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Swimming With Sharks In The Cocos Islands of Costa Rica

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Published on: 2012/10/04


Some people’s greatest fear is to find themselves in the water with a shark. Others travel for days to put themselves in that situation. Such was the case for the 19 eager divers, including myself, who flew to Costa Rica from all over the globe in order to ride for 36 hours on a boat to the Cocos Islands, where hundreds of sharks school

Diving in Cocos was unlike anything I had done before, and many of my divemates (some with over 3,000 dives under their belts) agreed. When the action kicks in, it’s hard to keep up. One second you are trying to count the number of scalloped hammerhead sharks swimming over your head (and the myriad colorful fish turning the water into a dynamic pointillist seascape) and the next you’re paralyzed by a 12-foot Galapagos shark passing a few feet away. But don’t freeze for too long or you may miss an apex predator, the tiger shark, roaming the waters below you.

swimming with sharks costa rica

The beauty, abundance and diversity of marine life in this World Natural Heritage Site is unparalleled, offering its neoprene-vested visitors the opportunity to dive with some of the largest numbers of predators and other large animals in the world. The captain of our ship told me that last year he had to bring the boat to a sudden stop because a humpback whale jumped out of the water only a few feet away. On that same day he also spotted Orcas (a rare sight around the island) and pilot whales.



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