COLOMBIAMainland Colombia was first settled by the Spanish at Santa Marta in 1525, and Bogotá was named the capital. Originally called New Granada, Colombia became the independent Republic of Colombia in 1819.
THE CARIBBEAN ISLANDS OF COLOMBIAThe story of Providencia (more commonly called Providence) and San Andres differs in that various sources describe both islands as having been settled first by Dutch colonists in the 1600s. They didn't develop a good stronghold, however, and were displaced by the English soon after. During the late 1600s, according to legend, Providence provided a perfect location for pirates and privateers including the infamous pirate Captain Henry Morgan.
During the English occupation, they brought with them slaves, mostly from Jamaica, to help cultivate cotton and tobacco for export. But by the 19th century Spain was able to take control of the islands from the mainland in Cartegena.
The population of San Andres, the more developed of the two is about two-thirds mainland Colombian with a definite Spanish-influenced culture. Providence on the other hand is much less-developed, and has gained a reputation as a prime eco-tourism spot for English-speaking tourists because islanders frequently speak English with a bit of Caribbean and Spanish thrown in. For more information about San Andres and Providence, check out www.sanandres.com or Go South America.
CLIMATE:The islands' location is north of the Colombian mainland and closer to the coast of Nicaragua, however, the breezes help keep the temperatures moderate year-round. You can expect: