The Hammerhead Triangle – Cocos, Galapagos and Malpelo

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So, you like sharks? Big sharks? Hammerhead sharks? Then the Hammerhead triangle is where you want to be in your next diving holiday.

Hammerhead sharks

Their bizarre shape, their wave-motion and their powerful grace makes this animal one of the most sough-after sharks.

This shark variety may reach the 6 meters size and weigh up to 580 kg; the particular hammer-shape consents the shark to a 360 degrees eyesight.

Their habits are not the most common among other sharks: they swim in schools during the day and hunt solitarily at night.

Hammerheads can been spotted in warm waters, along the coastline of many places in the world but there is a special place where they particularly like to hang around: the hammerheads triangle.

Hammerhead sharks

The hammerheads triangle

The imaginary triangle formed between Cocos, Galapagos and Malpelo islands is a well-known location in the scuba diving community for its massive presence of hammerheads sharks.

These three islands confine some of the best diving spots in the world where you can see of up to 200 / 300 hammerheads swimming in schools.

Situated west of Central America, this golden triangle is formed among three different countries: Galapagos Islands, situated 1,000 km of the coast of Ecuador; Cocos, located at 550 km from the Costa Rica shoreline; Malpelo, which lies at 90 km off the water of Colombia.

Galapagos Islands

Galapagos is the only destination of the triangle that you can reach via plane. Once there you will get on a live-aboard to reach the most northern rocks Wolfs and Darwin. Here is where you can admire 100 to 200 hammerheads sharks gently swimming in the blue.

If live-aboard is not your favorite way of diving, then you can reach Gordon Rocks from Santa Cruz with the daily diving excursions and still be able to see up to 50 hammerheads.

Union Rock in Galapagos

Cocos Islands

Cocos is probably the most challenging destination, no airports here, just 36 hours of sailing between you and some hundreds of hammerheads. Cocos is recommended for experienced divers that are confident in sea-currents diving.

Diving sites like Bajo Alcone, Dirty Rock and Punta Maria are the spots where you can meet huge schools. The best time to visit this island is from June to September.


The only way to get here is, as for Cocos, with a live-aboard and it takes about 30 hours from Buenaventura to reach the rock.

Castaway, Freezer and Monster Face are the diving sites where you have more chances to see hammerheads swimming in schools reaching up to 300 elements. Malpelo is also a great location to spot humpbacks and blue whales, together with many more shark species.