La isla mona puerto rico: Isla de Mona | Discover Puerto Rico



Island name:  Isla de la Mona.

Country: Puerto Rico (RQ).

Language: Spanish, English.

Capital: San Juan.

Population: The island is a natural reserve and, though there
are no native inhabitants, rangers from the island’s Department of Natural
and Environmental Resources reside on the island to manage visitors and
take part in research projects.

Climate: Semi-arid sub-tropical.



Area: Isla de Mona has 57 sq km (22 sq mi).

Coastline:  km.

Geographic coordinates: 18 15 N, 66 30 W.

Highest point: .

Location: 66 km west of Puerto Rico and 61 km east of Hispaniola.

Size: 11 km (7 miles) long and 7 km (4 miles) wide.

Terrain: Flat. There are many high cliffs, coral reefs, mangrove
forests, caves, beaches and unusual, rare wildlife.


Tourist Information

Accommodations: Camping is permitted at Playa Sardinera and Playa
Pjaro with a DRNA permit.

Activities: Hiking, diving, kayaking, and other water activities.

Average tourist arrivals: 1,300,783 (2009).

Crime: Puerto Rico has a crime problem, as of 2002 the island’s
murder rate was twice that of New York City! Most crime is either passional
or drug-related. Violence does not extend into ordinary life. Visitors
should observe the same precautionary measures that would apply anywhere

Electricity: 120 Volts, 60 cycles. Only flat blade plugs are

Entry Requirements: There are no passports or visas necessary
for United States citizens, they only need to have some form of official
government issued picture identification such as a current driver’s license.
Citizens of other countries have the same requirements as for entering
the USA.

Extension of stay: Possible. You must apply for an extension
of stay before your previous stay has expired.

Telephone: Country code — 1-787.

Time: Atlantic Standard Time (EST +1; GMT -4) all year around.

Tourism Office: La Princesa Bldg., #2 Paseo La Princesa, Old
San Juan, P.R. 00902.



Cost of living: PR: Cheaper than in the United States, except
for in San Juan where it is expensive.

Credit cards: Widely accepted for accommodations, dining and

Currency: US Dollar.

Tipping: Tipping is expected, usually 15 % in restaurants, 10
% in bars, and 10 — 15 % for taxi drivers, hairdressers, and other services,
depending on the quality of the service rendered. Tip a porter, either
at the airport or at your hotel, $1 per bag.



Airport: The small airstrip on Isla Mona is currently closed.

Departure Tax: 5 USD, usually included.

Flight Times: PR: New York  3 hours, Los Angeles 
8 hours. Miami  2 hours, Europe  8 — 12 hours.

Ground Transportation: Cars and mini-buses provide low-cost public
transportation around the island, but w.e suggest to rent a car.

Ferry Service: Boat passage alone costs $135-400. Most charters
charge more for food, equipment, tour services, and snorkeling or diving.

Ports and harbors: PR: Guayanilla, Mayaguez, San Juan.



Ethnic groups: PR: White (mostly Spanish origin) 76.2 %, black
6.9 %, Asian 0.3 %, Amerindian 0.2 %, mixed 4.4 %, other 12 % (2007).

Government type: Commonwealth.

Legal system: Based on Spanish civil code and within the US Federal
system of justice.

Literacy: 94.1 %.

Religions: Roman Catholic 85 %, Protestant and other 15 %.



Agriculture-products: Sugarcane, coffee, pineapples, plantains,
bananas; livestock products, chickens.

GDP per capita: $17,100 (2009 est.).

Industries: Pharmaceuticals, electronics, apparel, food products,

Natural resources: Some copper and nickel; potential for onshore
and offshore oil.

Unemployment rate: 12 % (2002).

The Ultimate Guide to Isla de Mona, the Galapagos of the Caribbean

View of the sea from Isla de Mona | © Felix Lopez/ Flickr

Mariela Santos

17 May 2017

The Isla de Mona, a small island off of Puerto Rico’s west coast, is a beautiful, uninhabited, and natural environment. That is why it’s commonly called the Galapagos of the Caribbean – which is no small compliment. Learn about this stunning location and start planning your visit right away.

Situated between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, on the Isla de Mona – or Mona Island to give it its English name – there are many caves and a couple of beaches on the island, some of which are open to visitors. At the same time, it’s not the easiest island to travel to, and it is protected by the Puerto Rican government – which helps to explain why it’s uninhabited. A natural reserve, anyone who is allowed to visit needs to bring their own food and water, accommodations, and prepare for any eventuality they might think of as there are no island facilities.

Cueva Diamante at Isla de Mona | © Felix Lopez/ Flickr

It is believed that the Tainos were present on Isla de Mona, possibly for hundreds or even thousands of years. However, their population was negatively affected when the Spanish arrived and stripped the island’s natural resources. Eventually the island was used by pirates for provisions, and as a point of attack against their enemies. Afterwards, the Spanish and U.S. governments mined parts of the island until the U.S. military began using it, before control was returned to Puerto Rico who now maintain it as “a natural paradise.”

This tiny island is approximately six miles in length and four miles wide, and is a rich landscape for activities such as hiking, camping, caving, snorkeling and scuba diving among the island’s colorful coral reefs, fishing and hunting (of non-indigenous animals such as pigs and goats), and – because of its remote location and lack of invasive light pollution – it’s an ideal spot for star gazing.

Waterfront at Isla de Mona | © Felix Lopez/ Flickr

The Isla de Mona is rich in biodiversity and island conservation; the Puerto Rico and Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service care for the island. They work to remove invasive species, and also protect endangered animals like the Mona ground iguana, Mona yellow-shouldered blackbird, and the higo chumbo cactus.

The Mona ground iguana in particular is native to the island, and not found anywhere else in the world. This type of iguana can grow to be around three to four feet (around a meter) long with two bulges on its head and horns by its snout.

Mona Ground Iguana | © U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region/ Flickr

To visit the island, it’s important to plan the trip well in advance: permits and transportation to the island are needed, and only 100 visitors are permitted at a time. There is one beach called Playa Sardinera, which is one of the most accessible beaches on the island. It is where police and rangers can be found, whose presence is to ensure the strict environmental rules are enforced: visitors must be careful of the flora and fauna on the island, making sure not to harm the habitat in any way.

In order to go diving at Isla de Mona, it’s recommended to take various steps. First, contact the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources to get permission to visit the island. Then hire professional dive boat operators to facilitate the diving, and prepare to camp at the island if you’re staying the night – regular permits allow for a stay of up to three nights. Finally, factor in your diving skill level – some currents around the island are more challenging. Then, take the plunge and enjoy the adventure.

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Isla de Mona |

«Mona Island» redirects here. Mona is also the ancient or poetic name for the Isle of Anglesey or the Isle of Man.

Coordinates: 18° 5 12 N 67° 53 22 W??? /? 18.08667°N 67.88944°W? / 18.08667; -67.88944

Mona (Spanish Isla de la Mona) Is the third largest island in the Puerto Rico archipelago, after the main island of Puerto Rico and the Vicks. It is the largest of the three islands located in the Mona Strait, the strait between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, the others being Monito Island and Desecheo Island. It measures about 11 kilometers by 7 kilometers (7 miles by 4 miles), and lies 66 kilometers (41 miles) west of Puerto Rico, of which it is an administrative part. The original name given to the island of the Taino Indians is Amona, which means «that which is in the middle», referring to the journey between the islands of Puerto Rico and Haiti. It is one of two islands that make up Isla de Mona e Islote Monito Barrio from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

The island is a nature reserve and although there are no indigenous people, rangers from the island’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources are on the island to manage visitors and take part in research projects.



Pre-Columbian History

Mona Island is believed to have been originally settled by Arawak Indians who came from Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Archaeological excavations at 19The 80s discovered many pre-Columbian objects on the island, which helped support historians’ theories from the island’s first inhabitants. Stone tools found in the rock shelter have been dated to around 3000 BC. [1] Much later, the island was inhabited by the Tainos (Arawaks of the Caribbean), and remained so until the arrival of the Spanish in the 15th century.

Colonial Period

On November 19, 1493, during his second voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus encountered the island now known as Puerto Rico, which the natives called Borinquen (or Boriken according to some historians), and which Columbus named San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist). A few hours after setting foot in Puerto Rico, Columbus and his ships headed west to Hispaniola, where he expected to meet several crew members who had been left behind from his first voyage. Leaving Puerto Rico, he reputedly became the first European to sight the island on September 24, 1494, who was claimed to Spain. The name Mona comes from the Taino name Amun, bestowed by the natives in honor of the ruling Katzik or head of the island.

In 1502, Fray Nicolas de Ovando was sent to the Isla de la Mona to keep an eye, from a safe distance, on the native uprisings taking place in Haiti. With a group of 2,000 Spanish settlers, Ovando was left in charge of establishing a permanent settlement on the island. Due to its small size and location, the island proved insufficient to accommodate such a large community, and food became rare, as supplies from Hispaniola and Puerto Rico were received infrequently.

Juan Ponce de Leon, who accompanied Columbus on his first two voyages, became Puerto Rico’s first ruling governor. [2] In 1508, de León made several trips to the Mona Islands to collect goods and food from the Tainos living there. The island, which was in abundance of foodstuffs and other products commonly used in the Tainos as in the island of Mona and Puerto Rico, was considered valuable personally by the owner. In 1509, de León became interested in acquiring the island, and this sparked a bitter rivalry between him and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, who wanted Mona the island for his own private vacation retreat. [Edit]

In 1515, after some wrangling, Ferdinand II was able to recover the island from Diego Colón, Viceroy of the Indies. By then, Isla de la Mona was an important trade point between Spain and the rest of Latin America, as well as a rest stop for the crews of ships carrying slaves. With his ownership of the island, King Ferdinand II gave the Taino resident two options if they wanted to continue living on the island: they could work on fishing, making hammocks and growing plants, or they could become miners and help in the extraction of guano and other minerals. Realizing that mining would require hard work, most of the inhabitants decided to work as fishermen and farmers. By accepting this option, they were also exempted from paying imposed taxes, and were able to escape the hard labor of many other natives endured in the mines. Over time, people from other neighboring islands were brought to the Mona Islands to help with the labor.

After the death of Ferdinand II in 1516, the ownership of the island was transferred to Cardenal Cisneros. The island changed ownership again in 1520 when Francisco de Barrionuevo became the island’s new owner. By 1524, Alonso Manso, Bishop of Puerto Rico, became interested in obtaining personal wealth, and he accused Barrionuevo, among other things, of committing various crimes within the Spanish justice system of the time. Because of this situation, Barrionuevo exiled himself to one of Spain’s colonies in South America, taking many Tainos along with him, and leaving the island practically deserted.

By 1522, ships from other major maritime powers such as England, France, and the Netherlands began arriving at Isla de la Mona to replenish supplies for their transatlantic voyages. The island also provided them with a place of refuge for pirates from which they could attack and plunder the Spanish galleons.

In 1561, during an audience held in Santo Domingo, it was recommended that Isla de la Mona should become part of this colony (which at that time occupied the eastern half of Hispaniol). The reasons offered were simply that the island was closer to Santo Domingo (now the Dominican Republic) than to Puerto Rico, and that it had a small population that could help the colony’s economy in general agricultural production. However, the petition was denied and the island continued to be politically part of Puerto Rico.

In 1583, the Spanish Archbishop of Puerto Rico received royal permission to bring Christianity to Mona Island. However, by this time most of the Taíno who remained on the island had either died or fled to mainland Puerto Rico due to frequent raiding by European (especially French) ships. From the end of the 16th century until the middle of the 19th century the island was largely abandoned by the colonial authorities. It appears to have been sporadically inhabited, although records from this period are somewhat sketchy. It continued to be used as a refuge from pirates and privateers, including the notorious Captain Kidd, who hid there in 1699 year. [3]

The island’s circumstances changed in the mid-19th century when it became the site of commercial guano mining operations. Various companies have obtained licenses to extract bat and guano (a valuable fertilizer and a key strategic commodity for the production of gunpowder) from the island’s caves. Mining continued until 1927. [4]

20th century

Mona Lighthouse Island

With the 1898 Treaty of Paris, Isla de la Mona, along with the rest of Puerto Rico, was transferred by Spain to the USA. Within two years of occupation, Mona’s Island of Light, left in an unfinished state since the beginning of the Spanish-American War, was completed and began its work. The lighthouse was, contrary to popular belief, not designed by the famous French engineer Gustave Eiffel (who also designed the world famous Eiffel Tower in Paris), but by the Spanish engineer Raphael Ravena in 1886. She’s still in continuous mode until 1976 years old when it was replaced by a new automated light.

On December 22, 1919, the island was declared the «Insular Forest of Puerto Rico», under the auspices of U.S. Forest Law No. 22.

During Prohibition, the island had a history of smuggling, with its geographic location making it an advantageous position for rum runners to smuggle rum , bourbon, and other liquids. In 1923, a stash of liquor, drugs and perfume reportedly from the French islands of Martinique and Saint Martin and worth US$75,000 was found in the cave by customs officials.

In 1942, at the height of World War II, a German submarine bombarded the south coast of the island. It was one of the few instances of this war in the Caribbean. From 1945 to 1955 Mona Island was leased to the US Air Force as a military exercise area.

Since 1941 the island has also been used for camping and goat and wild boar hunting. In 1960, a small ranger post was set up to monitor the island, operated by Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources.

In July 1972, the Board of Environmental Quality of Puerto Rico, due to the growing interest in the development of the islands, made a full scientific assessment of Mona and Monita using a local team of volunteer scientists. A two-volume report with maps of natural and historical features was produced. [6] It appreciated the climate, geology and mineral resources, soils, water resources, archaeology, vegetation, animals and insects, as well as pelagic life around the island. Shortly thereafter, geotechnical and bathymetry studies were conducted by engineering firms to determine the feasibility of using Monu as a deepwater terminal for transferring oil from supertankers to smaller tankers that would continue to the US mainland; this plan was not implemented.

In 1981, Mona Lighthouse Island was listed on the US National Register of Historic Places as «Faro de la Isla de la Mona».

In 1993 the island (perhaps all of it), as «Isla de la Mona», was included in the National Register. [5]


Mona has an area of ​​approximately 57 km2 (22 sq mi) and is located 66 km (41 mi) west of the main island of Puerto Rico, 61 km (38 mi) east of the Dominican Republic, and 49 km (30 mi) southwest of Desecheo Island, another island in the Mona Strait.

Mona has been designated an ecological reserve by the Puerto Rican government and is not permanently inhabited. The 2000 US Census reports six housing units but zero population. [7] The island is under the care (Barrio) of the Municipality of Mayaguez together with Monito Island 5 km to the northwest (Isla de Mona e Islote Monito Barrio). It is Mayagüez’s largest ward by area, and the only one without a permanent population. The total land area of ​​both islands in Barrio is about 56.93 km? (Mona Island 56.783 km? And nearby Monito Island 0.147 km?), and this includes 28.3 percent of the total land area of ​​the municipality of Mayaguez. Desecheo Island, 49km to the northeast, is part of the Sabanetas Barrio.

Mona is a mostly flat plateau surrounded by sea cliffs. It is made up of dolomite and limestone with numerous caves found throughout. With a dry climate and untouched by human development, many endemic species inhabit the island, such as the Mona First Iguana (Cyclura cornuta stejnegeri). Its topography, ecology, and modern history are similar to that of Navassa, a small limestone island located in the Jamaica Channel, between Jamaica and Haiti.

Land cover

Four types of land cover can be identified: [8]

    Cactus (11. 27 km?) Highland Forest (40.28 km?) Central Depression Forest (1.47 km?) Coastal Forest (3.77 km?)



    Playa Escalera Playa Pajaros Playa Brava Playa Coco Playa Caigo


    Playa Uvero-1 Playa Uvero-2 Playa U-8 Playa U-1 Playa Carabinero Playa Mujeres Playa Carite


    Playa Sardinera Playa Carmelitas

The only campsites in Playa de Pajaros and Playa Sardinera. In addition, Playa Uveros, Pajaros, Playa Mujeres and Playa Brava are important for visitors.

    Location of Mona Island within the Puerto Rico archipelago.

    Mona overview map

    Monito Island as seen offshore

Mona Island today

Buildings on Playa Pajaros on the south coast

The island now serves as a retreat for Puerto Ricans and nature lovers from all over the world, and has also become a popular destination for Puerto Rican Boy and Girl Scouts. Due to the islands’ unique topography, ecology and location, Mona, Desecheo and Monito have been nicknamed the «Galapagos Islands of the Caribbean». Scientists, environmentalists, and students have visited Mona Island to study its distinct ecosystem, which includes the endemic Mona First Iguana. The island is also home to many rock paintings that were left behind by the original inhabitants of the island. Remains of the guano mining industry can also be seen.

An FAA-certified airport that can handle small aircraft was built by the Puerto Rican government. This airport does not have an ICAO or IATA code. The US Coast Guard is able to provide helicopter flights from Rafael Hernandez Airport to Aguadilla to help with medicines and first aid equipment; they also fly when an emergency requires hospitalization occurs. Private and commercial aircraft require a special permit issued by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources to use the airport’s facilities.

The most common mode of transport is by private yacht, although commercial excursions are available from Cabo Rojo for small groups of up to twelve people traveling together.

Hunting is permitted during the season to control population growth of non-native species (goats, pigs and feral cats) because they may pose a threat to various endangered species. The hunting season usually starts in December and ends in April. Camping is allowed from May to November.

In recent years, the island has become a major landing point especially for Dominicans, as well as Haitians, Cubans, Chinese and North Koreans trying to reach Puerto Rico illegally. In the US Commonwealth, Puerto Rico is considered by many illegal migrants as a stepping stone to the US. With the exception of Cubans, who are allowed to permanently reside in the United States due to that country’s wet feet/dry feet policy, all other illegal immigrants are generally promptly expelled from the country. [9]

The article has been translated automatically. Source: Wikipedia

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