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COCOS ISLAND

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Nature. Flora and fauna. Submarine adventure. Encounters with sharks: hammer sharks, white tips, silky sharks, as well as whale sharks, the biggest existing in the world. Everything at Cocos Island, an ecological wonder in Costa Rica's Pacific territory, declared National Park and Biological Reserve in 1978, and Natural Patrimony of Humanity in 1997, is truly outstanding.

Cocos Island, a scientific and biodiversity bastion due to its strategic geographical location, is prodigal on marine species, offering travellers the chance of submerging in its waters in order to unveil some of the mysteries of the Pacific Ocean.

You can visit the following places in Cocos Island:

-Cocos Island National Park: More than a paradise, it is a place where land and sea conjugate their riches, in order to create a setting of fable that lures travellers to explore it along trails that wind into the forest, or to dive into the depths of a transparent ocean that unveils its vivid prettiness.

Created in 1978, Cocos Island National Park has an extension of 2 thousand 309 hectares on land and 97 thousand marine hectares, whose waters loaded with fauna are the best for the practice of scuba diving in all of Costa Rica.

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Known worldwide for its variegated marine and submarine fauna, the Park embraces a circumference of 22 kilometres around the Island, 15 of them of absolute protection and the remaining 7 as a "damper zone", in which natural resources can be extracted in a regulated manner.

Due to its abundant marine fauna, locals brag about having the world record for sharks per cubic metre of water. It is common to finds banks of 30 to 40 specimens of hammer sharks and white fins. Huge stingrays, tuna fishes, parrotfish and horse mackerels can also be seen.

More than 1600 animal (both marine and terrestrial) species have been identified on the Island, 235 plants, 362 insects, 2 endemic reptiles (the lizard and the salamander), 3 spiders, 85 birds, 57 crustaceous, 118 molluscs, and close to 200 types of fish along with 18 different coral species.

It is quite natural to meet the holy spirit in the woodland area of the Park... no, do not be baffled, it is not the Holy Spirit of the Scriptures, but a white coloured bird that arrives in the Island to nest. They like to flutter over the heads of visitors.

There is a basic infrastructure within the Park that facilitates a close encounter with nature. Here a series of interpretation trails have been habilitated, along with vantage points and spots for scuba diving, besides the installation of phones, potable water, showers and a first aid service.



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