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Dive Review of Cocos Aggressor in
Costa Rica/Cocos Island

Cocos Aggressor: "Cocos on Wind Dancer Dec 20-30 2014", Dec, 2014,

by Jason Propsner, GA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 11 Helpful votes). Report 8109.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was a trip over Christmas week on the Wind Dancer. You need to fly in a day early and stay in Escazu. The boat picks you up at the Holiday Inn and Indigo, but there are several other major brands nearby, like the Courtyard Marriott in case you want to use points or stay somewhere else. If you do stay at another hotel you will need to get yourself to one of the pickup hotels. I stayed at the Holiday Inn. It was nice and near a mall and several restaurants. Make sure to ask the taxi drivers if they have a working "Maria" (meter) so you don't get overcharged.
The bus met us a few minutes late, but we had a great tour guide with a wealth of Costa Rican knowledge that made the two hour drive to the port in Puntarenas go quickly. The bus had great AC and we made a stop half way to buy drinks and snacks.
I was very surprised to see that the Wind Dancer was almost completely unchanged since I was on this same boat in Tobago ten years earlier. I did a weeklong trip on the Wind Dancer in 2004. The mattresses and couch are new. They have added a crane for the pangas, but everything else is exactly the same. Below decks smelt very musty and was unbearable for at least one guest who slept upstairs in the salon most nights. The mattresses are thick and comfortable. The rooms were cool and comfortable, but there is only one thermostat for all rooms. If you get someone who is too cold or too hot it could be a battle over the temp. Luckily we had a good group from around the world.
We motored for more than 30 hours to get to Cocos, but the ride was comfortable both directions. I heard it was very rough the week before so we lucked out.
The diving was done from dinghies/pangas with a back roll entry. Once you gear was setup the crew loaded it on the dinghies. Once on the site we donned our gear one at a time and then back rolled one at a time in quick succession. The group remained together for the whole dive, led by a DM. This time of year has clam seas, slow to no current, but this also means less animals. Basically the more challenging the diving the more large animals. We saw hundreds of small whitetips, a few hammerhead (usually they have hundreds at a time schooling within view of each dive), several Galapagos sharks and a couple of Tiger sharks. Overall the dives started slow, but picked up later in the week. If you plan to come to Cocos after November you will have an easier time in the water but will see less big animals.
Check out my video for a better idea of what I am talking about here:
[vimeo.com link]
The crew and food were great. I was surprised to see they used partial pressure Nitrox. Having a large group of O2 tanks on the dive deck seemed old school. Most boats use membrane now, at least in my experience.
There was a couple of chances to go on the island to see the rangers. Be aware that they doubled the park fee and we weren’t notified by Aggressor. Luckily our travel agent reviewed the site and noticed the change from when we booked the trip. We paid $495 in cash to the park rangers.
Overall I would recommend this trip to others, but I would not repeat it. At least not right away. Maybe in ten years.
Websites Cocos Aggressor   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Multiple Caribbean locations, Galapagos, Socorro, Indonesia, Hawaii, Various Latin America locations and Florida
Closest Airport San Jose CR Getting There I flew direct from Atlanta, GA in about 3 hours.

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 79-82°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Drop and dive as a group. Limited to 55 minutes. No deco diving. No solo diving. They fitted each pair with one GPS locator.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There was limited charging inside the salon. If there was more lights and cameras we would be fighting over outlets. Bring a small power strip to accommodate all your charging needs.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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