Turtle Island

Ever since I learned that the movie “1492” was filmed on Turtle Island, I wanted to go see that island – how special it had to be if it was considered the ideal place to reconstruct an arrival that in reality took place on the other side of the country, In the Caribbean Sea. And from Tango Mar it is a great option.

At the reception, Juan, who will be our captain today, picks us up to take us to a small dock a few minutes away, where we take a boat (smaller than Columbus’s, but who pays attention to this kind of details…). There are eight of us to get on, some with the faith of one last adventure before going back on the way to Europe the next day.

The sun is shining, the breeze is warm, the surrounding landscape is beautiful, and the water splashes us a little as we gain good speed towards the island.



Suddenly the engine stops. We look at one another, surprised. Engine failure? But Juan has everything under control. “Dolphins,” he says calmly. And indeed, a few moments later we see them too. Not one or two, but several, playing in the water. Jumping, swimming under the boat, at the same time, almost as if waving. What a thrill!!



We stay for a little while, happy for this unexpected luck, admiring the elegant animals. Almost sad when Juan starts up again, but he has another beautiful surprise for us. Once close to the island, next to a rock guarded by great herons, he hands each of us a snorkel, and invites us to jump into the water. Fish of many colors, small, in large quantities. Too much beauty.

Luckily, Juan keeps us a little away from the larger boats, from where – contrary to the instructions – food is thrown into the water so that the fish can arrive and be admired from there. We enjoy seeing them in their natural habits.



Then, we arrive at the island. For a long time almost virgin and desolate, it is now quite a touristic place. Joyous music plays from loudspeakers, young people play volleyball, and several rows of beach chairs line one end of the beach. The beach is quite full; however, Juan manages to find us a place a little away, from where we can enjoy the beauty of the place in almost silence.



Only part of the island is public, like every beach in the country is. Once past the beach, already under the shade of the trees that line it, it seems like another world. I discover a family of peccaries walking idly, a white-tailed deer, some iguanas.

They are now accustomed to the presence of humans: the iguanas walk between the tables and some brave peccaries even venture to the beach, in search of something edible left by tourists. But there is no garbage, and they return to their own place.

We enjoy a delicious lunch, splash around in the water for a while and then it is time to head back – the day flew by again. It has been another beautiful experience.