National Park Costa Rica
Cocos Island (Spanish: Isla del Coco) is an island designated as a National Park off the shore of Costa Rica, that does not allow inhabitants other than Costa Rican Park Rangers. It constitutes the 11th of the 13 districts of Puntarenas Canton of the province of Puntarenas. It is located in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 550 km (342 mi; 297 nmi) from the Pacific shore of Costa Rica. With an area of approximately 23.85 km2 (9.21 sq mi), about 8 km × 3 km (5 mi × 2 mi) and a perimeter of around 23.3 km (14.5 mi), this island is more or less rectangular in shape. It is the southernmost point on the North American continent if outer islands are included.
Surrounded by deep waters with counter-currents, Cocos Island is admired by scuba divers for its populations of hammerhead sharks, rays, dolphins and other large marine species. The extremely wet climate and oceanic character give Cocos an ecological character that is not shared with either the Galápagos Archipelago or any of the other islands (for example Malpelo) in this region of the world.
Cocos Island was declared a Costa Rican National Park by means of Executive Decree in 1978. In 2009, Cocos Island was short-listed as a candidate to be declared one of the New7Wonders of Nature of the world.
Thanks to the breathtaking marine life in its waters, Cocos Island was named one of the best 10 scuba diving spots in the world by PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and a “must do” according to diving experts. For many, the main attractions are the large pelagic fish species, which are very abundant in this unique meeting point between deep and shallow waters. The largest schools of hammerhead sharks in the world are consistently reported there. Encounters with dozens if not hundreds of these and other large animals are nearly certain in every dive. Smaller and colorful species are also abundant in one of the most extensive and rich reefs of the south eastern Pacific.