Well how do I sum up a wonderful week on Isla San Andres? ¡Maravillosa! Beautiful people, great accommodations, fantastic weather! This may differ at different times of the year.
Getting there: We arrived at the Marazul with Transat Airlines out of Montreal. Arrived in the late afternoon and were taxied to our hotel. All that you read about the way the cabs are filled with the luggage and thinking something inevitably will fall out, well they’ve got it handled, but I still did make sure to check every now and then. The cabs are very old cars and I don’t think they can go more than 30 km an hour.
The hotel: Our room at the Decameron Marazul was garden view which meant that it was quiet and off the beaten path. The rooms are spacious and all have balconies or patio area if you are on the first floor. This is a 150 room resort, so it is a very nice size, that if you forget something in your room it will take you 10 minutes to go to your room and return from any point. Do go visit the other Decamerons as you have that option and you’ll see that the Marazul is the top one to be at. If you want to stay for a meal, you must reserve the day prior. There are 2 à la carte restaurants which need to be booked ahead of time in order to get in; I mean show up at 7am to book or you’ll be in the buffet for the evening meal. If you like wine at all, bring your own from Duty Free and buy on the island. BRING YOUR OWN WINE . The buffet was great with a variety of food for all palates. In one week, we never saw the same item twice. This was available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is also a snack bar open between 11-5pm.
The beach: Well this is a man made beach and the sand is flat. We did not swim from the beach but a few people did. The wind is constantly blowing making it very comfortable for just sitting around. Don’t be fooled by the heat of the sun! The pool is a nice size with many chairs available as does the beach.
The island: The Island is 12 (19 km) miles long and 3 miles wide (4.8km) , soooo that means that you should be able to get around real quick. Wrong! The cars and scooters on the island don’t go very fast. I think I saw a 30km speed limit sign. That is the speed on the island. Great for a relax vacation. There are a few things to do like visit the other islands, Jonhny Cay (you’ll see many written versions of this name) Acuario. Snorkeling at Acuario is overated. You can go to the other side of the island to West View or la Piscinita and see more fish. Hire a cab to take you around and you’ll feel less trucked around. We hired the same guy who picked us up at the airport the first day. We called on ENRIQUE. His cel # is 316 7010843. Tell him that Ana de Montreal referred you.
Getting around: 2 options. Cabs or public buses. We hire the cab that brought us from the airport to the hotel to give us an island tour. It was great. All we had to do is call him and he was there. The average cab ride is 5 to 8 dollars US. Public buses are actually privately owned and cost 1250 pesos and are worth it. Basically there are 4 routes. San Luis to Centro (downtown) and vice versa and Cove to Centro and vice versa. No bus goes all around the island.
Diving: We do with SEA GARDEN DIVE CENTER firstname.lastname@example.org located at the Marazul and have another kiosk at the San Luis Decemeron. Jaime and his team were great. They speak English, French, Spanish and Italian. Our dive master most of the time was Efraim who is the most conscientious person who has ever taken us out in our 12 years of diving. He made sure we all had what was needed, gave us a step by step dive profile and stuck to it. Our captain Marlon used his talents for the journeys to the dive sites. The majority of dives are done on the other side of the island therefore a boat ride is necessary, but you leave right off the hotel pier. Remember I mentioned that there is always a good wind, well there are always bid waves. That was my only negative as I don’t like super big waves. We also had a great night dive. They were all great!
Shopping: It’s a duty free island! If you want to buy perfume or booze or electronics, it’s the place to do it. You’ll save almost 16% from the mainland. Know your prices ahead of time and yes you can get them to come down in price. Don’t make shopping a big outing or you might be disappointed. This island is not commercialized and not geared to tourist with many “recuerdos”. Shop where the locals go Avenidas Colon or Las Americas and get good prices or shop at New Point and pay bigger bucks. Your choice. This is not a commercialised island like Cozumel or Hawaii.
Eating out : The tour operator recommended 2 restaurants for seafood, but we did prefer La Regatta over El Rincon de la Langosta (which was overpriced, but the view was nice).
Bring US dollars, use the local ATM’s and advise your credit card companies ahead of time. After all when they see Columbia, they have no clue it is San Andres and they put stops on more charges! I hope this helps you out for your stay – I was happy to read up on from other people’s reviews. ¡Que se disfruta mucho!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Between the ocean and the thick brushes surrounding it, the Decameron Marazul rises as a first class paradisiac hideaway near the Orange Hill area in San Andres Island. Only 15 minutes from the airport and on the via San Luis, the resort is surrounded by a mangrove forest with a white sand private beach and a spectacular sea tinted with the entire spectrum of blue, contrasting the garden and ample green areas reserved for guests. From here, you may visit the most beautiful keys in the archipelago such as Cayo Acuario and Cayo Haynes which are located right in front of the beach, as well as Rocky Cay only 5 minutes away, with a beach and the only rocky key where we have an exclusive club for you to keep on tanning during your vacations on the various island locations. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Super Decameron Marazul Hotel San Andres Island
- Decameron San Andres