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Scuba Diving Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast

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Scuba diving along Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast has the advantage of clearer waters and better visibility. Divers say that the Caribbean’s marine life takes on all the colorful vibrancy of a “pop artist’s palette”. Parque Nacional Tortuguero and the Refugio Nacional Barra del Colorado, in the northern half of Limon protect the coastline. Further south is the beautiful Cahuita National Park and the Gandoca Manzanillo Refuge. The best onshore Caribbean dive spots are accessed by dive shops located on the strip within walking distance from Cahuita to Manzanillo. In this blog installment we provide scuba diving information about Puerto Viejo, offer up some of the best diving spots, and tell you where the dive centers are located on the Caribbean Coast. Also read our side bar information about Limon and what else there is to do along Costa Rica’s Caribbean’s shorefront. The water temperature averages a warm 80°F (26.7°C) all year.

A diver’s list of ‘places to dive’, on the Caribbean Coast must include:

  • Punta Uva Limon, Costa Rica, from here a diver can explore beautiful reefs and there is a great wall dive with canyons to check out.
  • Isla Uvita Limon, Costa Rica. “There is some nice diving around Isla Uvita, especially on the wreck of the Phoenix. Sea life is abundant, expect to see tropical fish, sea fans and a lovely reef”, says the ratings.
  • The island of Punta Mona near the Gandoca Manzanillo, is a protected Wildlife Refuge and a pristine natural get-away for divers and visitors alike.
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Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is where a guest wants to begin touring the underwater spectacles of the Limon’s Caribbean coastline. Small boats with experienced local captains await visitors to tour the area for a small fee. Remember to negotiate the price of your tour; they will be equipped to take snorkelers and swimmers for a tour and a visit to gorgeous places most people only read-about. Get there early in the morning and watch the Caribbean Sea ‘wake up and start the day’. Enjoy fresh fruit served on a green-banana-leaf. Heading further south from Puerto Viejo, dive shops are plentiful along the way. Each one is outfitted to provide for the visiting divers needs; all of them display their credentials and certification from some internationally recognized organizations.

In these waters there are many types of corals, Black coral, Venus sea fans, Elk horn coral, Brain coral, and Fire coral, just to name a few. Be careful, the mucous secreted by the fire coral it will give a stinging, or burning sensation if it comes in contact with the bare skin, thus the name ‘Fire coral’. Spotted eagle rays, Bat rays, and Manta rays, glide silently along the coast. Diving on the reef, expect to see over 400 species of fish, 30 types of corals, 11 types of sponges, and 138 types of mollusks.

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Also resident on the reef are Caribbean Spiny Lobsters, Crabs, and Octopi, Shrimp, Oysters, Sea Cucumbers, Sea-Eggs (Spiny Urchins) and many sponges. Make sure to refresh your knowledge of Nudibranchs or you will certainly miss some of the wildest color schemes on the reef.

Occasionally a shark will pass by; it may be a Nurse Shark, or perhaps a Black Tip, luckily for divers the pass by, all minding their own business. The teeth of the Nurse Shark are as pliable as silicone but they still have to maintain a daunting appearance.

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Dive Centers

Here is a list of dive centers along the Caribbean coast:

Punta Uva Dive Center -Punta Uva Dive Center is located on the Caribbean coast of Punta Uva, Costa Rica.
Reef Runner Divers -Reef Runner Divers located in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.
Cahuita Reef, located in the Parque Nacional Cahuita, Costa Rica
Mad About Diving, Uvita Osa Península, Puntarenas
Divingmania Caribbean Coast, Costa Rica.
Mystic Dive Center, Serving divers on both the Pacific and Caribbean side.

Surf the internet and see what else lies in store for a visitor to Limon, Costa Rica.

For more detailed information on diving in Costa Rica, we highly recommend viewing:

This is general SCUBA diving information is for qualified ‘Sport Divers’
No part of this is intended to be construed:

• As advice.
• As training material for diving or
• Exploring the world of underwater diving or snorkeling.

Always seek professional training before donning gear and entering the water.

Happy bubbles,
Pura Vida