the airportl.
This information was taken directly from the Searca intranet, these schedules are subject to change, I recommend you check the schedule directly first before making any plans.
This airline still uses paper tickets, so if you are buying it over the phone/internet from another country or Colombian city, you'll need to arrange a pick up of the actual ticket or you can ask the travel agency to mail it(not recommended as our mail system is not the greatest). The horrible thing about paper tickets is that if you lose them, you are fucked, because Searca will not issue you a new one, also changing the dates in case that your plans change is close to impossible.
Flying with Grupo San German
I Have no idea who these guys are, this is a travel agency that poped up out of nowhere in December 2018 and started selling tickets to Providencia using the same charter company explained above, I was exeptic at first, but at the hostel a few guest have bought tickets with them and so far so good.
Their Website seems to have been coded by a monkey in the early 90's, but is easy to figure out once you get past the colours and the weird menus.
How far in Advance Should I buy?
If you are certain of your travel dates, you should buy the tickets as soon as possible, both airlines generally sell out completely 1.5 weeks before any given date. Do NOT make a reservation in our hostel or any other property before having worked out your tickets to Providencia, most accomodation providers in providencia (including us) have few beds and cancellations and no shows are a pain to deal with.
All legal residents in the island get a special discount on airplane tickets to the mainland and to Providencia as well as in the Catamaran this varies and is up to a 50% off, quite a few people have contact us asking on how they can get the residents discount on their flights/boat to providencia, this is an extremely stupid, borderline insulting question.
Unless you are a legal resident of the island you can't get this dicount no matter how much you try, PERIOD.
The catamaran sails (MON, WEN, THR, FRI, SUN) and departs from "Tonino's Marina" dock and sails back on the same days. On high season (easter and x-mas) and on Carnival week (JUN) they sail daily and sometimes twice a day due to increasing demand.
Departure time (San Andres-Providencia) is at 7 AM and the return is at 2 PM.
At the time of this writing the round trip ticket costs $300.000 COP and a oneway cost $170.000 COP and takes 4 hours from San Andres to Providencia and 3 hours on the way back the reason it takes less on the route Providencia-San Andres is beacuse you are coming with the current.
In 2017 the company that runs the catamaran decided to join the 21st century and implemented online sales and bookings, this had proven to give people an easy way to check prices and availability on real time, however due to credit card fraud, most international credit cards are declined, so we urge you not to try more than once because although the card is denied, the reservation does goes through.
If your reservation but not your payment goes through, you can pay on the day of the departure, I do however urge you to confirm this via email/phone with them directly as i'm talking about the experience we have witnessed from many of the hostel's guest. Land Line +57(8)512-5003 Cellphone +57(318)347-2336 MON-FRI from 8-12 and 2-6 PM & SAT 8-1 PM
How far in Advance Should I buy?
The catamaran rarely sells out, however around carnival week, long weekends, Easter week and Christmas is better to secure your tickets way in advance.
Do NOT make a reservation in our hostel or any other property before having worked out your tickets, most accomodation providers in providencia (including us) have few beds and cancellations and no shows are a pain to deal with, also please be aware of the catamaran departure days as explained above before booking.
Can I get I refund?
According to the terms and conditions in their website you are entitled to a refund on some circumstances, please keep in mind that if you are booking with us, you have the option to choose on hostelworld and booking.com Standard and non refundable rates, all hotels,hostels and guest houses in Providencia do not issue refunds on non-refundable rates. We suggest to take flexible rates in the period between the 15 November to the 15th of January.
About The boat and the trip
The reviews are mixed on this trip, some people have a wonderful time, while some other curse the day they were born; If you are prone on getting seasick I advice you take a Mareol or dramamine pill about 1 hour before getting into the boat, this pill will save your from getting dizzy and probably puking, but it will make you very sleepy.
8 out of 10 people agree that getting from San Andres to Providencia is way harder than the way back!.
In 2014 the same people from the Catamaran have acquired a bigger, faster boat. I have done the trip on both boats and although the newer one is comfier and has better AC, I think the old one doesn't swing as much. I advice you seat down in the middle back, that way you don't feel the jumping up and down of the boat, no matter how much you want to visit Providencia, as a personal experience do not take this trip with a hangover, it will make you rethink if its worth living if you do.
If you are easily disgusted by the thought, sound or smell of puke, be mentally prepared as for sure someone will barf on the trip, crew members will hand out plastic bags to everyone and tissues damped with alcohol in case the smell gets bad. This is what I call the Vomito Effect where people just puke because they are disgusted at the exorcist like scenes around them.
Day Trip to Providencia
The catamaran offers day trip return tickets from San Andres to Providencia this is an extremely pointless trip, as you'll spend at least 4 hours on the boat, 1 hour vomiting and only get a few hours on the island if you are lucky before a 3 hour trip back, you'll hardly see it anything properly.
DO NOT bother with this option, if you want to experience the real Providencia, keep your sanity intact and avoid suicidal thoughts, I highly advise you to stay at least a night while visiting the island.
By cargo boat
Cargo boats don't have a fixed schedule and we don't really know who to contact, but is you are staying in San Andres for a while and have the time to ask around, this might worth a shot the people who have done it told me they paid $50.000 COP per route.
From what I've heard is up to the captain of the boat to allow you to go with them as is technically illegal to transport people that are not crew members in these types of boats. From a pure statistical point of view We have noticed that women have a higher success rate than guys, so let your lady friend do the talking.
Your best bet is to go to the dock (5 minutes away from our hostel) and ask the captains directly, please be aware that to enter the dock for safety reasons you must be wearing pants and fully covered shoes, otherwise they won't let you in pass the main gate.
Everything is this section is outdated information, we are leaving it in the website as an historical archive
Tickets for this boat are no longer sold at the hostel, since the catamaran doesn't give us any commission on tickets sold, we used to charge a 15% fee to cover our expenses and to be honest We would have done this for free if it were quick and painless, but they are not very efficient when it comes to making a booking with them and we lose about 1 hour of our time doing it.
You can also contact them directly to this emails:
- coordinadoradz1 AT conocemosnavegando DOT com
- reservas AT conocemosnavegando DOT com
Or call them up to these numbers: +57(310)222-5403 or +57(318)347-2336 or +57(8)512-3675 or +57(8)512-3340 They also have a website which is updated seldomly with schedule and price information.
If you decide to send them an email recommend you are brief in your email as i have gathered that briefs emails get the fastest replies I advice you follow this format:
Subject: New Reservation Paris Hilton x 02
We would like to make a reservation for:
- Paris Hilton, American Passport number 516A273252
- Posh Spice, English Passport number 05REA84681
- San Andres - Providencia: Viernes 13 de JUN
- Providencia San Andres: Miercoles 18 de JUN
We will pay on the day of departure in CASH/CREDIT CARD.
It generally takes them 3 to 4 days to answer emails, but sometimes they just dont seem to answer at all.
As of 2015 the catamaran has started taking online bookings the slow 1999 way, you first have to fill up a form and then after a few days they will send you a confirmation if they have availability with a link to do the payment online which will be valid only for 72 hours, after you pay them, they will send you an email with the tickets. this way generally takes about 3 days from that we've been told by hostel guests.