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Dive Review of Undersea Hunter in
Costa Rica/Cocos Island

Undersea Hunter, Nov, 2007,

by Mike Judd, OR, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports). Report 4146.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Maldives, Fiji, Caribbean, Palau, Truk, Philippines
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 76 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Generally stayed in a loose group with dive guide; not strict.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Be aware that it's a 30 - 36 hour ride from the mainland out to Cocos. What the crew said was an average passage seemed pretty rocky to me; not recommended for those prone to mal de mer. Cabins we about average size, and the AC and hot water worked. The food was certainly not gourmet, and not a lot of choices, but generally appetizing. Once you set up your gear on a tank on one of the tenders it stays there, which saves a lot of work. Rides from the mother ship to the dive sites ranged from 5 to 30 minutes.
The dive guides were competent and pleasant, but nothing special. A couple of the tender drivers seemed to always be racing to get to the sites, which often resulted in wetter and bouncier rides than necessary. The crew on the main boat provided good service and were enjoyable personalities.
The big attraction here is hammerheads, which were present on every dive. Didn't see any of the large schools you see in the pictures, but often groups of up to a dozen. Many of the dives were little more than descending to a good spot at 50' - 100' and hanging on to the rocks while we watched the parade go by, which was fine. They would often cruise within 15 - 20 feet if everybody sat still (unfortunately that didn't always happen, as a couple of people in the group often just had to get their camera a little closer for that killer shot!). We saw other varieties of shark on about half the dives, including Galapagos and Silvertip. There were also the smaller white-tips frequently around, to the point where you had to sometimes shoo them away like pesky puppies. Marble rays were everywhere, with a lesser number of eagle rays and the occasional manta. Large schools of tuna (mostly small) and lots of large jacks. All in all, a great place if you like sharks and other big fish. All dives had some current, often quite strong.
Costa Rica has enough interesting sights on land that it's worth sticking around for a few extra days. Arenal Volcano is worth seeing. We stayed at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, and although the top of the mountain was clouded over (as is often the case), stayed up half the night watching and listening to glowing lava rocks roll down the slope only a couple of miles away. There's not much to see in San Jose, and definitely avoid driving there in rush hour. Monte Verde was interesting, but maybe not worth the miles of terribly bumpy road to get there. The Best Western Irazu Hotel is overpriced, and one of the rooms we had there had an unpleasant moldy smell.
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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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