Cocos Island National Park

The whole of Cocos Island (Isla del Coco) has been established as a national park by Costa Rica since 1978. This island lies 550 Km. (340 miles) from Costa Rica's main land.

Cocos Island has an extension of about 2,400 hectares (5,930 acres) and is from volcanic origin. The terrain is mountainous and covered with lush and humid tropical forest.

Because of its abundant rainfall, the island has plenty of streams and rivers with many beautiful waterfalls. Some of them falling straight into the sea.

The twisted coastline is a series of soaring cliffs, up to 183 meters high, and of innumerable underwater caves. The transparent and turquoise-blue waters and the coral reefs found all around are filled with a wealth of marine life.
Hammerhead and white tipped sharks, rays, tuna, and dolphin are plentiful in its waters, which also contain many crustaceans, mollusks, and other marine creatures.

Nearly 100 species of birds are found there. The encircling reef comprises 18 coral species and shelters more than 300 species of fishes.

Due to the great distance that separates the island from the mainland, it is considered to be a natural laboratory for the study of plant and animal evolution.

The park is extremely popular with divers and nature lovers. Many boat expeditions are offered to visit the island all year round.

Discovered by the Spanish pilot Juan Cabezas in 1526, the island has been famous for its history and legends about hidden treasures. During 1684 to about 1821 the island was favored as a retreat by pirates and privateers who flourished along the Pacific coasts of Spanish America in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The island became part of Costa Rica in 1869.

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Isla del Coco waterfalls

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Mysterious Cove

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Aerial View of Cocos Island