It took more than a decade, but we finally made it to Cocos Island National Park in Costa Rica. Ever since we heard about the island’s history (beloved by both pirates and Presidents), remoteness (it takes days to get there) and sharks (tiger sharks, silky sharks, whale sharks and endangered scalloped hammerheads congregate here in big numbers) we’ve been dreaming of SCUBA diving around Cocos Island.
Part of the reason it took us so long to get to Cocos Island is that it’s 350 miles
off the coast of Costa Rica. Unfortunately, we did not go for the Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang version of our truck so our only option, like most people, was to travel to Cocos Island on a live aboard dive boat. So that’s what we (finally) did.
Our home during a 10 day trip to Cocos Island was Undersea Hunter‘s M/V Argo live aboard dive boat. It’s best to think of the Argo and its nine cabins as a stylish, floating, all-inclusive hotel that you can never leave except to go diving. Heaven.
The swanky M/V Argo live aboard dive boat, operated by Undersea Hunter, our home on the high seas during a 10 day diving trip to Cocos Island in Costa Rica.
Pirates and Presidents
Like so many treasures, pirates claimed Cocos Island as their own, first as a life-saving source of fresh water and wood for ship repairs, then as a bank. Many believe that hundreds of tons of gold, religious artifacts and other ill-gotten riches worth billions of dollars by today’s standards remain hidden on the island where pirates buried their loot long ago.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made three trips to Cocos Island in search of a different kind of treasure. In 1935, during his first visit to the island, President
Roosevelt caught a 110 pound sailfish. The fish was shipped back to the United States where the avid fisherman had it mounted and hung in the White House.
Pirates maintained their unofficial ownership of Cocos Island until 1832 when Costa Rica claimed the land. Cocos Island National Park was created in 1978 and made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.