Old Providence McBean Lagoon National Natural Park is the only protected area in the System of National Natural Parks located in the Colombian insular Caribbean region, for which, despite its small surface area, it is very important, and also because it protects part of the third largest coral reef in the world. The Park is part of the Special Management Area of the San Andres, Providencia y Santa Catalina Archipelago since 1996, of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserves since 2000 and of the Archipelago’s Seaflower Marine Protected Area since 2004.
The park is made up of a small hill, called Iron Wood Hill, isolated by steep slopes and a flood plain where the McBean mangrove swamp develops. In its sea portion, you can find the coral reef, which protects the coast of Providencia Island, the second largest one in the Caribbean next to the one in Belize. This great coral reef with its different formations, along with the reef lagoon that forms in front of the McBean mangrove swamp, fill the sea with a spectacular variety of colors from deep blue to translucent aquamarine. Due to this unique array of colors, the Providencia sea is known as “the sea of seven colors”.
- Please be aware of the fragility of the ecosystems and try to assist with the area’s conservation goals.
- Be vaccinated against yellow fever 10 days before the planned date of your trip and carry your immunization records.
- When snorkeling or scuba diving, stay away from the coral reefs, do not touch, extract or break them since they are very fragile species that take a long time to grow.
- Avoid buying handcrafts or products made of natural materials such as shell, coral, animal, vegetable or mineral elements.
- There are local guides in the island that you can contact through the Park administrative office and that offer specialized guided tours to the different attractions and they rent any necessary equipment.
- Avoid dumping rubbish inside the protected area.