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Cocos Island and Costa Rica

Shark diving capital of the world and the splendours of Costa Rica

Cocos Island is located 300 miles south west of Costa Rica, in the eastern Pacific Ocean and is one the most remarkable and exciting dive destinations in the world.

This small island – approximately 5 miles by 2 miles –  is famous for the thousands of sharks that divers can encounter there. Cocos has a 12 mile no-fishing zone around it to protect it’s waters and on land, the only inhabitants are the marine park rangers and occasional scientists. Cocos Island National Park was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.

Cocos is a stunning island, covered in dense jungle with mountains that are usually shrouded in clouds. The elevated summits receive constant rainfall all year round – about 25 feet per year! – resulting in countless waterfalls cascading down the cliffs around the island. The verdant island is a haven for birdlife, with over 85 species, including huge populations of frigate birds and brown footed boobies.

But it is the diving that makes this destination one of hottest ‘must-dive’ places on earth. Schooling hammerheads may be the most famous sharks to see here, but there are also silkies, silver tips, white-tips and tiger sharks. Add to that mantas, marbled rays, tunas, dolphins and whale sharks and you can see why Cocos remains one the top destinations on many divers wish list.

Due to its isolation, Cocos Island can only be reached by liveaboard and the sea crossing to the island takes 32 hours each way from Puntarenus, in Costa Rica. Minimum trip duration on board is 10 days, which will give you 7 full days diving in Cocos.

How to get there

For all trips to dive Cocos Island you will need to fly into San Jose, in Costa Rica. There are many airlines servicing this route from the UK and we can search the system to find the best fares and routes for your trip.

You will need to take one night’s accommodation in San Jose prior to joining the liveaboard next day, which we can assist with booking for you.

From San Jose, you will be collected by the Sea Hunter private bus and transferred to Punteranus, which takes approximately 2.5hrs. Punteranus is where the liveaboards are berthed and there you will embark, ready for your 30hr overnight sea crossing to Cocos island.

Stay a bit a longer

Costa Rica is a stunning country and it is highly recommended you consider staying on a bit longer, if you can spare the time, to see some of its beauty for yourself.  Highlights include the Arenal Volcano National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and Corcovado National Park & Drake Bay.

Whatever you fancy doing in Costa Rica, we will be happy to guide you and to assist with all your travel needs.

Quick Guide: Cocos Island

  • Location: 300 miles south west of Costa Rica
  • When to go: All year round
  • Average air temp: Tropical 30°C
  • Average water temp: 25°C – 27°C
  • Recommended diver level: PADI Advanced (or equivalent) with minimum 50 dives


Ready for your next adventure?

Great Escapes Diving Holidays Ltd

Combs Tannery
Tannery Road
IP14 2EN
United Kingdom

Office hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9am - 5pm
Tel: 01449 535010

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: