Well Providencia proved to be just as wonderful as I was anticipating! Max rowed to shore at 2pm on Sunday and by 3:30 we were all allowed to head ashore. Quickly packing our backpacks with sunscreen, water, and some money we all 4 carefully climbed into the dinghy while Kyle rowed us to shore. Being that it was a Sunday the Main Street area was rather deserted- but we did find a small shop that sold cold beer and had an ATM. The buildings lining the Main Street were all very colorful and close together. I could tell right away that this place was not heavily influenced by tourism and that was something I was thankful for. Following a foot path across to another island we followed a trail until we arrived at some stairs leading up the mountain. Hiking up the stairs and then following the trail further we found a place on the side of the hill above a beach which offered cold drinks, fried fish, and some hammocks and beach chairs. Hanging out there for a bit Carlos, a local, gave us some information about the island. We climbed the trail past the tiki hut and ended up at a beautiful overlook. Kyle and Max stripped their shirts and instantly jumped off a small cliff into the crystal clear water below.
The following day we headed into town in search for a phone, internet, and information on a hotel. It took quite some time to accomplish these things, but with a hotel booked, a phone to call my parents, and some time exploring the Main Street we decided to rent a 4 x 4 golf cart for the afternoon. With Max driving we drove around the entire island, stopping by mine and Kyle’s hotel to check in and get our room key. The golf cart tour turned out to be a great time and we found a hiking trail up a dirt road that led us to the most spectacular views. As we weren’t anticipating a hike like the one we took, I was wearing a dress, the wrong shoes, and didn’t bring water. The climb was extremely steep- ropes lined the trail in order to aid in climbing up. But the moment we arrived at the top the difficulties of climbing up the mountain faded away. A 360 degree view of the entire island and all surrounding islands took my breath away. In fact we could even see the anchorage and make out the spec that was High Climber. Mark and Max took a different trail down while Kyle and I headed back to the golf cart to pick them up at a different trail head. The thought of water caused us to hike really fast and the way down was much quicker and easier than the way up.
That evening we had reservations at a restaurant called Don Olivo. It was a restaurant at a couple’s house who cook fresh fish in their kitchen for anyone who makes reservations. We were the only ones there and it turned out to be an awesome evening filled with fresh food, great wine, and good conversations with the couple who run the place. Thank you to my parents for providing us this dinner! 🙂 Kyle and I had brought our backpacks as we were heading to the hotel after dinner. We asked the owners of the restaurant if they could help us get a taxi- which they did- but this happened to be a moto- taxi. A man named Carlos fit me, Kyle, and our two backpacking backpacks on his motorcycle. It was quite impressive and rather entertaining!
The next two days were spent lounging in the A/C of our hotel. We ventured out a couple times to get food, rent a moped for a couple hours to explore, and take a couple walks, but for the most part we just enjoyed reading, sleeping, playing games, and watching movies in the room. It was a wonderful break from the boat- the bed was large and didn’t move, it wasn’t hot, there was so much space, and the food we ate had much more variety. Having access to wifi, regardless of how slow it was, was a nice treat as well.
On Wednesday afternoon we met back up with Max and Mark and did a big re-supply at the various grocery stores on the Main Street. That evening Kyle and I went ashore and found a private little beach to snorkel and relax in the sand. The snorkeling was spectacular and I saw so many kinds of colorful fish. I love the tiny blue ones that seem to be at every reef we have seen since leaving Florida. I was pretty bummed when I heard we would be leaving the next day. I could have spent months in Providencia. The locals were so friendly and the culture was so unique and not influenced by the Western world. The hiking and snorkeling endless and the beaches pristine. I really didn’t want to leave, but it wasn’t up to me and on Thursday morning we lifted anchor and headed towards Colon, Panama.
I am so thankful for the time we spent in Providencia. It is not an easy island to get to, requiring multiple plane rides, ferries, and some complicated customs and immigration barriers to get past. So being able to sail there and spend a few days was really special. I hope to visit again one day, but for now I will keep the memories of the mountains and views close in my mind! I have a lot of pictures from our time their so please enjoy!
**As I post this we are currently in Colon, Panama- the port right before the Panama Canal. The journey here was a tough one and I am so thankful to be on land for a bit 🙂 I’ll post an update soon about the canal and what is coming next!**