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GENERAL INFORMATIONS: Islands

Islands

The majority of Costa Rica islands are situated in Nicoya Bay. All the islands of Pacific coast consist of the same deposits as the terrains of the firm land. The majority of them emerged because of the subduction (giving a coating of the oceanic table-lands) or because of recession of the sea. There are two exceptions: islands Cocos and Violin. The first is of volcanic origin and the second appeared from the silts of Sierpe river.

Island of Cano - Medium size island (300 ha), located 16,5 km from the western side of Osa peninsula. It was discovered in 1519 by Spanishman Juan de Castenada. It emerged because of the Cocos table-land subduction under the Caribbean table-land. Its age is estimated for 40-50 millions of years. It has the cliff coast. Its cantral part is accented by the wide plateau (110 m.a.s.l.). During the precolumbian times it served as the Indian cementary. There are discovered half-grounded granite balls of unknown origin. It`s covered by characteristic "milk trees" (Brosimum utile). Since 1978 the island has been a national reserve. On each year it`s attacked by the biggest number of thunders and heavy storms in entire America.

Island of Coco - The biggest uninhabited island in the world (2.400 ha). It`s located 548 km from Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It belongs to the underwater Cocos Ridge. It was formed because of the subduction of Coco table-land under the Caribbean table-land, around 40-50 millions of years. In the southern part there are three wide bays: Wafer, Weston and Chatham. The highest peaks are: Cerro Yglesias (634 m.a.s.l.) and Jesus Jimenez (430 m.a.s.l.). It was discovered in 1526. It`s said to be a legendary island of treasure. In 1997 it was declared by UNESCO as the place of the World Heritage. It was a setting of the novel "Island of Treasure" and "Jurassic Park". The coastal waters are controlled by the shoals of hammerheads. The island is declared a national park.

Island of Uvita - It`s situated a kilometer off the Limon port. It`s the only bigger island of caribbean coast. That was discovered by Cristopher Columb during his fourth excursion in 1502 (September 18th). It consists of rock formation of coral origin and is surrounded by large abrasion shelves. It is called sometimes "the garden" or "small grape" due to the fact that there grows a tree that is unique to the Caribbean and whose fruit resembles grapes. There is situated the biological research station.

Island of Chira - The biggest island of Nicoya Bay - the second island in the country. It`s inhabited by around 2.000 people. The majority of that is covered by protected marshes. The eastern side is accented by long estuary. Its highest peak is Chira (251 m.a.s.l.). It`s separated from Nicoya peninsula by the Pass of Punchai. It`s a nesting site for frigate birds. In the future is planned to introduce platanar plantations. The island is linked with the legend about woman - monkey called La Mona. In August 2002 it was hit by the sea wirlwind. Many houses lost their roofs.

Island of San Lucas - (615 ha). It`s located in Nicoya bay, on the ferries route between Puntarenas and Nicoya peninsula. In the colonial times, a conquistador Gonzalo Fernandez Oviedo created the concentration camp for Indians. During almost one and half century until 1991 there has been in use a prison (because of that it was called "the island of lonely men"). Its shape resembles the vise.

Island of Tortuga - [see more] (Island of Tolinga), (320 ha). It`s situated at the entrance for the Nicoya bay. It used to belong to the Cubero family. It`s one of the most popular "touristic islands" of the country. In some areas its coast has the high cliffs and is surrounded by the coral reefs. The two hills in its central part (the highest one is 172 m.a.s.l.) are linked by something like a cable railway.

Island of Venado - The long island in Nicoya Bay, separated from Nicoya peninsula by the Pass of Jicaral. Its name means "a deer". It`s inhabited by around 200 people. There are planted corn and rise. In the vicinity of Jicaral village, was discovered the precolumbian cementery. In mangroves were founded a lot of embalmed cuerpos. In the coast is planned to introduce the oysters.

Island of Violin - It`s located in the mouth of Sierpe river, next to the Osa peninsula, in south-east part of Costa Rica. It has oval, slightly twisted shape. It`s quite young, made by river tilts and covered by the mangrove marshes. It`s accented by Point of Violin (south-western part) and by small bay of Violines to the North. In the island used to be found the biggest piece of gold in Costa Rica history (heavier than 3 kg).


 
2004; SLUPSK; Rafal Cezary Piechocinski