Isla bonita

The BN-2 Islander is a nifty little aircraft. Probably one of the smallest I’ve flown in. Over five decades in production, its been the light utility aircraft of choice for militaries and police forces alike. In the Caribbean particularly, its found favor amongst civilian operators too. The airstrip at Ceiba, a tiny coastal town on the eastern edge of the Puerto Rican mainland, is home to over a dozen of these, flying regular eight-minute sorties to the little island of Vieques… P1080228

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Provo, and then some

Providenciales, or Provo, is where you’ll typically fly into, if you’re visiting Turks and Caicos. And chances are, you’ll probably end up staying in the Grace Bay area, home to a namesake beach, which more often than not finds itself at the top of worldwide rankings. That is, of course, if you have the resources, and are willing to shell out top dollar. Most people traveling here, it seems, do have the means necessary. But what if your pockets don’t run so deep? The good news is, a visit here is still feasible, and, as it turns out, a lot more exciting…IMG_0567

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Paraíso en Providencia

A blast of warm, salty air greets us as we step off the plane at Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport. Breathing is suddenly a lot easier, and my track jacket feels quite redundant in 29C (84F) weather. After a night spent in Bogotá, San Andrés certainly feels like the sea change we needed.

Armando has already spotted us at the left-luggage area, and is quick to offer his services. We negotiate with him for 20,000 COP (~$7) for the 20-minute ride down to San Luis, a little village on the southeast of the island. Filing into his dated Chevrolet, we follow the coastal road south, past many colorful homes, a smattering of Baptist Churches, and several vendors hawking coconuts.

Buggies line the narrow lane leading to Donde Francesca, a popular seafood eatery located on San Luis‘s sprawling beach. Lunch hour is busy here, and aptly so. Far removed from the commercial hustle of the island’s main town, the food here is excellent, and the setting is hard to beat…
Donde Francesca

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