Isla de Providencia


A pleasant and friendly island and convenient for a break on passage to/from Panama. Although a district of Coloumbia, it lies about 135NM east of the coast of Nicaragua and about 500nm from mainland Colombia.

Note: There is a significant datum offset (more than 200 metres) for both Navionics and C-Map electronic charting. This applies to Low Cay, north of Providencia and to Providencia Island itself. It may also apply to San Andres Island and to the Albuquerque Cays.


The port captain should be contacted (if possible) on Channel 16. He will recommend the use of an agent for clearance formalities, which must be completed even if coming from mainland Colombia. Visas are not required, nor issued.

It might take a day or two for everything to be completed.

Last updated February 2010.

Port Captain
VHF Channel 13, 14, 16


Low Cay - at the north end of the reef to the north of Providencia, makes a good night time anchorage if you arrive after dark from the north and don't want to attempt the approach to Providencia.

Providencia Island - has a buoyed approach. Be careful not to anchor in the channel as it is used day and night by freighters. Watch out for the reef in the middle of the bay about 350 metres south of Santa Catalina island. (Remember the big chart offset.) This is a quiet and protected anchorage as long as there is not a big swell from the North.

There is a good dinghy dock to the left of the main dock and many armed soldiers, so good security.

Last updated:  May 2012

Cayos de Albuquerque - updated October 2018
It is no longer permitted to go ashore here, to fish or to dinghy around the islands. The clarity of water here however is incredible.