Isla del Coco (a.k.a. Coco’s Island) is located 550 kilometers (340 miles) into the Pacific from Costa Rican shores. Thirty six hours across the deep blue waters of the ocean will take you to a sight unique in beauty, power and evidently bursting with life: the oceanic island bursts out from the great depths of the Pacific, breaking the surface of the water in tall rocky walls that reach up towards the sky covered in dense jungles, a tightly knit net of intertwined vines climbing up humid trunks inhabited by insects and animals of which many are found nowhere else on the planet. Thick creeks of fresh water cascade from high points into the sea, and no matter how high you climb your view will reach only more and more ocean outside the small perimeter of the island.
Historic references to pirate-hidden treasures have led many expeditions to attempt to retrieve the vast amount of gold and jewels said to be buried there, but none were ever successful. In present day this avarice has been forgotten, fortunately to open our eyes to the real treasure of this fantastic island: the unique biodiversity it holds.
Plunge into the liquid paradise of schools of hundreds of Hammerhead sharks in Alcyone, visit the magnificent coral gardens of Manuelita, wrap yourself in the silver cloud of a thousand Big Eye Trevally, meet the Red Lip Batfish in Ulloa, Coco’s strangest-looking endemic creature yet, and have close encounters with Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Marble Rays, Bottlenose dolphins and more than six species of sharks, including Hammerhead, Silky, Tiger, GalÃ¡pagos, Silver Tip, Black Tip, Whale sharks and of course the dozens of White Tips hunting like a pack of wolves during your night dives.
Isla del Coco is recommended for divers with several dives of experience, since sometimes strong currents and proximity with big marine animals can make beginners nervous, but in any case, it is a place you must put on your list to visit. Having such a treasure at hand in the world, you must make it a point to come explore!
The photos we share here were taken by Juan Pinto, Lapa Rios’ former manager on his recent trip to Coco’s Island.
Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality is a world leader in sustainable hospitality management. We manage and market hotels, resorts, eco lodges and Haciendas in Costa Rica and Nicaragua with a focus on high end experiences and sustainability.