According to Travel + Leisure magazine, Costa Rica has one of the best places in the world to practice diving: Cocos Island.
“Costa Rica’s Cocos Islands lie more than 340 miles off the country’s Pacific coast, and they’re worth the trek for some of the most thrilling diving on Earth, highlighted the publication.
Ranked eighth, Diving at Cocos Island is considered to be some of the best diving in the world due to the clear waters, abundant marine life, and strong currents that attract large pelagic species such as sharks, rays, and schools of fish.
The island is located in the Pacific Ocean and can only be accessed by live-aboard dive boats. “The only way for divers to get to this remote locale is on a liveaboard scuba diving boat like Okeanos Aggressor I or Okeanos Aggressor II, which depart from the mainland city of Puntarenas for the 36-hour trip. Once you arrive, the chance to see schooling hammerheads, manta rays, whale sharks, and other pelagic fish in large numbers makes the long journey worth it,” added Travel + Leisure.
The trip, which generally consists of seven days on Cocos Island and the remaining time to travel back and forth, covers food, lodging on the boat, a dive tour, entrance fees, and certified guides. These tour boats have capacity for 25 people, but groups usually comprise up to 20 people. These trips are quite expensive and can cost about $5000.
Usually, tourists spend most of their time diving, but many also spend a few days exploring the beauty of the island. However, activities such as hiking, observing different species, and visiting historical sights are also part of the attractions that the ‘Isla del Coco’ offers its visitors.
In 2019, Cocos Island received almost 13,000 visitors, of which 8,600 were foreigners, and 4,300 were nationals, according to data from the National System of Conservation Areas.
A study by the National University estimated that the Cocos Marine Conservation Area generates almost $51 million in benefits annually.
Here is the complete list of the best places to do scuba diving:
- Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia
- Palau, Micronesia
- Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia
- Azores, Portugal
- Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
- Cocos Island, Costa Rica*
- Socorro and Revillagigedo, Islands, Mexico
- Baja California Sur, Mexico
*Diving at Cocos Island is considered advanced due to the strong currents and deep waters, and divers should have experience and proper training before attempting to dive there.