Island of the Coconut

Feb 1998, Dan Young, CNN Interactive
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group
In Spanish it's called "La Isla Del Coco" -- island of the coconut, a fitting name for the lush, tropical paradise off Costa Rica.

But the coconut palms covering Cocos are only a sampling of the island's abundant, indigenous life, found no place else.

"There (are) few places in the world where you feel that nature really hits you," says Avi Klapfer, owner of Undersea Hunter, which ferries divers and other visitors to the island from Costa Rica. "Cocos is so remote and so rugged that you cannot separate the island from the water."

No one lives on the island, expect for a few national park rangers, making Cocos one of the largest uninhabited islands in the world. It covers about 50 square kilometers (roughly 20 square miles) and is the oldest and farthest north of a chain of volcanoes -- most of which are underwater -- stretching south to the equator, about 310 miles (500 kilometers) off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

© copyright by CNN

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