Diving in Costa Rica

Discover wonderful places to dive in Costa Rica and admire its breathtaking sea bottoms

Diving in Costa Rica
Diving in Costa Rica
© Clifton Beard

Diving is becoming more and more popular in Costa Rica, and it has turned into an important tourist attraction, thus, it is possible to practice it in almost every part of the Costa Rican coast. Besides, the country is located in a privileged position, bathed by the Pacific Ocean on its west coast and by the Caribbean Sea on the east, so lots of good diving spots can be found there. Also, diving is exceptional in this country because of the varied biodiversity that inhabits its waters and the beautiful sea bottoms that it has, which differ greatly from one another depending on the place you go.

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In the Caribbean coast, the most relevant diving sites are Puerto Viejo, Cahuita National Park, and Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, where it is possible to admire marvelous coral reefs and marine animals like turtles and sharks.

Guanacaste’s coast has also different diving spots worthwhile seeing, as, for example, Playa Manzanillo Beach and Playa Coco Beach (however, almost all the beaches in that coast are perfect to dive), and the Bahía Junquillal National Wildlife Refuge.

The majority of the beaches found in the Central Pacific coast and in the Nicoya Gulf are considered to be diving sites since due to their incredibly beautiful sea bottoms. Some of the area’s most appreciated diving spots are Mal País, Tambor, and Montezuma beaches, among many more. Other amazing places to practice this sport are Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve and the Curú National Wildlife Refuge.

In the South Pacific area, the most outstanding diving spots are Caño Island, and Ciudad Cortés and all its beaches, especially Playa Uvita Beach.

The fascinating sea bottoms and the huge biodiversity of Costa Rica turn it into the perfect destination for diving in all its modalities, such as snorkeling. The best season to practice this aquatic sport is from June to September, since the waters are clearer. If you want to dive in Costa Rica, you have to take into account that the northern coast’s currents are stronger than the southern’s. The water’s average temperature ranges from 26 ºC to 29 Cº, so diving there is so pleasant. But between December and January, the temperature lowers to 19 ºC; this makes it more possible for big marine animals, like the humpback whale, the pilot whale and the whale shark, to visit the coasts of Costa Rica, turning diving into an incredible and unforgettable experience.

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