The seafood in the archipelago is some of the freshest in the Caribbean.
What to Try
- Black crab
- Limonada de coco
- Cerveza Aguila
An island delicacy, black crab meat is tender, rich in minerals and on nearly every restaurant menu on island. The crab spend most of their life on land, descending annually between April and July to migrate from the mountains of Providencia to spawn near the sea.
Known as conch in other parts of the Caribbean, caracol is a large sea snail famous for its beautiful shell with musical properties. Another popular menu choice, caracol is typically served grilled, fried or stewed. Give it a try when in fishing season, and opt for another dish when the season is closed.
If you have yet to try these fried plantain slices now is the time. These crispy, smashed “chips” will be the carbohydrate contribution to most dishes.
No trip to the archipelago would be complete without trying the local lobster. Fat and flavorful, lobsters thrive in waters around Providencia while populations elsewhere in the Caribbean disappear. The best way to enjoy the sweet meat is with as little fuss as possible; grilled and with a bit of lime on the side.
Native to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and highly venomous, the lionfish is invasive in the Caribbean with no natural predators. One more lionfish on a plate means one less in the sea. And, not to worry… With proper removal of spines the lionfish is completely safe to eat.
Limonada de coco
This filling beverage is made with cream of coconut, lime juice, sugar and sometimes topped with ground coconut shavings and a cherry. A coconut “lemonade” is arguably the sweetest way to enjoy the island holiday.
The best-selling beer in the country, Augila is a light, Colombian pilsner. It may not have the fullest of flavors, but a cold Aguila is thoroughly refreshing on a hot Caribbean day.
Where to eat
Given the island’s size there are only a handful of places to eat on Providencia. El Divino Niño, Restaurante Arturo, and Roland Roots Bar are beachside restaurants with food served only for lunch. The first two are tucked away on South West Bay while Roland’s is on the neighboring Manchineel Bay. Roland’s is the place to party at night with beach bonfires and reggae. Tire swings from palm trees and the best grilled lobster on island also makes Roland’s a treat to visit for lunch and a swim. Don Olivo Gourmet is another popular spot lunch but on the attached Santa Catalina island.
For dinner, Caribbean Place and the restaurant at the Deep Blue Hotel are the usual recommendations. Reservations are suggested, particularly for Deep Blue as the restaurant is small and hotel guests have priority. Caribbean Place frequently has live music on the weekends. Other dinner options include Providence Gourmet Pizza, Blue Coral Restaurant, Café Studio (also open for lunch) and the first restaurant on the island, Cabañas y Restaurante Miss Elma (open for all meals). There are a number of small local restaurants in Santa Isabel (Providencia’s main town) for a quick bite. Hotels will also have a restaurant on premises.
Blue Almond Hostel on San Andrés has more recommendations on where to eat in Providencia.
Last updated March 2018.