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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 variety of colorful fish.
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.
You enter the water from the boat, in front of the islet, jumping into the water at the place shown by your tour organizer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Rocky seabed with turtles, sharks and reef fish
Shallow lagoon with seagrass meadows and hard coral
Coral and sponges reef with lots of fish
Shallow seagrass flats with sea stars and juvenile fish
Mangrove and seagrass flats with sea stars and fish
Sandy beach and mangrove with fish and sea stars
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