La Tortuga Island
La Tortuga Island (Isla La Tortuga in Spanish) is an uninhabited island dependency of the government of Venezuela. It is part of a chain of islands that include the Tortuguillas, the Palaquines, and others.
It was discovered in 1499 by Alonso de Ojeda. On his second trip, together with Amerigo Vespucci, the island was named La isla La Tortuga by Amerigo Vespucci because of the enormous presence of turtles on the island.
It used to be a refuge of pirates in the 17th century, although it must not be confused with Tortuga (Ile de la Tortue) near Haiti, which is famous in the literature of piracy in the Caribbean. In Walt Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, the pirate Jack Sparrow prepared some of his famous incursions on the coasts of Venezuela on the island. This is where he got his rum and got some extra pirates to pay his debt to Davy Jones.
The island was seasonally populated by the Dutch who came there to exploit the salt evaporation ponds on the east of the island as of the 1550s. They constructed a fort on the island to guard their salt works and reapers against the Spanish who were eager to keep the Dutch off the island. They were definitively expelled in 1631 when the Spanish governor of Cumana destroyed their facilities and flooded the salt pans.
Since then the island has not had a permanent population and its location and morphology have remained untouched, which makes the island one of the last somewhat virgin places of Venezuela. There is tourism in this island.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article La Tortuga Island