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Located on the southern tip of Cristobal Island, the CocoVivo is a remote accommodation in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. Accessible only by boat (and usually only by staying at the guesthouse), it gives access to a good example of a mangrove ecosystem reef. Even if the visibility can be quite bad, interesting sights of reef fish and invertebrates are possible at shallow depth.

Mangrove seabed at Cocovivo
The seabed at CocoVivo is a mix of sand and seagrass.

How to get to CocoVivo snorkeling spot?

CocoVivo is a small bed and breakfast located on the southern shore of Cristobal Island, in the Bocas del Toro archipelago.

The CocoVivo is only accessible by sea. To get there, there is little other way than to stay there, or to be in a nearby hotel and come by kayak (call the guest room beforehand to ask them for permission to attach your kayak on the guesthouse jetty). If you stay at the CocoVivo, the boat transfer will be organized by the guesthouse.

Cocovivo snorkeling map, Isla Cristobal
CocoVivo Guesthouse snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling CocoVivo

Water entrance is from CocoVivo’s private jetty. Around, the coastline is lined with almost impenetrable mangroves.

CocoVivo’s house reef snorkeling exploration tips

The snorkeling area covers the approximately 30-meter-wide reef that stretches out in front of the CocoVivo. Near the shore, the reef flat is too shallow to snorkel, but from the jetty, the reef gradually drops to 25-30 feet/8-10 meters.

Gray angelfish at Cocovivo, Bocas del Toro
The gray angelfish is quite easy to spot at CocoVivo’s house reef.

This spot is worth especially for its seabed, where weeds, colored sponges, small corals, clams and sea anemones abound. If you like small critters, there is a fascinating little world to explore, including sea urchins, starfish, sea urchins, shrimps, worms and spider crabs.

A small shrimp shelters next to a sea anemone.

The reef supports a diversity of fish species, including butterflyfish, hamlets, gray angelfish, snapper and barracuda. Schools of Atlantic spadefish, a species rather rarely seen in snorkeling, often wander at the foot of the drop-off. More exceptionally, you may encounter a nurse shark, impressive in size but harmless to snorkelers.

Grey snapper at Cocovivo
A gray snapper.

Visibility can be average due to plankton or particles.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

This spot is the house reef of CocoVivo, a remote guesthouse offering sea view bungalows.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth35ft/10m
  • Water entranceFrom a jetty
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsStay at CocoVivo Guesthouse

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.