Forget all of those over-crowded tropical holiday destinations and head for Colombia with its largely undiscovered paradise islands in the southwest Caribbean.

Located closer to Nicaragua and Costa Rica than the Colombian mainland, the islands of Providencia and San Andrés are easily reachable by air from the coastal city of Cartagena.

It’s believed that Christopher Columbus discovered the tiny, uninhabited islands during his second voyage to the New World.

But for many years they were in British hands, including a period when the infamous pirate Henry Morgan had his buccaneer base on Providencia. Centuries later, the islanders still speak a patois that blends English and Spanish.

Both paradise islands are famed for their unspoiled beaches, pristine coral reefs, and clear, warm tropical waters inhabited by hundreds of different marine species.

Colombian Journeys offers a 10-night, 11-day itinerary to the secluded archipelago that includes the best accommodation and dining options, and plenty of time to explore Cartagena.

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