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Costa Rica Diving

Costa Rica Diving

Diving in Costa Rica is characterized by big schools of fish, large fish and lots of them. The best diving takes place on the North and South Pacific Coast. The Caribbean Coast offers very limited diving. The Central Pacific Coast does not have good diving, but has improved in recent years.

Diving in Costa Rica is for more experienced, adventurous divers who want something different. The variety and sheer number of fish are fascinating and might be worth the effort for non-beginning divers.

But Costa Rica is not primarily a dive destination: 2-3 days of diving is plenty for most people. Strong currents, surges, and reduced underwater visibility are common problems in Costa Rica. So it is not recommended for inexperienced divers. Beginning divers should not plan a visit to this area for the purpose of diving. Rather, if you are already on the North Pacific coast and looking for activities to fill a day, there are tour operators who offer PADI courses and some hotels offer resort courses in the pool.

The best diving takes place around Caño Island near Drake Bay on the South Pacific Coast. Caño Island offers better visibility during most of the year, except August - October when the rains are heavier. Located 15 kilometers offshore, the ride takes about 45 minutes. Many of the species found at Cocos Island can also be seen here. Large schools of jacks and barracudas, sting and manta rays and sharks abound. Caño Island is a biological reserve, protected by the Costa Rican government, preserving this pristine environment. Water temps are in the high 70's and low 80's. Hotels located in Drake Bay are the best choice if you want to visit Caño Island.

The North Pacific offers decent diving year-round, but often with strong currents and reduced visibility. Divers should choose a resort near Playa Hermosa. For advanced divers, Bat and Catalina Islands provide offshore underwater structure for white-tips, rays, barracuda and horse-eye jacks. The best diving is between April and November. A favorite dive trip is to visit the bull sharks at Bat Islands where you can also see mantas and zebra eels. You are required to acclimate with a local dive prior to diving at the islands. Local dives are generally located in the gulf of Papagayo with schools of fish, such as grunts, horse-eye jacks, surgeons, angelfish and butterfly-barber fish. White tip reef sharks are most common with an occasional nurse shark. Four different types of rays glide through the waters here.

We are Costa Rica scuba diving experts, and will be happy to provide you with accurate assessments of current diving conditions in Costa Rica. Please call us for more information and a recommended itinerary and quote.

Tours
Cocos Island
Cocos Island

Cocos Island offers World-class diving, but is over 300 miles offshore! You cannot dive Cocos Island easily--you must take a 10-day liveaboard trip. While expensive, many divers consider Cocos Island the trip of a lifetime. Cocos Island features great visibility, schools of hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and many other large pelagic species. 10-day trips depart from Puntarenas on the Central Pacific Coast.

Cano Island Diving
Caño Island

Good diving with better visibility takes place around Caño Island near Drake Bay on the South Pacific Coast. Located 15 kilometers offshore, the ride takes about 45 minutes. Many of the species found at Cocos Island can also be seen here: large schools of jacks and barracudas, sting and manta rays and sharks. Caño Island is a biological reserve, protected by the Costa Rican government, preserving this pristine environment. Water temps are in the high 70's and low 80's.
North Pacific Diving
North Pacific Coast

The North Pacific offers decent diving year-round (best between April and November), but often with strong currents and reduced visibility. For advanced divers, Bat and Catalina Islands provide offshore underwater habitat for white-tips, rays, barracuda and horse-eye jacks. The Bat Islands have bull sharks, mantas and zebra eels. Prior to diving at the islands, a local dive is required. Local dives have schools of fish, such as grunts, horse-eye jacks, surgeons, angelfish and butterfly-barber fish. White tip reef sharks and four types of rays glide through the waters here.
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