Saturday, May 3, 2014

San Andres Island hotspots. Part II

In the second day of our trip to San Andres Island (Colombia), we decided to travel around the island, visiting its touristic attractions.  I already showed you some of these hotspots.  After stopping for a while in Cove Bay (and watching our life San Andres Vireo), we continue southward along the island's  western rocky shore.  After passing several natural pools, we reached the southern tip of the island.  There, a tiny hole in the rocky beach brings a nice show to the tourists... it is known as the "Blowing Hole".
This hole is the only exit tract to a cave systems that reach the beach.  When the waves push the water inside the caves, the air is expelled through this hole... but beware, depending on the tide, the air can be followed by the water as well (just watch this video).  This rocky shore is coralline in origin... perfect for the Ruddy Turnstones.  They were the most common shorebird in the island.
Ruddy Turnstone
After turning at the southern tip, we drove north along the east coast, where most of the white-sand beaches are located.  These beaches are coralline too, and protected by a coral reef where most of the cays surrounding the island can be found.  Al these cays are major attractions, but we decided to spent the afternoon relaxing at Rocky Cay (the entrance road was property of the Archbold-Suarez family)... its warm and crystalline waters were perfect!
Two thirds of the Cubilla-Archbold family
Rocky Cay
The next day, we hired a boat in order to visit the other cays.  They are close to shore, so you can visit them in one morning.  Our first destination were Haynes and Rose Cays.  The later is known also as the aquarium due to its coral reef filled with multicolored fishes.  In the way to the cays, we crossed a replica of an ancient Pirate Ship.
Rose Cay as seen from Haynes Cay (San Andres urban center in the background)
At Rose Cay we took a tour through the reef aboard a boat with glass floor... simply amazing.  At Haynes Cay we had little time to walk around the tiny cay, finding two other waders (Willet and two Spotted Sandpipers) and a Contopus pewee that didn't vocalize.
Spotted Sandpiper
Then, our boat took us to Johnny Cay, to the north.  This cay is a popular destination due to its white beaches and Caribbean-style... you can have a Coco-loco (a local drink) while hearing Bob Marley or any other reggae or calypso rhythm.  However, the surf was pretty strong for Gabrielle... so we decided better to enjoy the music.  Only Bananaquits and Magnificent Frigatebirds in this cay for the record.
Magnificent Frigatebird (male)
That was our last day in San Andres Island, and we hurried to make the check-out at our resort.  We still had some time on the island and decided to spend it well, but that's another story.

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