Experience the adrenaline rush of diving with hundreds of hammerhead sharks at the exotic Cocos Island & meet the bull sharks and their aquatic friends from Bat Islands. Whatever kind of underwater adventure you seek, from a casual recreational expedition to a thrilling drift drive, it’s alive and waiting for you in Costa Rica.
COSTA RICA DIVE HIGHLIGHTS
CAVE DIVING AT CATALINA ISLANDS
The aptly named ‘shark cave’ is a haven for our oceans apex predators and, as a consequence, is a star attraction for dive visitors in the Catalina’s. This rad dive spot also boasts interesting arch structures and flourishing coral specimens hosted by ancient volcanic formations.
BULL SHARKS AT BAT ISLANDS
Bat Island acts like a magnet to big groups of Bull Sharks – regularly drawing them to feed and swim. Add this awesome dive site to your Costa Rica itinerary for a heart racing shark dive experience. Note; At 30 metres deep (100 feet), this zone suits advanced/expert divers only.
THE MEGA MARINE LIFE AT CAÑO ISLAND
W for wow. The intricate pinnacles circumnavigating Cano Island attract a remarkable variety of larger marine species. It’s the perfect opportunity to spot a wide range of regal sea creatures up close to including; manta ray, orca families, inquisitive dolphins, mammoth humpbacks and pilot whales. Plus, a whole bunch of pelagic fish species too.
HAMMERHEADS AT COCOS ISLAND
The far flung Cocos Island is highly regarded for its hammerhead shark diving tours. Large numbers of hammerheads are almost guaranteed to greet the adventurous divers who sail to the Pacific Oceans stunning Cocos Islands bound for the dive trip of a lifetime.
THE WRECKS OF TORTUGA ISLANDS
Does wreck diving excite you? If so, then you should absolutely go to the Tortuga Islands! It’s the perfect mix of maritime history and marine life meeting. The Franklin Chang, Colonel Alfonso Monge, and the Caroline Star vessels are all waiting to be explored within the depths of Costa Rica’s underwater realm.
COSTA RICA – QUICK FACTS
- The name “Costa Rica” literally translates to “Rich Coast,” a highly appropriate name for a densely jungled landscape lapped by jewel like oceans.
- The offshore island zones of the Cocos, Bat and Catalina Islands are mesmerising dive locations due to their looming underwater pinnacles that home a thriving example of marine biodiversity. Think exciting shark and manta ray encounters and large schools of pelagic fish species. Keep in mind the aforementioned dive destinations are quite remote and renowned for strong currents, hence it’s an area for advanced divers.
- Fact; the Pacific Coastline of Costa Rica is a humpback whale and manta rays migration zone and super highway to vast assortment of pelagic sea life. It is suitable for all diving levels, pending weather conditions.
- Costa Rica’s southern region is a protected biological reserve with dramatic underwater topography featuring boulders and pinnacles. Expect to see large schools of tropical fish on any dive at any given time. Winning!
- The Caribbean coast zone is dive hot spot where you’ll find vibrant coral reef systems buzzing with marine life – interestingly this lesser explored area is yet to be fully mapped by divers! The protected nature of the reefs here make the Caribbean coast an ideal location for beginners.
THE BEST TIME TO DIVE IN COSTA RICA
Diving seasons in Costa Rica are divided between into wet season (May to November) and dry season (December to April). The water clarity on both the Caribbean Coast and Pacific Ocean areas is tremendous and visibility ranges from 15-30 metres (50-100 feet).
The average water temperature ranges from 26-29ºC/78-84ºF. However, from December – March much cooler currents see water temperatures drop as low as 19ºC/68ºF, the drop in temp brings with it the bonus of encountering larger pelagic marine animals such as humpback whales, pilot whales, massive manta rays and the crowd favourite…whale sharks! and more.
Hint: air temperatures vary widely depending on altitude, however as a general rule expect coastal temps average 27°C/82°F in winter and 33°C/92°F in the summer months.
THE BEST DIVE SITES IN COSTA RICA
There’s three main dive zones in Costa Rica. Cocos Island is quite remote with many deep water dive hot spots suitable for expert divers only. While the Pacific and the Caribbean coastlines offer a bunch of premium dive sites that are terrific for beginners. Read on for our top dive sites of Costa Rica list, right here;
Attracts large schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks and stacks of other pelagic species. The relatively isolated Cocos Island is super famous within dive circles and well known as one of the best places to dive on the globe.
Herradura has recently emerged as one of Costa Rica’s newest dive sites. This pristine location is on the ‘must do’ dive radar for good reason, you see Herradura gifts divers of all abilities the opportunity to meet majestic manta rays and placid whitetip reef sharks in a relaxing dive environment.
The province of Limón is much less developed then other Costa Rican regions. It offers an intimate chance to explore the stunning Caribbean. Expect colourful reefs and a small smattering of shipwrecks.
PLAYAS DEL COCO (GUANACASTE)
Centrally situated right between the Catalina Islands and the Bat Islands, Playas del Coco is base to migrating manta ray species and big bull sharks, along with a host of other local marine life of course.
INTERESTING COSTA RICA ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS
Welcome to the jungle – the dense rainforest areas of Costa Rica offer a healthy habitat to a wide variety of flora and fauna. We suggest you get set to explore the wildly beautiful interior of this charming country at least once during your dedicated dive holiday.
Book a canopy tours and gain a bird’s-eye view of the forest floor below and/or take an exciting guided expedition to the colonial cities of Heredia, Alajuela, and Cartago, all of which brim with local characters that are larger than life and feature pastel lined streets (a hit with astute photographers to the region).
Tip: Costa Rica’s volcanic hot spring experiences bring a unique experience to all who visit. While keen adventure-seekers will love more adrenaline aligned activities such as, white water rafting the rapids and surfing at Costa Rica’s impressive array of world class breaks.