Favourite Diving Spots, Costa Rica

Playas del Coco

The marine ecosystem in Playas del Coco and Papagayo in Guanacaste is unique and delightful. It is an area rich in plankton production and protection, which makes it one of the most visited for animals looking for food. Manta rays, whale sharks and whales are examples of the marine life often spotted near the coast in a single diving excursion.

The wide variety of sharks and other predators come near the coast to feed on smaller fish and supply their diet with abundant plankton.

In addition to this, there are untold numbers of colorful reef fish that can be found in the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean. In this zone visibility and abundance are spectacular.

This zone is classified among the ten best destinations for diving in the Indian-Pacific region. It is also among the five best for the large number of big animals and the best marine wildlife.

Nowadays there are more than 21 local diving spots, which are about 30 or 40 minutes away from the shoreline. The diving depth in this area ranges from 20 to 110 feet, depending on the particular place.

Water Conditions

The visibility of this zone varies from 20 to 80 feet, depending on the plankton level, the currents, water movements and atmospheric conditions.

The temperature changes depending on the season, from 70 to 85°F.

Environmental Conditions

Sun hours in Playas del Coco: 7 hour average. Summer daylight is from 6am through 6pm. Winter daylight is from 6am to 5:30pm

Wind speed: In the summer from January to April, the average speed is 12 km/h with a northerly wind. In the winter, from May to December, the average speed is 8.7 km/h with an easterly wind.

Islas Murciélago

Located near the Nicaraguan border, these islands are part of Santa Rosa National Park and the Guanacaste Conservation Area. They are collectively considered the best diving spot in the northern Pacific region of Costa Rica.

It is considered the second best place for diving in Costa Rica only after Cocos Island. Its great variety of marine life and the visibility, as well as the depth of its diving spots are stunning and challenging.

Only two hours away from Playas del Coco, these islands have a great variety of spots with different characteristics, which make a diving day in the zone an unforgettable experience. Among the best are great spots like El Gran Susto (the big scare), Bajo Negro, Hojaranes, and Los Arcos.

You can find depths from 40 to over 140 feet. The average visibility is from 80 to 90 feet. This is because in this coastal zone only a few rivers flow into the ocean, so the water is very clear.

Strong currents and dangerous marine life such as the mako shark, the bull shark and others characterize this diving spot. This is a special place for experienced divers, advanced students or instructors.

In this zone you can also find black tuna, macarela, barracuda, wahoo, dorado and pargo de la mancha, among others.

Islas Catalinas

This island located offshore from Flamingo is considered among the most attractive points in the zone, especially for the abundance of manta rays that inhabit its waters.

Depths vary from 60 to more than 110 feet and visibility reaches to 90 feet. There are many unnamed diving spots in this area where you can find nurse sharks, white tip sharks, pilot whales, barracuda, manta rays, devil rays, cownose rays, jurales, hojaran and small fishes, different sized morenas, Cook fish, turtles and lobsters.

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