Two hours off the coast of Colombia is a small island home to over 1,200 people. As the entirety of Santa Cruz del Islote only spans the length of two soccer fields, residents live in close quarters, making the island four times as dense as the borough of Manhattan. Despite the circumstances, the community makes the most of their limited surface area, packing in a school, two shops and one restaurant. Only 150 years ago, the island was uninhabited; today, generations of families are proud to call Santa Cruz del Islote home.
The much smaller Ilet a Brouee is more densely populated, as is at least one of the high-rise tower-packed island neighborhoods in Hong Kong. Part of Santa Cruz de Islote's magic is that it feels like you could have fun exploring it, that it would have mysteries and stories.