In Colombia's natural parks, you begin to truly understand the meaning of biodiversity. Seeing so many life forms is overwhelming.

Steinar Saeter



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Old Providence McBean Lagoon Natural Park: all you need is a diving mask

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Old Providence McBean Lagoon

Old Providence McBean Lagoon

The singular coloring of the coral reefs and the mangrove lagoons have conferred upon the sea of Providencia the name of “sea of seven colors”. Providencia is a beautiful Caribbean island located seven hundred kilometers from the city of Cartagena. In the underwater part of the park, the barrier reef that protects the coast of the island from the onslaughts of the sea may be admired in its entire splendor. In its land area, the park comprises a small hill by the name of Iron Wood and the McBean mangrove area. The prodigious coral reef and the McBean mangrove lagoon paint the sea with a spectacular gamut of colors, from deep blue to aquamarine to turquoise.

A glimpse of a salty tropical paradise in the depths of the Caribbean's warm waters.

The Old Providence and McBean Lagoon Park is a privileged site for nature tourism due to its great beauty and the diversity of marine and land environments, the renowned friendliness of the islanders and the variety of activities that may be carried out in a small, yet significant, protected area. Hiking, snorkeling, diving, and kayaking, and the sun and the beach make this a veritable jewel of the Colombian Caribbean.


  • Created in 1996, this is the most recent national natural park open to the public.
  • Its extension is 995 hectares.
  • It is made up of a dense mangrove forest and part of the largest barrier reef in the Colombian Caribbean area.
  • Average temperature is 25º C.
  • The rainy season extends from June to December.
  • It is the ideal place diving.
  • A magnificent panoramic view of Providencia and Santa Catalina may be admired from the top of El Peak.
  • The communities in the area preserve the traditions of the Puritan English-speaking Caribbean people, yet with an increasing influence from the continent.
  • Catholics, Baptists, and Adventists are the main believers.
  • Traditional music and dance have their origin in Europe, but are now mixed with reggae, hosca, and vallenato.
  • Access
  • By air: from San Andrés, it is just a 20-minute flight.
  • By sea: the trip can last anywhere between four and eight hours. Arrival is through the Cangrejo and Tres Hermanos Cays.
  • Entrance into the mangroves is done through a road that borders Maracaibo Hill


  • McBean Lagoon and the Tres Hermanos and Cangrejo Cays.
  • The mangrove area: it is one of the more important and better preserved areas of the island and protects a large part of the coral reef.
  • Hikes on the McBean Lagoon paths.
  • Free diving and scuba diving in the reef area and around the cays.

Access to the park

Old Providence

Consult your travel agent or visit


In the homes of the islanders.



Calle 28A Nº 13A-15 Piso 36

Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Fondo de Promoción Turistica PROCOLOMBIA

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