Costa Rica Scuba Diving
Once you experience the quality of Costa Rica diving, you won't be able to stop yourself planning another Costa Rica diving vacation. Underwater marvels range from the coral reefs beneath the coastlines to the offshore islands the Pacific side. The different dive spots contain beautiful marine life such as giant manta rays, sea turtles, angel fish, coral formations, sea slugs, puffer fish, sea fans, dolphins and even whales. Several of the Caribbean scuba diving areas along the Southern Atlantic coast, where the largest reef in the country is located, are superb. Punta Cocles and Punta Uva have healthy coral formations that contain plenty of fish, not to mention cahuita national park where the largest reef is located. The best time to visit, if you're looking for good visibility, is from March to early May and from mid-August to mid-November. At these great coral reefs not only can you get your PADI scuba diving certification but you can also practice skin diving, deep sea diving and snorkeling. Many islands, reefs, caves, and rocks lie off the coast of Costa Rica, providing excellent spots for underwater exploration. Most divers prefer Pacific dive spots like Cano Island, Bat Island, and the Catalina Islands, where you're likely to spot manta rays, moray eels, white-tipped sharks, and plenty of smaller fish and coral species. One of the ultimate in Costa Rica deep sea scuba diving vacation experiences is spending a week to 10 day trip on a chartered boat, diving off the coast of Cocos Island.
A Costa Rica Caribbean dive vacation must include Cahuita's coral reef where you will find over 35 species of coral, more than 300 different types of mollusks, lobsters, 3 species of turtles and thousands of colorful fish like the French Angel, Isabelita and Queen Angel. The reef extends 500 meters out to sea from Cahuita Point and is great for snorkeling. The blue-green waters that seem to move to the rhythm of the coconut trees mixed with the warm, tropical sunshine, will definitely remind you what being in the Caribbean is like. Visibility varies with season and location throughout Costa Rica. Generally, heavy rainfall tends to swell the rivers and make the waters muddy, even offshore, although there's still good diving in Manzanillo, down near the Panamanian border. The best snorkeling experience in Costa Rica is on the reefs off Manzanillo beach in the southern Caribbean coast, particularly in the calm months of September and October. Playa Negra (Black beach is 2.17 miles of black sand that extends from Cahuita to the outlet of Tuba River. The Pacific Coast has some of the best diving in the country. Even though there's less coral, there are large amounts of big fish for amazing deep sea excursions. Diving in the Northwest is extremely popular. Groups focusing on El Coco, Ocotal and Hermosa beaches can experience some excellent trips that reach Bahia Culebra (Culebra Bay) and Islas Murcielagos (Bat Islands). It's often possible to spot sharks and manta rays.
Those divers enjoying vacations in Flamingo beach usually go to Santa Catalina Island, about 5 miles off shore, where sharks and large fish are often seen. From June to September swimmers will experience the best visibility and water temperatures in this part of the coast. Cano Island, located in Drake Bay in the Costa Rican south undoubtedly has the country's best diving. The island is covered by virgin forest and the ocean around it overflows with marine life. It?s common to see manta rays, dolphins, game fish and sharks when diving around the island. You can arrange diving trips from hotels, lodges or resorts near the south in Manuel Antonio or Dominical, and directly at your hotel if you plan to stay near corcovado national park