Colombia shares maritime borders with Venezuela, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, so it is no wonder that government officials are enthusiastic about integrating the country’s coast into existing Caribbean maritime routes. Recent efforts have created much excitement, particularly among cruising and racing sailors, who feel the development of a marine infrastructure, is long overdue.
According to Colombia’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and
Tourism, “the country aims to develop its nautical tourism industry to bring more tourists to its Caribbean coast.” A joint forum between public and private entities in the fields was held in the popular tourist destination of Santa Marta last Friday with the aim of including the Colombian coast in maritime routes between the Caribbean islands, Central and South America.
Although not mentioned during the forum by the Ministry, one of the most alluring yachting and diving destinations in Colombia is the Sea Flower Marine Protected Area in the Archipelago of San Andres and Providence. The site encompasses numerous islands and about 10% of the Caribbean Sea, amounting to a vast marine area of 120,000 sq mi. In 2000 it was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to ensure that the large biodiversity of the ecosystem is well preserved and conserved. The region, located approximately 470 miles from the Colombian main land and about 140 miles east of Nicaragua, is a paradise of picturesque beaches, coral reefs, pristine cays, lush greenery and towering native trees.