Exploration takes many forms on the island – mountain trails by foot or horseback; bird-watching and scuba-diving. Additionally: sport fishing; launch trips around the island; and snorkelling at Crab Cay or Morgan's Head. For sheer entertainment, try the horse-races on the beach or the traditional cat-boat regattas.
The mountains and tropical forests are home to iguanas, roccos, various types of small lizards, songbirds and, of course, the black crabs that go down to the sea in the rainy season to wash their spawn. A variety of mangroves are the nursery and habitat for many marine creatures. The island is also a stop-over for numerous species of migrating birds. The ecosystem is protected by the Coralina Environmental Corporation, and the National Park covers a protected area of 995 hectares, including the McBean Lagoon, Crab Cay, and a section of the barrier reef.
-Anni Chapman, author
“As well as protecting and conserving the Park´s reef platform, dry forest and mangroves, the Park staff organizes guided tours on various eco-trails, giving information on the area's fauna and flora. Exploring the McBean lagoon and mangroves in a rented kayak is a popular activity. Crab Cay is also part of the protected area. Fishing is not permitted within the Park.”
-Marcelo Cano, Director of the Providence McBean Lagoon Natural National Park
“This year the Coralina Corporation focuses on environmental education for children up to 14 years of age, teaching them the importance of our ecosystem and the multiple functions of its components. These include mangroves, the reef, sea-grass beds, the dry forest and its inhabitants. We teach by field trips, and involve parents and teachers. The Fish & Farm Coop's fishermen teach them about the species in the 'touch –tanks' and the importance of respecting the reproductive season. Our ecosystem is very fragile, and it's vital that our children be involved in its conservation.”
-Giovanna Peñalosa, Director of Coralina's Regional Office
“Tourism that is developed around sustainability allows us to always be in the lead, but the offer and the services we provide can be detrimental to the diverse wealth of Nature that The Lord gave us, and we must always be on the alert."
-Mark Cottrell, the Departmental Tourism Secretary
“The third most important barrier reef in the Caribbean belongs to San Andres, and it is the sixth in the world for its diversity of coral and more than 60 species of fish that, owing to the water´s perfect visibility, can be appreciated by snorkelling and scuba diving."
-Miguel Gomez, tourism operator