Cocos Island Magic

On the way back to Panama I was lucky enough to stop at Cocos Island.

Cocos Island is located 550 km from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and is most famous for it's schooling hammerhead sharks. Unfortunately I was not set up for diving, and did not get any amazing pix from my brief snorkel there. But I did see four white tip sharks, two hammerhead sharks and a turtle. The hammerheads were unfortunately too far away and to deep to shoot.

Cocos Island was used as a location for some scenes in the movie Jurassic Park.

It's beaches are pristine.

They call this rock 'Scarface Rock'. Can you see the face? The place is the stuff of legends. It reminds me of the all pirate books that I used love reading at primary school. A Cocos Island National Park ranger told me that since the 1700's there have been over 5,000 expeditions to the island to look for treasure. He added, "We always say that Cocos Island itself is the real treasure". I reckon that may be a bit of a PR line they are told to spin, but that's just me.

This was cool. The park rangers even made a suspension bridge out of all the illegal long lines, fishing nets and buoys that they have confiscated over the years from illegal shark fin boats in the area. Shark finning is a huge problem here. Some scenes in the recent movie Sharkwater were even filmed in the waters around Cocos Island. Much of the shark fin that ends up in the shops along the so-called 'Seafood Street', Des Voeux Road in Hong Kong, is from Cocos Island.


All images and text © Alex Hofford / Image Solutions Ltd. 2011 | Web design in Hong Kong by Ugli © 2011