San Andres Island the Colombian treasure
San Andres Island is the ideal destination par excellence to venture to discover and live new experiences.
In a traditional clay pot the flavors of the sea and the land are mixed, ingredients such as fish, cassava, snail, banana, breadfruit and pork tail are fused in a magic potion. While they bathe in coconut milk, they heat up to boil bubbly and spread the smoke that spreads the fragrances of an exotic local food.
In circles, women and men, owners of the kitchens, stir and add basil, oregano and pepper, while they sing and dance to the rhythm of a kind of union between reggae, soka, calypso and mento.
A magical moment, season and gather around the table to taste the rondón or rundown that is eaten at noon, under the breeze that comes from the sea and shakes the coconut palms to the rhythm of the waves of the sea.
This is the typical dish known as raizal in this paradisiacal place, more desired by the islanders and more experienced by tourists who want to marvel at the local. The rondón is the sample that San Andrés keeps the memory of miscegenation and the fusion of cultures.
This dish has a history, one linked to the raizales
The recipe was invented, as if by chance, by the English to feed the Jamaican slaves that they themselves transported to the island in 1613. Men and women who needed strength for the hard jobs they were required to fulfill. The English began by habit to gather the food that was easily obtained in the territory, to mix them, until achieving what is now known as rondón. Jamaica also has a presence in this preparation, its aromatic plants, brought by slaves, complement the explosion of flavors that characterize it.
The fruit of the bread is born from the bread tree, carried by the English from India. The fish and seafood are the result of intense fishing activities of the locals. While the tubers are collected from the few plantings planted on the island.
A valuable recipe, protected like a jewel by the grandparents, that has been transmitted from generation to generation to keep the tradition alive. But food is not the only one that evokes the past, the tradition.
Three languages to protect secrets and treasures
On the island, Spanish, English and Creole are spoken, a mixture between the first two languages and Africanisms. A language that was created as a variation so that the English did not understand what the slaves were talking about. Today is your seal, your identity. Thanks to languages, communication between natives and tourists from different regions of the world who arrive on the island is facilitated.
Creole is the language they speak at home, when they are far from tourists or even Colombian compatriots themselves, it is also a treasure that allows the raizales to shield their comments and stories. To speak in code between relatives and neighbors.
Anchored in the sea of San Andres Island is the Anglo-Caribbean legacy, as well as the oral tradition of its ancestors.
The mysteries that are observed along the main highway of the island
The legends that spread in San Andres Island reveal mysteries and stories of pirates who arrived on the island. Tales of sea lions that conquered and stole treasures from the ports they encountered while sailing the seas.
Their adventures and misadventures are counted as an untransferable treasure, stories of which the natives feel they are owners and lords. They have passion and point with conviction, as is the case of Morgan’s cave, a very visited destination.
Around it is told the story of the pirate Sir Henry Morgan, by whom the rock formation is named. The locals say that their grandparents told them that it was the old refuge of stolen treasures. Treasures that despite intense searches have not been found, but they say they are still well buried somewhere in the cave.
The real treasure; is well hidden, even in the eyes of a pirate
But the real treasure of San Andres Island is not hidden in the cave, it hides under the waters, it is dressed with the naked eye of deep blue, it passes through the blue sky until it reaches a green aquamarine. The gold of the island is bathed by salt water and by the sun to shine with splendor. His best-known treasure is hidden beneath the sea of the seven colors, the one that pirates like Sir Henry could not steal.
It is the coral barrier that surrounds the archipelago of San Andrés, in whose bottom live all kinds of species that together with the different levels of depth generate the varied tonalities that today make the island famous. A barrier that is the third largest in the world, a national jewel.
And what can be done with (or in) blue gold?
Whoever has the fortune to tread the island, will know from the first moment that the sea is one of the greatest attractions, if not the largest, of San Andrés.
Here the coral reefs can not only be admired from a boat, or in the distance. In this paradise you can interact with the natural treasure that lives under the sea. It is possible to dive, swim and swim with species such as butterfly fish, striped fish, hammerhead sharks, rays and starfish.
You can practice snorkeling, take a jet ski ride, jump into the water from a cliff, rent a kayak, and even admire the sea from a parachute.
Traditional restaurants with typical meals of the Island
Even if you go to San Andres Island with an all-inclusive plan, you can not miss the emblematic restaurants, which are now part of the San Andrés tradition. Restaurants that not only keep the best ancestral recipes, designs and island ornaments, but also are the shelter of the most admired flavors on the island.
‘Donde Francesca’ ‘La Regatta’ and’ Miss Celia ‘are obligatory for tourists. To visit them is to discover the treasures that are cooked over the fire after being taken out fresh from the sea and seasoned with the culinary secrets raizales.
Festivities that honor the ancestors and preserve the tradition
Festivals such as the Festival of the Green Moon or Green Moon Festival, held in September, the Festival of the Crab (April), and the festivities of November rescue the music, dance and cuisine of the island. Attend one of these, is to delve into the cultural richness of the archipelago shaped like a seahorse
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