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Diving The Cocos Island: A Description

Cocos Island is an oasis lying 300 miles south west of Costa Rica in the Pacific Ocean . It is famous for the schools of literally hundreds of hammerhead sharks that can be seen there, as well as the pelagic species such as manta rays, dolphins and whale sharks. Experiences of Cocos Island have been superb and very rewarding, exceeding the highest expectations. Encounters with whale sharks and humpback whales are not uncommon. Cocos is unique - it is an incredible place to visit and dive and we are sure your expectations will be met if you book a holiday aboard one of the Hunter liveaboards.

Cocos & Malpelo. Combining Cocos with Malpelo is probably the best diving in the World with a chance to encounter schooling sharks in huge numbers. Malpelo is home to an important coral formation as well as a large variety and quantity of large marine creatures, especially hammerheads. The two most outstanding phenomena in Malpelo are the huge number of cluster and free swimming moray eels and the enormous congregations of silky sharks who often mix with hammerheads to form colossal shark schools.

Cocos Island itself
Located in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, 300 miles southwest of Cabo Blanco , Costa Rica lies the famous Cocos Island Marine Park. A rugged and incredibly beautiful island, this World Heritage Site is the crown jewel of Costa Rica's many National Parks. Cocos Island has an irregular coastline, which makes estimation of land area more a matter of opinion than a surveyor’s science, but it is roughly five miles by two miles (8 x 3 kilometers).

The island was formed during a volcanic upheaval about two and a half million years ago and is composed of basaltic rock, labacorite and andecite lava flows. Its landmass is punctuated by four mountain peaks, the highest of which is Cerro Yglesisas, at 2,080 feet or 634 meters.

The island has two large bays with safe anchorages and sandy beaches: Chatham is located on the northeast side and Wafer Bay is on the northwest. Just off Cocos are a series of smaller basaltic rocks and islets. The largest satellite is Isla Manuelita (formerly Nuez).

The mountains descend steeply below the surface of the sea creating sheer walls and extensive drop-offs from which hundreds of pelagics can be encountered. Due to the lack of human inhabitants in this area the seas are free from pollutants and fishing creating the perfect environment for marine life, the rocks are teeming with tropical reef fish making it the ideal feeding ground for a number of pelagics - the main reason for diving Cocos Island is to witness the 'big fish'.

A usual preliminary dive site is Manuelita, here you are likely to encounter schools of Scalloped Hammerheads and White-tip Reef Sharks, it's like being dropped into a tank with these magnificently stunning creatures! With visibility ranging from 25-40m in these waters you will never run the risk of experiencing a dive with few fish encounters. The rocky slopes and deep waters are home to a variety of sharks: White-tip Reef, Grey Reef, Scalloped Hammerheads, Silkies and the occasional Whale Shark. Being plunged into the shadow of a giant Whale Shark, patrolling the coastline with its vast mouth scooping up enormous quantities of plankton can be a truly unforgettable sight.

The abundant number of sharks still have competition amongst this underwater feeding ground, tuna, dolphins, Marlin and Sailfish are all regularly sighted here, cruising the rocky slopes for their catch. Rays are another species that you can expect to see whilst diving at Cocos Island, the grace of the Manta Ray can often be witnessed pirouetting through the water, often alone or in small groups. Schools of their relative, the Devil Ray, can be spotted or the smaller Marbled Rays can be seen foraging the seabed for food.

 

   
 
 
   
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