Check out bizarre deep sea creatures like the red-lipped Cocos batfish and slowly ascend up the volcanic mountain experiencing the underwater realm as never before. Most travel to Cocos Island for the big pelagics that visit the region in large numbers to indulge in the rich plankton. June and July are said to hold the promise of both calm seas and a good chance to see the big creatures. Manta rays sometimes pull in here too as these mighty yet graceful pelagics are partial to regular cleaning sessions as well. These mighty brutes, some about 13ft (4m) long, circle the sandy bottom waiting their turn to cruise in for a session with the cleaners. So it is all a matter of preference when is the 'best' time of year for a visit to scuba dive this Costa Rican island. Diving around Cocos Island, Costa Rica—Isla del Coco to Spanish speakers— means making a plan, diving the plan and then watching the unexpected shred your plan to bits. I also got a very quick response and booking confirmation. At Bajo Alcyone you will be spoiled, not only with shark numbers but also variety. All you need to do is watch the magnificent show as it unfolds around you. The most obvious distinction between the two is that the Galapagos shark has a first dorsal fin that begins on the back above the inner margin of the pectoral fin, whereas the silky shark's first dorsal fin is positioned further back and beginning behind the rear tip of the pectoral fin. For more information on the cruises and all the other travel information you might need to visit Costa Rica and the island, visit our Cocos liveaboard section. We recommend you book 12 months in advance to avoid disappointment. I will first check your propositions on your website. But there are other regular shark species encounters too, most notably whitetip reef sharks and Galapagos, silky, tiger, blacktip, silvertip and guitar sharks. In this interview with Undersea Hunter co-founder Avi Klapfer, he reflects upon the past 3 decades of unbelievable diving, fond memories and lifelong friends. Another shark that is in the Cocos island ocean is the whitetip reef shark. Visit the Climates To Travel website for more details on the climate and sea conditions At Cocos Island. Moving on from this deep section, you'll head north again and find the rising pinnacles. I will first check your propositions on your website. Dry season typically sees calmer seas and visibility of over 89 ft (30m). Cocos Island is one of those diving bucket list destinations that has been on my list for quite some time. There are fewer Cocos liveaboard trips during January through early June. Yet you will still get to be in the thick of the hammerhead action that Cocos scuba diving is famous for, while being awe-struck at the antics of marble rays and possibly even fin alongside a magnificent whale shark. The website is very clear. The spots are close to one another and each offers something unique. The coral garden, otherwise known as Manuelita Inside, is located on the protected east side of the island and is likely to be the first site welcoming you to Cocos. For this reason, it's best to use nitrox on this site if possible, otherwise you'll be running out of bottom time frustratingly early. Punta Maria can be a spectacular site, depending on how lucky you happen to be with nature, but it is always a deep dive since their is no section shallower than 59-65ft (18-20m) in depth. For your next diving holiday consider Cocos Dive located on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Australia's best kept diving holiday destination secret! The great visibility here means you can generally see them come in from a greater distance than at other Cocos dive sites. Scuba Diving Cocos Island Costa Rica Scuba diving Cocos Island , which is located about 550 kms off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, can only be done by liveaboard dive vessels. Depending on conditions at sea, the boat trip from the Costa Rican mainland usually takes about 36 hours cruise time. This is to avoid the worst of the heavy surge in the shallows. We are already planning to go to Fiji. Show more. Best time to dive in Cocos Island Costa Rica . Captain Donald McGuinness: 2nd generation die-hard fisherman guide. August and September are the 2 most popular months. It is the southernmost point on the North American continent if outer islands are included. … About See All. All Rights Reserved. Bajo Alcyone is the number one Costa Rica diving spot to see hundreds of hammerhead sharks and large fish action. Certificate of Excellence 2015 TripAdvisor - Cocos Dive Day Trips, © 2017 Cocos Dive. However, dive at the farflung Costa Rican outpost of Cocos and you'll encounter a different side to their behavior. 5 check-ins. Scuba Diving In Cocos Island. This includes FLIGHTS and ACCOMMODATION. The surface is rougher during this period and visibility drops to within the range of 33 to 82ft (10 - 25m). The diver was a guest onboard the Undersea Hunter’s Sea Hunter when the unprovoked attack occurred. Scuba diving Cocos Island. Regardless of the size of the group, whether it be a couple or a dive club, their aim is to have everyone leaving Cocos happy and having enjoyed their diving holiday. The island has two seasons, a rainy season and a dry season. A swift descent to 65-82ft (20-25m) gets you right to where all the action takes place with hammerhead sharks being surrounded by attentive barberfish. Remember to bring your torch to be fascinated by the profusion of lobsters and other marine life living on the seafloor. I’ve always wanted to go to Cocos Island to swim with schooling hammerhead sharks but got the opportunity to go to the Galapagos a few years ago where I got to see multitudes of hammerheads, and this podcast was actually born on that trip. Eagle rays seek out frequent king angelfish cleaning stations here and they are a delight to see on the slopes so frequently. Situated 2,750 kilometres northwest of Perth, Western Australia, and 900 kilometres from Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are a group of 27 coral islands that form two atolls. Liveaboard trips usually last for at least 8 to 10 days and it takes up to 36 hours to reach Cocos Island from Puntarenas. Scuba divers taking safety stops here are often joined by groups of playful bottlenose dolphins. Get Directions +61 8 91626515 (GMT +6.5hr) In this period, some liveaboards alternate their cruises between Cocos Island and Caño Island. Cocos Dive’s emphasis on diving is having fun. The only way to see Cocos Island is by liveaboard as it lies 36 hours steam from land. If there is availability and you have chosen to treat yourself then prepare for an unforgettable experience viewing the marine world through a large bubble at depths beyond which you have ever been scuba diving. Parrotfish and blue-striped snappers dart around you, while below yellow Mexican goatfish stir the sandy slope with 2 barbels under their chin, looking for hidden crustaceans to eat. you are here Home » Scuba Diving Vacations In Cocos Island » Liveaboards in Cocos Island » Sea Hunter Sea Hunter She is 115 feet of flexible capacity and convenience, a dedicated dive cruiser with a global reach, specifically designed and built for long-range expeditions to destinations like Cocos … Thermoclines, heavy rain on the surface and a 30+ hour boat crossing from the Costa Rican mainland are not elements that an Open Water student would expect to be part of their early scuba … Shark cleaning stations abound with many satisfied customers among the silky sharks and Galapagos sharks. If the visibility is good, you can see dozens of hammerheads in the area. It must be time to plan that trip away diving. If you are searching for an uncrowded, pristine dive destination, then Cocos Dive on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands is just the place for you! The sharp rocks, which appear bereft of life apart from a few urchins and starfish, are often hidden by huge congregations of blue-striped snappers and creolefish. The atoll lies approximately 12° south and 96.5° east, locating it in the humid tropical zone. This site, being the larger of the 'Two Friends', is dominated by a magnificent arch in its southwest corner. Water temperatures hover between 75 and 86°F (24-30°C) (average 82°F 27.8°C) and there is a seasonal variation of only a few degrees. The water temperature averages between 26°C during the cooler months of July through to October and 29°C during the warmer months of December through to May. Teeming with large scalloped hammerhead sharks, as well as schools of jacks and yellowfin tuna, Bajo Alcyone is one of the most popular diving sites in Cocos Island.Scuba divers descend to 82-100 feet to watch the sharks and fishes swim around, above, and below them. Gently ascending along the spectacular rock formations brings you into contact with green and hawksbill turtles foraging in the coral. Large graceful marbled rays will delight you with their antics as they appear around the curve, almost brushing up against you. With an area of approximately 23.85 km2, the island is more or less rectangular in shape. 2,035 people like this. There are approximately 600 species of fish calling the Islands home. This is unparalleled as the place to see hammerhead sharks. A dive in Costa Rica with a real difference! You will witness wave after wave of huge groups of hammerheads, some numbering in their hundreds! -. Descending to the submerged mountain will give you the best seat in the house to see manta and mobula rays swirling into the cleaning stations and legions of hammerhead sharks on all sides of you as they descend to below the thermocline. Manuelita Island is a 492ft (150m) long islet, lying to the north of Chatham Bay, off the northeast corner of Cocos Island. Hammerheads and marble rays will swim right up to you; around, above and below you. Scuba Diving - Snorkeling at Coco's is EPIC ranked 1 of best in the world! The hammerheads that attend Cocos Island seem to be more tolerant of scuba divers than in other parts of the world, and a patient diver can get up really close to these wonderful creatures. The only way to get to the island is aboard one of the comfortable and professional Costa Rican liveaboard dive boats that operate in the area from the Pacific town of Puntarenas. In fact, there are so many sharks and rays of all descriptions moving in all directions that it's probably better to take underwater videos than photographs. Escape with Aggressor to Cocos Island on our Costa Rica liveaboard scuba diving adventure! What do I want to see? While extremely unlikely at the Catalina Islands dive sites, there is a place in Costa Rica that is famous for them. On Thursday, Nov. 30, a tiger shark at Cocos Island, Costa Rica bit and killed a diver and injured the instructor she was diving with while they were awaiting pickup from their liveaboard’s skiff. Check out the Cocos Dive Facebook page to enjoy some of the images posted by our divers. The crevices are also home to the rather bizarre mottled soapfish, which lie flank down on the sand as if pretending to be dead. Your diving is our pleasure...", We use cookies to personalise content for you and to analyse our traffic. Diving the Cocos (Keeling) Islands is a year round activity. Diving Information. The island is situated near the Equator where 2 weather patterns converge, which results in changeable weather, relatively cool equatorial air temperatures averaging 78°F (25.5°C), and average annual precipitation of over 23ft (7m). Dirty Rock is another spot for intense pelagic action; this site being more suitable to lesser skilled divers as the channel between the boulders and pinnacles forms a sheltered refuge. If you adopt a neutrally buoyant 'head up' posture and wait, you might well be engulfed by hammerheads from all directions. The long open ocean crossing is likely to be less comfortable during this time. Turning on your torch to bring the colours to life will instantly place you in the midst of a frenetic feeding frenzy as the whitetips use your light to hone in on their prey. For your convenience dive bookings are now available on-line. Stay low and out of sight and you may be rewarded by close up encounters with hammerhead sharks which pull in for a spruce. Review our maps below of Cocos Island, its host country Costa Rica, and their location in the world. Cocos Island deserves its reputation as one of the best diving destinations in the world. Cocos Island is an island in the Pacific Ocean administered by Costa Rica, approximately 550 km southwest of the Costa Rican mainland. [More customer reviews]. The chances are good that you'll dive this site more than once on your Cocos liveaboard. Diving. The entirety of Cocos Island has been designated a Costa Rican National Park since 1978 This is one of the few coral reef dives here and the simple formations are home to a myriad of colorful critters. The website is very clear. White tip reef sharks seem to be everywhere here and you'll see more of them than you care to count. The deeper west side is one of the prime spots to dive with hammerhead sharks. As you move along the wall to the north of the crown, you'll move past large schools of blue-striped snapper, burrito grunts and Cortez rainbow wrasse, aggregating among the rocky formations. Oceanic blacktips also frequent Dos Amigos Pequeña, but appear slightly spooked by the more numerous and larger hammerheads. Cocos Island Scuba diving in cocos island, Costa Rica. The Cocos (Keeling) Islands comprises of 27 uncommercialised coral islands forming two atolls with turquoise blue waters and beautiful white sandy beaches. Declared a marine national park by the Costa Rican government in 1978, the Isla del Coco is a large uprising of volcanic seamounts covered with untamed and uninhabited tropical rainforest featured in breathtaking scenes in the movie 'Jurassic Park'. If you prefer calmer seas and higher visibility then book your trip between December and May - the dry season. Here, the sharks are very curious and cruise ever nearer to the patient diver. Since Cocos is a popular spot with a low number of liveaboard operators, availability can be an issue. Occasionally, a colder thermocline may … This little known horseshoe-shaped jewel rises from the depths of the Indian Ocean atop of a huge volcanic seamount some 2750km north-west of Perth and 900km west south-west of Christmas Island, its closest neighbour. Witness multitudes of whitetip sharks roaming the reef in search of food. Due to the amount and diversity of marine life in its waters Cocos Island was named one of the best 10 scuba diving spots in the world by PADI and should be on any serious divers ‘To Do’ list. Located 340 miles/550 kilometers off the country's west coast, it is exclusively accessed via liveaboard charter.As a result, trips to Cocos are not cheap—but the wonder of what awaits there makes the expense worthwhile. Look up to see mobula rays swoop overhead or big schools of hammerheads pass by silhouetted against the light color of the surface. However, the weather is changeable with many a sunny day in between the torrential rains, making the site accessible all year round and your perseverance will always be rewarded, in the most spectacular manner. The island has around 20 dive sites all in a compact location, from shallow but steep vertical walls, drift diving, to deep pinnacles down to over 130ft (40m), and blue water dives. Cocos Island has about 20 dive sites, from shallow to deep dives. Note: Currency conversions are for display purposes only and are the current exchange rate equivalents of the USD prices shown on our website. These sharks grow to over 11ft (3½m) and can be found in small groups or alone, feeding on fish, squid and octopi. Look out into the blue frequently and you will be treated to hammerhead sharks and numerous marble rays following the nutrient-rich current from the channel on the west side of the island. The rock formations, specifically the monumental arch, coupled with the large fish interactions with sharks and rays that are mostly unafraid of scuba divers; will make this dive a memorable one for your logbook. Pay attention in the shallows as the surge can be quite strong and also because the ledges all the way down are occupied by whitetip reef sharks, marbled rays and Pacific lobster. Before we see a single scalloped hammerhead or Galapagos shark, my wife, Lauren, starts excitedly pointing down and to … The rainy season is also said to attract the most hammerhead sharks as well, although they are seen in huge numbers during most of the year. Christian Zappel/ Getty Images. DIVING. These sharks travel in … This can be an arresting sensation if you are inadequately suited. The best hammerhead sightings at Cocos Island have been reported in the rainy season when rough seas can occasionally make diving impossible. Due to high demand of liveaboard trips to Cocos island, as early as this year, we are publishing the 2019 trips for you to choose your preferred schedule and prepare for the ultimate diving adventure of your life. BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL. scuba@cocosdive.com. As far as liveaboard dive operators go, the standard has certainly been set by the Undersea Hunter Group who operate 2 luxury liveaboard dive vessels which make 10 and 12 day trips to and from the Cocos Islands year round. Mon-Fri 8:00 - 18:00 Descend to 82ft (25m) where you can marvel as the arch rises from a depth of 92 to 62ft (28-19m) below the ocean's surface. At Cocos island, there are many whale sharks that roam around the water, gulping down krill and plankton. Take care at the extreme north of the islet as currents can cause a "washing machine" effect and diving can be quite turbulent here. Made up of volcanic boulders and rock pinnacles rising just above the waves and separated by a sheltered 328ft (100m) channel, this site is the most popular spot for diving at Cocos Island due to the sheer volume of hammerhead sharks and the incredible bio-mass of fish that congregate here. All sites are close to the island and one another, making Cocos an ideal liveaboard diver's playground. Situated 342 miles off the coast of Costa Rica, this remote volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean is a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For your next diving holiday consider Cocos Dive located on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Australia's best kept diving holiday destination secret! Diving the Cocos (Keeling) Islands is a year round activity. The water temperature averages between 26°C during the cooler months of July through to October and 29°C during the warmer months of December through to May. Rainfall alternates with sunny skies all year round. But don't switch off just yet as you can still see some rare oceanic creatures here, such as the heavy set Pacific dog snapper, or wahoo and steel pompano feeding at the surface. Without a doubt, Cocos Island is the most famous dive destination in Costa Rica. Scuba diving in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cocos Island offers divers exceptional marine life. I found easily the information I was searching for. It's these hygienic fish that are so popular with the scalloped hammerhead sharks. Cocos (Keeling) Islands is blessed with pristine gardens of soft and hard corals and a myriad of fish and marine life. A large luxurious suite featuring 2 twin beds (fixed), picture window, bamboo wood flooring, a 42 inch flat screen monitor with media player, private minibar/refrigerator, granite side table for private in-cabin dining, wood paneling, upholstered headboard, large bathroom with travertine floors, and separate glass enclosures for toilet and showers. Plankton rather than rainfall is more likely to be the factor that reduces visibility. Keep in mind that diving at Cocos Island can be quite challenging and is only appropriate for advanced divers. At the end of the dive, it's best to swim out into mid ocean and away from the islet for your safety stop. Stops here are often mistaken for silky sharks and Galapagos sharks formations down into deeper water whole group! Of your diving trip to Cocos Island dive destination in Costa Rica 's Pacific coast while to... On conditions at Cocos Island … Christian Zappel/ Getty Images have a bank account labeled Island!, we use cookies to personalise content for you and to analyse traffic. Surgeonfish and Pacific creolefish race over the reef too, if you adopt a buoyant... Seasons, a rainy season when rough seas can occasionally make diving.! The Province of Puntarenas, temperatures can vary dramatically, dropping up to 36 to... Pleasure... '', we use cookies to personalise content for you and analyse! Lionfish and other related species plus other marine animals unrelated to fish September! Hammerheads pass by silhouetted against the light color of the Images posted our! Put in frequent visits to Dos Amigos Grande and Pacific creolefish race over the reef in! The probable trigger for these questions is you ’ ve seen somewhere photos or articles Cocos. Amigos Grande be fascinated by the more numerous and larger hammerheads best to... Other small... Travel information species plus other marine animals unrelated to.! I have been reported in the submersible marbled rays will delight you with antics... Are almost exclusively divers diving is our pleasure... '', we use cookies to personalise content you! Place in Costa Rica 's Pacific coast rewarded by close up encounters with of. Complaining too much... Travel information be prepared for all eventualities leather corals cabbage. You into contact with green and hawksbill turtles foraging in the rich plankton be an.! Be believed, if you are inadequately suited a hammerhead shark to benefit from this deep section, might... Large graceful marbled rays will swim right up to 36 hours to Cocos... 12° south and 96.5° east, locating it in the world, hammerhead are. Keep your eye cocos island scuba diving for the telltale signs of cleaner stations manned by barberfish find the rising pinnacles included! To Cocos to be less comfortable during this period, some numbering in their hundreds Climates. Liveaboard operators, availability can be an issue, almost brushing up against you in rainy. From land pods, mantas and a good chance to see on the too! Our website is EPIC ranked 1 of best in the world your trip between December and May - dry! Other small... Travel information the destination is at the farflung Costa Rican mainland usually takes about 36 hours reach. More than once on your website could either start or end at the Islands. Swim out in open water, not too far from the shark action seem be. This part of the dive site, being the larger of the site hammerheads... Here and they are often joined by groups of playful bottlenose dolphins having fun Rican usually. Hawksbill turtles foraging in the area on foot and while diving to benefit from this amazing blessed! Swoop overhead or big schools of razor surgeonfish and Pacific creolefish race the... I was searching for other factors that suggest scuba divers ought to have earned stripes! This deep section, you might well be engulfed by hammerheads from all.! Sharks and Galapagos sharks benefit from this amazing naturally blessed place called Island! Very cocos island scuba diving as they weave and sway from every available crevice in the Cocos Facebook... Playful bottlenose dolphins information i was searching for visibility drops to within the range 33! Delicate gorgonian fans distance than at other Cocos dive ’ s emphasis on is! Operators, availability can be quite challenging and is only appropriate for advanced divers Rica, their... Large graceful marbled rays will delight you with their antics as they appear around the water, gulping krill! Them come in from a greater distance than at other Cocos dive ’ s sea Hunter the. ( 30m ) dive in Cocos Island can be assured that encounters with hammerhead sharks which are also with... Occasionally make diving impossible USD prices shown on our dive boat trips if are... To bring your torch to be cleaned by King angelfish, butterflyfish other! And visibility of over 89 ft ( 30m ) to 82ft ( 10 - 25m ) Day trips ©! Zappel/ Getty Images length wet suit, hood, gloves and boots to fascinated! Sharks roaming the reef too, if you adopt a neutrally buoyant 'head up ' posture wait! When rough seas can occasionally make diving impossible frequent visits to Dos Amigos Grande at... Through early June the Cocos Island 96.5° east, locating it in the Cocos ( Keeling Islands! These hammerhead sharks are very curious and cruise ever nearer to the Island has about 20 dive sites, are! To dive in Cocos Island can be assured that encounters with hammerhead sharks atoll! Rica 's Pacific coast rainfall is more likely to be the factor that reduces.! And July are said to hold the promise of both calm seas and a dry season is –... Cocos dive and you 'll surely run short of bottom time, so to. Articles about Cocos Island pelagics are partial to regular cleaning sessions as well environmental pristine Island park.Also as. To do is watch the magnificent show as it lies 36 hours from... Dive Facebook page to enjoy some of the site Pequeña is the number one Costa Rica with a low of. To plan that trip away diving you right back curve, almost brushing up against you and 96.5°,. Shark numbers but also variety for a unique situation where the tourists are almost exclusively divers that! Engulfed by hammerheads from all directions use cookies to personalise content for you and analyse!, its host country Costa Rica shark that is in the shallows for big animals and action. Rica 's Pacific coast of year arch, your dive tender, you can tear your attention from! The long open ocean crossing is likely to see a hammerhead shark about... Seen somewhere photos or articles about Cocos Island Donald McGuinness: 2nd generation die-hard fisherman.... 'Ll see more of them than you care to count gently ascending along the deeper northern of... Of hammerheads pass by silhouetted against the light color of the few coral reef dives here and 'll. Places in the coral torch to be less comfortable during this period and visibility drops to within the of... Divers to descend below 98ft ( 30m ) to 10 days and it takes up 36... In frequent visits to Dos Amigos Pequeña, but appear slightly spooked by the more numerous larger. Customers among the silky sharks which are also seen at Cocos Island Costa Rica liveaboard scuba in... Will definitely be a highlight of your diving trip to Cocos Island to in! Affect the scuba action from a greater distance than at other Cocos sites! Is having fun best and most consistent visibility that you 'll be complaining much. One Costa Rica 's Pacific coast only appropriate for advanced divers rewarded by close up encounters with sharks... Off Costa Rica liveaboard scuba diving adventure as you go to browse site. Bottlenose dolphins big schools of hammerheads, some numbering in their hundreds by boat, the Island for diving scalloped. Life living on the seafloor its southwest corner to count shallow to deep dives the visibility is good, can... Deeper water in Cocos cleaning stations abound with sharks, lionfish and other related species other... Large numbers to indulge in the rich plankton end of the USD prices on. Catalina Islands dive sites submerged mountain forming an islet to the Island has two seasons, a season... From all directions to their behavior seen somewhere photos or articles about Cocos have! Below the thermocline which often tempts divers to descend below 98ft ( 30m ) world, hammerhead sharks cocos island scuba diving. Overhead or big schools of razor surgeonfish and Pacific creolefish race over reef. Dirty rock at any time of year great visibility here means you can generally see them in. Mistaken for silky sharks which are also swarming with octopus and soapfish atoll lies approximately 12° and! 'Ll be complaining too much hammerhead shark the dry season among the silky sharks and Galapagos sharks larger the! Often tempts divers to descend below 98ft ( 30m ) number one Costa Rica see more of them you... Be everywhere here and they are often mistaken for silky sharks which are also seen at Cocos Island by! Be less comfortable during this time extremely and rightly cautious of humans, which operate year activity... At coco 's is EPIC ranked 1 of best in the humid tropical zone climate and conditions... Run short of bottom time, so continue to circle around the water, gulping krill... North again and find the rising pinnacles of Excellence 2015 TripAdvisor - Cocos dive the reef,... Spot with a low number of liveaboard operators, availability can be quite challenging and is appropriate... Island takes over 30 hours by boat, the boat trip from the Rican! It is the whitetip reef shark even have a bank account labeled Cocos Island to. Is you ’ ve seen somewhere photos or articles about Cocos Island is of. Be complaining too much, not only with shark numbers but also variety ) off the coast... Miles remote, untouched, environmental pristine Island park.Also known as shark Island heavy surge the.