Cocos Island... Dive in the 'Little Galapagos'

Why we love it

Located 500 km west of Costa Rica, this lush volcanic island shelters a high number of endemic species above water and incredible marine life - white tip reef sharks, schooling hammerheads, dolphins, mantas - just to name a few. Because it is so remote, we think this dive trip is once-in-a-lifetime… the truth is, many visitors go back again and again!

Conservation

The dive operator works closely with the Cocos Island National Park Department in their efforts to protect the island, the University of Costa Rica Marine department, the NGO’s Turtle Island Restoration Network, Crema, and Costa Rica por Siempre.

Who is it for?

Accomplished divers ready to indulge in one of the most well known marine life watching experiences. Most sites are deep and with strong currents - attracting big pelagics. Cocos Island has fantastic topography with seamounts, arches and caves. Would you want to do anything else than diving?! If yes, try the sea kayaks, snorkel time, hikes on the Cocos island. And for a real thrill, reserve a spot aboard the DeepSee Submersible and plunge hundreds of meters below the surface - a truly unforgettable experience.

Dive briefing!

Marine life

  • A UNESCO World Heritage Site and national park since 1978, Cocos Island is located in the Eastern Tropical Pacific - about 500 km south west of Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica.
  • The island was formed during a volcanic upheaval about two-and-a-half million years ago. It is remote, 36 hours from the mainland, and well-preserved.
  • Sometimes called the ‘Little Galapagos’, it is among the Top 10 dive destinations in the world: schooling hammerheads, white tip reef sharks, dolphins, mantas and marbled rays, giant moray eels, sailfish, whale shark occasionally. Large schools of jacks and tuna, silky sharks, silver tips, marlin, creole fish, green turtles, octopus, the exotic rosy-lipped batfish.
  • The terrestrial life at Cocos also exhibits a high number of endemic species.

Dive conditions

  • Season: the diving is great all year long, but there are differences in the seasons
    • Dry Season (December to May): calmer sea but also a few less pelagic
    • Rainy Season (June to November): a peak time for hammerheads, mantas and whalesharks.
  • Currents: strong
  • Visibility: ~30 meters in the dry season and 10 to 25 meters in the rainy season
  • Water temperature: 26 to 29 degrees C with occasional thermoclines
  • Depth: deep dives mostly (18m+)

Dive sites

  • Open ocean dive destination which is not for beginners - you need at least 25 hours of diving under your belt, have deep- and night- dive specialties.
  • As Cocos Island is 36 hours from mainland, dive safety is even more crucial. Max depth is 35 meters and maximum dive time is 60 minutes.
  • Topography is diverse with walls, spectacular rock formations, arches, seamounts, pinnacles, swim throughs, coral gardens, slopes, sandy bottoms.
  • 3 dives per day after arriving to the island, and usually 3 night dives
  • Dives sites: Manuelita Coral Garden, Manuelita Outside, Viking Rock, Dirty Rock, Punta Maria, Big Dos Amigos, Small Dos Amigos, Bajo Dos Amigos, Shark Fin Rock, Bait Ball, Submerged Rock, Bajo Alcyone, Silverado, Lobster Rock

The Team

  • Dive operator in the area since 1990
  • Two boats
  • Instruction in English and Spanish
  • Nitrox course available on request
  • Maximum 10 divers per instructor

Safety information

  • Equipment Needed: a 3 to 5 mm wet suit, a dive computer, dive gloves and the usual diving equipment. Nitrox recommended. ScubaPro equipment can be rented on board. Note: a Safety Kit that includes an extra-large orange SMB, a powerful storm whistle, a special safety light and a Nautilus Lifeline is provided by the dive operator.

  • Insurance: Both dive insurance and travel insurance are mandatory. We recommend Dive Assure that has plans to cover both - ask us for a quote.

  • Hyperbaric Chamber: nearest chamber is more than 36 hours away in San Jose - the cost of an evacuation is very high.

Prices and Dates

What’s included?

  • 11‐day/10‐nights cruise with all meals, all non‐alcoholic drinks and beer
  • Divemaster service, three dives per day with all nitrox fills, tanks (standard yoke), and weights.
  • Seven full days of action‐packed diving
  • The menu aboard offers a delicious combination of International and local cuisine. Meals are varied and well balanced, with delicious snacks between dives. Food is abundant with plenty of fresh tropical fruit and salads and is served buffet style.

What’s not included?

  • Every passenger must pay an additional 490 USD per person for the Cocos Island National Park fee (National park fee: +70 USD per day / might be subject to change) and 100 USD per person for Ground and marine transportation from San José to the pier and return
  • Rental equipment & diving courses
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tips for the crew
  • Flight tickets and overnight-stays at hotels in San Jose
  • Due to the possible increase in the cost of diesel, based on events in the past few years, the Undersea Hunter Group reserves the right to charge a 200 USD per person Fuel Surcharge - it is rare, in case it happens, we would let you know before departure, and it needs to be paid on board
  • Departure tax in Costa Rica: 29 USD

Visa, Flights & more!

Visa requirements

  • You must have a valid passport to enter Costa Rica, and a return ticket.
  • Most USA, Canadian, EU and Japanese citizens do not require a visa.
  • Please check current visa policies that apply for your country.

How to get there?

  • You need to go to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica at least one day before the departure of the liveaboard. Ask us for some advice on where to stay.
  • The night before departure, an Undersea Hunter/Fiesta Tours representative will inform you at your hotel of your precise pick-up time (between 8am to 1pm) for transport to our dock and your awaiting vessel - the pick up is from a set list of San Jose hotels.
  • You will be taken to Puntarenas, the seaport village where you will board the vessel. The drive takes about 3 hours, including a lunch stop - the price of this meal is not included.
  • At the end of your Cocos adventure, you will usually disembark the boat at 8 AM and be transferred back to your hotel in San Jose.

More…

  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, mosquito repellent, a rashguard, a sweater or a light weight jacket


Only Top
Destinations

At the
Right Season

With Responsable
Dive Operators

No Added
Booking Fees