The Info List - Islas Marías

The Islas Marías
Islas Marías
("Mary Islands") are an archipelago of four islands that belong to Mexico. They are located in the Pacific Ocean, some 100 km (62 mi) off the coast of the state of Nayarit. They are part of the municipality (municipio) of San Blas, Nayarit. As of 2011[update], the islands are still being used as a penal colony, containing the Islas Marias Federal Prison. In 2010 the archipelago was designated the Islas Marías
Islas Marías
Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO[1][2]


1 Geography 2 Populated places 3 See also 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links

Geography[edit] The islands have an aggregate area of 244.970 km². 1,116 people lived on Isla María Madre as of the census of 2005. The other islands are uninhabited. The main settlement is Puerto Balleto, with a population of 602. Isla María Madre is the largest of the islands, with a surface area of 145.282 km². It houses the Islas Marías Federal Prison which was established there in 1905. The next two largest islands are Isla María Magdalena (70.440 km²) and, further south, Isla María Cleofas (19.818 km²). They were named after three women called Mary in the Biblical New Testament: respectively, Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the wife of Cleopas, and are referred to as the Tres Marias. A smaller island, Isla San Juanito, with an area of 9.105 km² lies off the north coast of Isla María Madre. The islands are listed from north to south in the following table:

Island or Rock Area km² Height m Location

San Juanito 9.105 . 21°44′48″N 106°40′41″W / 21.74667°N 106.67806°W / 21.74667; -106.67806 (San Juanito)

Piedra El Morro 0.060 . 21°44′17″N 106°42′11″W / 21.73806°N 106.70306°W / 21.73806; -106.70306 (Piedra El Morro)

María Madre 145.282 616 21°36′57″N 106°34′42″W / 21.61583°N 106.57833°W / 21.61583; -106.57833 (María Madre)

Isla Don Boni 0.025 . 21°32′30″N 106°32′00″W / 21.54167°N 106.53333°W / 21.54167; -106.53333 (Isla Don Boni)

María Magdalena 70.440 457 21°27′44″N 106°25′48″W / 21.46222°N 106.43000°W / 21.46222; -106.43000 (María Magdalena)

María Cleofas 19.818 402 21°18′44″N 106°14′51″W / 21.31222°N 106.24750°W / 21.31222; -106.24750 (María Cleofas)

Piedra Blanca 0.172 . 21°19′01″N 106°17′09″W / 21.31694°N 106.28583°W / 21.31694; -106.28583 (Piedra Blanca)

Roca Blanca 0.034 . 21°17′44″N 106°16′07″W / 21.29556°N 106.26861°W / 21.29556; -106.26861 (Roca Blanca)

Unnamed Rock 0.034 . 21°17′52″N 106°16′35″W / 21.29778°N 106.27639°W / 21.29778; -106.27639 (Unnamed Rock)

Islas Marías 244.970 616 21°32′N 106°28′W / 21.533°N 106.467°W / 21.533; -106.467 (Islas Marías)

The first European to discover the islands was Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, a cousin of Hernan Cortez
Hernan Cortez
in 1532, who gave them the name Islas Magdalenas. He found no evidence of prior habitation by the Native Americans. In addition to prisoners, on Maria Madre island there are employees of diverse institutions of the federal government, such as the Secretariat of Public Education, the Secretariat of the Environment, the Secretariat of Communications and Transport, post office, and the Secretariat of the Navy. Another group of settlers is made up of religious ministers and acolytes of the Catholic Church, nuns of the Order of Social Service, and invited teachers, technicians and their relatives. The colony is governed by a state official who is both the governor of the islands and chief judge. The military command is independent and is exercised by an officer of the Mexican Navy. Populated places[edit] All populated places of the Islas Marías
Islas Marías
are on Isla María Madre. They are listed from north to south in the following table:

Populated Place Population ( Census
2005) Location

Punta el Morro - 21°41′45″N 106°39′19″W / 21.69583°N 106.65528°W / 21.69583; -106.65528 (Punta el Morro)

Venustiano Carranza (Serradero, Aserradero) - 21°40′45″N 106°36′45″W / 21.67917°N 106.61250°W / 21.67917; -106.61250 (Venustiano Carranza)

Campamento Cica (Bugambilias) 190 21°40′15″N 106°37′45″W / 21.67083°N 106.62917°W / 21.67083; -106.62917 (Campamento Cica)

Campamento Nayarit 51 21°39′00″N 106°32′20″W / 21.65000°N 106.53889°W / 21.65000; -106.53889 (Campamento Nayarit)

Campamento Rehilete 71 21°38′44″N 106°32′29″W / 21.64556°N 106.54139°W / 21.64556; -106.54139 (Campamento Rehilete)

Puerto Balleto (Isla María Madre) 602 21°37′58″N 106°32′21″W / 21.63278°N 106.53917°W / 21.63278; -106.53917 (Puerto Balleto)

Zacatal - 21°37′44″N 106°35′26″W / 21.62889°N 106.59056°W / 21.62889; -106.59056 (Zacatal)

Camarón - 21°37′26″N 106°37′55″W / 21.62389°N 106.63194°W / 21.62389; -106.63194 (Camarón)

Campamento Hospital (Veinte de Noviembre) 53 21°37′34″N 106°31′55″W / 21.62611°N 106.53194°W / 21.62611; -106.53194 (Campamento Hospital)

Las Antenas 2 21°37′15″N 106°36′18″W / 21.62083°N 106.60500°W / 21.62083; -106.60500 (Las Antenas)

Campamento Morelos (José María Morelos) 98 21°36′04″N 106°30′47″W / 21.60111°N 106.51306°W / 21.60111; -106.51306 (Campamento Morelos)

Campamento San Juan Papelillo 18 21°35′30″N 106°36′26″W / 21.59167°N 106.60722°W / 21.59167; -106.60722 (Campamento San Juan Papelillo)

Borbollón (Borbollones) - 21°34′15″N 106°31′00″W / 21.57083°N 106.51667°W / 21.57083; -106.51667 (Borbollón)

Campamento Laguna del Toro 31 21°34′08″N 106°32′37″W / 21.56889°N 106.54361°W / 21.56889; -106.54361 (Campamento Laguna del Toro)

Punta Halcones - 21°32′45″N 106°32′30″W / 21.54583°N 106.54167°W / 21.54583; -106.54167 (Punta Halcones)

Isla María Madre 1116 21°36′57″N 106°34′42″W / 21.61583°N 106.57833°W / 21.61583; -106.57833 (Isla María Madre)

Each populated center features a different economic activity. The primary population center is Puerto Balleto, the location of the administrative offices and the primary centers of commerce and recreation. It is subdivided into four jefaturas[1]:

Balleto, 21°38′02″N 106°32′21″W / 21.63389°N 106.53917°W / 21.63389; -106.53917 (Balleto) Bellavista, 21°38′19″N 106°32′30″W / 21.63861°N 106.54167°W / 21.63861; -106.54167 (Bellavista) Unit Habitacional Miguel Hidalgo (UHMH), 21°38′13″N 106°32′26″W / 21.63694°N 106.54056°W / 21.63694; -106.54056 (Unit Habitacional Miguel Hidalgo) Primero de Mayo, 21°38′20″N 106°32′23″W / 21.63889°N 106.53972°W / 21.63889; -106.53972 (Primero del Mayo)

See also[edit]

Tres Marias raccoon Tres Marias island mouse


^ "Designation of New Biosphere Reserves". UNESCO. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2016.  ^ "Islas María". UNESCO. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 


Link to tables of population data from Census
of 2005, Nayarit
INEGI: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática Mexican islands with areas and coordinates map

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maria Islands.

Article from Mexico
Desconocido Article from Ocean Dots at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived December 23, 2010)

v t e

World Heritage Sites in Mexico

North West

Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve Islands
and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California1 Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino

North Central

Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda
Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda
of Querétaro Historic Centre of Zacatecas Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines Protected town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco


Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila Archipiélago de Revillagigedo Historic Centre of Morelia Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara Islands
and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California1 Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve1


Earliest 16th-century Monasteries on the slopes of Popocatépetl1 Pre-Hispanic City of El Tajín Historic Centre of Puebla Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan

South West

Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán Prehistoric Caves of Yagul
and Mitla
in the Central Valley of Oaxaca Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque

South Central

Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque
Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque
Hydraulic System Central University City Campus of the UNAM Earliest 16th-century Monasteries on the slopes of Popocatépetl1 Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Historic Centres of Mexico
City and Xochimilco Luis Barragán House and Studio Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve1 Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacán

South East

Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche Historic Fortified Town of Campeche Pre-Hispanic City of Chichén Itzá Sian Ka'an Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal

1 Shared by more tha