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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 diversity of colorful fish.

Snorkeling at Isla Coco, Coiba
Boat tour to isla Coco.

How to get to Isla Coco snorkeling spot?

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 operators offer tours in the National Park, including 2 to 3 snorkeling stops on the islets (Isla Coco and usually Granito de Oro), and lunch on the main island.

Isla Coco snorkeling map, Coiba National Park

Water entrance for snorkeling Isla Coco

Water entrance is from the boat, in front of the islet.

Isla Coco snorkeling tips

All the islets surrounding are 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.

Guineafowl puffer at Isla Coco, Coiba
A guineafowl puffer at Isla Coco.

In the shallower areas close to the islet (↕3-10ft/1-3m), even though the seabed is poor in corals, you will see many of the archipelago’s most typical fish, such as sergeant-major, parrotfish, jacks and shoals of razor surgeonfish busy feeding on the algae.

Among the most colorful fish that you could see in this spot are the king angelfish and the Moorish idol.

Razor surgeonfish and sergeant-major at Isla Coco
Isla Coco has lots of fish, sometimes seen in large schools. In this picture, razor surgeonfish and sergeant majors.

Swim away from the islet to reach the deepest areas (↕10-20ft/3-6m). This is where you’ll have the best chances to spot a resident hawksbill sea turtle, quite common in the archipelago.

Underwater visibility is generally excellent at this location, as well as the sea conditions..

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

The site is completely natural. There are no restaurants and no water supply on the islet. Tours generally include lunch and drinks.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • 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.