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Cocos Island Costa Rica Diving


Cocos Island Costa Rica - Undersea Hunter

As compared to other diving destinations where you can be disturbed by other watersports activity or may proceed to nearby places if you wish to extend your vacation, Cocos island is a stand-alone diving paradise that is loaded with over 10 amazing dive spots. The good thing when you explore the underwater habitats of this offshore Costa Rican Island is that you can experience the best of all the world’s dive sites placed in just one area in the Pacific Ocean.

Top Shark Dive Sites around Cocos Island

If there is one thing that stands out about the diving experience in Cocos island, then shark interaction would be the word that perfectly describes this amazing site. Here are the top dive sites in Cocos island where the level of guarantee for a shark interaction is similar to the presence of oxygen from the air that we breath.

Wall of Hammerhead Sharks in Bajo Alcyone

Located on the eastern side of Cocos Island, this offshore seamount is the perfect place to observe the passing-by of hammerhead sharks. As described by divers who have already explored Bajo Alcyone, the passing-by of hammerhead sharks represents like a wall of living things. Yes, a wall of sharks.

While diving with hundreds of hammerhead sharks is already considered an extreme experience, your adventures in Bajo Alcyone will be more extreme as you will be doing a combination of drift and deep diving. What’s best with Bajo Alcyone is that you can interact with other big marine creatures like jacks, rays and sea turtles all thriving in a healthy reef system.
For more information, you can read our related about Bajo Alcyone.

An Underwater Barbershop for Sharks in Dirty Rock

Dirty Rock is one of the sites in Cocos island that has a cleaning station where sharks drop-by for a quick clean. Located at 20 meters (60 feet) deep off the western reefs of Cocos island, you will see hammerhead sharks coming in close to the reef where they are greeted by cleanerfish who cleanses the shark from dead skin and parasite infestation in exchange for a free meal. But as divers share their experience, they told us that you don’t need to go deep just to see sharks. They said your shark interaction may start once you plunge in the water and start your descent to the reef where you usually hold the anchor line in going down due to strong current.
For more information, you can read our related about Dirty Rock.

Cocos Island Waterfall - Photo courtesy of Undersea Hunter GroupDiving with Silvertip Sharks in Silverado

The northeastern reefs of Cocos island, where Silverado is located, is a refuge for one of the big boys of the deep that are highly territorial – the Silvertip Sharks. As compared to other dive sites in Cocos Island, diving in Silverado doesn’t take you to go deep diving as the reef is relatively shallow with maximum depths at 20 meters (60 feet) and strong water current is virtually non-existent in this area.

Your underwater adventures in Silverado will usually start by descending down to the reef ledge and wait for the big boys to come in. But as Silvertip sharks slowly comes in to the picture, your feeling would suddenly change from relax to highly excited, or highly feared, or a combination of both.

Famous Dives in Cocos Island

There are some underwater experiences that you can try which has become an unforgettable moment earning it a spot on the list of Famous Dives in Cocos island. Here are some famous dives in Cocos Island that may not require a permanent address or location.


This is the only dive in Cocos island where the site is dependent on where the massive school of baitfish arrives. While traversing its migration course in the Pacific Ocean, baitfish will start to converge in to huge pact where predators are on the fast hunt for a feast. Considered as a defense mechanism to pass on their genes for the next generation of baitfish to survive, you will see them underwater in a circular formation making it hard for predators to spot a single fish for their meal. But as predators close in making the circular formation more compact, big fish starts to swim towards the center signaling the start of this shallow-water feast. Divers who have already experienced the baitball said that predators may come from every direction including from the top as sea birds, like the brown booby, also joins in. This dive will only take a few minutes where you can see the difference between a tightly pack baitfish at the start of your dive and a thinly populated school towards the end of this amazing experience.
For more information, you can read our related about Baitball.

Night Diving with Whitetip Reef Sharks in Manuelita

While Cocos island is known for diving with sharks, night diving with them would be more interesting. Yes, there is a famous dive in Cocos island where you can explore the northern reefs, called Manuelita, during night time and be with active whitetip reef sharks. Although these sharks are relatively calm and relaxed during the day, they turn highly excited when the sun sets down where they start to hunt for food. Once underwater, you will notice that whitetip reef sharks become more active when they are illuminated by the beam of your underwater torch or flashlight.

Deep-sea Submersible Diving

Another famous dive takes to you one of the greatest depths in Cocos island without getting wet. You and your buddy will start this deep-sea journey by boarding a deep-sea submersible and will be towed to a site known as the Everest. Once on top of the target site, you will start to perform a direct descent wherein you will be amazed by the silhouette of hammerhead sharks and school of jacks with a backdraft of the surface. The lightning of the submersible’s strobes signals your arrival on the eternal darkness of the abyssal zone where you need to be alert for oddly-looking creatures like the jellynose fish and prickly sharks.

For more information, you can read our related about Deep-sea Submersible Diving.

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