Cocos Island Marine Conservation Area

Costa Rica National Parks

Cocos Island National Park

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Map Cocos Island National Park

Area   5,706 acres

Location Lat Long
  5°32'N, 86°59'W.

Date of Creation   11 June 1978
Isla del Coco National Park

Cocos Island has two bays (Bahía Wafer and Bahía Chatham) with sandy beaches. Inland, the terrain is mountainous with numerous rivers and streams, many of which plunge over the peripheral cliffs in spectacular waterfalls. The Genio and Pittier rivers are the largest watercourses on Cocos Island, draining their waters from the mountains of the interior and flowing into Bahía Wafer. The Lievre Creek flows into Bahía Chatham. Cerro Iglesias (2,080') is the highest peak in the island. (see map above)

Isla del Coco National Park

Park Attractions

The Cocos Ridge extends in a south-westerly direction from Costa Rica almost to the Galápagos Archipelago, Isla del Coco being the only portion to appear above sea level.

Coral Cocos Island National Park

The underwater profile consists of stepwise shelves with almost no intertidal zone and a shallow submerged fringing reef, culminating in sand and Porites rubble at the edge of a several hundred metres deep trench.

Cavernas Isla del Coco Costa Rica

The most important scuba reefs are located in Punta María, Punta Presidio, Punta Pacheco and some areas of the Iglesias, Chatham and Wafer Bays.

Waterfall Cocos Island

The southern and southwestern sectors show the greatest bathymetric variation in the area, with emergent small islands (such as Dos Amigos, Rafael and Juan Bautista), and a great number of submerged rocks.

The island is of volcanic origin consisting of basaltic rock and (tuffacious) breaches affected by tracheytic intrusions. It presents a rugged relief characterized by an irregular coastline with cliffs rising almost vertically from a narrow shore to heights of 600 feet.

Park Facilities and Hours

It has been estimated that Cocos Island Costa Rica receives an annual visitation of about 1,100 people, mainly concentrated in the period between March and May. Isla del Coco can be reached by launch or small boats from the port of Puntarenas, a journey that takes approximately 36 hours. Easy anchorage can be found in Bahía Wafer and Bahía Chatham, where there are also dining huts and rest areas, and sanitary services and showers. There are two houses for the park's staff, one in Bahía Wafer, and other in Bahía Chatham, satellite telephone at 0087-468712-0010.

Cocos Island National Park

The climate at Cocos Island Costa Rica is strongly influenced by the eastward-flowing Equatorial Counter Current. Tidal amplitude is about 6 ft and water temperatures range between 80°F and 85°F. There is heavy rainfall throughout the year (about 250 inches) with a short, relatively dry season from January to March.

Other nearby National Parks of Costa Rica include Caño Island Biological Reserve and Corcovado National Park

Rainbow Cocos Island

Underwater Scuba Cocos Island

© 2005-2023 CCSA all rights reserved - Costa Rica National Parks data and maps adapted from SINAC and MINAE