Planning a diveless trip in Costa Rica
by Seattle Times
How can I arrange a trip to Cocos Island in Costa Rica to hike and shoot photos? I am not really interested in scuba diving, which seems to be the focus of tour operators I have found. I know access is limited.
The Pacific island is extremely isolated — about a 30-hour boat ride off the coast of Costa Rica — and is uninhabited except for Costa Rican national-park rangers, so arranging a trip there that isn't dive-related is going to be tricky and expensive. I'm not aware of any scheduled tours except scuba trips; it's known as one of the best diving areas in the world because of its abundance of marine life. Your best bet would be to talk to some of those tour operators and see what they can do for you; perhaps you can negotiate a reduced price if you're not diving. Two of the main tour operators are the Aggressor dive company, www.aggressor.com, and Underseas Hunter, www.underseahunter.com.
Camping is not permitted on Cocos Island, which is a Costa Rican national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; you'll need to stay aboard a boat. Only day visits are permitted by tourists.
You can get general information on Costa Rica through the government tourism office online at www.visitcostarica.com or by phone at 866-COSTARICA.