Isla Caja de Muertos
One of Puerto Rico’s offshore islands, Caja de Muertos, or "Coffin Island" (so named for its shape), is an eight-mile boat ride from Ponce’s docks. Take a day to explore the area, which is a designated nature reserve with a lighthouse built in 1887, a cave, and trails, or to simply relax on its white-sand beaches. Neither fresh water nor food kiosks or vendors are available on the island (so bring a picnic, and pack in and pack out). Isla Caja de Muertos remains one of Puerto Rico’s best-kept secrets.
By Julie Schwietert Collazo, AFAR Local Expert
A Slice of Heaven in Dead Man's Chest
Caja de Muerto, which loosely translates to Dead Man's Chest is a beautiful Nature Reserve island an hour or so boat ride south of Ponce, Puerto Rico. If you have a friend with a boat you can have them park it off shore from the beautiful Pelicano beach to which you can swim up to and catch some sun rays for the day. The island is uninhabitated with the exception of the handful of armed guard, from the Natural Reserve Service, charged with protecting the sea turtles and other endangered species that call the island home. If you don't have a friend with a boat, don't worry you can take a ferry there from La Guancha in Ponce, PR in the early morning, just don't forget to bring a cooler with all your beer and snacks! If you like clear blue water and curious fish, Caja De Muerto is for you.
An island within an island
Caja de Muertos is a small island off the southern coast of Ponce. You can access the island easily by ferry that leaves twice daily - once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Plan to spend your full day there, you can explore the island itself or snorkel in the beautiful waters. Caja de Muertos also has some of the best beaches in PR. Photo by Waldemar Rosa Bobe
By Chelsea Harms-Tuohy, AFAR Local Expert
Ponce, Puerto Rico