Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Costa Rica can be simply described as amazing. This small country with its incredible underwater marine life is perfect for discovering and admiring a wide variety of species in their natural habitat.
Scuba diving conditions in Costa Rica are near perfect, offering some of the most memorable encounters with species that inhabit the area such as manta rays, turtles and white tip reef sharks. On most dives, large schools of fish swimming around and overhead makes the scuba diving experience a unique one.
Costa Rica’s stunning blue waters are also popular with snorkeling enthusiasts. The variety of locations, temperate to warm water, two oceans, and abundant marine life creates some intense and exciting snorkeling adventures throughout the country.
Cocos Island is a lush, green uninhabited island resting over 300 miles off Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Schooling hammerheads, white-tip sharks, manta rays, tuna and even whale sharks call Cocos home, making the island one of the world’s top ten scuba diving destinations. Named a national park in 1978, Cocos Island receives very few tourists other than experienced divers.
Costa Rica’s Southern Caribbean coast hosts amazing snorkeling spots. The extremely clear waters of Puerto Viejo and Cahuita, Punta Uva and Manzanillo provide rich opportunities to view bright tropical fish. There are also unique underwater formations and masses of black coral.
The best months for snorkeling and diving on this coast are March, April, May, September and October.
This is one of Costa Rica’s most popular diving and snorkeling spots. Places like Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa, Playa Ocotal, Bat Islands and Catalina Islands are excellent for swimming with large marine creatures like manta rays, brightly colored tropical fish, sharks and sea turtles.
The best places for shallow exploration (snorkeling) are south of Playas del Coco, near Playa Ocotal. May to December is the best time for diving the Northern Pacific coast.
Costa Rica’s Central Pacific is well-known for its diverse marine life and volcanic formations. Diving in Manuel Antonio is perfect for observing rock formations, however, encounters with white tip reef sharks, sea turtles, seahorses and other species, are also frequent in the area.
The best time to snorkel and dive on the Central Pacific coast is November to April.
Osa Peninsula’s Caño Island offers some of the most exciting diving anywhere in the world. A wide variety of marine life can be discovered beneath the island waters. Home to 18 species of coral, 3 species of dolphin and 57 different species of crustaceans, this tiny island is the ultimate scuba diving spot.
Snorkeling and diving in the Osa Peninsula is good year-round.