Getting to Providencia
First you'll need to catch a flight to the neighbouring island of San Andres. San Andres is one of Colombia's most popular tourist destinations - booking a flight here is very simple. Most people spend a bit of time in San Andres before travelling on to Providencia. From San Andres, it takes about 2 hours to travel by catarmaran to neighbouring Providencia. There are also daily flights from San Andres to Providencia.
Flights to San Andres
From Colombia's mainland, there are a range or airlines and routes available. Aerorepublica have direct flights to San Andres from Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Cartagena and Barranquilla. Various other airlines fly from Bogota to San Andres including Avianca, Satena and Aires. It's usually cheapest to fly from Bogota - promotional fares might be as low as 450,000 Colombian pesos (about US $200) for return flights, but expect to pay more than this. If you're using a foreign credit card to pay, it's usually simplest to deal with either Avianca or Aerorepublica, who are the more international of Colombia's airlines. Alternatively, well known online travel agencies such as Expedia and Travelocity can book these flights to San Andres for you (or try Despegar.com if you speak Spanish).
From outside of Colombia, there's a range of flights to San Andres with Copa - from Panama City (Panama), San Jose (Costa Rica), Quito (Ecuador) and Lima (Peru) to name a few. Such flights from neighbouring countries typically cost US$400 to US$500 for a return.
From Canada, and depending upon the season, Air Transit has flights from Montreal.
Flights from San Andres to Providencia
The government owned Satena airline has between two and four flights every day from San Andres to Providencia. Return flights are normally about 300,000 pesos (US $120) - though sometimes less, at other times more. Paying Satena with a foreign credit card over the phone often proves impossible, so you might be told to pay when you arrive at the airport to check in (in which case the airline will hold the seats for you until you pay). Alternatively, any travel agency in Colombia can book these Satena flights for you (no additional cost). As a final alternative, Decameron operates charter flights from San Andres to Providencia that you could book.
If booking any of these flights proves problematical due to non-acceptance of foreign credit cards, try booking with a local travel agency in Colombia (look up some suggestions in a guidebook).
Catamaran from San Andres to Providencia
A catarman service started operating from San Andres to Providencia in September 2009. Departure days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The catarmaran leaves San Andres in the morning, and returns to Providencia in the afternoon. The journey takes just over 2 hours - reservations can be made up to 3 days in advance. The 30 seater boat is called El Sensacion (pictured above) and the cost is 160,000 Colombian pesos for a return journey (one way journeys cost approx 90,000 pesos). For more information or to double check schedules call (0057) 3125672713 to speak to the local representative in Providencia.