Rica's Green Paradise for Scuba Diving
by: Aventuras Elegantes
Cocos Island National Park
Sank in the middle of the
infinite Pacific Ocean, we find the Cocos Island. It is
one of the protected areas with the greatest diversity
in terms of wildlife and one of the best places for Costa
Rica Scuba Diving Vacation.
It is a huge natural laboratory
for scientists and nature lovers. It has 2.400 Ha, with
510 species of sea mollusks, 362 species of insects, 235
species of plants, 200 species of fish, 97 species of
birds, 57 species of crustaceans, 3 species of spiders
and 2 species of reptiles.
In this huge diversity, there
are over 130 species of endemic flora and fauna. It is
an ideal place for scuba diving, snorkeling, bird watching
and wildlife watching.
The trip to Cocos Island
is in itself a great adventure. After traveling for over
36 hours on the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, a "green
bouquet is seen far into the sea".
Legends say that pirates
and corsairs, like William Davies, Benito Bonito and William
Thompson, found a safe place to hide their treasures in
this Island. For many, Robert Stevenson was inspired on
those tales of sailors to write his famous novel the Treasure
Although you will not find
golden medals or precious gems, you will find the most
valuable treasure of all: The natural richness of flora
As soon as you arrive, it
is as if time is suddenly going back, as taking a leap
to an old world, a place that remains intact through time.
Cocos Island is probably one of the places with most endemic
flora and fauna in the world.
In just 2.400 hectares, there
have always been 139 endemic species in the national park.
More than 230 species of plants, out of which 70 are endemic,
including the Palo de Hierro (Sacogiottis holdridgei).
More than 85 species of birds
inhabit the park, but 3 of them can only be seen in Cocos
Island National Park: Cuclillo from Cocos Island (Coccyzus
ferrugineus); Mosquerito (Nesotriccus ridgwayi) and Pinzon
from Cocos Island (Pinaroloxias inomata). Two reptiles
joined the selective and exclusive list of species that
are unique in the world: Lizard (Norops townsendi) and
the Salamander (Sphaerodactuylus pacificus).
If you are already amazed
with the natural panorama in land, come on and explore
the depths...many more treasures are waiting for you.
Scuba Diving at Cocos Island
implies a unique experience for any diver as soon as you
go down, a world full of life appears before your eyes,
thousands of fish swimming around you forming a synchrony
of colors, a rainbow in the plenitude of the ocean.you
will be hypnotized when your eyes are set of great schools
of hammer shark (Sphyna lewini)or when you see the amazing
white finned sharks (Triaenodon obesus) swimming very
close to you.
Today, as it was for the
buccaneers, the only way to get to Cocos is by boat. Divers,
who make up the vast majority of visitors, usually arrive
on live-aboard dive boats (a 9- or 10-day trip from the
port of Puntarenas).
If they go ashore, it's usually
only to dry out for a spell. But exploring the 14-square-mile,
virtually uninhabited island that Jacques Cousteau once
called the most beautiful in the world isn't really a
There are other Cocos Islands
in the world (near Guam, Australia, and Mauritius to name
a few), but there is only one "Shark Island. "
That's a good thing, right?
Scuba Diving: As dive site
names go, Dirty Rock isn't the most inviting, but this
rocky outcropping about a half mile off the north shore
of the island has one of the largest hammerhead shark
populations in the world, along with giant manta rays.
Expect 120-foot-plus visibility.
For even more mantas, head to Dampier Head at the southwest
corner of the island, where rays with wingspans up to
10 feet seem to like to swim with divers.
Nature, Nature and Nature.
A natural laboratory similar in some ways to the Galapagos
(which lacks the tropical rainforest here), Cocos is home
to an estimated 60 endemic animal species.
Bird watchers will note that
the rocky islets off the island are prime nesting areas
for seabirds, including the red-footed booby, and that
three of the island's 70 or so species include three found
nowhere else: the Cocos Cuckoo, the Cocos Finch (shades
of Darwin!), and the Cocos Flycatcher.
Hiking: For a little legwork
between dives, head up 2,092-foot Mount Yglesias, the
highest peak on the island. The trail to the summit, one
of several on the island, leads through rainforest (and
passes the wreck of a B-24 in the jungle), and the view
of the Pacific at the top might even make you forget about
your swim fins for a while.
For more information, visit
About The Author
Aventuras Elegantes is a
Costa Rica Travel Expert. Visit http://www.mytraveltocostarica.com/,