Isla Nublar map

Tamanho original (português brasileiro)

Full-size version (english)

As we don't live only for research and work, I develop in my spare time these maps.


Based on Michael Crichton’s novel “Jurassic Park”

Henrique Z. Tomassi

Attention! Some rights reserved! This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.You are free: to share (it mens you can copy, distribute and transmit any of my works presented here) and to remix (you can adapt my works presented here) but only under the following conditions: 1 You must attribute the work to the original author inside your map (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). 2 If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.


At the time the movie was released, I became fascinated about Jurassic Park. I was already a dinosaur fanatic when I saw the movie for the first time. The movie made me read Michael Crichton’s original novel, and it made me astonishing. Isla Nublar and Isla Gemido are places even more interesting than Maple White Land. Every time I watched the movie, I saw myself wondering about the geographic disposition of the elements showed in the motion picture. Decades later, looking at the internet, I realize that could find at least ten different map versions of Isla Nublar.

The problem with the maps based in the movie occur because it has some continuity mistakes. The maps showed in Arnold’s screen are different from those showed in the Explorer’s monitors, that are different from those showed in the road signs, which are different from that one from the Brochure, etc. And there are those that crazy people who just created different map versions from their sick minds!

To be honest, I don’t believe that’s possible to draw a perfect map based on the movie, because, no matter how perfect it is, every time somebody will tell us “But in ‘that’ scene this section doesn’t look like you drawn”. And this guy will be right, because of the continuity mistakes. From my point of view, Tito A. Neto's map is a good one, because is the only one based on only on-screen data, without elements of JP canonicity such as the JP Newsletter data (that can be very contradictory). The JP Legacy is also a good map, it considers all the elements from the JP canonicity. The last Joel Meine map is has a beautiful art.

Different map versions of Isla Nublar - Based on the movie

In my opinion, the only way to get a solution for this problem is go directly to Mr. Rick Carter, the production designer, and say: “Please, could you show us the original maps and plants from the JP production?”. Than we could see the real map. We could see also the buildings plants, and all the discussion will be over. But to get this, we must unite ourselves to make a formal ask in the name of the JP community fans. Instead of that, most of us prefer to love our giant ego, to say bad things to the other fans and to believe that only our opinion is the right one. The Jurassic Park fans are tremendously disunited. You see, the Star Trek fans have all the Enterprises plants. They know where is every toilet in those ships. They know where is every toilet in every ship from the Starfleet. Because they work together. We must follow their example.

And I'm not even get into Jurassic World maps, because they didn't followed the original Nublar design and, instead of making thins better, they made it a lot worse! They lost the opportunity to explain and correct the map by creating more controversies and mistakes.

In the other hand, the map based on the Crichton’s book is not so problematic. Because the story was wrote by just one person and there are no “continuity mistakes”. Everything came from the same mind. But the novel doesn’t show us a map. And during the text you can’t find much details from the environment description. It makes sense, because a long description would slow the history action down. The lack of description brings some unsolvable doubts. For example, when the characters arrive to the island, they get out of the helicopter, pass through a palm trees grove, an electrified fence, a swimming pool and get to the Safari Lodge. Now I ask you: in the path, where does appear the pool? In the left or in the right side? We just can’t tell. So, the elements that I will show in the map can be a little different from your beliefs, and then you can tell me that they are wrong in the map. If you believe that the swimming pool is in the left side and my map shows it in the right, no one can tell ho’s wrong. Well, maybe only Crichton himself could…

So, the buildings, fences and roads disposition can vary a little and still be acceptable to the reader. But I assure you that if you read the book following by my map, every time you will find the book’s elements in the same order that they appear on the book, and this makes the map acceptable. Two maps based on the novel are already in the internet. Those maps also do not show the elements in the proper scale, and this is a detail that I want to correct. The oldest map was published in the MacMillian English Language Teaching book. Everybody agrees that it is inaccurate and contradictory to what is stated in the novel. The newest one was a nice piece of artwork made by Jurassic Park Legacy members (beeurd, BrachioInGen, T-PEKC, din0dude, dvrex, and T-Rex_Master). But you just can’t read the story and follow it with this map.

Previous map versions of Isla Nublar - Based on the novel

First of all, the book says that the island “was divided into big curving areas” and the Legacy’s map shows rectangular fences. The helicopter came over the island from north to south, crossed a series of hills, landed and the Visitors Area could be seen immediately ahead, in a flat area. The Legacy map doesn’t have hills in the island’s northern area, the Visitors Area isn’t south of the landing area and… the swimming pool that I wrote about would be seen only after you circle the Safari Lodge. The book says that the raptor fence is north of the generator, and the map show it east of the generator. Before the Nedry’s shutdown, the young and the old T. rex were in the same area, and Arnold showed that their track never cross because each one lives in his own territory. The younger Rex prefer the lake’s southeast margin. If you look at the Legacy’s map you will see that the lake is in the Apatosaurus field, and just a piece of it is in the Rex’s area, and this piece is not the southeast margin. After being attacked by the T. rex, Grant and the children crossed the T. rex field straight to the north, entering the sauropod paddock and finding the “Sauropod Maintenance Building”. In the Legacy’s map, this building is south of the T. rex paddock, very far from where Grant should be. These are just a few of a long list of mistakes that can be identified in the Legacy’s map.

After I published my version online, some people made their own artwork based on my map. I'm flattered about that, they are talented artists and my map is free to alter, transform, or build upon.  I just don't like it when they don't attribute to me the original concept, specially when they put it to sale. Here are some examples of atworks based on my map that I found in the internet. The Levi Mills map has problems whit the island shape, topography, road drawing, among others. The Filippo Vanzo's map got wrong the north direction, the location of some buildings and streams, the west topography has mistakes, among others.

Levi Mills map

Filippo Vanzo's map

I've made this map from scratch, it was elaborated directly from Crichton descriptions. I didn't took the Macmillan or the JP Legacy's map to correct them. For the first time the elements in the map are in the proper scale. I don’t have the pretension to draw a definitive map version for Isla Nublar. But I do believe that the Jurassic Park readers deserve a good map version in order to understand the beauty and complexity of Crichton’s work. That’s one reason that made me elaborate a new map. The main reason is because it's just too damn fun!

The island’s outline and dimensions

We know that the island is 100 miles from the mainland (chapters “Skeleton”, “The shore of the inland sea”, and “Control (#4)”), or maybe a little more (chapter “Control (#1)”). In "The Lost World" novel, Crichton wrote that it was 120 miles west of Costa Rica (Chapter "Clues"). It has the shape of an inverted teardrop, bulging at the north, tapering at the south (chapter “Plans”). It measures eight miles height (chapters “Plans” and “Isla Nublar”) and three miles at maximum width, in total some twenty-two square miles (chapter “Isla Nublar”). There is no detailed description of the island’s outline, so I just take the Arnold’s satellite picture outline (from the movie) and stretched it in order to fit in Nublar’s proportions. I’ve preferred to take this outline from something related to Jurassic Park instead to create something from my imagination.

The Visitor Area

Most of the complexity of the map is inside the “Visitor Area”. We do know that there were only six divisions on the whole island (chapter “Plans”). The “Visitor Area” was in the northern section and it contained structures such as the Heliport, the Visitor Center, the maintenance shed, the Hammond’s Bungalow, the Safari Lodge, the swimming pool, the tennis courts and the planting and shrubbery (chapter “Plans”). There was also the East Garage (chapter “Return (#1)”), the holding pens (chapter “Control (#1)”) and the goat’s paddock (chapter “Control (#1)”).

The helicopter entered the island from the north (chapter “Isla Nublar”). Heliport was over a hill (chapter “Isla Nublar”) and from this point the characters could see a flat area, with the Visitor Area’s buildings (chapter “Isla Nublar”). As we know that the north portion of the island has the highest hills of the island (Chapter “Isla Nublar”) and they came from north to south in the helicopter, I deduced that the flat area should be south of the Heliport. The Heliport is a short distance, by foot, from the Safari Lodge (chapter “Welcome”).

From the Heliport they walked thru a palm grove, an electric fence, along a swimming pool with smaller rocky pools and get to the Safari Lodge (chapter “Jurassic Park”). The pool was in the lateral part of the building and the pool’s border was at ten or twelve feet from the building (chapter “Return (#2)”). The lodge had a special fence around it (chapters “Big rex” and “Return (#2)”), only fifteen feet of the building (chapter “Return (#2)”).

The Visitor Center is near the Safari Lodge (chapter “When dinosaurs ruled the earth”) and is possible to see it from the Safari Lodges’ main entrance (chapter “Return (#2)”). In one of the sides of the Visitor Center there is a palm grove (chapter “The tour (#1)”). This grove must be located northern of the Visitor Center because there is a path among a grove leading north, to some other buildings (Chapter “Return (#2)”).The Visitor Center is west of the Safari Lodge, because when Gennaro was north of the Visitor Center, he ran “to the forest” and, hiding there, he knew the maintenance shed was somewhere to the east (chapter “Control (#9)”). The Visitor Center main entrance is towards south, because its back door was facing north (chapter “Return (#2)”).

From the Visitor Center, a path lead the characters to the north and they crossed a palm grove, saw the maintenance shed (mentioned as Power/Desalinization/Support in the chapter “Plans”) (chapters “Control (#1)”, “Control (#9)” and “Return (#2)”), an animal enclosure with goats, a bamboo grove and found the holding pens (chapter “Control #1”).

The maintenance shed is the northern building of all (chapter “Control (#9)”), its entrance is in the east side (chapter “Return (#2)”) and from there Grant could see the raptors running from the Safari Lodge towards the Visitor Center (chapter “Return (#2)”). That means that the area between the maintenance shed and the Safari Lodge is an open ground, without forests and groves.

We know that the Hammond’s Bungalow was in the island’s north portion, surrounded by palm trees (chapter “Version 4.4”). A path leads from the Visitor Center to the Bungalow, going north (chapter “Almost paradigm”) When Hammond was attacked by the Procompsognathus, he was at a stream and “he could not be more than a hundred yards” from the Visitor Center and the Bungalow (chapter “Almost paradigm”). So, the Bungalow is surrounded by palm trees, at north of the Visitor Center and the maximum distance between them is less than two hundred yards. Those information allowed me to locate the Bungalow inside that palm grove which is in the north side of the Visitor Center.

From the east garage we jus know that is located “more than a mile” from the Visitor Center and is… east. Well, I’ve putted it in a maintenance road, at approximately 1,1 miles from the Visitor Center.

The tennis courts are mentioned (chapter “Plans”), but no one character actually see one in the novel. So its location is pure speculation. I believe that they should be near the pool, in the Safari Lodge. The pool and the tennis courts should be a recreation area in the island. In every tour enterprise the courts are expected to be near the resort’s hotel.

The main road (tour) and animal paddock fences

There were only six divisions on the whole island, separated by electric fences and moats (chapter “Plans”). The six divisions were: Visitor Area; Hypsilophodont Highlands; Triceratops Territory; Sauropod Swamp; Carnivore Country and Stegosaurus South. The “Velociraptor Valley” was to be built in the future. For the most part, the island was divided into big curving areas (chapter “Plans”). The reserved area to the dinosaurs was twenty square miles (chapter “The road”).

The main road ran north-south, one section of the road was literally cutted into the side of a cliff, above a river (chapter “Plans”). In the park, the tour road was raised up above ground level, so the characters could see over the fences (chapter “Plans”). The tour started at the Visitor Center. A line of Toyota Land Cruisers came out of an underground garage under the Visitor Center (chapters “The tour (#2)” and “Control (#4)”). The road crossed a cycad grove, where they saw electric fences (Chapter “The tour (#2)”). At the east side of the road, there were the Hypsilophodon and Othnielia paddock (chapter “The tour (#2)”). After this paddock, the cars kept forward, going south (chapter “The tour (#2)”). The next paddock is the Dilophosaurus area. I its located east of the road and north of the Aviary (chapter “Control (#3)”). From the road section cutted at the side of the cliff they could see a Dilophosaurus at the river that was flowing close to the hills (chapter “Control (#3)”).

After the Dilophosaurus paddock, the road made a curve to the west and they saw the Triceratops paddock at the west side of the road (chapter “Control (#3)”). This paddock extends to the south, because at the point the T. rex attack the car, there are high fences in both sides of the road (chapter “Lex”).

Still going south, they saw the Tyrannosaurus rex paddock at the east side of the road. From the point that the cars stopped, looking south they could see the sauropods in the lake (chapter “Big rex”). The T. rex paddock must had a northwest-southeast direction, because from the point that Grant entered the paddock, after the T. rex attack, he walked directly north, crossing the paddock in the middle (chapter “In the park”). So, at least one part of the road must be south of the T. rex paddock fence.

Continuing the tour, they saw the sauropods and hadrosaurs together, in the same paddock (chapter “Control (#4)”). This area is called “Sauropod Swamp”. Grant has entered this paddock after crossing the T. rex paddock from south to north, as the motion sensors sequence allow to prove (chapter “In the park”). The only way to have this omnipresence is if the sauropod/hadrosaur area be located around the T. rex paddock, surrounding it in the south, east and north side. Another evidence that part of the sauropods paddock is north of the rex’s area is the sight that Grant had when he arrived the island. From the Heliport he could see the sauropod’s neck (chapter “Jurassic Park”). The distance between the Heliport and the northern “Sauropod Swamp” can be only 1.6 miles. If the paddock was restricted to the area south of the T. rex paddock, the distance would be too large, about 4.1 miles, and Grant would not be able to see the dinosaurs. Is easy to understand that those herbivores need the biggest grazing fields in the park, that’s probably the reason for them to have such a huge paddock. I've putted also a palm tree grove in the sauropod's northern end, because Grant saw them among those tress (chapter "Jurassic Park"). The presence of Microceratops in the river, at north and south of the Aviary is evidence that the Sauropod Swamp also surrounds the metallic dome (chapters “Search” and “Aviary”).

The last paddock is in the island’s far south and has five square miles (chapter “Stegosaur”). The Stegosaurus lived in the island’s area with the most important volcanic activity (chapter “Control (#4)”). This is the only paddock in witch the main road came inside, because the characters get out of the car in order to see the sick Stegosaurus without jump over any fence (chapter “Stegosaur”). This point where they meet the sick dinosaur is near the ocean, because Ellie could hear it, and is in the southwest area of the paddock, because Harding says that the Stegosaurus use to graze mostly north and east of there (chapter “Stegosaur”). After left the sick Stegosaurus point, they went to a section of road that ran near the coastline, overlooking the beach and the ocean they turned back to north (chapter “Breeding sites”). This section must be at the east coast, because they saw the “Anne B” ship going to the mainland (chapter “Breeding sites”). Somehow they took the main road again and made the same trajectory back to the Visitor Center, but when they were in front of the T. rex paddock Nedry made his shutdown (chapter “Breeding sites”).

The island had fifty miles of twelve-foot-high fencing. This includes the twenty-two miles around the perimeter
of the island, for preventing the dinosaurs to escape (chapter "Control #2") .

The maintenance roads and tunnels

In the park there were roads, tunnels and buildings (chapter “Plans”). There was a different road system for animal handlers and feed trucks (chapter “Return (#1)”).

From the Visitor Center, we know that there was a maintenance road towards east, the one that Nedry took in order to go to the East Dock (chapter “Breeding sites”). He was going to the East Dock, and get inside the park by crossing an electric fence (chapter “Nedry”). From this point he believed the dock was not more than 1 mile and he would soon see the ocean in the left side of the road (chapter “Nedry”). So, the East Dock was relatively close to the Visitor Area, and there was a section of it heading south, near the beach. Another evidence that the East Dock is very near the Visitor Center is that Nedry thought that he could leave the Control Room and deliver the embryos in only three minutes, and after more three he would be back to the room (chapter “Breeding sites”).

But Nedry missed the road to the dock and get to the Dilophosaurus paddock, in a dead end, close to the river (chapter “Nedry”). I tried to make a road that could easily make him get the wrong direction only by missing one entrance. It’s hard to believe that he would make a series of mistakes to get to the Dilophosaurus paddock.

Another maintenance road starts at the south area of the island (chapter “Return (#1)”) in the Sauropod Swamp, because at the beginning of it the characters saw the Apatosaurus (chapter “Bungalow”). After a long time in this road, Harding and Ellie meet the Procompsognathus, at this point they were near the jungle river, it was off there somewhere to their left (chapter “Bungalow”). Naturally, this road avoids the T. rex paddock, otherwise the animal handlers would be easily eaten… After meeting the Procompsognathus, they followed them for a wile in the road (chapter “Bungalow”), and we know that those dinosaurs were after Nedry’s dead body (chapter “Search”), so I’ve made this section of the maintenance road heading to the Dilophosaurus paddock. After some time, Harding decides to get back to the Visitor Center (chapter “Control (#6)”) and, as I made later, again the road avoid the Dilophosaurus paddock, because I believe no one would get in there if it was not really necessary. Then I just connected this road to that one that Nedry took, making possible to get to the Visitor Center without creating superfluous ways.

At north of the T. rex paddock there is one maintenance road leading east, to the Sauropod Maintenance Building (chapter “In the park”). There is no more information about this road, so I just connected it to the other maintenance road in the opposite side of the river. There was also a paved road running straight down from the Sauropod Maintenance Building toward the lagoon (chapter “The park (#2)”).

I’ve made a small maintenance road from the tour road to the Dilophosaurus paddock, in order to create a way for Muldoon to get to the field west of the river, where he “hunts” the T. rex (chapter “Tyrannosaur”). Some other small roads were created by me only to allow access to the maintenance buildings of each paddock.

The road to north dock is speculative. There is no description of this road in the novel. I think it should follow the river, because there was a path already constructed for the river to flow, so its easy to built the road along this path. I also created a small road (not described in the novel) brom the back to the Safari Lodge to the road that leads the north dock. I think it would be needed for supplies to be transported from the dock to the back of the lodge.

There were two tunnels in the island. The first one “seemed to stretch away for miles” and connect the waterfall to the front of the Visitor Center (chapters “Tyrannosaur” and “Return (#2)”). There is another tunnel at the  island's southern end, between the underground structure and the beach and below the electrified fence (chapters “Descent” and “The beach”). In this second tunnel, thru some curves, Grant could get to the beach (chapter "The beach").
The hills

At the north end of the island, the hills were highest, rising more than two thousand feet above the ocean (chapter “Isla Nublar”). According to the topographic map the Grant saw in the trailer, there are hills at the center of the island (chapter “Plans”) and part of it were cut to fit the main road (chapter “Control (#3)”). The aviary was also in area with hills, that’s why their paddock is called “Pterosaur Peak” (chapter “Jurassic Park”) and the visitors couldn’t see it when they were in front of the Triceratops paddock.

The southern end of the island had more volcanic activity than the north (chapter “Control (#4)”) so is expected that there are a lot of hills in this area. If they are not higher than the northern hills we can assume that this volcanic activity is not very old and in some time the southern volcanoes will grow to the same size as the northern hills. The visitors smelled the sulfur fumes of the volcanic steam (chapter “Breeding sites”) when they entered in the road section near the beach.

There were flatlands in the islands southern area (chapter “Under control”). The Stegosaurus use to graze in the northern and eastern areas of its paddock (chapter “Stegosaur”). That’s why I’ve made those two fields as the flatlands. Near the beach, the south end of the island is without volcanic activity, but with some hills, where the raptors had made their nest under a field of boulders (chapter “Under control”).

The volcanic steam is also present in the main road a few moments before the cars stop at the T. rex paddock (chapter “Breeding sites”). So it must be some volcanoes near this point. I’ve located those volcanoes inside the Triceratops paddock, because when the visitors were in front of the T. rex paddock they couldn’t see the herbivores in the west side of the road.
The Lake and river

In the island there was a long thin lake that appeared to be man-made, with concrete dams and barriers (chapter “Plans”). It was in the center of the island and had two miles long (chapter “Target of opportunity”) and a little more than one hundred yards wide (chapter “The park (#2)”). It could be seen in the Sauropod Swamp, south (chapter “Big rex”) and north (chapters “Dawn” and “The park (#2)”).

Part of the lake is inside the T. rex paddock and the two carnivores drink its water (chapter “Control (#3)”). The younger rex he stays close to the water, near the southeast side of the lagoon (chapter “Control (#2)”). The older preferred the fields northwest of the lagoon (chapter “Control (#3)”). In a bend, the lake narrowed into the river they had seen in the Dilophosaurus paddock (chapter “The park (#2)”).

The river is not natural, but a engineering work, because the water flow was turned off at some point in the story (chapter?).Starting at the lake’s end, the river flows north right through the aviary (chapter “The park (#2)”) through the Dilophosaurus paddock (chapters “Plans” and “The aviary”) and on to within a half-mile of the visitor lodge (chapter “The park (#2)”).  There were also a waterfall falling north, after the Dilophosaurus paddock and then the river runs north (chapter “Tyrannosaur”). As the norther area has the highest moutains (chapter “Isla Nublar”), the artificial river should flow into a ditch or cut in the mountains, so there is sufficient gradient for water runoff. This cut is my interpretation, since at no time the book explains how the water flows in the northern portion of the island.

I've created two patterns of river, one close to the hills (at the Dilophosaurus paddock, for example) and another at the open flat grounds (at the Othnielia paddock, for example). They are completely different grounds and this changes the flowing of the river. The river near the hills had a lot of curves (those curves are described when Grant crossed the Dilophosaurus paddock, chapter "The aviary").
The constructions in the park area

The park area was mostly open space, but there were some buildings in it (chapter “Plans”). Each paddock had a few buildings, they were all concrete, with thick walls and usually located in out-of-the-way corners (chapters “Plans” and “The park (#1)”). Those are the only information given in the novel about the park’s maintenance buildings. So their disposition are highly speculative, with the exception of the Sauropod Maintenance Building.

The Aviary is an aluminum dome (chapter “Control (#3)”) constructed as a pattern of geodesic struts with a quarter of a mile in diameter or more (chapter “Search”). It is located south of the Dilophosaurus paddock (chapter “Control (#3)”), surrounded by the Sauropod/Hadrosaurs/Microceratops paddock (chapters “Search” and “Aviary”).

The East Dock of the island it’s a small utility dock (chapter “Airport”) and its location was already discussed at the “Maintenance road” item. The North Dock is where the big supply boats arrive (chapter “Airport”). Its location is speculative, because no further information about its location as well as the maintenance road to get there is given. There were also some underground constructions in the islands southern end, with an entrance from the beach (chapters “Under control” and “Descent”).
The “Velociraptor valley”, “Les Gigantes” and the missing dinosaurs

There are some elements that are cited in the novel, but they do not appear in the map. I did not added them because they didn’t existed when the novel took place. The “Velociraptor Valley” is only a static TV channel at the Safari Lodge (chapter “Jurassic Park”). The absence of the Velociraptor paddock explains why those carnivores where at the holding pens in the Visitor Area. The only empty location in the island to construct a new paddock is north of the Triceratops paddock. That’s why I created a river in that area, because if there is a valley, there must be a river. And I believe it extended itself near the Visitor Center, where Hammond was attacked by the Procompsognathus (chapter “Almost paradigm”). I think that same river could be used as a water source for the herbivores of the Triceratops Country.

The same argument explains the absence of the Les Gigantes restaurant. It would be constructed somewhere between the Triceratops and the Dilophosaurus paddock (chapter “Control (#3)”). That's why I left an "empty" ground between the tour road and the triceratops maintenance building. I think Les Gigantes could be constructed there.

And what could we say about the missing dinosaurs? We know that there were dinosaurs from the Styracosaurus and Euoplocephalus genera. But they are mentioned only in the computer’s counting procedure (chapter “Control (#2)” and several others) and didn’t appeared somewhere else in the novel. So, considering that they’re herbivores, that the Styracosaurus is similar to the Triceratops and that the Euoplocephalus could live in peace with those two other genera, I’ve decided to locate them in the Triceratops paddock. We must also consider that the characters never walked inside this paddock and we didn’t know what were there, with the exception of the Triceratops appearance at the tour (chapter “Control (#3)”). The Styracosaurus and Euoplocephalus could live behind the hills, near the T. rex paddock. So, it is probable that the missing dinosaurs were there, but this opinion must be considered speculative, because no one saw those dinosaurs there.

Bonus #1:
The Regional Nublar and Sorna map

When DinoDude embrace the idea to create a regional map that shows where the novel islands are relation to Costa Rica, I associated myself with him to develop the work.

Isla Nublar

If we think the chopper went straight west, from San Jose to Nublar, it could never reach the island in 40 minutes (chapter “Isla Nublar”), as described in the Jurassic Park novel. The average speed of an helicopter (I've made an research) is 200 km/h (125 mi/h). At this speed, in 40 minutes they can travel 133 km (83 mi). The the chopper must be faster, because the island was 100 mi (or more) west to the coast and San Jose is 175 km (109 mi) east to the coast and we can conclude that the island was at least 335 km (209) from San Jose. To make this distance in 40 minutes the chopper must travel at 502 km/h (312 mi/h) but the world speed record for helicopters is 400 km/h (249 mi/h; from John Egginton in 1986). The distance is too far for a helicopter travel it in 40 minutes. That make me think the chopper didn't went straight west.

The chopper left San Jose going west (as putted in the novel), and pass thru "Reserva Cabo Blanco". He must turn to southwest when crossing the Nicoya Golf in order to reach the reserve. The island would be 100 miles from mainland but only 40 miles from the peninsula. San Jose would be 215 km (130 mi) from the island. The chopper need 322 km/h (200 mi/h) to make it in 40 minutes. There are helicopters that can make this, but the average helicopter speed is between 200 km/h (125 mi/h) and 280 km/h (174 mi/h).

We believe that when the characters said “the island is 100 miles (or more) offshore” they meant 100 miles by boat to Puntarenas. Because then the distance between San Jose and the island can be crossed by helicopter in 40 minutes.

Is Nublar part of an oceanic island arc or a hot spot? The island arcs are formed close to oceanic tectonic plates convergence. At the west coast of Costa Rica there is the convergence of the Cocos and the Caribbean oceanic plates. The arc is formed over the upper plate, at some distance from the trench, parallel to it. I can't set the Nublar island in the Caribbean plate because it would be too close to the mainland. So I putted it in the Cocos plate, close to the trench, this way it would have nothing to do with the plates contact. And then, thru logic, bringing Nublar to Cocos plate makes it a hot spot (the other islands from the hot spot chain were subducted into the Middle America trench already, since Cocos plate movement is northeast).

#1 Crichton didn't mentioned they crossed the Nicoya Golf when going to Nublar. He wrote they flew over the continent (mountains) and after that, the ocean.
#2 Our way to see it requires that Bahia Anasco is inside Cabo Blanco preserve, in the south coast of it. But, if its true, they would already be flyin over the ocean (or the coast) to get to Bahia Anasco. The novel says they were over the continent when saw Bahia Anasco and, AFTER that went over the ocean. Maybe crichton didn't considered the golf as part of the ocean.

Las Cinco Muertes

There are many islands in Costa Rica, specially in the west coast (chapter “San José”). The Talamanca and Morazan islands are fictional, so we created it in the Caribbean Sea and in the north coast, as described in the novel.

The Las Cinco Muertes islands were each several miles apart and were at various distances offshore (chapter “Costa Rica”). They're strung out in an arc, all about ten miles offshore from the bay of Puerto Cortés (chapter “The five Deaths”). We took the islands shapes from The Lost World movie, because this way is better than create new shapes.

And what about Las Cinco Muertes geologic context? Crichton wrote in the novel that it is an island arc. It is northeast of the middle america trench, so it is located where an island arc would be naturally built. BUT the islands line up north-south, somehow following the mainland coast. As should happen in the oceanic island arcs, the islands should align itself northwest-southeast, being parallel to the trench. The way I found to correct this problem without changing the islands locations was creating more islands lined to Las Cinco Muertes group, in the northwest-southeast direction. Crichton wrote that the west coast of Costa Rica has a lot of islands and they were inspected by the Costa Rican government when they looked for "aberrant forms" that appeared in the beaches and the forests. This always bothered me because I don't see that much islands there. I feel like I want to add more. So, I can add more fictitious islands to feel myself better in that matter and in order to make Las Cinco Muertes group be ligned with these fictitious islands a parallel direction to the trench. We created six islands in order to compose an oceanic island arc: Humos, del Pesar, Calavera, del Sol, Micaela e Gemelas.

The Isla Sorna shape came from the novel, where a map of the island is printed. Regarding Sorna's size, the novel map doesn't has a scale bar. We know it was “miles” wide (chapter “The Lost World”) and the road twisted “several miles” across the interior of the island, before finally reaching the village (chapter “The Stream”). The characters drove for a litttle more than five miles from the landing spot to the fork that leads to the swamp or the ridge road (chapter “The Road”). We know also that from the High Hide to the Trailers it was three miles, maybe more (chapter “Trailer #3”). I considedered this last distance as 3.5 miles and use it to calculate Sorna's scale.

Guitierrez works in the Reserva Biológica Carara (chapter “Aberrant Forms”), and it is a real place. The Rojas region doesn't exist and its described as being 50 miles from the border with Panamá (chapter “Aberrant Forms”), that's why it is identified in the map as another name for the Osa Peninsula, adjacent to Golfo Dulce. At 50 miles from the border is the fictitious beach of Juan Fernández, where the remains of a dinosaur was found on the beach (chapter “Aberrant Forms”). This beach could be near the city of Carate, if we consider the distance to the border in the surroundings of Paya Bonita, in the extreme south of Costa Rica. We preferred to consider the 50 miles distance from Los Plancitos region, because from that way of thinking the Juan Fernández spot stays inside the Bahia de Coronado, in the Drake Bay surroundings, near Las Cinco Muertes, and therefore closer to the dinosaur body source that Site B would be.

The helicopter approached from the west, moving over the rocky cliffs to reveal the interior of Isla Sorna.The helicopter thumped lower, circling the central area of the island, descended toward the jungle (chapter “Costa Rica”) and landing in the spot indicated in the novel map.

Isla Nublar and Sorna in the Pacific ocean

Bonus #2: The Jurassic Park novel logo

I’ve created this logo just for fun. As I tried to elaborate a accurate map version of Isla Nublar from the novel, it says that “woman was passing out pith helmets with "Jurassic Park" labeled on the headband, and a little blue dinosaur logo” (chapter “The tour (#2)”). This is the only reference to a logo made in the novel. So I was wondering how would it be. It is very different from the red/yellow/white logo from the motion picture. Maybe the blue dinosaur represent the InGen genetic engeneered dinosaurs, because the InGen logo was also blue in the novel. At the end, I’ve made a blue sauropod draw with a 1980’s “Jurassic Park” font. Be careful, this logo is just a product of my imagination. I don’t have a clue how Crichton had imagined it.

Jurassic Park novel logo


Bonus #3: Les Gigantes logo

That is another logo I made for fun. The restaurant is among mountains, on the tour road, so the logo in a way express the view that tourists should have when the tour is starting (by the Hypsilophodon paddock) and they are going towards the restaurant.

Les Gigantes logo

Les Gigantes logo

Bonus #4: Illustrations for the novels

As a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the first novel, I created a small image to illustrate the raptor-explorer chase from The Lost World. Then, in september 2014 I started a collaboration with Calberto Soarez, a great digital artist, to create some images that illustrate both Jurassic Park novels. Our first test was to create the Lost World sequence in which Sarah and Kelly are in pursuit of a reptor with the some keys in his mouth. I hope some images will come soon!

August 2014
Thorne slowed as he came into the next curve, moving the car away from the plunging drop of the cliff. Rounding the curve, he saw a rap­tor crouched in the middle of the road, facing them, its head lowered menacingly. Thorne accelerated toward it."

September 2014

Sarah swerved the bike, coming alongside the raptor. They were now just three feet away. Kelly could smell the animal. It turned its head and snapped at them. Kelly fired. The gun bricked in her hands; she grabbed Sarah again. The raptor kept running."

Bonus #5: Las Gaviotas

An miracle happened! For nearly two decades we fans of Jurassic Park looked for "Que Milagros Chaparrita" recorded by The Madacy Mariachi Band. Years passed and we never could find the original version, nor even a similar recording. A crazy guy googled the lyrics and discovered that this is another song. Then he found a CD in iTunes that contains the original recording, which is called "Las Gaviotas", written by Dolores Ayala Olivares. And guess what: the previous track is called "Que Milagros Chaparrita".

Obviously it was a mistake when making the film's credits. They put the song name wrong and we were all like beasts without finding the right music. The guy who found it was Rick Raptor, in December 2001. A huge applause for him!
Increase your volume and enjoy Las Gaviotas!
We've got Dodgson here!

You can also find "Tres dias" (Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano), from The Lost World, here.

Bonus #6: Isla Nublar topographic Map (movie)

In 2006, Tito A. Neto created a topographic map based on the movie Jurassic Park. He took scenes from the movie and made a map to show the different terranes in the island. This map had some problems, like crossing contour lines and lines with strange angles. When I knew that some Jurassic Park fans wanted a topographic map, I had the idea to correct it.

Now the lines represent the relief better and I drew a more "natural" shape for the rivers and streams (careful not to change them significantly, of course). I also added the "JP movie moments" from the JP Legacy's movie map. The presence of the moments in the map helped me to make a more accurate version of the topography. In the coast where the helicopter entered the island, it was needed to have lots of mountains, as we see in the movie, so the contour lines nee do be very sinuous. The terrane in the "Welcome to Jurassic Park" is an almost flat ground, as we see in the movie. The movie also doesn't show a wavy terrane in the points between the Tyrannosaurus rex attack and chase, that's why I've putted it in the same ground level. The Brachiosaurus herd was seen in a flat ground, but the dinosaur's head were at the same level as the characters, that's why I've putted this point in a steep slope before the flat terrane. The Gallimimus stampede occured in a wavy terrane and we can see a mountain behind the characters, with is represented by the orange slope (375-450 m and 450-525 m). In the "High-wire stunts" point the characters seem to be in the border of a plateu and there is a big valley behind them. This valley is represented by the oscillation of the yellow and green contour lines near this point (150 to 300 m).

Previous Tito's map                                      Improved map


Titossauro for encourage me while creating the Nublar novel map.
Raptors Rule (JP Legacy forum member) for suggests that the western stream should start inside the raptor's pen, in the Nublar novel map.
The Dinosaur Man (JP Legacy forum member) for correct the title "Triceratops Territory", in the Nublar novel map.
Chris S., the friendly West Indian, for the discussions about the Nublar's area and Sorna's map.
DinoDude65 for helping me doing the regional map of the novel islands.

"We may not have been able to reach out and touch the dinosaurs... but we saw them... we saw a film that captured the imagination of the entire planet... and for those of us here, still won't let go."
BrachioInGen (Jurassic Park fan)