Cocos Island

🇨🇷 Costa Rica
Untouched paradise in the Pacific

Cocos Island - Vacation Briefing

Located off the coast of Costa Rica, Cocos Island is a true tropical paradise. This remote island is teeming with lush rainforests, dramatic waterfalls, and pristine beaches. Cocos Island is renowned for its incredible biodiversity, both above and below the water. The island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a haven for divers, with its world-class scuba diving spots and abundant marine life, including hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and dolphins. For nature enthusiasts, Cocos Island offers unparalleled opportunities for hiking and wildlife spotting, with endemic species like the Cocos Finch. With its untouched beauty and thrilling adventures, Cocos Island is a must-visit destination for those seeking an immersive nature experience.

Popular Sights in Cocos Island

Things to do during your Cocos Island vacation

Cocos Island is a small island located in the Pacific Ocean, about 550 kilometers (342 miles) from the mainland of Costa Rica. It is a designated national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island is renowned for its rich biodiversity, beautiful scenery, and exceptional scuba diving opportunities. Visitors to Cocos Island can enjoy a range of exciting activities and experiences.

  • Scuba Diving: Explore the incredible underwater world around Cocos Island with its vibrant coral reefs, diverse marine life, and fascinating geological formations.
  • Snorkeling: Discover the shallow waters and stunning marine diversity of Cocos Island through snorkeling, an activity suitable for all ages and skill levels.
  • Hiking: Embark on scenic hikes through the island's lush rainforests, encountering unique wildlife and enjoying breathtaking panoramic views.
  • Birdwatching: Observe a wide variety of bird species inhabiting Cocos Island, including seabirds, migratory birds, and rare endemic species.
  • Fishing: Engage in thrilling game fishing experiences around Cocos Island, where you can catch a variety of fish species such as marlin, tuna, and mahi-mahi.
  • Boat Tours: Take boat tours around Cocos Island to admire its dramatic coastline, hidden coves, and natural landmarks, while learning about its history and ecological significance.
  • Kayaking: Enjoy the tranquility of Cocos Island's crystal-clear waters by kayaking along its shores, exploring hidden alcoves, and observing marine life up close.
  • Paddleboarding: Try stand-up paddleboarding around Cocos Island, a fun and adventurous way to navigate the calm bays and marvel at the island's stunning surroundings.
  • Sunset Cruises: Experience magical sunsets over the Pacific Ocean by joining a sunset cruise around Cocos Island, where you can relax and enjoy the breathtaking views.
  • Stargazing: Witness the mesmerizing night sky above Cocos Island, away from light pollution, and admire the millions of stars on a clear evening.
  • Camping: Stay overnight in designated camping areas on Cocos Island, immersing yourself in nature and enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the island.

Why you should visit Cocos Island


Cocos Island, Costa Rica is a destination with unique natural beauty and diverse marine life. While it offers some incredible experiences, there are a few drawbacks to consider.


Cocos Island has a low crime rate and is relatively safe. However, it is important to be cautious and follow safety protocols due to the remote location and occasional rough weather.


Cocos Island does not have a significant cultural scene or historical sites. It is primarily a destination for nature enthusiasts and divers.


Cocos Island is not known for its nightlife as it is primarily a nature preservation area. Visitors seeking vibrant nightlife should look for options in other parts of Costa Rica.


Cocos Island is a haven for adventure seekers. Its world-renowned diving spots, including the famous Shark Fin Rock, offer thrilling experiences for scuba diving enthusiasts.


Cocos Island is incredibly tranquil and offers a serene environment for relaxation. Its pristine beaches and lush landscapes provide a peaceful retreat.

Best time to visit Cocos Island

Cocos Island, Costa Rica is a tropical paradise that offers the best of both worlds. With warm temperatures, little rain, and fewer crowds, the best time to visit is from December to May.

Crowded but great weather
21°C - 30°C
Ideal weather for outdoor activities
22°C - 31°C
Enjoy pleasant temperatures and beautiful landscapes
22°C - 31°C
Optimal conditions for exploring marine life
23°C - 31°C
Less crowded and abundant wildlife
22°C - 31°C
Rainy season begins
22°C - 31°C
Rainy but less crowded
22°C - 31°C
Explore the island in a more serene setting
22°C - 31°C
Transition period with milder weather
22°C - 31°C
Less rain and great for exploring
22°C - 31°C
Beautiful weather with fewer visitors
22°C - 30°C
Best weather, fewer crowds
21°C - 30°C
December is the best time to visit Cocos Island, with the perfect combination of warm temperatures, little rain, and fewer crowds. It's an ideal time to explore the island, lounge on pristine beaches, and immerse yourself in its natural wonders.

A guide To your first day of Cocos Island vacation


  • Take a guided hike through the lush rainforest trails surrounding Cocos Island.
  • Go birdwatching and spot a variety of exotic bird species.


  • Snorkel or scuba dive and explore the vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life.
  • Enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters of Cocos Island.


  • Watch a stunning sunset while relaxing on the beach.
  • Join a guided boat tour and witness the magical bioluminescent plankton.


  • Embark on a night dive and encounter fascinating nocturnal marine creatures.
  • Take a night walk to observe the unique wildlife that comes alive after dark.

How to get to Cocos Island

By Plane

Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose is the most convenient airport for reaching Cocos Island, Costa Rica. It offers frequent international flights and is well-connected to Cocos Island via domestic flights that take about 1.5 hours. Travelers are advised to book domestic flights in advance due to limited availability.

By other means

Reaching Cocos Island by public transport involves taking a domestic flight from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose to Cocos Island. Once at Cocos Island, visitors can explore the island by boat or choose guided tours that provide transport between dive sites. It's essential to book your travel and accommodation well in advance, as access to Cocos Island is restricted.

Tips for Booking Your Trip

Planning a trip can get tricky, right? Don't worry, we've got some solid advice to make your life easier. Here's how you can find flights and accommodations without a hitch.

Flights: How to Score the Best Deal

First things first, check out Google Flights. Their price calendar and nearby airport options are really useful. Found a good deal? Great, but hang on a sec—make sure you compare it with prices on Kayak, Skyscanner, Momondo, and Kiwi. A little research can go a long way.

Accommodation: Find Your Ideal Spot

For places to stay, start by scanning and Airbnb to get an idea of what's out there. Then, level up your search by looking at Hostelworld and Agoda. Oh, and a quick tip: the hotel's own website might have some special offers, so give that a look too.

Ready to make some moves? The links you need are right below. Happy booking!



Best for travelers who are ...

Nature lovers, scuba diving enthusiasts, and adventure seekers

How long to stay in Cocos Island?

It is recommended to stay at least 7 days to fully explore the island and participate in various activities like scuba diving, hiking, and wildlife spotting.