San Lucas Island, belonging to the canton of Puntarenas, in Costa Rica, is located in the Pacific Ocean, 8 kilometers from the city of Puntarenas in the Gulf of Nicoya. In this remote and calm island of freshwater is the San Lucas Island Wildlife Refuge, whose purpose is its protection since it is a fascinating place because the indigenous peoples used it as a place of sepulcher between the 1500s and the Island San Lucas, belonging to the canton of Puntarenas, in Costa Rica, is located in the Pacific Ocean 8 kilometers from the city of Puntarenas in the Gulf of Nicoya. Its enormous biodiversity and its beautiful paradisiacal beaches.
In this beautiful island, you can find a rich fauna howler monkeys, spiders, squirrels, pheasants, deer, raccoons, anteaters, snakes, crocodiles, bats and many other species of reptiles and birds, in addition to amazing and abundant vegetation, such as trees mangoes and jocote, the matapalo, the naked Indian among many others that enhance the wonderful nature that inhabit this Island.
Although on the other hand, this island has a quite interesting historical past since it was founded by the dictator Tomas Miguel Guardia Gutiérrez as a prison where Costa Rica’s most dangerous criminals were imprisoned is one of the toughest and strictest prisons in the country. The prison became famous worldwide as there are the most terrible tortures applied to prisoners such as (hollow and flat iron) in this amazing scenario the conviction of José León Sánchez, prisoner, and author of the novel Island of men alone based on their own experiences which made this prison one of the best known internationally.
Finally, the prison was closed in 1991. One of the most interesting attractions of these prisons is the hundreds of graffiti and large drawings found on the walls of the cells such as the bikini girl and the girl of comfort,
It will not be the first or the last prison to become a tourist attraction there we have the famous Alcatraz in San Francisco that could even become a hotel or kilmainham prison in Dublin … in fact, the prisons can even become a world heritage site, as happened to the historical prisons in Australia.
Perhaps due to these success stories and as a result of historical memory, the Costa Rican authorities intend to improve the historic buildings of the San Lucas Island prison, which are very damaged by the passing of the years, construction is planned from the pier and the building of an environmental education center for tourists, sanitary services and a water treatment plant.
It is thus required to receive a maximum of 800 tourists per day and promote the island as a historical place and of great natural wealth. And it is that not only truculent stories live this place.
On San Lucas Island it is possible to walk through the dry tropical forest that surrounds the old prison and that since 2001 constitutes the San Lucas Island Wildlife Refuge. The island has indigenous archeological sites, huge biodiversity, and delicious beaches.
Inhabited for 1000 years, at least eight archeological sites with residential, domestic and funeral characteristics have been located on the island. At the excavation site known as the high watchman, a residential domestic funeral sector was found with ceramics, pre-Hispanic lithic and a metal artifact.
When you go to tourists on San Lucas Island you can take a tour.
Arriving in San Lucas Island, the tour will be done to observe where the old prison facilities are, its history, the medical clinic, the church, the cells and much more.
It is located 5.4 miles from Puntarenas with an area of 500 hectares and constitutes the eleventh district of the canton of Puntarenas; it is one of the largest islands in the Gulf of Nicoya. San Lucas Island, in addition to having the facilities that were the most famous criminal in Costa Rica nationally and internationally, has nine beaches are recommended for tourist and recreational use in the tours if you decide to go you will also visit the beach the old hacienda with beauty and unparalleled landscapes.
As for vegetation of San Lucas Island, its flora and fauna are similar to that of the dry region of the province of Guanacaste and as for the fauna, some animals can be observed during the tour. The same for its natural beauty was used in the times of the penal colony so that less dangerous inmates shared up to a week with their wives and children.
So go ahead and visit San Lucas Island and dare to know far beyond your prison history. You will love its natural beauty and its warm weather.