Costa Rica Blog
Costa Rica Blog

Costa Rica Wildlife – Sharks Abundant in Isla de Coco

Sharks are a fantastic example of Costa Rica wildlife and the Isla de Coco, located in Puntarenas is home to a total of 12 species. Just in Chatham Bay there are a total of 206 white tip reef sharks. After their Costa Rica nature investigation a team of biologists confirmed this means there is a healthy population of resident sharks in Isla de Coco. This is one of the preliminary results of the Mision Tiburon (Mission Shark) organization that initiated an investigation to evaluate the population of white tip reef sharks in the Isla de Coco Conservation Area.

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Costa Rica Wildlife Isla de Coco
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Costa Rica Wildlife – White tip shark study in Isla de Coco

This particular species of shark lives in the reef that surrounds the Isla de Coco. In Costa Rica the white reef shark spends most of their time lying on sandy flats and is one of the most fascinating Costa Rica wildlife species.

The investigative team established a tagging system that helped them identify each shark and ascertain whether they stayed in one particular area or moved to another. Taking into account that the reef is very sensitive to changing temperatures, the shark study is also looking into the impact of climate change. The results of this Costa Rica nature study will help to determine the affects of global warming in the Pacific Ocean. According to Andres Lopez, one of the investigators, the Isla de Coco is one of the most pristine and healthy habitats for sharks in the world and its preservation are paramount.

Costa Rica Sharks – White tip – curious but rarely aggressive

The white tip reef shark is a small species can reach a maximum of 2.1m (6.9 ft). The species is defined by a slim body and short broad head with a flattened and blunt snout. This shark is known for being curious and is rarely aggressive which means they can often be seen by scuba divers in the Isla de Coco.

Costa Rica Nature White Tip Reef Shark
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Underwater Costa Rica Nature – Isla de Coco is excellent for scuba diving

Recognized for its abundance of marine life including hammer head sharks, stingrays, dolphins, yellow fin tuna and sailfish, Isla de Coco is known for being one of the best locations for scuba diving in the world. Costa Rica scuba diving in the Isla de Coco comes highly recommended!

In 2010 the highly esteemed Spanish newspaper El Pais positioned Isla de Coco in its top ten scuba diving locations. In the report, the marine photographer Manú San Felix listed Isla de Coco as one of his favorite diving spots. The famous explorer Jacque Cousteau stated it was the most beautiful island in the world.

Not for the faint hearted, scuba diving with sharks is certainly not for everyone but it is an activity that is growing in popularity. If you are looking for your next adrenalin rush, love nature and have no fear then shark spotting around Isla de Coco in Puntarenas might be for you.

Isla de Coco is one of Costa Rica’s protected National Parks and was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1997. Thanks to its truly unique characteristics the Isla de Coco offers the ultimate in shark diving adventures and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors already list it amongst their top ten diving hotspots thanks to the abundance of Costa Rica nature.

For more information about snorkelling tours in the Isla de Coco contact Escape Villas on or call toll free at 1-888-771-2976.