This page have been written in collaboration with GOLDFISH (8 spots)

Isla Coco, off the northeastern coast of Isla Coiba, takes its name from the lonely coconut tree overlooking the tiny beach of this small islet. The crystal-clear waters surrounding Isla Coco will bring you wonderful snorkeling adventures in a paradisiacal setting. In these rocky areas, colonized by hard coral, you will come across hawksbill sea turtles and a large variety of colorful fish.

Snorkeling at Isla Coco, Coiba

How to get there?

Isla Coco is a small islet located in Coiba National Park, less than 1 mile off the coast of Isla Coiba. Only accessible by boat, visitors mainly reach this island from Santa Catalina, on the mainland. Several local companies organize tours in the National Park, including 2 to 3 snorkeling stops on the islets (in Isla Coco but also, for example, at Granito de Oro), and a lunch on the main island. The price is about 65 to 80US dollars per person, including snorkeling equipment, drinks and lunch on the beach.

Water entrance

You enter the water from the boat, in front of the islet, jumping into the water at the place shown by your tour organizer.

Isla Coco snorkeling map, Coiba National Park

Exploration

The area to explore is at the edge of the islet. All the zone is worth exploring, but underwater life is at its most abundant along the rocky point west of the beach, and around the northern tip of the island.

In the shallower areas close to the islet (↕3-10ft/1-3m), even though the seabed is poor in corals (mainly made up of rocks and sand), you will see many of the archipelago’s most typical fish, such as sergeant-major, parrotfish, big eye jacks and shoals of razor surgeonfish (prionurus laticlavius) busy grazing on the rocks. Among the most colorful fish that you could see in this spot are the passer angelfish and small groups of Moorish Idol.

Guineafowl puffer at Isla Coco, Coiba

Move away from the islet to reach the deepest areas, less rich in fish (↕10-20ft/3-6m). This is the place where you will have the best chance of seeing a hawksbill sea turtle, which found home in the archipelago.

Visibility is generally excellent and the waters are particularly calm. Follow the instructions of your guide, who will advise you on what to do according to the prevailing conditions.

Razor surgeonfish and sergeant-major at Isla Coco

Restaurants and accommodation

The site is completely natural. There are no restaurants and no water supply on the islet. Tours generally includes lunch and drinks. In any case, bring at least some water and a snack.

  • Level required Intermediary
  • Protected areaParque Nacional Isla Coiba
  • Maximum depth20ft/6m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a boat
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsSnorkeling tour price ($65-80pp.) for 2-3 spots
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.