Petronia Tan

Petronia Tan

Published: 14 Sep 2023


Are you ready to embark on an adventure like no other? Join us as we explore the mesmerizing Isla del Coco, a hidden gem in the vast depths of the Pacific Ocean. This remote island, located approximately 550 kilometers off the coast of Costa Rica, is truly a paradise untouched by the hustle and bustle of modern civilization.

But what makes Isla del Coco so remarkable? Prepare to be amazed as we reveal 20 surprising facts about this extraordinary destination. From its rich biodiversity to its mysterious underwater treasures, Isla del Coco has captivated the hearts of explorers, scientists, and nature enthusiasts alike.

So, grab your snorkel gear and dive into the intriguing world of Isla del Coco. You’re about to discover a place that will leave you awe-struck at every turn.

Table of Contents

Home to an abundance of biodiversity

Isla del Coco, also known as Cocos Island, is a true paradise for nature enthusiasts. Located off the coast of Costa Rica, this remote island is teeming with a remarkable diversity of flora and fauna.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Isla del Coco was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, recognizing its outstanding universal value and the need to protect its unique ecosystems.

Inspiration for Jurassic Park

It is believed that the breathtaking scenery of Isla del Coco served as an inspiration for the iconic film, Jurassic Park. The lush landscape and untouched beauty of the island are reminiscent of a prehistoric era.

Home to the legendary treasure of Captain William Thompson

Legend has it that Captain William Thompson, a notorious pirate, buried a treasure estimated to be worth millions on Isla del Coco. To this day, treasure hunters continue their search for this elusive fortune.

A haven for divers

Isla del Coco is a renowned diving destination, offering crystal-clear waters and rich marine life. Divers can explore vibrant coral reefs, encounter hammerhead sharks, and swim alongside majestic manta rays.

The inspiration for Isla Nublar in Jurassic Park

The fictional Isla Nublar, where Jurassic Park is based, was named after Isla del Coco. The film’s creator, Michael Crichton, was fascinated by the island’s beauty and used it as a source of inspiration.

A filming location for Sharkwater

Isla del Coco was featured in the award-winning documentary film Sharkwater, directed by Rob Stewart. The film sheds light on the importance of shark conservation and the threats they face.

A designated marine protected area

Isla del Coco is not only a national park but also a marine protected area. Its rich marine biodiversity is safeguarded, ensuring the preservation of its delicate ecosystems.

Charles Darwin’s visit

Renowned naturalist Charles Darwin visited Isla del Coco during his expedition on the HMS Beagle. His observations of the island’s unique flora and fauna contributed to his groundbreaking work on evolution.

Famous for its hammerhead shark population

Isla del Coco is famous for its large population of hammerhead sharks. These majestic creatures gather in the surrounding waters, offering a thrilling sight for divers and marine enthusiasts.

A resting spot for migratory birds

Isla del Coco serves as a crucial resting spot for numerous migratory bird species. During their long journeys, birds take refuge on the island to rest and replenish their energy.

Recognized as a “Blue Serengeti”

Isla del Coco is often referred to as the “Blue Serengeti” due to its rich marine biodiversity. The waters surrounding the island are home to an abundance of marine species, making it a haven for underwater exploration.

Featured in The Pirates of the Caribbean

Isla del Coco served as a filming location for scenes in The Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. The island’s lush jungles and pristine beaches provided the perfect backdrop for these swashbuckling adventures.

An important research site

Scientists and researchers are drawn to Isla del Coco for its pristine ecosystems and unique biodiversity. Ongoing studies help expand our knowledge of marine life and contribute to conservation efforts.

Home to the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle

Isla del Coco is a vital nesting site for the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle. Conservation measures are in place to protect these majestic creatures and ensure the survival of their species.

Hosts an annual shark migration

Every year, Isla del Coco witnesses a remarkable phenomenon—the migration of hundreds of sharks. This natural spectacle attracts researchers and nature enthusiasts from around the world.

A playground for dolphins

Isla del Coco is frequently visited by playful dolphins, delighting visitors with their acrobatic displays. Watching these intelligent creatures swim and leap in the island’s pristine waters is an unforgettable experience.

Untouched rainforests to explore

Isla del Coco boasts untouched rainforests, waiting to be explored by adventurous travelers. Hiking enthusiasts can venture into the island’s interior and discover its hidden natural wonders.

A location for groundbreaking marine research

Isla del Coco has been the site of groundbreaking marine research projects, contributing to our understanding of ocean ecosystems and the importance of conservation.

Offers a glimpse into the past

Exploring Isla del Coco is like stepping back in time. Its untouched landscapes and rich history provide a unique glimpse into the natural wonders of the past.


In conclusion, Isla del Coco is a truly remarkable destination that offers a plethora of surprises. From its unique geography and diverse ecosystem to its rich history and fascinating marine life, every aspect of this remote island is worth exploring. Whether you are an avid diver, a nature enthusiast, or someone who simply appreciates the beauty of untouched landscapes, Isla del Coco will not disappoint. With its breathtaking waterfalls, breathtaking coral reefs, and incredible biodiversity, this hidden gem in the Pacific Ocean is a paradise waiting to be discovered. So pack your bags, embark on an adventure, and prepare to be amazed by the 20 surprising facts that await you on Isla del Coco.


1. How do I get to Isla del Coco?

To reach Isla del Coco, you can take a boat or a liveaboard dive trip from Costa Rica. The journey takes around 36 hours, but it is well worth the effort for the incredible experience you’ll have on the island.

2. Is Isla del Coco suitable for non-divers?

Absolutely! While Isla del Coco is renowned for its diving opportunities, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy for non-divers. You can explore the lush hiking trails, revel in the stunning waterfalls, or simply relax on the pristine beaches.

3. Are there any accommodations on Isla del Coco?

No, there are no accommodations on Isla del Coco. The island is a protected national park, and overnight stays are not permitted. Visitors can only stay on the liveaboard dive boats during their visit.

4. What is the best time to visit Isla del Coco?

The best time to visit Isla del Coco is during the dry season, which generally runs from December to April. The sea conditions are calmer, providing better visibility for diving and a more pleasant overall experience on the island.

5. Are there any restrictions for visiting Isla del Coco?

Yes, there are certain restrictions to protect the island’s fragile ecosystem. Visitors must obtain a permit from the Costa Rican National Parks Office, and only a limited number of people are allowed on the island at any given time to minimize human impact.