Be it that you are a professional or simply want to discover diving with the family and friends here we show you the best places so you can fully enjoy this experience while being surrounded by great natural beauties.
How about an underwater adventure? Well, few know Costa Rica has some of the best places to dive in the world. Our waters hide reefs and unique wonders that are worth getting to know. As its name implies, Costa Rica is full of coasts rich in natural beauty and marine fauna. The wonders of our coasts and reefs have made us famous in the world especially among lovers of snorkeling and diving. However, seldom do Ticos themselves venture out to discover the beauty that hides in the depths of our marine environments.
“Tico reefs” offer clear waters with visibility from 30 to 100 feet deep (from 9 to 30 meters) and the warm waters will welcome you throughout the year. Our country has agencies specialized in scuba and snorkel diving on both coasts.
Snorkeling in Costa Rica.
Snorkeling conditions in Costa Rica are not as optimal as you would expect from a country with so much nature and a location in the Caribbean Sea. This has several causes. Costa Rica has a (sub) tropical climate and a fairly rainy season (May to October). This, especially on the Caribbean side, causes a lot of leaching of fertile soil and nutrients. This has negative consequences on underwater visibility near the coast. In addition, there are no extensive coral reefs, as in other parts of the Caribbean Sea. The best time to snorkel is from January to April. Water temperature varies between 27 and 31 degrees. The average temperature on land is around 30 degrees throughout the year.
The west coast (Pacific) is especially suitable for surfers and windsurfers due to strong winds and high waves. It is also important to pay attention to the current if you are going to snorkel here. The water temperature is on average a little cooler than on the Caribbean side, but still pleasant (between 24 and 29 degrees).
Snorkeling spots in Costa Rica and diving.
Cahuita National Park. It is known for its beautiful beaches, so it is not surprising that it is a popular destination for divers to discover the Caribbean Coast of our Central American paradise. Despite having a variety of beautiful fish species and sea turtles, the main attraction for divers in the area is the Cahuita Reef. This reef is an underground ecosystem that divers will never forget, and is populated by very rare coral species, such as the brain coral, making this a unique and beautiful attraction in the country. Two seasons make this region particularly accessible, with visibility that exceeds 70 feet in depth. Enjoy this majestic place between March-May or August-November.
Isla del Caño. Located in the Osa Peninsula, in front of Corcovado National Park. The island was used as a pre-Columbian cemetery and it is still possible to observe some stone spheres perfectly round, made by the ancient natives. It has small beaches and high cliffs. The sea that surrounds the island is very clear, very rich in mollusks, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. Around the island, there are reefs where 15 species of corals have been observed. Isla del Caño is a unique place where you can find a lot of places to go diving, see hundreds of fish and maybe observe bull sharks and white tip sharks, as well as some playful spotted dolphins. There are many places around the Osa Peninsula where you can dive for both beginners and experts. It is only necessary to get submerged and discover a completely different world.
Isla del Coco. The longest uninhabited island in the world is also one of the best diving spots in Costa Rica. Isla del Coco is the furthest from the Costa Rican territory, located 330 miles southwest of the Nicoya Peninsula. While Coco Island has incredible rainforests, waterfalls and many more reasons to explore this paradise, the diving opportunities in this region are the best in the whole country. The warm waters of the Pacific that surround the island are home to a wide variety of creatures including the hammerhead shark, stingrays, and bottlenose dolphins. The Best of Costa Rica. Due to its location, the best time to dive in Isla del Coco is in the dry season, with September and October having the best climate for such excursions. The range of visibility varies between 20 and 80 feet depending on atmospheric conditions, and temperatures that do not usually fall below 70 degrees F.
Isla Catalina. Located in Guanacaste. Its great attraction is that you can see thousands of sea turtles come to lay their eggs, this without mentioning the number of rays and whales that you can see depending on the season. It has small beaches and high cliffs. The sea that surrounds the island is very crystal clear. Rich in mollusks, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. Around the island, there are reefs where 15 species of corals have been observed.
Islas Murciélago. Come discover the secrets under the waters of Santa Rosa National Park. If you find yourself searching for a great variety of marine life, then a trip to Islas Murciélago is exactly what the doctor ordered. With visibility almost always more than 90 feet in depth, this is a perfect place for daring divers who admire some of the biggest and most notorious creatures in the region, such as black tuna, barracuda and Mako Shark. These creatures, combined with the strong currents of the region, mean that the Island is not for beginners. Just outside the coast of Santa Rosa National Park and only accessible by boat, the water conditions for the chain of Islas Murciélago are similar, with September offering little rain and more comfortable temperatures.
Isla Uvita. The Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica does not have the same boom or development as the Pacific Coast, which does not mean that the area has nothing to offer. Uvita Island in the province of Limon is one of the regions that is gaining importance for this practice in the country. Uvita Island was a supposed point of landing of Cristopher Columbus, it is home to many marine species as well as several well-preserved shipwrecks that are famous in the region for diving exploration. Since the island is located in a tropical zone, it receives a lot of rainwater annually, making the dry season (especially September) the ideal time to explore.
Peninsula de Papagayo. Located northwest of the province of Guanacaste, it is the ideal destination for beginners due to its calm water bays. Snorkeling in Golfo Dulce. In the Osa Peninsula, it has great beauty both in its marine and terrestrial ecosystems which makes it an ideal destination for wildlife lovers both on land and at sea.
This place is home to dolphins, and in the reef, you will see a great variety of sea creatures.
According to the Spanish digital magazine “20minutos” in its article called “The best 85 places to dive in the world”, Costa Rica is cited nineteen times with Isla del Coco as the most ideal place for diving.
There are many places to dive and explore the sea on the coasts of Costa Rica and its islands. We invite you to make your own ranking of favorite places.