Schooling Hammerheads - the iconic sight of Cocos (Shmulik Bloom - Courtesy of Undersea Hunter Group)
COCOS DIVE ADVENTURE
Cocos Island is legendary for its huge numbers of sharks, rays and schooling fish. The most iconic sight at Cocos is of course that of hundereds of Hammerheads but you can also expect Tiger Sharks, Silvertips, Galapagos Sharks, Whale Sharks, Mantas, squadrons of Marbled Rays and on our night dive - hunting Whitetips! Our 10 night trip will be run on MV Argo liveaboard - the undisputed experts in Cocos. During our trip on MV Argo you can also choose to make a journey to the abyss (up to 305 metres deep) in the DeepSee submersible carried onboard. This unique submersible offers you the chance to see a side of Cocos few have ever seen! Our trip has been purposefully timed for August/September when the underwater life at Cocos is at its absolute maximum - it is at this time of year that we may even find an Orca or two at Cocos!
The cost of the trip is 3,895GBP (5,945USD) including 10 nights on MV Argo liveaboard with 3-4 Nitrox dives per day (7 days of diving), all meals, all non-alcoholic drinks, beer, and return transfers from San Jose to the vessel. Flights are not included in the price, but can be readily arranged by Equator Diving upon request.
Cocos Island dive highlights (Courtesy of Undersea Hunter Group)
MV Argo and DeepSee submersible (Courtesy of Undersea Hunter Group)
COCOS - the Island of Sharks!
Cocos Island has a deserved reputation for some of the greatest shark diving on the planet and the majority of schooling Hammerhead photos are taken here. Cocos is 300 miles off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and is the largest uninhabited island in the world. 20 square miles in area, Cocos is blessed with lush rain forest, tumbling waterfalls and towering cliffs that add to the feeling of mystery that surrounds this isolated island. Nowhere else on this planet can pelagic fish be encountered in such numbers, schools of trevally and snapper number in their thousands whilst the sight of over 200 Hammerheads is beyond comparison. Another highlight for many divers in Cocos is Tiger sharks - it is not uncommon to encounter multiple Tiger sharks in a single trip to Cocos. Silky sharks are also seen in great numbers, whilst Blacktips are present on most dives and Silvertips are encountered at Silverado cleaning station.
The big plankton feeders, Whale sharks and huge Mantas come along to add to the spectacle and a close relative of Mantas, Devil (Mobula) rays, are seen in schools. Schools of Marbled stingrays is another famous site at Cocos as are the Red-lipped Batfish. And when you think you’ve seen everything this magical Island has to give, Cocos hits you with one final surprise, a night dive at Manuelita where hundreds of Whitetip sharks enter a feeding frenzy on the sea floor digging fish out of their hiding spots!
Dolphins split a school of Trevally (Shmulik Bloom - Courtesy of Undersea Hunter Group)
Day 1 - You will be picked up at your hotel in San Jose and transferred by bus to Puntarenas, a seaport village where the Sea Hunter and Argo board their passengers. That afternoon, you will begin the cruise to Cocos Island.
Day 2 - All day of travel. There will be ample time to arrange dive and camera gear. The cruise gives you an opportunity to get acquainted with the other divers.
Days 3 to 8 - Spent diving the pinnacles around the perimeter of Cocos Island. Divers usually average three dives per day at depths of 60-100' or more.
Day 9 - Make the last 3 dives before the cruise back to Costa Rica and reality!
Day 10 - All day to discuss the diving and to compare your adventures!
Day 11 - Arrival in Puntarenas. After breakfast you will be transferred back to San Jose.
Schooling Whitetips (Shmulik Bloom - Courtesy of Undersea Hunter Group)
The MV Argo is the newest boat in the Undersea Hunter fleet. She is the physical expression of all the knowledge gained from operating vessels over the years, assembled into a singular, dive expedition cruiser. Argo is a very intentional blend of work ship and luxury yacht. She was totally redesigned and refitted in 2008, to pamper up to 16 discriminating passengers in 8 spacious, well-appointed staterooms.
A 130-foot vessel (40 meters) with full global reach, the Argo was also conceived to serve as the ultimate platform for a deep-diving submersible as well as for remote operating vehicle deployment (R.O.V.). She offers heavy lift capabilities, stability and ample deck space for any chore imaginable. Extended, multi-task cruises are her specialty and she is mothership to the remarkable DeepSee submersible.
Fourteen well-seasoned crew look after the ship and the guest’s every need. A comfortable and stylish lounge, dining area and sun deck comprise the social areas. The ambience is completed with original, undersea themed artwork throughout. The well-equipped galley enables the ship's chefs to prepare fresh, international level, four-star cuisine for meal times or at the "drop of a hat". On board accessories consist of all standard diving gear including scuba, Nitrox, rebreather facilities and zero-speed stabilizers. Three, powerful, 24-foot skiffs serve as tender-boats, which perform submersible tracking duties, shepherding of divers to remote sites, ship-to-shore transfers and any other conceivable recreational or support related activities. All of the skiffs are powered by fumeless 4-cycle, 115 HP twin-outboard motors that can bring you rapidly to any dive site within an extended, safe radius of the mothership. They are further equipped with VHF radios, depth sounders and portable GPS. A T-Roof and rigid bow cover is also mounted on these vessels for your comfort.