pacific, scuba, diving, nature, costa rica, treasure, swimming
Caribbean Cruise Discounts!
Cocos Island... Green Bouquet Is Seen Far Into The Sea
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 Island.
Although you will not find golden medals or precious gems, you will find the
most valuable treasure of all: The natural richness of flora and fauna.
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 hardship. 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 http://www.mytraveltocostarica.com/
About The Author
Aventuras Elegantes is a Costa Rica Travel Expert.