Cocos Island rises to an elevation of 2,800 ft (853m) above sea level. It is a national park and was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1997 because of its picturesque scenery. It is around 5 miles (8km) long and 3 miles (4km) wide.
Jacques Cousteau once described Cocos as “the most beautiful island in the world” and even included it in his list of top ten dive sites in the whole world! ...And It’s not hard to see why; as you approach Cocos island you will be stunned by its sparkling, turquoise waters, jungle-covered mountains and impressive waterfalls (that you may recognise from the original Jurassic Park movie!).
It’s beauty above the water is matched only by what you’ll see under the waves, fringing reef that wraps all the way around the island, offering divers pinnacles, exquisite corals and an abundance of marine life to marvel at.
Diving in Cocos Island is most famous for its large number of hammerhead sharks; people come from all over the world to try to see them. But in case you need more reason than that to book a trip and start packing your dive bag, you’d also be in with a very good chance of seeing whitetip, blacktip, silky, hammerheads, galapagos and bull sharks, as well as turtles, tuna, dolphins and various types of rays.
There are over 20 dive sites around Cocos Island, they are all unique and offer different diving treats. But, to give you an idea of what to expect from your Cocos Island liveaboard diving, here are our top 3:
Bajo Alcyone: We think everyone who’s been here will agree that Bajo Alcyone has to be the best dive site around Cocos. It’s the number one place for spotting hammerheads (sometimes in their hundreds). The average depth is around 114ft (35m) and strong currents are to be expected.
Punta Maria: An underwater mountain and a cleaning station that attracts galapagos and hammerhead sharks, as well as much more marine life. The maximum depth is around 80-120ft (24-36m). Expect medium/strong currents and good visibility.
Isla Manuelita: This dive has it all; rays, sharks, turtles, and various big fish. The average depth is around 66ft (20m). Isla Manuelita dive site usually has medium currents, making for a peaceful, stress-free drift.
Because of strong currents and deeper dive sites, a Cocos Island liveaboard is recommended for advanced divers only. This guarantees smaller groups of serious and experienced divers, making the dive sites peaceful and uncrowded. Getting some experience with drift diving would be beneficial before heading to Cocos because of the currents.
As mentioned earlier, you will be on the boat for a long time, so if you’re prone to seasickness, it would be a good idea to stock up on some medication for the journey, just in case