October 27, 2010

The Untouchable Island: Providencia

Remember my visit last Thanksgiving to the Colombian island of San Andres? Well, this year Tara, Kelsi and I have dreams of extending the island love to Providencia, the smaller sister island to San Andres.

We explored various options and decided to try to plan the vacation ourselves rather than go with the all-inclusive, but expensive Decameron Hotel option. After finding tickets on Colombian airlines Aero Republica and Satena, we were set to book our flights. Until we realized these two airlines do not accept foreign credit cards or Colombia debit cards - our only forms of payment.

We took a field trip to the Aero Republica and Satena offices in Cali, where the salespeople told us we would need to pay about $30 more per flight per person because we weren't getting the "online special" price. Despite our insistence that we would love to pay online, but we cannot, so we still want that price, we left the office frustrated.

Back on the Mio, we headed south to the Decameron office. If we are going to pay that much for airline tickets, maybe we should just go with the Decameron after all? NOPE. They wanted even more money than the tickets AND we discovered the hotel on Providencia is not all-inclusive so we would still need to pay for food and drinks.

We tabled the idea while we took a vacation over Semana Receso to Ecuador. Back in Cali and ready to figure it out, Kelsi pointed out that Colombian airline Avianca has a trip to Providencia including 3 nights, and 4 days for a great price. Another field trip and there we were sitting in the Avianca office. While this lovely saleswoman explained to us that this deal only worked for groups of two as the rooms include double beds. We insisted that we could sleep three to a room but she wasn't really having it. Hello single-people-discrimination. Also, the flights to and from Providencia-San Andres (because you need to first get to San Andres in order to go to Providencia) had us coming home a day earlier than we wanted.

In summary, Thanksgiving is one month away and we have no plans and nothing is booked. The adorable and gorgeous Caribbean island is slipping away unless we decide to sell our second kidneys in order to pay for the trip.

...so my lovely readers/fellow travelers - who has an idea of how to make this work!??!! I refuse to let my new swimsuit go to waste!! Thoughts??

Clearly this is a MUST SEE. Will we be swimming there from the shores of San Andres?


Melody said...

First of all, have you checked flying to San Andres with Avianca? It was really cheap when we wanted to go and the flight times were good. Secondly, we ALWAYS have the school buy our tickets with their credit card (or an administrator's credit card) and then we just pay them back or have it taken out of our paycheck. Have you asked if they will do that for you??

And finally, Providencia is super expensive, so we ended up in Cartagena---which I think is an awesome place! You should definitely think about going there and then either the Rosarios or Playa Blanca. Or you could go to Panama and the San Blas islands.

I mean, I'd go to Providencia if I could, but maybe these options are easier?

sts said...

come with me and my best friend corey when we go over easter? that's all i've got. i'll ask my friend annie who went a few years ago.

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