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Five reasons to take a liveaboard trip to Cocos Island

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By: Sandro Lonardi

Cocos Island in Costa Rica is a scuba diving wonderland. In addition to being one of the best shark diving destinations in the world, it’s also a haven for all sorts of pelagic species. But this remote island has even more to offer.

This paradise is located 342 miles (550 km) from the Costa Rican mainland. The island itself is only 10 square miles, so diving at Cocos is only possible from a liveaboard. Cocos Island live aboards depart from Puntarenas and take approximately 36 hours to reach their destination. Generally, itineraries range from 8 to 10 nights.

Scuba diving in Cocos Island is a far cry from most tropical destinations. You won’t find bountiful coral reefs in the region. In fact, the underwater landscape of this remote island is mostly made up of dramatic pinnacles with arches and drop-offs. These seem to descend to the bottom of the Earth, but in essence you’re floating atop a submerged mountain range complete with peaks and valleys.

The best time to dive at Cocos Island is from June to December. During this season, large plankton blooms attract a number of pelagic predators. On the other hand, the weather isn’t great during these months. Surface conditions are often rocky and visibility is less than ideal.

It’s also important to note that diving conditions at Cocos Island can be challenging. Surge and current are often present, and emergency, life-saving procedures are a lot different 350 miles from the mainland. Therefore, this scuba diving destination is for experienced divers only.

Still not convinced that you should head to Cocos Island for your next scuba diving holiday? Here are 5 reasons you should definitely add this liveaboard-only destination to your bucket list.

1. Hammerheads!!!

Cocos Island is famous for its hammerhead sharks. This remote island sits at a convergence of nutrient-rich currents. This precise positioning makes the island the perfect place to swim amongst shoals of Scalloped Hammerheads. The most sharks are present from June to December, and some divers report swimming with several dozen during a single dive.

In addition to hammerhead sharks, divers might also spot whitetip reef, Galapagos, silky, tiger, blacktip, silvertip, and guitar sharks.

2. Mantas and Whale Sharks

While hammerheads may be the main attraction, divers still love to see manta rays and whale sharks. Thanks to heavy plankton blooms during the rainy season, the chance of seeing these two pelagic species around Cocos Island is quite high. Eagle rays and mobula rays show up from time to time, too.

Can you imagine a dive that starts with dozens of hammerheads gliding overhead followed by interaction with a playful whale shark and ending with a manta fly by? That’s Cocos Island.

3. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Cocos Island National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. This is partly because the island represents the only island with a tropical rain-forest in the eastern Pacific. It’s also the first point of contact with the northern equatorial counter-current resulting in unique interactions between land and the marine ecosystem. This creates a natural laboratory for biological studies and a major population center for threatened sharks. In addition, Eco-tourism has added value to this World Heritage Site. Scuba divers come from all over the world to view the Cocos Island sharks, rays, dolphins, and tuna.

4. Explore an Uninhabited, Tropical Island

Only a handful of national park rangers live on Cocos Island. Otherwise, it is uninhabited. However, if your live aboard has the proper permits, you will be able to enjoy shore excursions. For many, this is as close to an untouched environment as they will ever visit. Trek through the rain-forest to gorgeous waterfalls for a refreshing dip. Or walk along pristine beaches. There’s just as much adventure to be had on land as there is under the water.

5. Cross Riding in a Submarine off Your Bucket List

One liveaboard in Cocos Island boasts a unique excursion – the opportunity to ride to extreme depths in the DeepSee Submersible. This will allow you to go beyond recreational limits to become a true aquanaut.

The small submarine can dive down to 1,000 feet (305 meters), allowing you to explore the mammoth seamount called Everest. Here you’ll see marine life and landscapes that recreational divers and landlubbers will never lay their eyes on. This is a rare opportunity to go beyond normal adventure into the extreme.

Diving at Cocos Island can be the highlight of any scuba diving career. Whether you love hammerhead sharks or are just up for an adventure, dive into this remote, tropical paradise on your next liveaboard holiday.


To find out more about International Training, visit www.tdisdi.com.

From its humble beginning in 1994 to today, the group of training agencies Scuba Diving International (SDI), Technical Diving International (TDI), and Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) form one of the largest diving certification agencies in the World – International Training. With 24 Regional Offices servicing more than 100 countries, the company today far exceeds the original vision the founders had when they conceived the idea on a napkin, sitting at a kitchen table in the early 1990’s.

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WIN one of the NEW Momentum M20 Dive Watches!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Nautilus Diving to give away one of Momentum’s new M20 Dive Watches as a prize!

Leading watch brand Momentum has introduced the new M20 series of watches. The new collection includes the M20 DSS Diver with a classic black dial, or striking Bahama yellow dial, and the M20 GMT Diver in a black & blue “Batman” version.

The M20 Dive watch features a solid 316L stainless steel case that is beautifully rounded and polished, taking its design cues from our original 1990’s Aquamatic model. The case is just under 42mm in diameter, but the smooth curves make it feel much smaller. Style, performance and unmatched comfort on the wrist.

The M20’s elegant yet durable design allows it to be worn in almost any situation. It has a 200M depth rating along with an off-set screw-down crown for added comfort.

The M20’s are also very legible, with its double-dome sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating there is virtually no glare. At night, the SuperLuminova luminous dial and hands come to life, a vital feature for serious divers where light may not reach certain depths.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can find here), we reported that the Women Divers Hall of Fame have announced the selection of how many new members who will constitute the Class of 2021?

Is it:

  • A) five
  • B) six
  • C) seven

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Nautilus Diving Momentum M20 Dive Watch October 2020

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Nautilus Diving and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. Your information will be shared with the competition's sponsor unless you tick the opt out box. This competition closes on 09/12/20. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Dive Training Blogs

5 Easy Steps For Choosing A Scuba Diving Center You’ll LOVE! (Watch Video)

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How do you pick which dive operation wins your money for your scuba diving vacation? If you only get to dive on vacation, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and getting experiences you enjoy. That’s why we are giving you our easy 5-step process for filtering out dive centers and narrowing down your selection to find the scuba team you want to be diving with!

In this example–driven video, we are showing you our procedure for how we pick our scuba dive operator. In this case, I use the island of Barbados, as I’ve actually never been scuba diving there.

THANK YOU so much to EVERYONE who is a part of this great community. We promise we have so much more planned for this channel. We’re going to keep spreading information and positivity to the Scuba Divers around the world! IMPROVE. INSPIRE. EXPLORE.


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Spend 7 nights at the Cinco Plazas Apartments, Lanzarote with flights and 5 days diving from just £625pp with Diverse Travel this winter.  Travel 12th November - Spaces are limited - contact us now to book. Other dates available.

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