The tourism activities start at 10 a.m. with an exhibition on the history of San Lucas Island.
/ Casa Presidencial courtesy photo.

-Published: Friday, November 8, 2019-

San Lucas Island exhibition, music and restaurant tour in Puntarenas Saturday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Tourism Ministry has invited the public to the project entitled “Jale al Puerto,”  let’s go to the port in the Spanish language, Saturday at the Port of Puntarenas.

The tourism activities start at 10 a.m. with an exhibition on the history of San Lucas Island.

The island, is located in the Gulf of Nicoya and served as a prison from 1873 to 1991. It is now a national wildlife refuge.

The exhibition on the island consists of 25 photographs of the place through its history. This exhibition will be open until April 8.

During the afternoon, the first lady, Claudia Dobles, will make a presentation on the progress of the reopening San Lucas Island as a tourist destination.

Then, at 1 p.m. the second edition of the gastronomic event entitled “Con Sabor a Puerto” will take place. That means the flavor of the port in English.

According to the ministry, buses will be available leaving from Plaza del Pacífico, which will take a tour of around 15 restaurants. Visitors can know more and taste the traditional food of the province. The bus trip is free.

At sunset around 6 p.m.a live music concert entitled "Recordando a mi Puerto," will take place. The title means remembering my port in English. The location is the Paseo de los Turistas promenade. Entry to the concert is free.

More information on the tours can be found from Municipality of Puntarenas at 2661-0250.

On April  the government presented a plan to reactivate tourism to San Lucas Island, located 8 kilometers from the coast in Puntarenas.

The vision of the government is to make a parallel to destinations like Alcatraz, in the Bay of San Francisco.

According to the government, the total exact cost for remodeling and tourism plan will not be known for nine months, when the plans for the construction and budgets are made. However, approximately $2.4 million has already been saved from the budget of various institutions such as the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism and the Costa Rican Institute of Pacific Ports.

In the presentation of this project, first lady Claudia Dobles, said that the Island is expected to become a benchmark such as the Tortuga Island of the Gulf of Nicoya.

"This is an investment aimed at the well being of the community of Puntarenas and the Gulf of Nicoya, by generating jobs and encouraging development,” said first lady Doubles, “also, we propose to be a reference in the best practices of construction and sustainable management, with works of low impact and concordance with its surroundings."

Currently, the Island has an important lag in several axes. In the historical theme, the wealth of architectural heritage is at serious risk due to its deterioration and lack of proper maintenance. Added to this, the shortage of personnel in the Island adds to the vulnerability, not only of the patrimonial structures but of the dry forest and the maritime zone of the island. In infrastructure, there are no public services such as water and electricity.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, to improve tourism on the Island improvements should be made such as having park and police guard services, improvements to the island's ranger's house, repairs on the Cocos beach path, and repairs in the main building, among other improvements.

The plan to reactivate San Lucas Island has been presented in four stages, which will begin with the construction of the new facilities in 2021.

- The first phase includes the previous studies of the environment and the marketing study.

- The second phase establishes the amount necessary to invest in the infrastructure.

- The third phase contemplates making the plans and processing the respective construction permits.

- Fourth and last phase will be the construction of new facilities.

San Lucas Island comprises 500 hectares and it housed a prison for more than 100 years between 1873 and 1991 and its structures constitute a National Heritage.

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