Diving around Cocos Islands & Malpelo
Cocos IslandCocos island offers the diver big animals, open ocean, advanced diving. Cocos island is not a place with pretty corals or reefs. The bottom is a sloping rocky substrate without a lot of color.
What you do get is amazing marine life - hammerhead sharks, other shark species and huge schools of fish.
Dive ExperienceCocos Island presents the same diving challenges as any other Pacific, Indian or Red Sea diving location. Cocos, however, is not recommended for inexperienced divers because it is an open ocean destination that requires advanced open water diving skills. Please note, the minimum required level of certification to dive at Cocos is Open Water with the additional Specialties of Deep & Night Diver. We also recommend having a minimum of 25 hours of diving experience. Most dives are at depths deeper than 60 feet / 18 meters. At Cocos currents and visibility can be entirely different in just a few hours. The dive guide will always be the final authority as to whether a passenger can do any specific dive. Malpelo Island can offer more challenging conditions.
Dive ConditionsMost of the action is at 60-90 feet /18-27 meters, and most dives are between 60-130 feet / 18-40 meters. The safety limit is set at 130 feet / 40 meters and a dive computer is necessary. Visibility averages 60-100ft/18-30m.
The diving among the rocky islets off the coast of the main island is very exciting. The primary attraction is large pelagics, i.e., sharks, whales, rays, mantas, turtles and schooling fish.
All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change. You must arrive at least one day prior to the boat departure date.
Day 1The following day, generally between 8 AM and 1 PM we pick up from certain hotels and transfer everybody by bus to Puntarenas where you will board the vessel. The drive takes about 2 1/2 hours, and gives you a chance to view the lush forest and rich farmland of the region.
Due to occasional low tides our boats may need to depart from the pier earlier in the day. Should this occur, you will be transferred by skiff to the vessel. When all passengers have arrived on board, the vessel will take a 32-36 hour cruise out to Cocos Island.
Day 2A travel day. There will be time to arrange dive and camera gear as well as enjoy the Pacific and the sunshine. Also, the group of incredibly experienced divers provides plenty of stories to pass the time. There are videos and the experience of the Captain and crew to help you get excited for the diving... as if you need them. In addition, you may want to take this time to take one of our diving courses.
Day 3 - 8Spent diving the pinnacles around the perimeter of Cocos Island. Divers usually average three dives per day at depths of 60-100 feet (18-30 meters) or more. This, of course, is what the whole trip is about.
Day 9Make the last 3 dives before the cruise back to Costa Rica and reality
Day 10All day to discuss the diving and to compare your adventures
Day 11Arrival to Puntarenas. Immediately after breakfast you will be transported back to San Jose. We strongly recommend staying one more night on land, before flying out, in case of any unforeseen delays.