Cocos Island by yacht & submersible

Charting new experiences in an underwater paradise

Some 500km off the Costa Rican coast, the eastern Pacific’s only oceanic island of volcanic origin hosts one of the largest predator biomasses on the planet.

Here, nutrient rich, deep-ocean currents are forced towards the surface by the island’s slopes, bringing with them great aggregations of everything from whale sharks and hammerheads to giant manta rays and bottlenose dolphins. Over several multi-yacht trips, we’ve brought our clients right among the best of it all, going behind the scenes of conservation work and guiding submersibles to new sites.

Indeed, we’ve conducted the region’s most extensive seabed mapping programme, both identifying new dive sites for our clients and providing new information for university researchers. And, we’ve seen our clients get involved with vital conservation work, from children helping gather data on sharks to divers tagging whale sharks.

Icon camera All media taken on Cookson Adventures trips

I am tempted by some of the expeditions Cookson has to Cocos Island – a 35-hour sail from Costa Rica, with some of the sharkiest waters on the planet, where he is involved in shark tagging projects

The Financial Times, October 2021

This untamed, jungle-clad island was the unofficial inspiration behind Jurassic Park, with waterfalls cascading from a fortress of mountains and no official inhabitants other than national park rangers. It’s a World Heritage jewel.

Surrounded by one of the world’s largest designated marine protected areas, its waters are considered the most shark populated on earth. Here, most of this remote island’s visitors live beneath the waves, like the scalloped hammerheads, sailfish and the world’s largest aggregations of the near-threatened silky sharks.

As such, it’s a pilgrimage for scuba divers, while submersibles offer the chance to go deeper and explore in comfort with researchers and your group alongside you. That could be admiring the Everest Seamount as hammerheads circle above, or heading down to 180m at Piedra 165 to discover an undercity alive with pelagic activity. Throughout, there’s plenty of opportunity for new discoveries. After all, the island has a rich history of buried treasure and pirate lore, chased after by the likes of legendary French explorer, Jacques Cousteau.


Footage taken on a past Cookson conservation trip to Cocos 


We’ve got the relationships to set up unique permits for it all, along with the chance to meet the rangers in charge of protecting this vibrant biosphere. Of course, that’s alongside plenty of conservation opportunities. We’ve brought in research vessels to gather data on the region’s sharks, including applying acoustic and satellite trackers. These geolocators provide important insight into unknown migratory patterns, which will inform the protection of these routes. Of course, we’ll see you involved throughout.

Then, back above the water, kayak and SUP along the island’s dramatic coastline or around seamount shark cleaning stations before heading on land. Scenic hiking routes can bring you between secluded beaches for picnic setups and inland waterfalls for cooling swims.

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