Country: Costa Rica
Cocos Island in a Nutshell - Considered one of the world's top dive travel destinations for big animals, Cocos is most famous for schooling hammerheads. There are lots of other sharks too, as well as large marble rays, mantas, whale sharks, and schools of fish.
Water Temperatures: In June/July, the water is sometimes 81 degrees at all depths. It stays from 80-82 during the summer. The water can get much colder, down in the lower 70s in the winter. Thermoclines are common, and deep down can get into the 60s.
Visibility: In June, July the visibility was 50-70ft. Visibility can be variable but 30-50ft is the norm, with even better visibility from Jan - May.
Depth Range: 30 – 131 feet (10 – 40m)
Dolphins, hammerheads, and an awesome tiger shark at 2:17
Typical Cocos Island Dive
On a typical dive, you drop down as a group to a depth of 100ft , spread out and find a rock to hide behind. You then look for a cleaning station for hammerhead sharks, which is often a larger rock with many angelfish and butterflyfish around it. Hammerhead sharks are easily spooked by erratic divers' flailing limbs and exhaust bubbles. Attempting to approach these sharks usually only leads to their quick retreat. In order to get a chance at a close approach, enabling opportunities for good photographs, quickly and carefully locating a suitable rock to hide behind and controlling your buoyancy and breathing is essential.
Divers are advised to become "blue" divers; (holding your breath when the sharks approach). By following the divemaster's directions, calming down, being patient you will greatly improve your chances of close passes and prolonged encounters.
3 dives a day are the norm at Cocos, with occassional night dives. On several days a night dive will be offered with white-tipped reef sharks. Divers's lights illuminating the fish causes a feeding frenzy with the sharks. Any fish or turtle illuminated by a dive light will be quickly assassinated by several sharks, and because of this, some divers may not enjoy this dive or choose not to do it. On a remote trip like this, you need to pay attention to your depth & time, and follow the divemaster's instructions carefully, and double check your surface market buoy at the beginning of each dive.
Topside & Non-Diving Activities - Costa Rica is one of the top nature destinations in the world. There are excellent opportunities to see monkeys, toucans, brilliantly colored tree frogs, monkeys, toucans, parrots, sloths, and many more birds and animals. The country is small, easy to travel around, and relatively safe. We highly recommend some time exploring the county either before or after your Cocos trip. There are not many non-diving activities at Cocos Island itself.
Currency: Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
Language: The official language is Spanish, but English is widely spoken within tourism-related areas
Main Airport Code: SJC
Time Zone: UTC-6
Electricity: 120V / 60Hertz
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