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Photogenic El Acuario was highlight of San Andres

Despite too many people, Haynes Cay and El Acuario were the highlight of San Andres; magnificent sea colors and crystal clear water

Despite too many people, Haynes Cay and El Acuario were the highlight of San Andres; magnificent sea colors and crystal clear water

This stingray hung around for a couple of minutes but never got super close; I guess the millions of feet warned the stingrays away since I'm not aware of anyone getting stung

This stingray hung around for a couple of minutes but never got super close; I guess the millions of feet warned the stingrays away since I'm not aware of anyone getting stung

San Andres is 119 miles east of Nicaragua; the governments of Colombia and Nicaragua have ongoing disputes over fishing rights in the neighboring waters

San Andres is 119 miles east of Nicaragua; the governments of Colombia and Nicaragua have ongoing disputes over fishing rights in the neighboring waters

There was literally nowhere to put your towel down on El Acuario; every inch of sand was taken; it was so hot that it felt much better being in the water anyway

There was literally nowhere to put your towel down on El Acuario; every inch of sand was taken; it was so hot that it felt much better being in the water anyway

Islets not far offshore from mainland San Andres; guidebook and TripAdvisor both tout swimming with manta rays here; there are no manta rays!, just regular sting rays

Islets not far offshore from mainland San Andres; guidebook and TripAdvisor both tout swimming with manta rays here; there are no manta rays!, just regular sting rays

San Andres has no industry of its own so everything has to be shipped or flown in; once served as base for notorious English pirate Henry Morgan

San Andres has no industry of its own so everything has to be shipped or flown in; once served as base for notorious English pirate Henry Morgan

We're standing on Acuario sandbar with Haynes Cay in the background; you could walk between the two but water was chest high

We're standing on Acuario sandbar with Haynes Cay in the background; you could walk between the two but water was chest high

Yellow tang; Coke Zero sold here but hard to find in larger sizes

Yellow tang; Coke Zero sold here but hard to find in larger sizes

Despite the crowds and lack of sea life I loved the gorgeous colors in the water and excellent visibility; plus no jellyfish!

Despite the crowds and lack of sea life I loved the gorgeous colors in the water and excellent visibility; plus no jellyfish!

This queen angelfish was the prettiest fish I saw; there are no sights of interest on mainland San Andres; all of the highlights are in the water

This queen angelfish was the prettiest fish I saw; there are no sights of interest on mainland San Andres; all of the highlights are in the water

Witness the super crowded El Acuario; no obvious easy solution since tourism is driving the economy here; maybe create some new tourist attractions and/or new beaches on mainland San Andres

Witness the super crowded El Acuario; no obvious easy solution since tourism is driving the economy here; maybe create some new tourist attractions and/or new beaches on mainland San Andres

The most peaceful and secluded spot on Haynes Cay; there are no true beaches on this tiny, rocky island; this sand was brought in and is protected by a sea wall

The most peaceful and secluded spot on Haynes Cay; there are no true beaches on this tiny, rocky island; this sand was brought in and is protected by a sea wall

I'm glad I didn't pay to touch or feed a sting ray here; I much preferred seeing them in their natural environment

I'm glad I didn't pay to touch or feed a sting ray here; I much preferred seeing them in their natural environment

Diving is supposed to be very good here but I never saw a single dive boat; there were just not many fish and very isolated patches of coral

Diving is supposed to be very good here but I never saw a single dive boat; there were just not many fish and very isolated patches of coral

The sea here is famous for being 7 shades of blue; many shipwrecks along the 9 mile reef on east side of San Andres

The sea here is famous for being 7 shades of blue; many shipwrecks along the 9 mile reef on east side of San Andres

The sandbar, El Acuario, is in the background; since there was no room on it people would leave their bags with an attendant and walk across the water to Haynes Cay

The sandbar, El Acuario, is in the background; since there was no room on it people would leave their bags with an attendant and walk across the water to Haynes Cay

Thong bikinis are very popular among South American women of all shapes and ages; no women went topless though

Thong bikinis are very popular among South American women of all shapes and ages; no women went topless though

White sea urchin; water shoes were essential all over San Andres; sharp ironshore, sea urchins, broken glass and other dangers everywhere

White sea urchin; water shoes were essential all over San Andres; sharp ironshore, sea urchins, broken glass and other dangers everywhere

View of Haynes Cay from close to mainland San Andres; San Andres popular with young Colombians eager to escape the cold of the Colombian Andes

View of Haynes Cay from close to mainland San Andres; San Andres popular with young Colombians eager to escape the cold of the Colombian Andes

Haynes Cay had more room than tiny Acuario; despite severe overcrowding I did see efforts to keep these little cays free of trash

Haynes Cay had more room than tiny Acuario; despite severe overcrowding I did see efforts to keep these little cays free of trash

San Andres airport is surprisingly busy for such a small island; plenty of flights to mainland Colombia as well as Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Montreal (winter only)

San Andres airport is surprisingly busy for such a small island; plenty of flights to mainland Colombia as well as Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Montreal (winter only)

The snorkeling around El Acuario is hyped but there was very little of interest to see and few fish; I think the hoards of tourists have scared the animal life away

The snorkeling around El Acuario is hyped but there was very little of interest to see and few fish; I think the hoards of tourists have scared the animal life away

Sandbar in background is El Acuario (The Aquarium); only issue here is there are no fish!

Sandbar in background is El Acuario (The Aquarium); only issue here is there are no fish!

No one lives on Haynes Cay; shacks are eateries or bars; excellent visibility and surprisingly little trash in the water

No one lives on Haynes Cay; shacks are eateries or bars; excellent visibility and surprisingly little trash in the water

Posted by VagabondCowboy 20:42

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