National Park

Isla del Coco (Cocos Islands) is located in the Pacific Ocean 535 kilometers southwest of Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica, between 5º 30' 00" and 5° 34' 00" north latitude and between 87° 1' 00' and 87° 6' 00" west longitude.

This national park was established on June 22, 1.978, through Executive Decree No.8.748?A, and was declared a Humanity Heritage Site (by UNESCO) on December 4, 1997, and a Ramsar Site in May of 1.998.


The island was discovered by the Spanish pilot Joan Cabezas in 1.526, and by 1.556 it showed on the planisphere by Nicolas Destiens as "Isla de Coco".

In the 17th and 18th centuries it served as a hide?away for the pirates and privateers who flourished along the Pacific coasts of Spanish America. There are stories of treasures hidden here, such as the Lima Booty, consisting of tons of gold bars and sheets of gold that covered the domes of churches; William Davies' treasure, which was hidden in 1.684; and the one that belonged to Benito "Bloody Sword" Bonito, hidden in 1.819.

These fabled riches have attracted over 500 expeditions of treasure hunters, including an official one from the Government of Costa Rica that claimed the island for Costa Rica on September 15, 1.869.

Flora and fauna:

An evergreen, dense forest covers the rugged terrain of the island, which is frequently cloudy and lashed by heavy rains.

Scientists have identified 235 species of plants (10 terrestrial vascular species that are endemic; 48 non?vascular; an orchid; and 17 endemic ferns) and 90 fungus species. The predominant tree species in the island include the copey and three endemic species: huriki, guarumo and a palm.

Also known are 362 species of insects (64 endemic); 5 species of reptiles (2 endemic terrestrial species: the Cocos Island angle and the Cocos Island gecko and 3 species of turtles; 97 species of birds (12 resident, 3 endangered and 3 endemic); 60 species of arthropods (57 species of crustaceans and 3 species of spiders); 510 species of sea mollusks; 32 species of corals, the most abundant being Porites lobata; and more than 250 species of fishes (5 fresh water ones, three of them endemic). Of the fishes, there is an abundance of white?tipped sharks, the gigantic hammerheads, yellow fin tuna, parrot fish, mantes, and horse mackerel, among others.

Among the birds, the endemic stand out: the Cocos island flycatcher, the Cocos Island cuckoo the Cocos Island finch. In the forest, it is usual to see the Holy Spirit dove, a white bird that visits the island to nest and that stands out because it hovers over visitors' heads.

There are 10 species of mammals: 5 marine and five land ones. The latter were introduced and have lived on the island for over 200 years: the wild hog, goat, white?tailed leer, the rat, and the house cat.

Services and facilitiies:

* Information provided by the personnel
* Trails
* Showers
* Potable water
* Places that afford a superb view of the area

* Diving sites
* Radio communication system
* SatelLite telephone
* Camping not allowed
* Fishing not allowed
General information:

Cocos island is considered a natural laboratory for the study of the evolution of species. The island, which receives an inordinate amount of rainfall and is covered by a South American type evergreen forest, presents cloud?forest conditions at Iglesias Peak, located in the center of the island at 636 meters above sea level.

A volcanic ridge, the area surrounding the island is twisted. has a series of cliffs up to 183 meters high, countless underwater caves and cascades which fall down onto the beach The turquoise?blue sea is of an extraordinary transparency.


* If traveling to the island, permission must be requested from the Isla del Coco Marine Conservation Area.
* No fishing is allowed within 15 kilometers around the island. If found fishing, your equipment will be confiscated.
* Upon arrival, please report immediately to officials.
* If you need help, contact the Park administration immediately.

Enjoy your trip !