San Lucas reopens its doors, this time as a nature reserve.

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San Lucas Island, National Wildlife Refuge and former penitentiary closed in 1991, is ready to be inaugurated this August as a cultural, historical and natural tourist destination.

This was announced by the First Lady and promoter of the Reactivation Route of the San Lucas Island, Claudia Dobles, referring to the project jointly promoted by the Central Government, the Municipality of Puntarenas, the Legislative Power, civil society, communities and the private sector.

Announced in April 2019, this initiative aims to create a tourist destination that, in addition to promoting the Puntarenean tourism industry, protects the natural characteristics of the island located in the Gulf of Nicoya.

“The execution of this project excites us due to the great benefits it will bring to the Puntarenean economy. It is an initiative that successfully combines Costa Rican history and culture, seeking to conserve the island’s natural resources, ”stressed Dobles.

Thanks to inter-institutional coordination, a short-term visitation strategy was developed, for which SINAC and the National Museum gave first training to more than 50 tour guides and tour operators, and a second training is being scheduled for 4 August. This process has been carried out in close coordination with the Puntarenas Chamber of Tourism.

In promoting this project are, among others, the ministries of Environment and Energy, Culture and Youth, National Planning and Economic Policy, as well as the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism, the Costa Rican Institute of Pacific Ports, the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity , Aqueducts and Sewers and the Puntarenas Tourism Promotion Board and the Puntarenas Chamber of Tourism.

Works executed

Among the main advances that will allow the reopening and tourist visitation of the Island in this month of August are:

  • Urban furniture for security lacing of the dock and the enjoyment of Playa Cocos, thanks to the investment of INCOP, the Tourism Promotion Board and management of CATUP.
  • Construction of trails, sanitary services module, collection center and water pumping system, with an investment of ¢ 174 million by INCOP.
  • Structural intervention of the priority heritage area and rehabilitation of the building of the old Medical Dispensary in process, with an investment of ¢ 150 million from INCOP.
  • Inclusion of park rangers and policemen with day and night presence on the island 24 hours a day.


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