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Fast Facts

Home > Biodiversity > National Parks > Isla del Coco

Located in the Pacific Ocean, 532 km from Cabo Blanco in Costa Rica, southeast from the national land between parallels latitude N 5A 30" and 5A 34" and meridians 0.687A 1" and 87A 6". It was created by means of Executive decree No. 8748-A, June 22, 1978. It has an extension of 2.400 hectares in the land part and 97.235 in the sea part.

The Island is known as a natural laboratory for the study of the evolution of the species. Its extremely rainy, about 7.000 mm p/year and its cover with an always green forest, which presents a cloudy condition in the Iglesias Hill, at 634 metes over sea level.

The topography is very broken, giving place to many waterfalls, some of which fall in an spectacular way to the sea from a great height. The cost is very irregular, it has many sheers from about 183m of height and a lot of underwater caves. The turquoise blue sea is of an extraordinary transparence.

The pilot Joan Cabezas discovered this island in 1526 and since 1556 could be found in the Nicolas Desliens planisphere with the name of Isla del Coco. During the VXII and VXIII centuries was used as a refuge for the pirates a long the Pacific coasts of Spain America. According to the legends valuable treasures were hidden, like the Lima, that consist of tons of gold and silver, gold metal plates that covers the churches domes; William Davies treasure was hidden in 1684 and the Benito "Bloody Sword" Bonito in 1819.

An always green forest, compact and dense, covers the irregular island of 2.400 hectares, frequently cloudy and hit by heavy rain.

You can identify 235 species of plants, 362 of insects and 2 of reptiles: the lizard and salamander; 3 spiders, 85 birds including the sea ones, 57 of crustaceans, 118 sea mollusks, more than 200 fish and 18 chorales. It is also common to found the white fin sharks, the giant hammer shark, the tuna, the parrotfish, the mantaray and the jurel.

The most distinguish tree species are the Copey, Palo de Hierro and the Palma. Among the birds: the Mosquerito of Isla del Coco, the Cuclillo of Isla del Coco, and the Pinzón of Isla del Coco. These birds eat the Espiritu Santo, a white bird that visits the island to nest and it is known for flying over tourists heads.

The Isla del Coco is a land of great beauty and a real laboratory for the studies of nature.

We can find ferns, "bromelias", rivers, ravines and waterfalls; the valleys, sheers and islets are visit by infinity of sea birds and is also a place where sea gulls and "bobo" birds nests.

The park counts with several programs. The Protection Program watch for the fulfillment of the conservation of the natural resources laws, keeping a right balance of the ecosystems of the island inside the sea and land limits. Another function is to watch for the security of national and foreign tourists that visit the island.

The Administration Program proposes the planning of all the labors of the park in a short and middle period.

The Monitor and Investigation program propose to set the bases for the development of scientific investigation in the area and incentive it according to the park priorities.

Finally, the Public Use Program, which objective is to make conscious in the groups dedicated to the fishing activity, about the importance to preserve endanger populations of sea organisms of commerce use.


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