This forest-coated and jagged-peaked island juts out of the Pacific Ocean 300 miles off Costa Rica’s west coast, like a setting from Lost. Aerial-shots of it were used in the opening sequence of Jurassic Park to denote a truly remote wilderness.
What most visitors come for, though, is beneath the water. It’s a diver’s paradise, and one of PADI’s global top ten dive spots. Vast schools of hammerhead sharks reside here, with rays, yellow-fin tuna, sailfish, white tip reef sharks, occasional huge whale sharks, whales, dolphins and turtles. Dive sites variously offer steep vertical walls, rich coral reefs, volcanic tunnels and underwater caves, 40-metre pinnacles, and blue-water diving.
The only way to experience it is to book onto a liveaboard dive boat (there’s no tourist accommodation on the island, only a solitary research station), and cruise the 36-hour sailing from Puntarenas. Boats are comfortable, large and well equipped. Trips run all year, though December-May offers calmer crossings and clear visibility.