Isla San Lucas

The approximately 700-hectare former prison island of San Lucas is three kilometers east of the long white beach of Playa Naranjo, where ferries from Puntarenas dock. Formerly the island was also known as the “Island of Indescribable Fear,” “Island of Eternal Silence” and “Devils Island.” The Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Fernandez Oviedo first used it when he banished hundreds of Chara Indians to the forlorn place.

Japanese pearl divers used the island for a short time in the 19th century. The government of Costa Rica turned the it into a penitentiary for political prisoners in 1862. The prison was closed in 1991 leaving only its torture chamber and a small chapel to slowly rot away.

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