If you visit Santa Cruz del Islote, you will see a lot of things: people, friendly smiles, and beautiful Caribbean waters. What you won’t see is empty space, nor will it take you must time to explore the island. This tiny patch of land in the Caribbean Sea is the most densely populated island on the planet.
Located in the San Bernardo Archipelago about 14 miles (22 km) off the west coast of Colombia, Santa Cruz del Islote is easy to miss. With a length of 700 feet (200 meters) and a width of 390 feet (120 meters), it is roughly the size of two soccer fields.
Despite its small size, it is home to a population of approximately 1,250 people. The residents are packed into about 115 houses that are stacked on top of one another. It also lays claim to a school, church, and some shops.
It can also claim the record for the most densely populated island on earth. You might think Manhattan is crowded, with 1,628,706 people living in a land area of 22.83 square miles (59.13 km2). That comes out to 28,154 people per km2.
Manhattan is a veritable wasteland compared to Santa Cruz del Islote, which boasts a population density of 250,000 people per km2.
Despite the close quarters, there is no crime of any significance on the island. Residents attribute that to everyone knowing each other.
It probably also has something to do with the impossibility of doing something illegal without being seen.