Unveiling the Unparalleled Majesty of Coco’s Island National Park in Costa Rica

Welcome to Coco’s Island National Park, a true gem of natural beauty located off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. This remote and pristine island is renowned for its incredible biodiversity, crystal-clear waters, and captivating landscapes. Join us on a virtual tour as we explore the wonders of Coco’s Island National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

All photos were taken by Jorge Barrantes during his diving expedition on June 2022.

hammerhead shark coco's island costa rica
hammerhead shark coco’s island costa rica
Photos by Jorge Barrantes
  • What can visitors enjoy there:
    Coco’s Island National Park offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness an untouched paradise teeming with natural wonders. Dive into the depths of the Pacific Ocean and discover an underwater world filled with colorful coral reefs, an abundance of marine species, and breathtaking visibility. Scuba diving enthusiasts will be thrilled to encounter hammerhead sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and a myriad of other marine creatures.

    Above the water’s surface, the island’s lush rainforests await exploration. Hike through dense foliage, listening to the symphony of tropical birdcalls and keeping an eye out for unique species such as the red-footed booby and the endemic Cocos Cuckoo. Immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings, taking in panoramic views of rugged cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and secluded beaches
  • Weather:
    Coco’s Island experiences a tropical climate with high humidity and rainfall throughout the year. The wet season typically lasts from May to November, while the dry season extends from December to April. Visitors should come prepared for occasional showers and variable weather conditions.
  • Location:
    Coco’s Island National Park is situated approximately 550 kilometers (342 miles) off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. This remote island is located in the eastern tropical Pacific and is only accessible by boat or liveaboard dive cruises.
  • How to get there from the International Airports in Alajuela and Liberia:
    To reach Coco’s Island National Park, visitors must first travel to Costa Rica’s mainland. From Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela, you can take a domestic flight to San Jose or Puntarenas and then embark on a multi-day liveaboard diving trip. These trips typically depart from Puntarenas, allowing you to enjoy the journey to the island while exploring the underwater marvels along the way.

    If you’re arriving at Liberia International Airport, you can also travel to Puntarenas to join a liveaboard dive cruise. Alternatively, you can take a domestic flight to San Jose and follow the same route as described above
  • Park Schedule:
    Coco’s Island National Park is open year-round for visitors, but access to the island is highly regulated to preserve its pristine ecosystem. Only a limited number of permits are issued, and visitors must book a guided tour or liveaboard dive cruise in advance to visit the park.
  • History:
    Coco’s Island has a rich history intertwined with legends of hidden pirate treasures. It has also been a haven for scientific research and exploration due to its unique biodiversity. In 1997, Coco’s Island National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, recognizing its significance as a protected marine and terrestrial ecosystem.
  • Known restrictions:
    To protect the fragile ecosystem, Coco’s Island National Park has several restrictions in place. Fishing, hunting, and the collection of any natural resources are strictly prohibited. Visitors must adhere to strict leave-no-trace principles and follow the instructions of their guides to minimize their impact on the island.
  • Recommendations to visit the park:
    Visiting Coco’s Island National Park is an extraordinary adventure, but it requires careful planning and preparation. Here are a few recommendations to make the most of your trip:
  1. Book your visit well in advance to secure the necessary permits and
  2. plan your trip around the park’s limited access.
  3. Join a reputable liveaboard dive cruise that offers the opportunity to explore both the underwater wonders and the terrestrial landscapes of the island.
  4. Bring high-quality diving and snorkeling equipment to fully experience the abundant marine life.
  5. Pack lightweight, breathable clothing suitable for tropical weather, as well as sturdy hiking shoes and rain gear.
  6. Respect the park’s rules and regulations to ensure the preservation of this extraordinary natural sanctuary.
  7. Embarking on a journey to Coco’s Island National Park is a true adventure into the heart of untouched wilderness. Prepare to be captivated by its pristine beauty, awe-inspiring marine life, and the sense of being immersed in an enigmatic oasis unlike anywhere else on Earth.

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Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself or places I have been to or would love to visit myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. We are not, by any means, legal counselor

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