Discover Cocos Island the Shark Diving Paradise

Why dive Cocos Island

  • World famous island of the sharks as seen in multiple IMAX movies
  • Cocos Island = schooling hammerhead sharks.  There is nowhere better!
  • May to October is peak season for best visibility, best diving and humpback whales
  • Choose Nautilus Explorer as your 132 ft ocean going stabilized ship with ISM safety cert
  • Cocos is very special and is a restricted entry national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site

Cocos Island, Costa Rica. An ultimate diving destination for shark encounters and liveaboard holiday

Experience the magic of Cocos Island, Costa Rica, famously known as the ‘Island of the Sharks.’ This tiny tropical rainforest oasis in the eastern Pacific offers unparalleled diving experiences for seasoned divers. Encounter schooling hammerheads, loads of white-tip reef sharks, marble rays, tiger sharks, and the ever-fascinating lobsters and octopuses. Of course, there are schools of juvenile horse-eyed jacks and hundreds of creole fish gathering together.

Cocos Island is pure magic for experienced divers, and going ashore adds an adventure of its own. Don’t miss the unique suspension bridge constructed from repurposed fishing gear seized from illegal fishers.

The summer season from mid-May to November is the best time to dive in Costa Rica, offering the best visibility and animal encounters. Don’t be fooled, this  season features sunny mornings, brief afternoon showers, and stunning lightning displays, clearing up again for a peaceful night.

Join us for an unforgettable diving adventure at Cocos Island. Book your dive holiday today and experience the best diving, animal encounters, and breathtaking natural beauty Costa Rica has to offer!

See what our guests have said about Cocos!


August 2023

“That was superb as soon as we were in there was some really bug Eagle Reays, … Galapagos sharks and the most beautiful Manta…”


August 2023

“Best freakin trip ever! this is our second time with Nautilus, we did Socorro now Cocos, freakin amazing. The whole crew!”


August 2023

“Dive 2 same exact thing, hammerheads almost immediately so I have no complaints and I also got to dive with captain Beto..”

What Makes Us Different


Safety First

The cornerstones of everything we do: safety, excellence in guest experience, happy staff, and happy crew.


Guest Excellence

Excellence in guest experience is all about you. Our focus is to ensure that you as our guest are safe and able to enjoy your vacation to the highest level.


Animal encounters

We provide the best opportunities for encounters, which are always conducted with the utmost respect and only on the animals’ own terms. It’s entirely their choice to swim over and check us out.

Frequently Asked Questions


What dive experience is needed?
50 logged dives and advanced open water is the bare minimum experience required to safely dive around Cocos Island. More experience is better and all divers should have good buoyancy skills. The diving can be challenging. There could be strong current on some dives. Some of the dive sites are in open water and exposed to the swell. The difference between Cocos and a destination such as Socorro is that there is no navy base or airstrip on the island which means that airplane medevac is not possible. If you have a medical issue, the boat will have to return to port or at least be met part way by fast boat. For all these reasons, these trips are best suited for good experienced divers. Don’t worry if you don’t feel that you are quite ready yet for Cocos!! Come and visit us in Baja, Sea of Cortez and Socorro and we will get you all tuned and tweaked up for this great adventure!!!

Do I need to dive with a dive guide?
Yes. At Cocos, current and visibility can change dramatically within several hours. If you were to surface unexpectedly mid-dive, there is the possibility of drifting away and needing to use your Nautilus LifeLine to get rescued. In addition to those challenges, local tiger sharks can show erratic behaviour around your safety stop at 15 feet and it’s very important for our dive guides to keep a watchful eye on them. For all of these reasons, Cocos is a dive destination in which guests have to stay with our dive guides. Our dive guides are highly experienced and excellent and they will do their best to give you all the freedom and headspace you might be looking for in your diving, and of course, we are very focussed on giving shooters what they need (sorry, bad pun). Ultimately, your captain and dive guides are the final authority on whether a guest can do a specific dive or not.

What are your safety protocols?
Safety, excellence in guest experience and happy staff and crew are the cornerstones of our business. Nothing is more important than your safety. At Nautilus, we are proud to be the only dive operation in the world with ISM certification and external annual audit of an SMS (Safety Management System). This is the same certification as the largest cruise ships on the oceans. We operate within written processes, procedures and checklists that our captains and crew are trained into both initially and annually. Every dive starts with a briefing on a white board. We require that all divers carry LifeLines marine rescue GPS, SMBs and dive alerts. We will loan you one of ours if you are missing any of this safety equipment. We carry AEDs and extensive medical kits with a contract medical officer available shoreside via our sophisticated satellite communication system. NOTE: because of the remoteness of Cocos Island, we highly recommend a medical checkup before leaving on this trip.

How many dives can I expect?
Your dive schedule may vary according to weather, other dive boats and where the action is. You can generally expect 2 dives in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. Entry into the park is restricted and tightly controlled for diving allowing for not more than 65 divers in the park at any one time. An 11 day, 10 night trip provides for 7 dive days.

Is there nitrox onboard?
Yes, and it’s highly recommended for all divers. The cost is US$ 120 per trip.

Water temperature?
78- 82 °F (27 – 28 °C).

Are the boats camera friendly?
YES, VERY! Ask about rental cameras and photo pro services.


What airport do I fly into?

How do I get to the ship?

What time can I board the ship?

What time do we disembark?

What dive gear do I need to bring?
We provide aluminum 80 cu. ft tanks and weightbelts. Larger steel rental cylinders are available. 5 mm wetsuit recommended to avoid losing body core temp during multiple days of repetitive diving. It’s always better to layer down rather than be cold with no options. We have rentals onboard by prior arrangement for almost anything you need. Please make any rental requests as early as possible.

What to Expect

What’s the weather like and what clothes should I bring?
Well, it’s the rainy season in the tropics!! We recommend casual and cool attire onboard (t-shirt and shorts). It can be drizzly in the afternoons and we recommend bringing a windbreaker and a fleece vest or sweater just in case. Make sure you bring good shoes if you are interested in going ashore for a hike. It’s spectacular onshore. Just wait until you see the waterfalls!

Is there internet and WhatsApp onboard?
Yes. Internet and WhatsApp connection are available for $120 per trip. Please keep in mind that a satellite tracking system at sea only gives limited speed internet access. You won’t be able to stream Netflix!!

What’s the crossing like?
It’s an open ocean crossing to Cocos Island Costa Rica. It can be smooth or it might be rough or more likely, something in-between. The Explorer is our flagship that has steamed through everything, from the current-swept chilly waters of Alaska to adventuring down to Clipperton Atoll, just north of the equator. We highly recommend the scopolamine “patch” and a glass of red wine to relax and have a snooze on the crossing. During the trip, we anchor in the calm anchorage behind Cocos.

Is there a fuel surcharge?
Of course not! We figure that dive boat companies that with fuel, surcharges year-in, year-out are just taking an extra fee onto the trip.

What’s an appropriate crew tip?
US$ 400 – $500.