Crab Cay Providencia

Colombia's Secret Paradise You Simply Can't Miss

crab cay providencia colombia

Crab Cay Providencia

Colombia’s Secret Paradise You Simply Can’t Miss

They may call it the sea of seven colors, but in my mind when I look out to the ocean surrounding Providencia Island, I envision 50 luminous shades of blue and aquamarine.

While “50 shades of blue” might be a bit of an exaggeration, it is no stretch of the imagination to say that there is something truly captivating about the island.

However, as majestically alluring as Providencia Island may be, there is a small island just off the coast named Crab Cay that is guaranteed to leave you utterly spellbound.

Not to mention that this tiny little island just so happens to be number one on our list of The 9 Best Things To Do In Providencia Island, but quite frankly for anyone backpacking Colombia, it is the type of destination you simply cannot afford to miss.

While Crab Cay Providencia, also known as Cayo Cangrejo may not be the most famously known island, it may just be the very definition of perfect.

Continue reading to discover everything there is to know about this hidden Colombian gem and why visiting Crab Cay Providencia needs to be on the top of everyone’s Colombia bucket list.



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crab cay providencia

As you may have already learned from our intro Crab Cay is located off the coast of the most beautiful Caribbean Island of Providencia Colombia.

However, to be more specific, Crab Cay is actually located in one of Colombia’s protected national parks, called Old Providence McBean Lagoon National Natural Park, which is one of three national parks with coral reefs in Colombia’s Caribbean, with the other two being Tayrona National Park, and Rosario & San Bernardo Corals.

If you look at Providencia on a map, it’s actually located geographically closer to Nicaragua than it is to Colombia.

However, it is just a 20-minute flight from San Andres, yet another Colombian island seemingly lost in the Caribbean.

When you’re in Providencia, it doesn’t feel like you’re actually in Colombia at all.

It feels like a true Caribbean Island with extremely friendly people, a safe environment, and a proud Creole culture.



snorkel at crab cay

With Providencia having the fourth largest barrier reef in the world, Crab Cay is abundant with all types of coral and marine life with different species of fish, turtles, stingrays, and even small reef sharks!

The reef is heavily protected so there are some parts where boats or people aren’t even allowed to explore!

Remember, when snorkeling or scuba diving you can look at the animals and coral, but please do not touch anything!


best things to do in providencia island colombia

I use the term ‘hike’ VERY loosely in this instance, seeing as the hike to the top of Crab Cay is literally 2-3 minutes long!

It’s a gorgeous viewpoint that gives you panoramic views of some of the most vibrant hue of blue water you’ll ever see.

Crab Cay’s summit is the perfect place to snap some photos and just layout and appreciate where you are at that moment.


Crab Cay Providencia Rock

If you hike to the top of Crab Cay, you’ll see that there’s a small but alluring rock not far from the island.

It’s worth it to take the 5-minute swim up to the rock where you can get yet another amazing view of Crab Cay Providencia!

Remember to take your GoPro with you for some awesome shots from the rock.

Also, remember to be careful not to touch any coral on your way there!


crab cay providencia

Swim, sleep, repeat is the usual routine for a tropical paradise like this!

I mean, Crab Cay Providencia is the perfect place for this.

After swimming with the turtles in the most crystal-clear water, having a nap under the sun should be next on your to-do list.

Furthermore, once you get too hot from laying in the sun, jump back in the water and do it all over again!

The sun in Providencia is very strong, so if you want to get a good tan then this is your chance.

Just remember to keep applying sunscreen because you don’t realize how burnt you are till you get back to your hotel and look in the mirror!


Crab Cay Providencia

I don’t know about you, but we couldn’t put the camera down when we went to Crab Cay Providencia.

In fact, I’m so glad we didn’t!

There’s such perfection and beauty in literally every direction you turn, that it feels like a crime to not be taking pictures of everything!

I still look back at my Providencia photos and am in awe of how stunning it is.


san andres to providencia island

Your boat driver should cost you somewhere between COP 50,000 – 100,000 depending on which tour you take.

Once you get to Crab Cay, everyone must pay an entrance fee of COP 17,000 (about $5 USD in Feb 2019).

The administration fee is cheaper for locals… I believe it’s about COP 10,000 for Colombian Residents to enter Crab Cay Providencia.


crab cay providencia turtle

Like most hidden paradise’s, Crab Cay is only accessible by boat.

There are no hotels or restaurants on Crab Cay, it is merely a day trip from Providencia or somewhere you can only spend a few hours unless you bring your own food.

It only takes around 15 minutes to get to, and you can organize a boat tour through your accommodation.

It won’t be a big tour company to take you there.

It will most likely be a local fisherman on his own boat to take you around the island to a few of the most exquisite places surrounding Providencia Island, including Crab Cay.

You will have a private boat tour with a friendly local fisherman who will pick you up from your hotel around 9am and drop you back off around 4pm.  Seeing as the island of Providencia is not very big the tour will most likely take you all around the island for the day. A tour like this should cost around 100,000 COP per person for the day.

If you wish to only visit Crab Cay for a few hours, you can probably negotiate a cheaper deal with your boat driver for about half price.

However, before you get to Crab Cay, you need to find out how to get to Providencia.

And it’s not as easy as finding the next flight on Skyscanner.

Click here to find out how to get to Providencia Island!


crab cay providencia snorkel

Keep in mind that Crab Cay is just a little island with nothing but palm trees on it! So make sure you bring anything you will need for the day with you from Providencia Island!

  • Wear your swimsuit there
  • Towel if you want (you will dry off in the sun in a matter of minutes)
  • Food! There’s no food on Crab Cay except for water and snacks like chips that you can buy there. If you are planning to spend the entire day there, I recommend bringing some snacks of your own!
  • Sunscreen! The sun here is extremely strong so be sure to keep reapplying sunscreen throughout the day to avoid getting burnt.



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Posada Jasmina Place

This is our absolute favorite place to stay in Providencia!

It’s an extremely affordable homestay which is quite refreshing after living the hostel life all around Colombia.

The lady who runs this hotel is so incredibly friendly, and she will help you organize everything you need from the moment you step foot onto the property to the moment you step foot back on the plane at the end of your stay.

Any tour you need can be booked through her and she is more than happy to help you with anything.

We highly recommend staying here in Providencia!

Click Here To Check Prices On


If there are sharks, then why is it safe to swim there?

The only sharks that you might find in Crab Cay are small reef sharks or nurse sharks that won’t hurt you!

How do I get to Providencia Island? I can’t find flights to get there…

You can only reach Providencia Island from San Andres Island.

Interestingly enough there’s no other place in Colombia that will get you to Providencia Island!

You can get there via a 20-minute plane or a 3.5-hour boat ride.

You can find the cheapest flight by booking in an office in San Andres Island.

For more information on how to get to Providencia Island, read this blog!

Why can’t I touch the marine animals or coral?

Providencia has the fourth largest barrier reef in the world and this reef is heavily protected. Meaning you aren’t even allowed to swim or take a boat through some parts of the reef.

Upon physical contact with the coral, oils from our skin can damage and eventually over long periods of time kill them off.

Coral protects the animals from disease, so if the coral starts to die then so does the entire reef structure.

Additionally, as hard as it may be to resist, just don’t touch the animals either because we need to respect them and their habitat.

I’m sure we wouldn’t like it if giant turtles came into our homes and started touching us either!

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crab cay providencia


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