Costa Rica or “Rich Coast” is a country that’s earned its name. This tropical paradise lies between the Pacific Ocean and the southern Caribbean Sea, so try to imagine how diverse its underwater locations are.
There’s so much to do. You can snorkel with sharks or take underwater pictures of lively corals that everyone on Instagram would kill for. If you’re interested, keep on reading to find our favorite places for the best scuba diving in Costa Rica.
Best Scuba Diving in Costa Rica in 2021 and beyond
1. Cocos Island National Park
Cocos Island is one of the most famous dive sites on the planet, so it only makes sense that you check it out first when you scuba dive in Costa Rica.
This oceanic island, which has a tropical rainforest, is located 340 miles off Costa Rica’s southwestern shore, so it’s pretty remote. It also spreads over 9.21 square miles of paradise. As you can imagine, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Its peculiar ecology combines flora and fauna that typically don’t co-exist.
It is home to more than 300 recorded fish species, mainly pelagic, which attract advanced divers from all over the world. These species include the highly famous scalloped hammerhead sharks, short bill spearfish, giant manta rays, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, and Galapagos sharks.
Also, large mammals are frequent visitors, such as bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, blue whales, and orcas. Marine reptiles, such as green turtles, are also present. However, these dive sites aren’t just fish, sharks, and whales; they also have 30 coral species.
Note that the island’s strong currents, which bring all kinds of pelagic life to the dive sites and deep waters, are more suitable for advanced divers than beginners.
2. Tortuga Island
Wreck diving can be the most beautiful, exciting, and chilling experience you ever have. Tortuga Island is another postcard-perfect remote island that’s worth exploring. It lies on the southeastern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula.
The island prides itself on its beautiful white sandy beaches and calm turquoise waters. However, that’s not what scuba divers are here for.
Just like all places where you can scuba dive in Costa Rica, Tortuga Island has an abundance of large fish and mammal species, such as whitetip reef sharks, stingrays, spinner dolphins, pufferfish, moray eels, spotted jacks, and so much more. Also, the island enjoys a variety of rock formations that you can see at the Labyrinth.
That being said, what really sets this island apart is its wreck diving. The Franklin Chang Diaz, Coronel Alfonso Monge, and the Caroline Star are the island’s most famous wrecks.
The Coronel Alfonso Monge is shallow enough for beginners, the Caroline Star is more suitable for advanced divers, and the Franklin Chang Diaz is in the middle in terms of difficulty.
3. Caño Island
Caño Island is a beautiful small one that’s located 10 miles from the Osa Peninsula in the Pacific Ocean. The biological reserve is an ecotourism paradise that rises up to 404 feet.
While Tortuga is known for its ship wrecks, Caño Island is the best for underwater photography, thanks to its colorful coral reefs, outcrops, archways, and pinnacles.
In addition, the visibility is perfect for enjoying the diverse marine life. From manta rays and pilot whales to snappers and sea turtles, there’s so much to scuba dive to see.
Hopefully, you found our list of the best scuba diving in Costa Rica useful. As you can see, this country boasts an amazing location that led to impressive biodiversity, especially underwater.
You can swim with sharks on Cocos Island, wreck dive on Tortuga Island, or take underwater pictures on Caño Island.