Scubadiving in Costa Rica

Diving on the Pacific and Caribbean in Costa Rica

When people think of ecotourism in Costa Rica, the first thought that goes ziplining through peoples heads is likely a rainforest or jungle adventure: canopy tours, white water rafting, repelling etc.  The attractions above water, namely surfing and deep sea sport fishing are world renouned and attract tourists from all over.  However, it is the opportunities to swim with the deep sea sport fish that are often overlooked.  Those who choose to try scubadiving in Costa Rica experience the eco-adventure of a lifetime. 

The best way to get a hands on underwater marine life experience in Costa Rica’s stunning deep sea ecosystems is to take a scubadiving tour. Scubadiving is offered by many tour groups and travel agencies as underwater trips and excursions. There are plenty of dive companies offering private tours in most destinations along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.  There has been a significant investment in Costa Rica scuba diving in recent years which has yielded world class facilities and scubadiving opportunities.  Professional instruction and courses as well as top notch dive shops with equipment and rental services, scubadiving in Costa Rica is now first rate. 

Once under water,enormous schools of fish, a plethora of bio-diverse marine life and comfortable water temperatures throughout the year are the scubadiving conditions to expect in Costa Rica. The Pacific Coast has places like Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa and Playa Ocotal, where scuba diving is immaculate. Here one will certainly encounter giant manta rays and enjoy the opportunity to swim alongside brightly colored tropical fish and sharks.  Arguably the best place to scuba dive on the Pacific Coast is off Bahia Drake. Visitors to Isla del Caño and Isla del Coco off the bay and find unbelievable underwater experiences. These two islands have thriving marine life of their coasts where one can find sharks, turtles and over one hundred species of fish.  Isla del Caño is said to be the best place to scuba dive in the country. This island hosts one of the only coral fields in the country, it has 18 species of coral, 3 species of dolphin and 57 different species of crustaceans.   This tiny island is the ultimate scuba diving hot spot.

On the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica, scuba diving is even better than on the Pacific. Unfortunately, this area has not been properly developed and the facilities for scuba diving here are not as good as they are on the Pacific Coast. If you do get the chance, scuba diving here on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is well worth your time, as the eastern section of Costa Rica is home to the country’s only coral reef off the coast of the Parque Nacional Cahuita.  The reef here is home to over 123 species of fish, 140 species of mollusk, and 35 species of coral. 

Max Bitterman



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