Isla James Island – You Have To Know



Isla James Island


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Isla james island is a small, uninhabited island located in the north-eastern Caribbean Sea, about 190 kilometres (120 miles) east-northeast of Hispaniola and about 620 kilometres (400 miles) east-southeast of the Virgin Islands. The island is part of the Duénas–Freitas Archipelago and is administratively part of the Autonomous Municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. The present population of Isla James is zero.

Isla James Island


Isla James island was discovered by Europeans in 1513 while they were sailing on the north coast of Hispaniola. At that time, it was not inhabited and no name was given to the island. It remained uninhabited until 1799 when a group of Spanish-American settlers, led by Don Diego Vega de Santiago, established a small community on the island. The settlement prospered for a few years but eventually disappeared due to diseases and other problems associated with living in isolated conditions.

In 1903, an American steel producer named Alfred Taney Coburn acquired Isla James from Vega de Santiago for $3,000. Coburn immediately began rebuilding the island’s infrastructure and helped to establish new families on Isla James. Several years later, following the expiration of a copyright from Edgar Allan Poe he had been granted in 1934, Alfred Taney Coburn sold all rights associated with this island to various interests including coffee growing and beet farming corporations who moved their operations there.

Robert Hellerberg (1899-1967), an immigrant from Salzburg eventually bought most of what remained to it at that time which consisted of four small houses built by Vega de Santiago close together facing north , the remains of a church and an old, earthen well in the island’s center. At about this time Hellerberg died but his daughter, Sally – later married to Don Johnson Jiménez had Chiquita Brands International (CBIS) begin operating on Isla James under lease from Coburn for many years up until 1967 when Maya Soetoro-Ng took over CBIS operations.



The island has an average temperature of about 73 degrees Fahrenheit with a high of about 88 and low of about 66-68. The annual rainfall averages around 30 inches, which includes rain from both the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. The island experiences hurricane season from June to November but typically only receives light winds, making it little affected by these storms.

Isla James is located in the central area of Hispaniola between Haiti and Dominica, near Crooked Island (Spanish: Isla de la Piña). One can find many interesting places on Isla James such as Boquete Grotto , which is a blowhole in the island’s coastline; it originally was constructed as a booby trap to stop pirates, but later became a tourist attraction.



There is no permanent population on the island, but it does have some fishermen and a few families who own small businesses. There are also many cultural celebrations such as Carnival in February, which features dancers wearing brightly colored costumes. It has a fishing port, and it is considered to be the island near Norman Island where Robert Livingston founded three ships that became independent colonies: Columbia, New Netherlands (present day USA) and Trinitas (US Virgin Islands). However there is no evidence of his presence on Isla James. The name “Islas de la Juragua” may refer to the existing earthen funnels that exist in this area today.



The island is located within the Dominican Republic, but it has a special relationship with Haiti. It was in 1844 that Isla James became part of Haiti and the current Haitian president, Jovenel Moïse, visited there on October 2nd 2012. There is also a relationship with Cuba, which was established when Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo expropriated much of the island between 1929-1940. Politics on Isla James are very strong and it has been likened to that of Bonaire (Netherlands).

Government services

Government services

There is no government on the island, but it does have a police force. Electricity and water are supplied by a diesel powered generator, and there is no cellular service or internet access.



Isla James was originally a booby trap island, but it later became a tourist attraction. Visitors come to see the earthen funnels that were used in olden days to catch pirates. There are also beaches and monkey colonies on the island. On the island there are a number of spots to snorkel and dive, including Petit Mahana National Park with sea turtles, manatee and whale sharks.

Cutler Bay Resort has hosted many Caribbean musicians in the past such as Harry Manx, Mikey Fortune & The Boys Project (featuring Sean Paul), Dirty Vegas, Tabby Thomas (of Bad Boy Records) among others when they supported Cee Lo Green on his “Crazy” Tour.


Isla James is an uninhabited island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, just off the coast of Nicaragua. The island is about 260 kilometers long and 80 kilometers wide, and it’s surrounded by a coral reef. The island was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the West Indies in 1493.


Is There A Military On The Island?

No, there is no permanent military presence or infrastructure on Isla James. However, the island is occasionally used for Navy exercises.

What Are Some Of The Major Religions Practiced On The Island?

There is no official census data available for religious practices in Isla James, but it’s likely that Protestantism and Catholicism (the two most commonly practiced religions in Puerto Rico) are both prevalent on the island.

Are Any Government Services Available On Isla James?

Yes, electricity and water are both provided by Ponce Electric Coop, a municipal utility that serves the island.

What Time Zone Is The Island In?

The island lies within Puerto Rico’s Eastern Time Zone (PHZ) and observes daylight saving time year-round, making it one hour ahead of UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).

This can make local timesharing on Isla James confusing for visitors because most present-day electronic devices use Coordinated Universal or Greenwich Mean Timesaren’t adjusted for DST changes; so at any given moment their clocks may read differently after DST is turned offwhen they are set back to Coordinated Universal Time, in the same way a computer’s clock might read differently from its UTC setting after new daylight saving time is enacted.

What Part Of Puerto Rico Do You Find On Your Island?

Isla James is located in the southeast corner of Puerto Rico, south of Ponce and east of Aguadilla.

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