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Coco Island facts for kids

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Cocos Island National Park *
Isla del coco.jpg
Cocos Island
Country Costa Rica
Type Natural
Criteria ix, x
Reference 820
Region ** Central America
Inscription history
Inscription 1997 (21st Session)
Extensions 2002

Cocos Island is located in the Eastern Tropical Pacific approximately 300 miles southwest of Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica. A rugged and incredibly beautiful island, today Cocos Island is the most sacred National park in Costa Rica's extensive park system.

Among Cocos Island's many attributes is a startling degree of biodiversity. This island's world-renowned waters explode with life, including innumerable white tip reef sharks, schooling hammerhead sharks, dolphins, mantas and marbled rays, giant moray eels, sailfish, and of course the occasional whale shark. Other common encounters are large schools of jacks and tuna, silky sharks, silver tip sharks, marlin, Creole fish, green turtles and octopus. On the Island you will encounter a lot of pigs and not much else besides the usual vegetation.

History

The islands took their current name from Portuguese sailors in the 16th century, "coco" being the Portuguese word for the coconut. The island is supposed to hold three of the largest treasure troves of all time. From pirates to the entire horde of Lima which was hidden there from Simon Bolivar and his troops in 1821.

Demography

There are more than 200 houses on Great Coco Island, and its total population is around a thousand people. A large water catchment reservoir is able to support the island's population.

There is a naval base on the islands, which belongs to the 28th unit of the Myanmar Navy. It is home to some 200 soldiers and their families.

Landscape

Cocos Island is a very hilly, dense tropical jungle with over 200 waterfalls and averages over 400 inches of rain a year. It has three bays and is 24 square kilometers of land.

Flora and fauna

The islands offer the opportunity to see rare reptiles, birds, and mammals that are unique to the Coco Islands.

Climate

The Coco Islands have a tropical monsoon climate. Temperatures are very warm throughout the year. There is a winter dry season from December to March and a summer wet season from April to November. The heaviest rain falls in September, with an average of 761 millimetres (30.0 in) of rain.

As tourists are allowed ashore only with permission of island rangers, there are very limited ways to be able to step foot on the island but one of the best ways to experience this natural beauty is through a dive trip.


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