Cocos Island West
The reef on the west side is very different from the east side. Because of the prevailing wind and current run offs from the lagoon, the west side does not have the abundance of shallow hard corals that are found on the other side.
The terrain has layers at 30, 50 and 80 feet, then drops vertically at 110 feet to more than 200 feet. The area offers photography opportunities with sea fans, a variety of soft corals and invertebrates. Numerous large fish, including full-grown tunas and barracudas frequent the area as well.
The upper reef flats feature small crevices and soft corals, making them a favorite hiding spot for many small animals. There are numerous schools of small snappers, goatfish, and cardinalfish which are always surrounding the crevices and fissures
CAUTION: There is a current about 90% of the time so be sure and bring a safety sausage. The currents almost always go from east to west so keep the reef on your left while you're diving
The Manta Ray, with a wingspan reaching a width of 20 feet and weighing up to 3,000 pounds. Ironically known as the "Devil Ray", this species has no sting and is completely harmless to humans. The Spanish meaning of "manta" is blanket, describing the unique spherical body shape of this animal.
Manta rays prefer the deeper, outer ocean, but some do swim near and in the reef channels to get cleaned by small wrasses. Plankton is one of the manta ray's favorite foods, in addition to small fish and crustaceans. Manta rays suck water through their gills, allowing plankton to remain in their mouths while water is pumped out. Then, via gill arches, the plankton are redirected to the ray's stomach.
Depth Ranges: 60-140+' Exp Level: Experienced Access by boat Avg Vis: 70-100+' GPS: 13.15.7N, 144.38.2E