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San Andrés

Caribbean magic

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What to eat in San Andrés

It’s no surprise that seafood is the specialty here. Lobsters, shrimps, snails, red snapper, black crab and trout are all stars of a cuisine that is yet another example of the sabrosura in this paradisiacal place.

The famed rondón is one staple in San Andres’ cooking, an eclectic dish that contains pork, snail and coconut milk. Visitors also adore the tasty crab empanadas, crab soup and delicious banana cake served on these tropical islands.

Coconut milk and its derivatives are, of course, key ingredients. The island’s English heritage is evident in the use of spices such as cinnamon, ginger and cloves, alongside coconut rice, fried green banana, cassava and yams.

Here are some of San Andrés’ best loved dishes:

Rondón: San Andrés’ most traditional dish. Decades ago it was prepared and eaten solely by men, but women now cook and eat it too. It comprises a fish fillet, snail, cassava, yam, pork tail, plantain and dumplings, cooked in coconut milk and seasoned with pepper.

Fish Balls: Any kind of seafood can be used in a fish ball, such as parrotfish, snapper or crab. The secret lies in extracting the flesh from the fish or crab and seasoning the balls with tomato, onion, garlic and salt, before frying them.

Breadfruit: Breadfruit is a specialty on the islands, served cooked or fried as a side dish. It is generally consumed unripe, which brings out the flavor.

Desserts: Vendors show and sell the islands’ traditional desserts, such as coconut balls, in huge baskets and once consumed, they tend to be craved again and again. Corn and banana cakes are extremely popular, as are the islands’ refreshing fresh fruit juices.


Examples of island cuisine are rondón, a dish containing pork, conch and coconut milk; pies and crab soup; and ripe banana cake.



  • Crab empanadas are sold at the roadside, in San Andrés. Also there are empanadas stuffed with meat and chicken.

    Crab Empanadas
    On the road
  • This cake is made from flour and filled with sweet ripe banana, cooked and allowed to cool.

    Banana Cake
    The sweet touch


San Andrés and Providencia have many restaurants specializing in seafood, where diners are often entertained by local musicians. There are also excellent street stalls selling traditional delicacies, as well as a wide gastronomic offering in the islands’ hotels.