Travel forums on scuba diving and snorkeling in Costa Rica frequently highlight the natural beauty and ecological biodiversity of Costa Rica. It is something that is truly amazing and difficult to adequately portray in words.
Visitors usually experience a small portion of Costa Rica’s magnificence due to time restrictions and the rainforests, rivers, lakes, beaches, hot springs, volcanoes, flora and fauna usually take precedence. But another beautiful world awaits that offers sights that are at least, equally spectacular. Beneath both Costa Rica’s coastlines scuba divers and snorkelers view world-famous landscapes filled with world famous marine life forms. Snorkelers and scuba divers in Costa Rica descend into virgin seascapes that, until recently, were totally unexplored.
Costa Rica is one of the few places where a diver can enjoy both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Each side is very different. The Caribbean is warm with reefs protecting many brilliantly colored species. Diving in the Pacific involves descending shelves, offering dive sites at many levels with caves, caverns, and underwater pinnacles, a backdrop to pelagic species feeding and frolicking in clear view. On average the water temperatures range between, 21° C to 29° C (70° F to 85° F).
The volcanoes have added their own decorative touch to the seascape with underwater features that were formed by volcanic lava-flows that are now the setting for Nemo’s Garden. Some of the world’s best dive sites are located on nearby off-shore islands, rated in the ‘Top 10 Bet Dives Sites of the World” their breathtaking displays of marine life, include everything from seahorses to humpback whales, intermingled with most species of sharks, rays, turtles, snappers, grunts, marlin, swordfish, and the list is never ending. Many species facing extinction can be found here and are now protected; they offer many rare photo-shoot opportunities.
A Few Choice Diving Locations & Ideas
Diving shops in Costa Rica have experienced and certified Dive Masters that guide guests, ensuring that the highest level of safety is practiced at all times. There are also‘Sleep-aboard’ boats that provide dive trips to the nearby islands and facilitate camping and live-aboard charter arrangements. Many of these excursions are for 7 to 10 days in length and can comprise a vacation unto themselves.
Near the coast are small islands like the Catalina Islands, the Islas Muricielagos (Bat Islands), and Isla de Cano, which have many great dive sites for exploring and camping-out. Worthy of note is the Cocos Islands, 300 miles from the mainland, which were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Imagine the thrill of night diving there amongst sharks, hammerheads, white-tipped, or perhaps bull sharks. You can be certain to get great photos and many thrilling memories on every dive in Costa Rica.
Why Marine Species are Attracted to Costa Rica
The abundance of available ‘food’ in these waters, combined with the warm temperature is a natural lure to many species of fish along the coastline. Nutrients from the shore are carried by the many rivers flowing from the hills and volcanoes, out to sea. Deposited there, it provides an abundance of food along the seashore. Many edible treats, small crustaceans, worms and small creatures flow into the sea where currents circulate. The smaller fish feast on them and the smaller fish attract lager fish and other marine predators.
Happy Bubbles, and as usual…