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World | Costa Rica | Diving Cocos Island:

Cocos Island overview


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© Rik Vercoe



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Turtle at Manuelita Inside, Costa Rica dive site
Turtle at Manuelita Inside, Costa Rica dive site
Turtle at Manuelita Inside, Costa Rica dive site
White tip at Manuelita Inside, Costa Rica dive site
White tips at Manuelita Inside, Costa Rica dive site
White tip at Manuelita Inside, Costa Rica dive site - courtesy of Rik Vercoe
Lobster at Manuelita Inside, Costa Rica dive site - courtesy of Rik Vercoe
White tips at Manuelita Inside, Costa Rica dive site - courtesy of Rik Vercoe

Scuba Diving Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Dive Site: Manuelita Inside (Manuelita Garden)

Location: Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Description: Reef dive

Depth: 5 - 30 metres (15 - 100 feet)

Visibility: 20 metres (65 feet)

Rating: ***

This is the first dive site you will go to when visiting Cocos. I have given it a 3 out of 5 rating, which is a bit unfair as if you were diving this site almost anywhere else in the world you would give it a 4, or maybe even a 5. But in comparison to other Cocos dives, this just doesn't cut the mustard. It serves its purpose as it gets you in the water, ready for the week ahead and you get a bit of a taste as to what the diving is going to be like. You'll instantly spot more white tip reef sharks than I have ever seen in total on another dive trip just on this one reef. We also saw a number of green turtles, lots of snapper, tangs and other reef fish as well as spiny lobsters all over the sea floor. Big blue fin trevally cruise through and up at the surface snooks and milkfish were in big shoals. But there are no big sharks and that is what Cocos is all about! However read on because the night dive is something else!

Dive Site: Manuelita Inside (Manuelita Garden)

Location: Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Description: Night dive

Depth: 5 - 15 metres (15 - 50 feet)

Visibility: 10 metres (30 feet)

Rating: *****

Apart from the hammerheads, this is Cocos's signature dive. The white tip reef sharks that are here in abundance have learnt to hunt by divers' torchlight. It is a slightly daunting prospect for some, getting in the water with hundreds of sharks that are whipped into a frenzy when a divers light falls upon a fish! The white tips themselves are not that good at hunting; it is when the game fish fly in that suddenly everything wriggles and fizzes with teeth and fins pointing in all directions. This is a dive not to be missed.

When we were diving in Cocos another private boat claimed to have dived at Manuelita one night only to find themselves face to face with a tiger shark that killed a white tip in front of them and then bumped them as though to say "Stay back, this is my dinner". Needless to say the guides weren't to keen on us going in the next night so we had the evening off. Whether or not the tale is true or the dive guides were just knackered I suppose we'll never know!



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