Cocos Island Costa Rica

Photo courtesy from Undersea Hunter Group

Have you heard of an island that holds natures great wonders, hides some of the world’s largest pirate treasure, a world-class diving destination yet human habitation is forbidden? If you think that there’s no such island exist, then think again. In fact, those are the descriptions that perfectly fits the far-flung area of Cocos island which has become popular, not just in mainland Costa Rica, but to the rest of the world.

Despite its remoteness, people have been talking about Cocos island since time immemorial. Pirates back then considered Cocos island as a safe refuge where they can gather fresh supply of food and water during an en route trip to their next destination, which eventually, has become the perfect hiding spot for their treasure. The island has also been the subject of scientific expeditions where this unique offshore ecosystem has contributed and gave light to what modern science is today. Although these topics are still being discussed, people nowadays are talking about the amazing diving experience that you can get out when you explore its underwater environment.

Rugged Landscape and Lush Greenery

Coming from both volcanic and tectonic origins, Cocos island is not your typical flat and humid island like the ones that you have probably visited. The terrain is mostly mountainous that may reach up to the edge of the shore forming cliffs that has a 100-meter drop off. Its upland ecosystem is a lush tropical rainforest that houses a variety of endemic species which can only be found in Cocos island, like the Pacific Least Gecko, Cocos Cuckoo, Cocos Flycatcher and the Cocos Finch. Rainfall is prevalent whole year round. The combination of its landscape and the frequent precipitation has gave way to the formation of over 200 waterfalls where some of them are visible at sea.

Surrounded by gigantic cliffs, entry to the island can only be possible through its 4 bays that are mostly located on the northern coast. But you have to remember, that although you are allowed to visit the island during the day, overnight stay or any form of habitation is strictly prohibited. This is the reason why the only way to go and visit Cocos island is by signing up with a liveaboard cruise. In case you have a plan to sneak in and sleep on the island, may we remind you that there are ranger stations strategically located in the island where park rangers are on constant lookout.

Book Cocos Island Journey

Once a Pirate Haven

Photo courtesy from Youtube

During the old days of Piracy, Cocos island was once a thriving community where whalers, pirates and other seafarers drop by to re-supply water and food. Stories were even told that pirates love to stock coconuts in their ship as they consider it sweet water.

But the gathering of food supply is not the main story that anyone has been talking about. It is really about Pirates and their treasure where all historic accounts points to Cocos island as the final hiding place. Equipped with maps and information from word of mouth, several expeditions were made to Cocos island in hopes of recovering the great treasure. Unfortunately, treasure hunters,which includes a Former Head of a powerful state, failed to achieve success. Just in case you come across at the news that the treasure has already been found, allegedly by the park rangers themselves, please consider the thought that there are lots of fake news and this supposed headline is a hoax. If we got your attention on this and ignited your interest in the treasure, may we again remind you that human existence is forbidden in the island and that treasure hunting is now strictly prohibited.

Book Cocos Island Journey

A Diver’s Paradise

Photo courtesy from Divescover

If you are dismayed that your chances of finding the treasure is trimmed down to nothing, then do not worry. For us, the real treasure can be found beneath the waters of Cocos Island. We are speaking about the bounty of marine life where divers around the globe are falling in line to sign up for a liveaboard cruise as the seats are limited per trip.

Having over 10 amazing dive spots scattered near and off the shore, Cocos island is classified as one of the world’s best diving destination where it is known for big pelagic fish. Drift, deep and nitrox diving are a daily part of your underwater adventures, wherein most of the time, you will interact with its signature species: hundreds of hammerhead sharks. You can also find several large pelagic fish like manta rays, whalesharks and school of bigeye trevally. Its popular dive sites include the offshore seamount of Bajo Alcyone, the twin rocky protrusion of Dos Amigos and Manuelita which is considered the New York City of Cocos Island.

Book Cocos Island Journey

Nature Conservation at its Finest

Photo courtesy from pordescubrir.com

Although we know that Costa Rica is taking care of its environment with conservation plans and programs being implemented in the entire country, it is more stiffer when it comes to Cocos island. What stands out with the government policy being implemented in the island is the prohibition of any human settlement within the island, except for the ranger stations in Chatham and Wafer Bay. This aspect alone allows nature to take its course without any human disturbance as what most nature parks are doing. And most probably, this preservation technique has been the basis for the writers of a famous adventure film to state that “Nature requires our absence for it to survive“.

Declared as a National Marine Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the surrounding waters of Cocos island is also under the management plan where a 12-mile radius has been placed to protect it from poachers and illegal fishing. Even liveaboard companies are not exempted from this program. For instance, while some dive sites allow the direct deployment of their ship’s anchor, mooring buoys are installed in the site allowing the boat to easily and safely attach without throwing their anchors over board which can cause damage to the reef beneath.

Book Cocos Island Journey

On-going Threat

Photo courtesy from Nature Table

Speaking of natural threat, there is this constant battle with climate change where the rise in seawater temperature is eminent and can cause heavy damage to the marine ecosystem surrounding Cocos island. And there is nothing that we can about it. On a lighter side, it will take years before the effects can be felt in Cocos island. But the sad thing is that there is another threat that is being caused by humans where the negative effects can be felt instantly. What we are talking is the presence of poachers and illegal fishing encroaching the 12-mile protective zone of Cocos island. And they are here just for one thing: shark fin. This is the reason why patrolling and monitoring efforts by the park rangers are intensified to prevent this disastrous man-made threat. Fortunately enough, support has been given by the Costa Rican government by providing them tools and equipment to efficiently protect this offshore paradise. Not only that, countries like the United States are also extending a helping hand where the delivery of fast-cruising boats and training of personnel is on the way.

So to all poachers and illegal fishermen out there, we suggest that you think twice before you encroach our paradise as we and the park rangers are serious in protecting our playground. And lastly, one of your cohorts is already behind bars serving jail time for illegal practice of shark finning.

Book Cocos Island Journey

Reference

Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org

Dive the World: www.dive-the-world.com

Undersea Hunter Group: www.underseahunter.com

You also might like these:

Costa Cocos
Cocos Island Costa Rica Hotels
Book or Inquire for Cocos Island Trip

All you need to know about your Liveaboard Diving Trip to Cocos Island

Getting to Cocos island and boarding your liveaboard vessel doesn’t just require you to pack your things and pay your fees. It takes a little bit of preparation and some requirements in order for you to totally enjoy the beauty of Cocos island, both on land and underwater. Here are some preparations and requirements needed […]