Coordinates: 17°52′56″N 66°31′59″W / 17.88222°N 66.53306°W / 17.88222; -66.53306


Isla Morrillito looking South from the Caja de Muerto Light, Ponce, PR
Morrillito (Puerto Rico)
Location Ponce, Puerto Rico
Coordinates 17°52′56″N 66°31′59″W / 17.88222°N 66.53306°W / 17.88222; -66.53306
Area 0.04 km2 (0.015 sq mi)
United States
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
Municipality Ponce
Barrio Playa
Population 0
Density 0 /km2 (0 /sq mi)

Morrillito is a small uninhabited island off the southern coast of Puerto Rico. The island is protected by the Reserva Natural Caja de Muertos natural reserve because of its native turtle traffic.[1] Together with Caja de Muertos, Gatas, Ratones, Cardona, Isla del Frio, and Isla de Jueyes, Morrillito is one of seven islands ascribed to the municipality of Ponce.[2][3]


The island, sometimes erroneously termed a cay (or, key), is located 8.4 km south of the Puerto Rican mainland and is part of Barrio Playa[4][5] ward of the Ponce, Puerto Rico, municipality. It is located 180 meters off the southwest point of Caja de Muertos island and has an area of just 0.04 km². The island is connected to Caja de Muertos by a bank of shallow waters about 5.49 meters deep.[6] It is located at latitude 17.88417 and longitude -66.53361.[7] Its length is 0.5 kilometers northeast and southwest.[8]

Geography and climate

The island is a small 31-foot flat-topped island located 200 yards off the southwestern tip of Caja de Muertos and, when viewed from a distance, Morrillito can easily be mistaken for the 170-ft steep hill (called Cerro Morrillo, Morrillo Hill) at the extreme southwestern portion of Caja de Muertos proper.[9][10] The climate is dry and the island supports dry forest.

Natural reserve

Together with Caja de Muertos (1.54 km²) and Berberia Key (0.30 km²), Morrillito makes up the Caja de Muertos Natural Reserve. The island was designated as a nature reserve in 1980 after a meeting was held in Puerto Rico by the Puerto Rico Planning Board wherein they considered the recommendation set forth by the Coastal Management Zone Program to turn the island into a protected wilderness area. The island has remained a protected area ever since.[11] The protection is mainly due to its heavy Hawksbill sea turtle traffic which is an endangered species.[12]


  1. La Reserva Natural Isla Caja de Muertos. Hojas de Nuestro Ambiente. Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico. Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales. Octubre 2006 - Rev. Julio 2009. P-009. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  2. Neysa Rodriguez Deynes. Brevario Sobre la Historia de Ponce. Second Edition. Government of the Autonomous Municipality of Ponce. 2002. Page 9. Printed by Impress Quality Printing, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
  3. CityMelt. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  4. General Purpose Population Data, Census 2000. Unidad de Sistemas de Información Geográfica, Área de Tecnología de Información Gubernamental, Oficina de Gerencia y Presupuesto. Gobierno de Puerto Rico. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  5. US Census. 1930 Federal Census Team Transcription. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
  6. Isla Caja de Muerto Natural Reserve . Encyclopedia Puerto Rico. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  7. Isla Morrillito. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  8. West Indies Pilot, Volume 1. United States Hydrographic Office. Page 592. Fourth Edition: 1922.
  9. Booklet Chart: Isla Petrona to Isla Caja de Muertos. 25685 - NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  10. Isla del Frio. Mapquest. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  11. Puerto The Puerto Rico Channel. Visiting Caja de Muertos Island Nature Reserve.
  12. Isla Caja de Muerto Natural Reserve . Encyclopedia Puerto Rico. Retrieved 26 April 2011.

External links

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