Gigante Bay Area Attractions
The Gigante Bay is found on the eastern tip of the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula. Many islands are found in and around the bay, most of them small islets and rocks. This area features more islands than any other place in all of Costa Rica, and visitors often tour the bay by boat.
Found in the northern end of Gigante Bay, Guayabo Island is a 6.8ha/17ac rocky islet with high cliffs and little vegetation. The island is a well-known seabird sanctuary, with Costa Rica's largest nesting colony (200 to 300 birds) of brown pelicans.Land visitors to the island (except researchers) are prohibited for the protection of the seabirds. However, the large colony can be observed from a boat. The peregrine falcon spends the winter on the island as well.
This small, 10ha/25ac island is found right in the middle of the Gigante Bay. On some maps the island is called Isla Muertos (Dead Island) because of the Indian burials found on the island. Gitana is a rustic place, perfect for those trying to get away from it all. The island offers hiking trails, a saltwater pool and a nice beach. Kayaking, windsurfing and snorkelling are popular with guests.
The Negritos Islands are found 10km/25ac southeast of the Gigante Bay and have a combined size of 80ha/198ac. The Negritos are a well-known seabird sanctuary for seabirds, featuring large colonies of frigatebirds and brown boobies.Only researchers are allowed on the island, but the colonies can be observed from a boat. Vegetation on the island includes Frangipani, gumbo, limbo, and spiny cedar trees.
San Lucas Island
San Lucas, 600ha/1,482ac, is the largest of the islands in the Gigante Bay area. Before 1992, San Lucas was a prison with a reputation for being the roughest jail in the country. The overgrown remains of the prison cells (some over 100 years old) can be toured.
Tortuga Island is the best known and most frequented in the Gigante Bay area. Tortuga is actually two uninhabited islands that are known for their beautiful beaches and serene swimming and snorkelling opportunities. Cruise ships occasionally dock at Tortuga Island.