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World Heritage Site

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Cocos Island

Cocos Island

Cocos Island National Park covers primarily a marine ecosystem, globally significant for sharks.

The park consists of Cocos Island and its surrounding marine zone. It is located in the Pacific Ocean 550km off the coast of Costa Rica. It is the point of land nearest to the Galapagos Islands, which lie 630km to the south-west.

The marine area is considered a safe haven because commercial fishing is not allowed. 300 species of fish are found, including large species such as sharks, rays, tuna and dolphins. This also makes it one of the best scuba diving spots in the world.

Cocos Island is uninhabited except for park rangers. It differs from neighbouring islands because it is not dry and barren, but covered with a humid tropical forest. It is also mountainous and there are many waterfalls. Although its ecosystem has been severely damaged by introduced species like pigs and rats, it still contains many endemic species (for example three species of endemic land birds).

Map of Cocos Island


  • Natural

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Site Info

Full name: Cocos Island National Park

Unesco ID: 820

Inscribed: 1997

Type: Natural

Criteria: 9   10  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2002 - Extended Extension of marine zone
  • 1997 - Inscribed 
  • 1986 - Rejected Does not meet criteria


The site has 1 locations.

  • Cocos Island


2 community members have visited Cocos Island.