Cocos Island is located 532 kilometers off Cabo Blanco on the Peninsula of Nicoya. The island measures 23.85 km² and consists of rocks of volcanic origin. There are no native land mammals but there are rats, pigs, cats, goats and deers living on the island which were introduced by men intentionally or accidentally in the recent past. In the waters close to the island there is a resident population of dolphins.
Occasionally, other sea mammals have been observed. Sometimes even sea lions from the Galapagos Islands show up here. The avifauna of the island consists of some 109 species of which 13 are residents and breed on the island. The flora is related to the flora of Central America and the north of South America.
Due to its size, its isolation and its preservation, Cocos Island is one of the privileged natural sites worldwide. Therefore, the Government of Costa Rica created the Cocos Island National Park in 1978. For the same reasons of exceptionality, in 1997 the Organization of the United Nations for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) declared the island Natural Patrimony of Humanity.
The tourist attractions on the island include a large quantity and diversity of marine species, a highlight of which is the hammerhead shark. On the island, there are beaches in Chatham and Wafer Bay, an abundance of rivers and waterfalls, the highest mountain called Cerro Iglesias, the thick forests and the numerous historic rock engravings in Chatham and Wafer referring to the
names of ships, captains and visitors.
Writen by Doris Braettig