Scuba diving and Snorkeling in Costa Rica
Costa Rica offers great places for those who are looking for scuba diving and snorkeling. Thanks to tropical weather, you can practice these sports in the Pacific Coast and the Caribbean Coast too.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are in our list of best things to do in Costa Rica. We have to mention that the Pacific Coast has easier access than the Caribbean side, but it worths it if you enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling as we do.
Scuba Diving in Costa Rica
Let’s talk about each activity starting with Scuba Diving. In Costa Rica, you need a PADI Certification (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) for diving on your own, if you don’t have it, you can take the course and leave the country with your PADI certification! Although there are companies that offer a diving introduction service, it is a half-day activity in which they briefly teach you how to breathe and move underwater, it starts in a pool and then you go to the ocean, always in the company of the PADI instructor.
While diving into crystal waters you will be part of the incredible marine wildlife, you will have the opportunity to see a big variety of turtles, colored fishes, sharks, rays, and beautiful corals. This makes Costa Rica one of the top destinations for scuba diving and the reason is considered by most of the divers as a must of things to do in Costa Rica.
Here we mention our top 5 places for scuba diving in Costa Rica:
1. Isla del Caño is on top, what makes this biological reserve unique is that you can go diving even during the raining season, since its away enough from the Pacific coast and rain does not affect visibility.
2. Manuel Antonio is the second one, it is also the most visited national park in Costa Rica, its wildlife, white sand, and crystal water make this place perfect for scuba diving.
3. Las Catalinas Islands, located in Guanacaste, is a top destination for scuba diving, this area is well recognized for being home of the pacific giant manta.
4. Southern Caribbean Coast is also in our 5 top list for scuba diving. Puerto Viejo and Cahuita are great places for this sport, you will enjoy the Caribbean warm waters and well-preserved wildlife.
5. Cocos Island is one of the best places for diving, we have to mention it is lying 330 miles from the shore. This unpopulated island offers incredible views, you will have the chance to see how nature is.
TIP: Due to its easy access, Playa Hermosa is an option for travelers who want to have a scuba diving experience and don’t have an interest in going to a remote beach. This beach is closed to Tamarindo, Flamingo beaches, which are one of the most visited beaches in Guanacaste.
Snorkeling in Costa Rica
Now we want to talk about Snorkeling in Costa Rica. If you are thinking of what to do in Costa Rica, here is one activity to consider. Unlike scuba diving, you don’t need a certification for practicing snorkeling. This sport is very popular for any visitor that wants to explore underwater life from the surface of the water. What makes this activity more accessible than scuba is that you don’t even need to be a swimmer, you can use life vests, is allowed for children and it is also cheaper.
The best time for snorkeling in Costa Rica is during the dry season (from January to April). We recommend the Caribbean side to practice this sport, its charming and colorful reefs will make you fall in love with this part of the country.
We share with you our top 5 places for snorkeling in Costa Rica:
1. Cahuita National Park is located on the Caribbean coast. This reef has more than 30 species of corals and 100 species of fishes, what a great place for snorkeling! Plus you can also relax and have a walk-in its long white sand beach coast.
2. Isla del Caño Biological Reserve is a great place for snorkeling. It is located in the south of the Pacific Coast.
3. Cocos Island, this remote national park is a beautiful place for snorkeling.
4. Puerto Viejo area has incredible beaches where you can snorkel, Manzanillo is a small town with white sand beach and crystal water.
5. Manuel Antonio National Park offers its calm waters for snorkeling lovers.
We invite you to take the chance and live an amazing adventure in Costa Rica, whether you decide to do snorkeling or/and scuba diving.