Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Tips For Buying A Coco De Mer In The Seychelles


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Shawn Goddard



Welcome to the enchanting world of the Seychelles, a tropical paradise renowned for its breathtaking beaches and lush landscapes. Nestled in the heart of this mesmerizing archipelago is an iconic treasure that has captivated the imaginations of adventurers and collectors alike – the Coco De Mer.


The Coco De Mer, also known as the “double coconut,” is a unique and rare fruit found exclusively in the Seychelles. Its distinctive shape, resembling a female pelvis, has given it a mystical allure that dates back centuries. Revered for its beauty and symbolism, acquiring a Coco De Mer has become a fascination for travelers seeking an extraordinary memento of their time in these idyllic islands.


Whether you’re an ardent collector or simply an admirer of natural wonders, buying a Coco De Mer can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. However, it’s important to approach the process with careful consideration to ensure a genuine and ethical purchase. In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about buying a Coco De Mer in the Seychelles, from understanding its significance to selecting a reputable seller and assessing its quality.


Embark on this journey with us as we delve into the enchanting world of the Coco De Mer, and uncover the secrets and nuances that make it such a coveted treasure in the Seychelles.


Importance of Coco De Mer in the Seychelles

The Coco De Mer holds immense cultural and ecological importance in the Seychelles. It is not only a symbol of the country’s natural heritage but also plays a vital role in its economy and conservation efforts.


Native to only two islands in the Seychelles – Praslin and Curieuse – the Coco De Mer holds a mythical status in local folklore. Its unique shape and size have led to various legends and stories, associating it with fertility, love, and even a connection to the Garden of Eden. This has made it a cherished symbol of the Seychellois identity and a source of pride for its people.


From an ecological standpoint, the Coco De Mer is a fascinating species. It is considered a living fossil, with fossils dating back over 90 million years. Its large seeds, which are the largest in the plant kingdom, play a crucial role in the dispersal and survival of the species. The Coco De Mer palm trees on Praslin and Curieuse are protected and carefully managed to ensure the continued existence of this remarkable plant.


Furthermore, the Coco De Mer contributes significantly to the Seychelles’ economy. It attracts visitors from all around the world, who come to marvel at its beauty and purchase replicas or genuine specimens as souvenirs. The tourism industry in the Seychelles benefits from the allure of the Coco De Mer, as it has become a must-see attraction for many travelers.


Additionally, the trade of Coco De Mer seeds and products helps generate income for local communities. Sustainable harvesting and careful management of these valuable resources ensure that the islands’ natural heritage is preserved while providing economic opportunities for the Seychellois people.


Preserving and protecting the Coco De Mer is of utmost importance to the Seychelles. Conservation efforts are in place to safeguard the trees and the surrounding ecosystems they thrive in. This includes monitoring illegal harvesting and trafficking of Coco De Mer products, as well as raising awareness about the significance of these remarkable specimens.


In the next sections, we will delve into the various aspects of buying a Coco De Mer, from ensuring its authenticity and quality to understanding the legalities surrounding its trade. By doing so, we can contribute to the ongoing efforts to protect and appreciate this remarkable treasure that is deeply rooted in the history and culture of the Seychelles.


Understanding the Coco De Mer

The Coco De Mer, scientifically known as Lodoicea maldivica, is a species of palm tree endemic to the Seychelles. It is known for its distinctive shape and massive size, making it one of the world’s most captivating natural wonders.


The name “Coco De Mer” translates to “coconut of the sea,” which accurately describes the nut’s size and its tendency to wash up on the shores of remote beaches. The fruit itself is incredibly large, weighing up to 30 kilograms (66 pounds), and has remarkable features that have fascinated people for centuries.


The Coco De Mer nut has a unique shape, resembling a female pelvis, with two halves that mirror each other. This seemingly provocative form has sparked numerous legends and associations throughout history.


Beyond its appearance, the Coco De Mer is also characterized by its longevity. These palm trees can live for several centuries, with some specimens estimated to be over a thousand years old. The trees attract attention with their enormous fronds, which can reach up to 10 meters (33 feet) in length, creating a mesmerizing sight in the island’s lush forests.


The Coco De Mer plays a vital role in the Seychelles’ ecosystem. Its large seeds are dispersed by the ocean currents, with some drifting across vast distances before being washed ashore on remote islands. This unique method of dispersal contributes to the overall biodiversity and conservation of marine and coastal environments in the region.


The cultural significance of the Coco De Mer extends far beyond its ecological role. In the Seychellois culture, the nut is regarded as a symbol of fertility, sensuality, and female empowerment. It is often associated with myths and legends, with some stories even claiming that the Coco De Mer was part of the legendary Garden of Eden.


To fully appreciate the Coco De Mer, it is essential to visit the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve on the island of Praslin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This protected area is home to a dense population of Coco De Mer palm trees and offers visitors an opportunity to witness their majesty up close and learn more about their significance.


In the next sections, we will delve further into the intricacies of buying a Coco De Mer, including the best time to purchase and how to assess its quality. By understanding the characteristics and contextual background of this remarkable fruit, you can make informed decisions and truly cherish this exceptional symbol of the Seychelles.


Best Time to Buy Coco De Mer

The Coco De Mer is available for purchase throughout the year in the Seychelles, but there are certain periods when it is more favorable to buy this remarkable fruit. Timing your purchase can help ensure that you have access to a wide range of options and potentially better prices.


One factor to consider is the harvesting season of the Coco De Mer. The nuts are typically harvested between May and September, with the peak season being from June to August. During this time, the ripe Coco De Mer nuts will fall naturally from the palm trees and can be collected.


Visiting the Seychelles during the harvesting season allows you to witness the process firsthand and have a greater selection of Coco De Mer nuts to choose from. You can even take part in organized tours or visit the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve to observe the traditional harvesting techniques employed by local communities.


Another advantage of buying the Coco De Mer during the harvesting season is that prices may be more competitive. With a higher supply of nuts available, sellers may offer better deals to attract buyers. However, it’s important to be cautious of deeply discounted prices, as they may indicate poor quality or unethical practices.


On the other hand, purchasing the Coco De Mer during the off-season, particularly in the months of October to April, can have its advantages as well. While the availability may be more limited, this period offers a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere in the Seychelles. You may also have the opportunity to engage in more personalized interactions with sellers and learn more about the cultural significance of the Coco De Mer.


Regardless of the time of year, it is crucial to exercise caution and ensure that you are purchasing from reputable sellers. Look for established shops or certified outlets that adhere to ethical and legal standards. This will help safeguard against counterfeit products and support sustainable trade practices.


Timing your purchase of the Coco De Mer in the Seychelles is a personal choice based on your preferences and travel plans. Whether you choose to buy during the harvesting season or explore the hidden gems of the off-season, the experience of acquiring a Coco De Mer will undoubtedly be a cherished memory of your time in this island paradise.


Selecting a Reputable Seller

When buying a Coco De Mer in the Seychelles, it is essential to ensure that you are purchasing from a reputable seller. This will not only guarantee the authenticity of the product but also contribute to ethical and sustainable trade practices.


Here are some key considerations when selecting a seller:

  1. Research and Reviews: Start by conducting thorough research before making a purchase. Look for recommendations from fellow travelers, read online reviews, and check if the seller has a reputable online presence. This will give you an idea of their credibility and customer satisfaction.
  2. Certifications and Licenses: Verify if the seller has the necessary certifications and licenses to trade in Coco De Mer products. This ensures that they are operating within the legal framework and adhering to conservation regulations. Look for certifications such as the Seychelles Coco De Mer Trade Control Certificate.
  3. Physical Store Presence: If possible, visit physical stores instead of solely relying on online platforms. A brick-and-mortar establishment provides more assurance of legitimacy and allows you to inspect the products in person before making a purchase.
  4. Transparent Pricing: Reputable sellers will have clear pricing structures, providing you with a breakdown of the cost. This helps you understand what you are paying for and ensures that you are not overcharged or misled.
  5. Product Knowledge and Expertise: Interact with the seller and gauge their knowledge and expertise regarding the Coco De Mer. They should be able to answer your questions, provide detailed information, and offer guidance on caring for and preserving your purchase.
  6. Ethical and Sustainable Practices: Choose sellers who prioritize ethical and sustainable sourcing. Ideally, they should be committed to conservation efforts and fair trade practices. Ask about their source of Coco De Mer and inquire about their commitment to preserving the species and its habitats.
  7. Guarantees and Return Policies: Inquire about the seller’s guarantees and return policies. A reputable seller will have clear guidelines for returns, exchanges, or refunds if you are unsatisfied with your purchase or if the product does not meet your expectations.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision while selecting a reputable seller for your Coco De Mer purchase. Remember, purchasing from a trustworthy source not only ensures the legitimacy of the product but also supports sustainable practices and the local communities in the Seychelles.


Assessing the Quality of Coco De Mer

When buying a Coco De Mer in the Seychelles, it is crucial to assess the quality of the product to ensure you are getting an authentic and desirable specimen. Here are some key factors to consider when evaluating the quality of Coco De Mer:

  1. Size and Weight: One of the defining characteristics of Coco De Mer is its size. Consider both the length and the weight of the nut. A larger and heavier Coco De Mer is generally considered more valuable and desirable.
  2. Shape and Symmetry: Examine the shape and symmetry of the Coco De Mer. It should resemble the distinctive female pelvis shape without any significant deformities or irregularities. A well-shaped Coco De Mer is often considered more aesthetically pleasing.
  3. Surface Texture: Assess the surface texture of the nut. A good-quality Coco De Mer will have a smooth and glossy exterior. Irregularities, blemishes, or rough patches may indicate poor quality or damage.
  4. Color: Coco De Mer nuts come in various shades of brown. Look for vibrant and uniform coloration, avoiding any signs of discoloration or patches of different tones. The color should be consistent throughout the nut.
  5. Sound: Gently shake the Coco De Mer and listen for a distinct rattling sound. This indicates that the nut is mature and the seeds inside are loose, which is typically desirable.
  6. Authenticity: Ensure that the Coco De Mer you are considering is genuine and not a replica. Look for signs of authenticity, such as official certifications, holograms, or other markings that certify its origin.
  7. Packaging and Documentation: Check the packaging and accompanying documentation. Authentic Coco De Mer products should come with proper labeling and documentation, indicating the source, legality, and any certifications associated with the nut.
  8. Price: While price alone is not a guarantee of quality, it can be an indicator. Be wary of overly inexpensive Coco De Mer as it may indicate inferior quality or counterfeit products. Remember, quality Coco De Mer is a unique and valuable item, deserving of a fair price.

It’s important to have realistic expectations when assessing the quality of Coco De Mer. Natural imperfections are common and can add to the uniqueness and allure of each individual nut. Embrace the natural charm and characteristics that make each Coco De Mer special.


By considering these factors and taking the time to evaluate the quality of the Coco De Mer, you can make an informed decision and select a truly remarkable treasure that reflects the beauty and mystique of the Seychelles.


Legalities and Regulations

When purchasing a Coco De Mer in the Seychelles, it is crucial to be aware of the legalities and regulations surrounding the trade of this iconic fruit. The Seychelles government has implemented measures to protect the Coco De Mer and ensure its sustainable management.


Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Protected Species: The Coco De Mer is a protected species in the Seychelles, making it illegal to harvest, possess, or trade without proper authorization. The trees and their nuts are protected under the Seychelles Wild Animals and Birds Protection Act.
  2. Certification and Permits: To legally trade Coco De Mer products, sellers must obtain the necessary certifications and permits. Look for sellers who have the Seychelles Coco De Mer Trade Control Certificate, ensuring that they are operating within the legal framework.
  3. Sustainable Harvesting: Coco De Mer nuts are harvested sustainably to ensure the long-term survival of the species. Harvesting is carefully regulated and limited to specific periods to allow the nuts to reach maturity naturally. This helps protect the trees and ensures the availability of Coco De Mer for future generations.
  4. Prohibited Activities: It is strictly prohibited to remove Coco De Mer nuts from their natural habitat or attempt to export them without proper authorization. Engaging in prohibited activities can result in fines, imprisonment, and the confiscation of the nuts.
  5. Seller Compliance: Ensure that the seller you choose operates in compliance with the legal requirements. They should be knowledgeable about the regulations surrounding the trade of Coco De Mer and able to provide the necessary documents and permits.
  6. Export Restrictions: Be cautious when purchasing a Coco De Mer with the intent to take it out of the Seychelles. Exporting Coco De Mer requires additional permits and compliance with international regulations. It is advisable to consult the relevant authorities to navigate the process legally.

It is important to respect and support the legal regulations in place to protect the Coco De Mer. By purchasing from certified sellers who adhere to the laws, you contribute to the conservation efforts and ensure the sustainable management of this precious species.


Before making a purchase, familiarize yourself with the current regulations and consult with local authorities or reputable vendors for guidance. By doing so, you can enjoy your Coco De Mer while respecting the laws and safeguarding the future of this unique symbol of the Seychelles.


Negotiating Prices

When buying a Coco De Mer in the Seychelles, negotiating prices can be a common practice. However, it’s important to approach the negotiation process with tact and respect for the seller. Here are some tips to keep in mind when negotiating the price of a Coco De Mer:

  1. Research and Benchmark: Before negotiating, conduct research to understand the general price range for Coco De Mer products. This will give you a benchmark to work with and help you determine a fair offer.
  2. Respect Cultural Practices: In the Seychelles, bargaining is typically a part of the local culture. However, it’s important to be respectful and mindful of local customs when engaging in negotiations. Keep the tone friendly and maintain a spirit of mutual understanding.
  3. Build a Relationship: Establishing a friendly rapport with the seller can go a long way in negotiating a better price. Engage in conversation, show genuine interest in their knowledge, and express your appreciation for the Coco De Mer. Building a good relationship can increase the likelihood of securing a favorable deal.
  4. Consider the Factors: Take into account the various factors that may influence the price of the Coco De Mer, such as size, weight, shape, and overall quality. If you notice any imperfections or irregularities, you may have room to negotiate based on these factors.
  5. Bundle Deals: If you plan to purchase multiple Coco De Mer nuts or other items from the same seller, consider asking for a discount for buying in bulk. Bundle deals can often lead to more favorable pricing.
  6. Explore Additional Perks: In addition to negotiating the price, consider asking for additional perks or services. This could include free shipping, extended warranties, or complimentary packaging. Getting extra value can make the negotiation more successful.
  7. Know Your Limits: While negotiating, it’s essential to know your limits and be prepared to walk away if the price does not meet your expectations. It’s better to find another seller or explore alternative options than to make a purchase you’re not completely satisfied with.

Remember, negotiating prices is a common practice, but it should always be done with respect and understanding. Maintaining a positive and friendly attitude can help foster a mutually beneficial outcome for both you and the seller.


By keeping these tips in mind and being mindful of the local culture, you can enhance your chances of securing a fair and reasonable price for your Coco De Mer purchase.


Inspecting and Authenticating Coco De Mer

When purchasing a Coco De Mer in the Seychelles, it is crucial to inspect and authenticate the product to ensure its genuineness. Here are some key steps to follow when inspecting and authenticating a Coco De Mer:

  1. Physical Examination: Carefully examine the Coco De Mer, both visually and by touch. Look for any irregularities, inconsistencies, or signs of poor craftsmanship. The nut should have a symmetrical shape, smooth surface, and vibrant color.
  2. Weight and Size: Weigh and measure the Coco De Mer to ensure it aligns with the average weight and size of authentic nuts. While there may be some natural variations, a significant deviation from the norm may indicate a counterfeit or manipulated product.
  3. Seeds Inside: Gently shake the Coco De Mer and listen for the sound of loose seeds. A mature Coco De Mer will have seeds that rattle inside, indicating its readiness for dispersal. If there are no discernible sounds, it may be a sign of an empty or imitation nut.
  4. Documentation and Certificates: Request documentation and certificates from the seller to authenticate the origin and legality of the Coco De Mer. Official certification, such as the Seychelles Coco De Mer Trade Control Certificate, provides assurance of its authenticity.
  5. Expert Opinion: If possible, seek the opinion of an experienced Coco De Mer expert or a reputable authority in the field. Their expertise can help verify the authenticity and quality of the nut through a thorough examination.
  6. Seller Reputation: Consider the reputation of the seller. Reputable sellers in the Seychelles have a long-standing history and adhere to legal requirements. Do your research and look for reviews or recommendations from previous customers.
  7. Price Comparison: Compare the price of the Coco De Mer with similar products in the market. Unrealistically low prices may indicate a counterfeit or less valuable item. Be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true.
  8. Authentication Marks: Look for specific authentication marks or holograms that certify the Coco De Mer as genuine. These marks are designed to deter counterfeiting and ensure the buyer’s confidence in the product’s authenticity.

Authenticating a Coco De Mer requires a discerning eye, knowledge of the characteristics, and proper documentation. By following these steps and ensuring the nut undergoes proper inspection, you can have greater confidence in the authenticity and value of your Coco De Mer purchase.


Remember, purchasing from reputable sellers who comply with legal requirements and offer proper documentation is crucial to ensure you are acquiring a genuine and ethically-sourced Coco De Mer.


Shipping and Handling Considerations

When purchasing a Coco De Mer in the Seychelles, it’s essential to consider the shipping and handling process to ensure the safe and secure delivery of your precious treasure. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Packaging: Ensure that the Coco De Mer is properly packaged in a sturdy and protective container. The packaging should be able to withstand any potential impacts or rough handling during transit.
  2. Insurance: Consider purchasing insurance for your Coco De Mer shipment. This can provide financial protection in case of loss, damage, or theft during transportation. It’s important to discuss insurance options with the seller or shipping provider.
  3. Tracking: Opt for a shipping method that offers tracking services. This allows you to monitor the progress of your Coco De Mer package and provides peace of mind knowing its whereabouts during transit.
  4. Customs Declaration: Verify the customs requirements and restrictions of your home country regarding the import of Coco De Mer. Ensure that the seller provides accurate and complete documentation to facilitate the customs clearance process.
  5. Handling Instructions: Provide specific handling instructions to the shipping company to ensure proper care is taken when transporting the Coco De Mer. This may include instructions to avoid extreme temperatures, moisture, or excessive shaking during transit.
  6. Shipping Duration: Inquire about the estimated shipping duration to anticipate the arrival of your Coco De Mer. Take into account any potential delays related to customs clearance or unforeseen circumstances.
  7. Additional Charges: Be aware of any additional charges associated with shipping, such as customs duties, taxes, or handling fees. Factor these costs into your budget to avoid any surprises upon delivery.
  8. Communication: Maintain open communication with the seller or shipping provider throughout the shipping process. This ensures that you receive timely updates and can address any concerns or inquiries regarding your Coco De Mer shipment.
  9. Unpacking Safely: Once your Coco De Mer arrives, handle it with care during the unpacking process. Follow any instructions provided by the seller to ensure a safe and smooth unpacking experience.

By considering these shipping and handling considerations, you can minimize the risks associated with transporting your Coco De Mer and ensure its safe arrival at your desired destination. Remember, proper packaging, insurance coverage, and clear communication are key to preserving the beauty and integrity of your precious Coco De Mer.



Buying a Coco De Mer in the Seychelles is a remarkable and unique experience. This iconic fruit, with its captivating shape and rich cultural significance, serves as a symbol of the natural beauty and heritage of the Seychelles. As you embark on the journey of acquiring a Coco De Mer, it is important to approach the process with knowledge, respect, and a commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.


Throughout this guide, we have explored the various aspects of buying a Coco De Mer, from understanding its importance in the Seychelles to selecting a reputable seller and assessing the quality of the nut. We have highlighted the significance of timing your purchase, considering legalities and regulations, and the art of negotiation. Additionally, we have touched on the crucial aspects of inspecting and authenticating the Coco De Mer, as well as the shipping and handling considerations to ensure its safe delivery.


By following these guidelines, you can make an informed decision and acquire a genuine Coco De Mer that will serve as a cherished reminder of your time in the Seychelles. Remember to respect the laws and regulations surrounding the trade of Coco De Mer, support reputable sellers who comply with ethical practices, and embrace the natural beauty and uniqueness of each individual nut.


As you embark on your journey to purchase a Coco De Mer, immerse yourself in the rich folklore and history associated with this revered fruit. Take the time to explore the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, learn about the conservation efforts in place, and appreciate the Seychelles’ commitment to preserving this cultural and ecological treasure.


May your Coco De Mer purchase be a source of joy and wonder, embodying the essence of natural beauty and the spirit of the Seychelles. Embrace this extraordinary symbol of the islands, and let it transport you back to the paradise that is the Seychelles whenever you glance upon its enchanting form.