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Take a Trip to the Wild Side of the Caribbean-Navassa Island



Not all the islands in the Caribbean are fit for tourism, and some of them are great only for explorers that want to learn more about the wild side of the Caribbean that are untouched by man. Navassa Island is one of these places. No one lives here, and it is considered a National Wildlife Refuge by the US Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior. There are some jurisdiction issues, though, since Haiti claims this island as its own.

In order to get an idea about where this isolated island is located, here is a little bit of info: it is situated about 160 kilometers south from Guantanamo Bay, the well known US Naval Base. The island does not measure more than 5.2 square miles, and is made of coral and limestone.

The appearance of Navassa Island is also unique as the island looks like it is almost flat, although there is an area that looks more like a raised plateau located on the southwest coast. The island has hardly any beaches, as its coast is made mostly of vertical cliffs which are about 10 to 15 meters high. The only animals living on the island are goats, which eat the little vegetation that grows here. A few cactuses and some trees complete the scarcity of this image.

There was a reason for which the United States became interested in this island. In the early 19th century, the US came here to mine for guano, and exploitations were made for almost forty years. A lighthouse was erected on the southern area of Navassa Island in the early years of the 20th century. Fifteen years ago, however, the lighthouse was closed and is no longer operated by the Coast Guard. After that, a scientific trip to the island decided that the biodiversity showcased here must be protected and preserved, and shortly afterwards, Navassa Island was declared a National Wildlife Refuge.

The territory of the island belongs to the United States and is supervised by the US Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior. Despite other claims made for Navassa Island, the island still remains US territory.

If you want to travel to the island, you will need to get permission from the Fish and Wildlife Service. No one is allowed to set foot on the island without a permit.

There is very little to see on Navassa Island, unless you are a nature lover. Access to the island is rarely given as the island does not have an airstrip or harbor. The only way to get there is by anchoring offshore.

You will need to bring all your necessities as there are no shops here. Also, the island is not convenient for an overnight stay, and the only signs of humans passing through here are some fishermen’s tents.



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