Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Costa Rica

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Costa Rica

Scuba diving information in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a relatively new destination for diving. Most of the diving in Costa Rica is concentrated in two areas: the Flamingo-Coco area in the Gulf of Papagayo and around the southwestern Osa Peninsula. Costa Rica has a stunning underwater landscape, with rocky pinnacles, canyons, walls and caves. With an amazing array of marine life and an ideal water temperature throughout the year, diving conditions in Costa Rica are near perfect. A number of dive companies are found all across the country. While some of the Pacific Coast of the country does not have much to offer, as the underwater visibility is quite low, the underwater visibility in the Isla del Caño and the Isla del Coco is fantastic and they have an abundance of brightly colored tropical fish, sharks, turtles, whales, eels and rays. The Isla del Caño is said to be the best place to scuba dive in the country. This tiny island is home to 18 species of coral, 3 species of dolphin and 57 different species of crustaceans. For an even greater variety of aquatic life, head out to Isla Catalina and Isla Murcielagos. Cortez angelfish, parrotfish, clown shrimp, spotted eagle rays, hogfish and bull sharks are some of the many marine creatures found here. The nearby Playa Hermosa and Playa Ocotal also offer some fantastic diving opportunities. On the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica, scuba diving is a real treat. The eastern section of Costa Rica is home to the country’s only coral reef off the coast of the Parque Nacional Cahuita. The reef is home to over 123 species of fish, 140 species of mollusk, and 35 species of coral. At Isla Uvita, just offshore of Limon, are tropical fish, sea fans, and a coral reef, plus the wreck of the Fenix. Costa Rican water temperature ranges from 21°C to 29°C and visibility is 6 to 35 meters. Less than a decade ago, Costa Rica was virtually unknown as a destination for diving. Suddenly it is being applauded for its variety of marine wildlife and divers have the excitement of truly virgin diving in areas never before explored.

Geography and climate

Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Costa Rica also comprises several islands. The climate is tropical year-round. However, the country has many microclimates depending on elevation, rainfall and topography of each particular region. The dry season runs from November to May and can be very windy. From June to November is the rainy season. Humidity and precipitation are higher on the Caribbean side than on the Pacific side. The average high temperature is 27°C and the low is 17 °C.

Entry requirements

Most visitors can get into Costa Rica with just a passport, without the need of a visa, and can stay in the country for 90 days. Costa Rica requires valid Yellow fever certificate if the traveler is coming from an infected country.

Health and safety

It is recommended that travelers vaccinate against Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid, Diphtheria, Malaria, Rabies, Hepatitis B and C before traveling. Protect against mosquito bites, wearing lightweight long pants, long sleeved shirts and using insect repellents. For more informations, please consult your doctor. Purse snatchings, armed robberies and car-jackings have been on the rise lately.

Time zone



Public phones are accessed with calling cards which can be purchased at most shops, even in outlying areas. Roaming agreements exist with some countries. Internet cafes are fairly easy to find in tourist areas.

Power and Electricity

120V, 60Hz Plugs are the UAS type.

Other Informations

Driving at night is not recommended.

Scuba Diving locations in Costa Rica

Which are the best scuba diving locations in Costa Rica? Below, you will find a list of all locations of Costa Rica, organized by regions, in which you can dive and snorkel.

Scuba diving locations and photos from each location in Costa Rica

Which locations in Costa Rica have underwater photos? Below, you will find the list of locations from Costa Rica and for each location a list of underwater photos.

Marine Species and photos of each species in Costa Rica

Which marine species can I observe in Costa Rica? Below, you will find the list of marine species and the photos for each species.

Underwater Photographers and photos from each photographer with photos taken in Costa Rica

Which photographers have taken underwater photos in Costa Rica? Below, you will find the list of underwater photographers and their photos in Costa Rica.

Scuba Diving centers in Costa Rica

Which scuba diving centers can I dive with in Costa Rica? Below, you can see the list of scuba diving centers in Costa Rica. Click on “more info” to find out more about each scuba diving center.

There are no diving centers available

Liveaboards in Costa Rica

Which liveaboard can I dive with in Costa Rica? Below, you can see the list of liveaboard in Costa Rica. Click on “more info” to find out more about each liveaboard.

There are no liveaboard available

Accommodation in Costa Rica

Which accommodation can I rest after my dive in Costa Rica? Below, you can see the list of accommodation in Costa Rica. Click on “more info” to find out more about each accommodation.

There are no accommodation available