Caja de Muertos Island
Ponce, Puerto Rico
Caja de Muertos Island also known as Coffin Island is a small island located on the south central coast of the island of Puerto Rico just 4.8 nautical miles from the south coast of the Municipality of Ponce. The island measures approximately 2.75 km. long and 1.85 km. wide, with a total area of 412.22 cords of dry and arid land. The reserve also includes the Cayo Morrillito Cay and Cayo Berberia Cay keys.
Nicknamed one of Puerto Rico’s top enchanting attractions, Caja de Muertos is a secluded and uninhabited nature reserve with one of the most pristine settings you’ll find on the island. This wonder natural island is ideal for visitors seeking to reconnect with nature away from the noise of the city.
The beautiful scenery that this small island offers is amazing. You will feel like the owner of the whole island.
Bathed by the transparent waters of the Caribbean Sea and located in one of the driest and most arid areas of Puerto Rico, Caja de Muertos Island treasures a diversity of natural resources framed in a spectacular panorama. On the island you will find mangroves, coral reefs, sandy beaches, a rocky coast, xerophytic forest (dry and thorny), caves and nesting areas for sea turtles (Hawksbill) and seabirds.
Definitely this piece of land is a natural paradise. The island is a prefect destination for beach and nature lovers looking to experience the pleasures of an uninhabited island free from development. At Caja de Muertos you can walk, bird watch, explore the lighthouse ruins, or just relax in the sun.
Among the activities that you can do once you arrive on the island are diving in a small underwater sled, walking around the island to the lighthouse or to the pier, kayaking along the north coast of the island, walking along the south coast and simply enjoy the beach that is refreshing and energizing.
Caja de Muerto was designated a natural reserve in 1980 managed by DNRA (Department of Natural and Environmental Resources) with the purpose of protecting this area of high natural value to ensure that the uses and activities do not affect its natural resources. The island has remained a protected area since then. It is currently administered by the Puerto Rico Department of Environmental Resources.
Caja de Muertos is a haven for endangered turtles, birds, and marine life. The reserve has unique fauna and flora found here. It is a nature reserve, with beautiful beaches, hiking trails, a lighthouse, and a cave.
The Nature Reserve has a coral reef system of extraordinary beauty and color. Its greatest development is found in the extreme northeast of the island, forming a reef lagoon. Corals serve as nurseries for a diversity of species of underwater animals and protect the coasts by slowing down the water.
The island has four beaches: Pelicano, Playa Larga, Carrucho, and the Coast Guard. The island also has fauna and flora found nowhere else in the world. Pelicano Beach received the first Blue Flag award located in a Caribbean Nature Reserve. A beautiful beach with crystal clear and calm waters perfect for swimming. Playa Pelicano is the most popular and accessible beach on the island and is located on the west side between the pier and Cerro Morrillo.
The island also has trails that lead to an old lighthouse, a cave, and a longer trail that goes to the other end of the island. The lighthouse built in 1887 that has become a historical point. The road to this lighthouse is steep as it is located on the highest hill on the island; la caul certainly is truly an adventure. You must bring closed and comfortable shoes, insect repellent, water and sunscreen. It will take you about two hours round trip.
Caja de Muertos, its beaches and its keys has been rediscovered by tourists as an isolated paradise since the government began assigning park rangers from the department of natural resources to supervise visitors to the island and protect this island. Peak season is in the summer months, weekends, and holidays with a local crowd of visitors. During the “high season” by tourists from December to April.
The island has facilities such as areas for bathers, visitor center, gazebos, gazebos, picnic areas, DNRA office, an educational center, changing area, portable ecological toilets, dock, paramedics and a guard post. It has no stores, so be sure to bring food and water.
The beautiful scenery that this small island offers is amazing. You will feel like the owner of the whole island. And we know the good docking points where you can enjoy this jewel of the South.
How to get:
You can get to the island on a ferry that leaves from La Guancha Boardwalk on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Departs at 8:30 am and returns at 3:30 pm. The trip to Caja de Muertos takes between 30 and 40 minutes depending on weather conditions. Other options are to coordinate your visit through a local tour operator or to book a private boat.