Few wilderness adventures in the Caribbean can compare with a trip to Isla Mona, a wild, deserted speck in the ocean some 80km to the west of the main island. And although few people ever visit, the 14,000-acre island looms large in the imagination. It’s a place where the dramatic beauty of limestone caves and turquoise water coexists with the dangers of a rugged, isolated environment. Then there’s the island’s long, romantic history, told in Taíno petroglyphs and swashbuckling stories about sunken galleons, treasures of gold and skeletons of 18th-century pirates.
A nature reserve since 1919 and uninhabited for over 50 years, Mona is very difficult to visit. If you are considering a trip here, know it can take about four months of planning to secure permits and transportation.
The rangers and police detachment (at Playa Sardinera) can occasionally provide basic visitor assistance: beyond that, you are on your own.