The Republic of Costa Rica “Rich Coast” is situated with Nicaragua above them and Panama below them. On the western side they have the Pacific Ocean and on the right side rests the Caribbean Ocean. Most of the scuba diving takes place in the Northwestern region of Guanacaste. However, new sites are opening on the lower east side south of Limón. Some 10,000 years ago hunter-gatherers first entered this tropical rain forested landscape. In 1808 they planted the first crop of coffee. Within 12 years it became the number one export crop. In 1948 they abolished the military and put all the budgeted funds into education and health. So, more than 10% of the local Ticos and Ticas over 18 speak English.
Above all, Costa Rica is where a typical local morning cup of coffee is considered by many to be one of the best cups of coffee in the world.
Diving the Regions of Costa Rica
The Gulf of Papagayo is the hot spot for scuba diving on day boats and/or while staying at resorts. From this region you can go up to the Bat Islands to dive with bull sharks, or go down to the Catalina Islands to see white tips and mantas. There are over 20-40 dive sites in this area. You may see 25 endemic species of fish, five species of sharks including whale sharks, rays turtles, dolphins, orcas, humpbacks, and pilot whales. Moreover, while scuba diving, keep an eye out for frogfish, seahorses, lobsters, and octopus. Costa Rica waters have arches, caves, walls, pinnacles, seamounts, drift dives, and a few wrecks. Advanced diver certification is required for certain dive sites with swift currents. Farther south there is scuba diving around Cabo Blanco Island
and three wrecks near Tortuga Island
in the Gulf of Nicoya.
Liveaboard vessels can go out to Cocos Island and Caño Island from the Costa Rica's mainland. Cocos Island has over 20 dive sites. Dirty Rock
is the place to encounter hammerheads and rays. Manuelita
has white tips. You may also see Galapagos sharks out here. Caño Island has similar wildlife, but on a smaller scale. This area is a biological Reserve therefore, only 5 dive sites are available to dive. So, the names Shark Cave, Coral Gardens
, and Paradise
, say it all. Enjoy our blog story: 110,000 Reasons to Go Liveaboard.
On the eastside, The Cahuita National Park has a few scuba diving sites to visit.
Accommodations, Attractions, Activities
Costa Rica's resorts and hotels with scuba diving charter boat operations are the best way to visit most dive sites. However, to visit Cocos Island and Caño Island you will have to travel by liveaboard. Corcovado National Park is a must visit wildlife park and has all four species of Costa Rican monkeys. You may also like to take a hike and visit a volcano. Trapes through a rain forest to see a red eyed tree frog, or climb up to tree level heights and use a zip line to quickly traverse a forest. Some people prefer to visit a beach and/or go surfing, kayaking, or snorkeling. Finally, many Americans come here for medical treatments or just to retire on their pensions.