Worth the trip?
Yes! I’ve seen paradise and met the happiest people on the planet! If you like remote islands, and just about complete disconnection from the world, this is the place for you. Come here to unwind, dive, and share a beach with more palm trees than people. I’m so infatuated with Providencia that I really want to keep it all to myself, so I will only say that the journey involves a rough 3-hour boat trip or a tiny plane with very limited luggage allowance. For those that do decide to make the long trip, it is absolutely worth it and I will gladly do it again!
Where to sleep:
There are many inns around the island, and at the time of my trip, one major hotel was under construction. Skip all those and head straight for Pousada Enlida. Pousada Enlida is a family-run inn, about a 10-15 min walk from one of the best beaches on the island. My room on the second floor was spacious, clean, comfortable and had a/c. The family that runs this inn is the real gem here; they are a great information resource and will help arrange transportation and activities around the island. I drove around the island to take a peak at other accommodations and while speaking to other guests at the inn we all agreed the pousada is the best place to stay. Note that although the island is small, the hills make a motorbike or golf cart rental essential, or at the very least, a bike if you have strong legs.
Being such a tiny island, there aren’t a lot of dining options in Providencia and expect to order lots of seafood. That said, I don’t think I’ve had a more delicious lobster and coconut rice than at Cafe Studio. For a meal with a view, head towards Restaurante Deep Blue and make sure to order a fruit juice or cocktail! One of the guests at the inn also went fishing with a local fisherman and brought back fish that the family at the inn was happy to cook up for them.
Don’t leave without:
Diving/snorkeling and going to Crab Cay! I discovered by accident that there is more than one way to get to Crab Cay. I arrived on the island in the afternoon, when the tours for Crab Cay had already departed. It turns out you can arrange for your own private transportation through a local fisherman/boat operator. I found this much more convenient because you can set your own pickup/drop-off times. These small motorboats depart from Restaurante Deep Blue, just ask around. For a great experience, try to arrange a trip to Crab Cay very early in the morning before the tour crowds arrive; you’ll have the place all to yourself and be able to see more fish and maybe even some sea turtles. Providencia is also one of, if not the best place to dive in the Caribbean. Diving courses and certification is available but expect to pay much higher prices than on the mainland.