There are many places on the planet where it seems that there is no room for a pin, but this Colombian island takes the cake. In it San Bernardo archipelago, In the heart of the Colombian Caribbean, there is a tiny floating town of 1,200 square meters where there are hardly any free meters left to reside. Santa Cruz del Islote It is a Colombian island of just over 800 inhabitants who lives essentially from fishing and tourism.


Barranquilla Carnival 2017, Colombia.


The Colombian city known for its carnivals and with a statue in honor of Shakira

an artificial island

Santa Cruz del Islote “is famous for being the most densely populated artificial island in the world” according to Lonely Planet and Radio Nacional de Colombia. Curiously, this island exists thanks to human action. According to legend and local stories, about 150 to 200 years ago many Fishermen used to spend the nights on this rocky islet and given the marine wealth and the absence of annoying mosquitoes, they decided to settle there. The island sits on a coral platform.

It is difficult to specify the number of inhabitants, but two of its best-known locals, the environmental leader Adrián Caraballo and the tourist guide Juvenal Julio, indicated that the population is between 800 and 900 inhabitants, in statements to media such as Radio Nacional de Colombia and CNN. And there is no more room for people. An example of overpopulation is the vertical construction that has occurred in recent years.

Santa Cruz del Islote, located in the San Bernardo Archipelago in the Gulf of Morrosquillo in Colombia.
Santa Cruz del Islote, located in the San Bernardo archipelago, in the Gulf of Morrosquillo, in Colombia.

It has a school with almost 200 students and the island is supplied with a food plant, two solar panels and rainwater. There is no police or hospital, but a nurse, according to the young environmentalist Adrián Caballero to a Colombian media. There is also no cemetery, so when someone dies the locals on the islet move to the neighboring island of Tintipánwhich is also the point where they deposit the waste to later be taken to Cartagena de Indias.

The economic drivers of the island are tourism and fishing. So much is the claim that several of its valuable square meters are occupied by a small hostel. Its attractive seabed full of corals and mangroves and the fact that it is considered the most populated artificial island in the world makes Santa Cruz del Islote a place as unusual as it is attractive.


Beautiful sunset over Cartagena, Colombia


What to see in Colombia in 15 days or less: unique places that you will not see in other destinations

Sign up for the newsletter and receive the best proposals for traveling the world in your email.