Meet San Lucas Island and Its Rich Historical Legacy

San Lucas Island has a history, it has beauty, and it has the authentic energy irradiated to nationals and foreigners alike

San Lucas Island is located off the Pacific coast, in the Gulf of Nicoya. It belongs to the first district of the central canton of Puntarenas. With a history that leads many to want to visit, observe, appreciate and portray it.

This island uses to house the prison with the least dangerous inmates of the Costa Rican penal system because here were sent thieves and vagrants, while the most dangerous prisoners were sent to Cocos Island and then to the Central Penitentiary of Costa Rica. 

The prison colony was closed off in 1991 and currently, the island is under the administration of the Ministry of Environment, Energy, and Technology (MINAET). Today it is a wildlife refuge and the old prison facilities today are a historic center.

This island was an inspiration for the novel “The Island of Lone Men”, extraordinary literary work by author José León Sánchez who served jail time there for several years.

San Luca Island is a refuge for flora and fauna. With the help of non-governmental organizations, it is the habitat of species that were lost long ago in other zones of the country due to hunting, like, whitetail deer, iguanas, peccary, pavones bird, congo Monkees, and other species. It was decreed as Architectural Heritage of the Province of Puntarenas in 1995.

Good news for this 2020

Recently, it was known that San Lucas Island is about to become a national park. The Tico Government, through the Ministry of Tourism, is investing ¢ 1.5 billion to begin the restoration of its spaces.

In this regard, the Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo is promoting the island as a tourist destination, to achieve economic recovery linked directly with the touristic-productive chains in all the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya and for all Puntarenas.

Presently, conversations are held on the contribution of San Lucas Island to the touristic promotional chain, maintaining the objective of converting it into a national park. Without proper attention, the island would fall into a semi-abandoned state, with deterioration due to lack of maintenance.

As part of the restoration project, the Ministry plans the following:

The inclusion of park rangers and police officers with day and night presence within the island; t

The Rehabilitation of the trail to Cocos beach;

The structural intervention of the priority heritage area;

Development of a short-term visitation strategy;

Conducting environmental studies.

Experts indicate that these actions will fulfill the desire of many Costa Ricans to restore tourism to San Lucas Island. Everything can be achieved, as long as there a will and perseverance, everything can be in favor of the Island, for its cultural, historical and natural advantages.

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