Home Legendary Adventures Mystery of Cocos Island • Costa Rica

Mystery of Cocos Island • Costa Rica

by mythic44

Jacques Cousteau deemed it “the most beautiful island in the world”

Michael Crichton wrote “Jurassic Park” with it in mind. Robert Louis Stevenson may have based his classic “Treasure Island” on it. Cocos Island is a jungle-covered island and national park off the coast of Costa Rica.

The main attraction for Cocos island is it’s unbelievable scuba-diving with it’s schooling hammerhead sharks. On the island hiking and biking to the top of the island for the spectacular view is an almost must. Other main activities include snorkeling, island hopping, and fishing the waters surrounding the island. Many people go to Cocos just to relax on the beach and enjoy the scenery.

Located in the Eastern Tropical Pacific approximately 300 miles southwest of Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica, it is a rugged and incredibly beautiful island. Today Cocos Island is the most sacred National park in Costa Rica’s extensive park system. Among Cocos Island’s many attributes is a startling degree of biodiversity. This island’s world-renowned waters explode with life, including innumerable white tip reef sharks, schooling hammerhead sharks, dolphins, mantas and marbled rays, giant moray eels, sailfish, and of course the occasional whale shark. Other common encounters are large schools of jacks and tuna, silky sharks, silver tip sharks, marlin, Creole fish, green turtles and octopus. On the Island you will encounter a lot of pigs, vegetation, waterfalls and mountains.

Cocos Island is a very hilly, dense tropical jungle with over 200 waterfalls and averages over 400 inches of rain a year. It has three bays and is 24 square kilometers of land. The landscape is mountainous and irregular and the summit is Cerro Iglesias at 575.5 m. In spite of its mountainous character, there are flatter areas between 200–260 m in elevation in the central part of the island. With four bays, three of them in the north side (Wafer, Chatham and Weston), Cocos Island has a number of short rivers and streams that drain the abundant rainfall into them. The mountainous landscape and the tropical climate combine to create over 200 waterfalls throughout the island.

Cocos Island is home to dense and exuberant tropical moist forests. It is the only oceanic island in the eastern Pacific region with such rain forests and their characteristic types of flora and fauna. The cloud forests at higher elevations are also unique in the eastern Pacific. The island was never linked to a continent, so the flora and fauna arrived via long distance dispersal from the Americas. The island has therefore a high proportion of endemic species.

The island is popular in pirate lore holding three of the largest treasure troves of all time

From pirates to the entire horde of Lima which was hidden there from Simon Bolivar and his troops in 1821. It is said that over 300 expeditions have gone in search of treasure such as the hoard of Benito Bonito, the Treasure of Lima, and many others. Some incidents of small caches have been discovered, leading many to believe the stories of vast pirate treasures to be valid.

Cocos Island National Park was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997 and was short-listed as a candidate to be one of the New7Wonders of Nature by the New Seven Wonders of the World Foundation.

Below are links to more travel information such as locations, what to see and do, activities, how to get there, and a history of the myth and legend. Use custom search engine to find your bookings.


Mystery of Cocos Island   •   Locations & Activities

• To See & Do

• History

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