Altitude: 0-360 meters (1,174 feet), Population: 6,000, Phone Code: 8
Providencia (Old Providence) is the archipelago's second-largest island. It is much different than San AndrĂ©s. Life here is laid-back and the Raizal culture still reigns.
The main settlement on Providencia is Town (Santa Isabel) on the northern tip, where most businesses are. An 18-kilometer (11-mile) road skirts the outside edge of the island, and so most inhabitants live along the shore. The airport, Rocky Point (Punta Rocosa), Smooth Water Bay (Aguamansa) and Machineel (Playa Manzanilla) are along the east coast. The west side of the island is where Old Town (Pueblo Viejo), Lazy Hill (San Felipe), Freshwater Bay (Agua Dulce) and South West Bay (BahĂa Sudoeste) are. Several lomas (hills) rise in the center of the island. Santa Catalina, an isle just to the north, is accessible from Providencia by the â€śLoverâ€™s Bridge.â€ť Ten kilometers (six miles) further north is Low Cay.
Little remains from the early Puritan, slave and pirate settlements, except names and the odd cannon here and there. Santa Isabel has a few ramshackle streets where you can find cafĂ©s, a supermarket, banks and a cash machine. Unless you need to withdraw some funds, there should be no urgent need to visit there.
Instead, stick to the islandâ€™s main attractionsâ€”unspoiled beaches, charming islanders conversing in their Creole English, tours of the mangroves and hikes into the interior volcanic hills.
Other places nearby Providencia and Santa Catalina: San Andres,