Liveaboard diving in Cocos Island
Cocos Island is a breathtaking island located around 500 km off the mainland of Costa Rica. The island is popularly known as ‘Isla del Coco’ in the native tongue of Costa Rica.
Bordered by rich and abyssal waters, Cocos Island has become an ideal habitat for numerous pelagic species such as sharks, whales and dolphins.
In the late 90s, the island was declared a Marine National Park as well as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Cocos Island’s water is just teeming with a wide array of rich marine life. In fact, divers flock to this island to take a glimpse at one of its main attractions: the constant large squadrons of Hammerhead Sharks!
When diving in Cocos Island, one can be assured that encounters with dozens of these Hammerhead Sharks is bound to happen.
Cocos Island has more or less 20 dive sites which are pretty close to one another, thus making the island a special and unique playground for SCUBA divers and liveaboard diving enthusiasts.
Map credit: Aggressor Fleet.
Without a doubt, Cocos Island truly deserves its reputation as one of the world’s finest diving destinations along with the Galapagos and Liveaboard diving is certainly the only way to visit all of its amazing sites! I usually use this website to book in advance my Liveaboards in Costa Rica as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because they have an easy booking system.
Best time to go on Cocos Island Liveaboard
Situated near the equator, Cocos Island is a tropical island paradise with a warm and humid climate. Average temperature is between 24-30°C. The island has beautiful blue skies, yet heavy rain falls are possible throughout the year.
However, divers need not worry since liveaboard trips in Cocos Island are available the whole year round. But if you much prefer to dive in calmer seas and with better visibility, then it’s recommended to do your trip between the months of January and May.
If you are feeling adventurous and are keen to get your adrenaline pumping, a dive encounter with the Hammerhead Sharks may just do the trick. The best time to dive with these sharks at Cocos Island is during the rainy months from June to December. This is because during said rainy months, the high concentration of nutrients in the water attracts the Hammerheads.
Cocos Island is not only about the Hammerhead Sharks. The island is so rich with underwater life that divers keep coming back for more. Go check this video to see more!
Cocos Island Liveaboard routes:
Liveaboard vessels typically depart from and end in the Pacific Town of Puntarenas, which showcases some of the best of Costa Rica’s beautiful and stunning views.
Depending on weather and sea conditions, cruising from the mainland of Costa Rica to Cocos Island generally requires more than 30 hours of travel. This means you have ample time to prepare your SCUBA gear and equipment, make friends, socialize, read up about the local marine life, and mingle and get to know your fellow divers!
There are actually more or less 20 diving sites in Cocos Island. Some popular diving sites included in most liveaboard routes include:
- Bajo Alcyone – A 600 feet long submerged mountain with Hammerhead Sharks, Manta rays and lots of schools of fish.
- Everest -Where a multitude of Hammerhead Sharks and various kinds of rays are seen in action.
- Big Dos Amigos – An islet that features a 45-foot-high arch and 60-foot pinnacle off the southeast side of Cocos Island. Schools of Rainbow Runners, Snappers and Jacks are very common in this site. Hammerheads Sharks can also be spotted patrolling and swimming in the arch.
- Bird Island, Chatham Bay – See Frogfish, Moray Eels, White Tip and Hammerhead Sharks in action. You can also check out its cleaning station here.
- Dirty Rock – A large island where hammerhead Sharks usually hang out in groups.
With lots of amazing dive sites to discover, Cocos Island is indeed a place where divers can truly experience real interactions with Hammerhead Sharks and its other diverse array of marine life.
LOW BUDGET / PRICE LIVEABOARDS REVIEWS
Okeanos Aggressor II – Wind Dancer
Living on a boat is truly an adventure. Most liveaboards will take you to exotic places only visited by few. One of the most popular liveaboards that abound in the beautiful islands of Cocos is the Wind Dancer.
Running 10 night trips around the beautiful island, this 37m long motor yacht can accommodate up to 22 divers.
Restored in 2010, the Okeanos Aggressor 2 – Wind Dancer has 11 air-conditioned cabins, each with its own bathroom. Spacious upper deck suites, saloon and entertainment facilities are also available. Wind Dancer not only gives you comfort but also complements your liveaboard diving experience with a little bit of pampering you will never forget!
Wind Dancer yacht on board facilities and services:
- Dive deck with toilet and 3 hot water showers
- Camera table, battery charging stations and separate rinse tank
- Air-conditioned saloon with restaurant and bar
- TV, video player and music system
- Library with movies, magazines, general and fish ID books
- Sundeck and shaded area with sun chairs
- Ship Shape Boutique
- Water dispenser
Okeanos Aggressor II – Wind Dancer Boat Budget Range / Price: Starts at US$ 4,765 for a 10 night tour
Check out this video to know more about this liveaboard!
With a very affordable rate, liveaboard diving with Wind Dancer in Cocos Island has never been this comfortable and practical.
Cruising at a speed of 8 knots, this 30 meter-long liveaboard can accommodate 20 guests and give them the comfort they need but at an affordable price.
One of the greatest advantages of diving liveaboard is that you can eat without worrying about preparing meals or how you will cook your food on board. The chefs on board MV Adventure make sure that you are well-fed with yummy meals each day of your cruise. Their meals ranges from local Costa Rican to International cuisine and are served buffet style in the dining area of the main deck.
A generous array of entertainment amenities such as a TV, DVD player, music and computer are also available for your use. Along with life jackets and a fire extinguisher, mini personal diver locators are also provided for guests on board for safety purposes. If you are seeking a liveaboard adventure on Cocos Island without sacrificing comfort and style, then consider the MV Adventure.
MV Adventure yacht on board facilities and services:
- Complimentary nitrox
- Motorised dive tenders
- 82m² dive deck and platform with 2 fresh water showers
- Camera table and separate rinse tank
- Air-conditioned saloon with dining area, bar and water dispenser
- TV, DVD player and music system
- Satellite phone, computer with internet
- Library with movies, magazines, general, diving and fish ID books
- Sundeck and shaded area with sun chairs & mattresses
MV Adventure Boat Budget Range / Price: Starts at US$3,500 for a 10 night tour
MEDIUM BUDGET LIVEABOARDS REVIEWS
MV Sea Hunter
MV Sea Hunter will help you fulfill your dream of diving the pinnacles around the perimeter of Cocos. The spacious layout has introduced divers, as well as underwater photographers to an entirely new concept in liveaboard.
With a length of 36 meters, MV Sea Hunter and her crew specialize in providing excellence in service, food and underwater excitement.
MV Sea Hunter has extremely well designed facilities fit for long distance trips. The incredible underwater adventures that Cocos Island has to offer must be experienced on board MV Sea Hunter. A maximum of 20 divers can be accommodated, which includes air-conditioned cabins, a restaurant and enough deck space to hang out with fellow divers.
Do you suffer from motion sickness? Get on board the MV Sea Hunter for they have stabilizers strategically placed under the water to prevent the boat from swaying. Although Cocos Island’s dive sites are remote, divers need not worry because every diver is issued with a personal diver locator, which is clipped to their BCD. This liveaboard also provides a free laundry service to guests throughout the trip.
MV Sea Hunter yacht on board facilities and services:
- Free nitrox on trips
- 42m² Dive deck with rinse tanks, hot water showers and personal storage bins for each diver
- Personal camera/strobe storage shelves
- Service to rebreathers and technical divers
- Air conditioned lounge
- Study with with general books, fish ID books, a computer, TV and an extra DVD player
- Air-conditioned restaurant
- Water dispenser
MV Sea Hunter Boat Budget Range / Price: Starts at US$ 5,085 for a 10 night tour
Watch this video and see that with its bursting and rich marine life, Cocos is a magnificent dive spot.
MV Undersea Hunter
The MV Undersea Hunter is a comfortable home away from home. This liveaboard provides enough gear lockers and storage space for all equipment. The usual time spent exploring around Cocos Island is 10-12 nights. Guests can be assured that they get the best bang for their buck because of the ultimate luxurious liveaboard diving experience and high-quality service offered by MV Undersea Hunter!
With a speed of 9 knots, this boat can only accommodate up to 14 guests, thus giving each one the ample time to get to know their diving buddies well and develop camaraderie.
All meals are served buffet style in the dining area. The menu could largely be described as international although you will also be treated to some local Costa Rican specialties. All drinks including alcohol are included in the liveaboard cruise price. Divers can also socialize with each other in the air-conditioned saloon and dining area on the main deck. Full entertainment facilities, communication devices and photo and video editing equipment are available for guests while waiting for the next dive. Coffee drinkers can also use the Espresso machine to give them their daily dose of caffeine!
You can expect every comfort on board as well as plenty of breath-taking dive action below the waves when on board MV Undersea Hunter.
MV Undersea Hunter boat on board facilities and services:
- Complimentary nitrox
- Personal storage system for underwater cameras
- Air-conditioned cabins with private en-suite bathrooms
- Air-conditioned saloon with full entertainment facilities including TV, DVD player and computer
- Sundeck and shaded area with sun chairs and mats
- Satellite telephone, e-mail facility, fax and cellphone
- Computer, CD burner, photo and video editing facilities
MV Undersea Hunter Boat Budget Range / Price: Starts at US$ 5,085 for a 10 night tour
Cocos Island is a remote, diving destination and you would be at ease to know that you are cruising in safe hands of the experienced crew of the Undersea Hunter. Want to see more proof then watch this video!
Okeanos Aggressor has a roomy sundeck, which is equipped with sunbeds/chairs available for guests to hang out before and after scuba diving. Comfort, style and fun adventure are what the Okeanos Agressor offer its guests. Freshly-prepared snacks await divers to appease the post-dive hunger pangs!
This 33 metre steel-hulled motor yacht will take you to all the mesmerizing dive sites only found in Cocos.
Restored in 2010, this liveaboard can accommodate up to 22 divers giving a satisfying quality service ranging from basic diving assistance to entertainment facilities with internet, TV, DVD and music system which helps pass the time while waiting for the next dive. This liveaboard also has large air-conditioned saloon, restaurant and spacious deck space for sunbathing. American-style and local dishes are served buffet-style on board the Okeanos Aggressor.
Okeanos Agressor boat on board facilities and services:
- English and Spanish spoken on board
- Personal EPIRBs for diving and an on-board defibrillator
- Cabins with private en-suite bathrooms
- Dive deck with toilet, camera table and rinse tank
- Main deck air-conditioned saloon with TV, video player, music system, movie library, books, magazines and satellite telephone
- Computer, internet, photo and video editing facilities
- All dietary requirements including Halal and vegetarian can be catered
- Coffee, tea, drinking water, soft drinks, beer and wine are provided free of charge
- Sundeck and shaded area with sun chairs
Okeanos Agressor Boat Budget Range / Price: Starts at US$ 4,535 for a 10 night tour
Play the video to see how the Okeanos Aggressor provide a safe and enjoyable environment to make your their guest’s cruise a fun and worry-free activity.
HIGH BUDGET / LUXURY LIVEABOARD REVIEWS
Comfort, adventure and luxury all rolled into one is what MV Argo prides itself on. High quality service and amenities are what sets this liveaboard apart. Built in 2008, this dive boat has a length of 39 metres and a beam of 8 metres.
This liveaboard can accommodate up 16 divers, thus, giving each diver a more personalized service and plenty of space to move around.
The individual safety of each diver is taken very seriously by the staff. A beacon, which is clipped to the BCD is given to divers to trace their exact positions, therefore reducing the possibility of a lost diver. Your safety is ensured on and off board.
MV Argo also offers delectable dishes on board to entice the divers’ taste buds between dives. Since most of the chefs can make modifications to the menu for the guests, you need not worry if you’ve got allergies or special dietary needs. Apart from the air-conditioned saloon, dining and entertainment area, this liveaboard also has a special room where guests can use the computer and internet for free. Photo and video editing equipment are also available. One can also take advantage of the free laundry service as well.
MV Argo boat on board facilities and services:
- Free Nitrox
- Spacious and well-equipped dive deck
- Extra large cabins fitted with air-conditioning, TV, VCR player and en-suite hot water bathroom facilities
- Free guest laundry service
- Custom-built stabilising system mounted on outriggers to make sleeping peaceful
- DeepSee submersible
- Sundeck and shaded area with sun chairs and mattresses
- TV, DVD, music system, movie library, games and satellite telephone
- Computer, photo and video editing facilities
- Coffee, tea, drinking water, soft drinks, snacks and a beer after your last dive are provided free of charge
- Serves International, Italian and local cuisine
MV Argo Boat Budget Range / Price: Starts at US$ 5,635 for a 10 night tour
This video and see for yourself how this liveaboard can give you the ultimate Cocos Island liveaboard trip you’ve been dreaming of!
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