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Snorkeling and Scuba Diving, Costa Rica

With so much written about the biodiversity of the cloud and rainforests of Costa Rica, it is easy to miss out on the country’s territorial waters which are teeming with sea life and which cover a greater area than the land mass. Interspersed with coral reefs, atolls, volcanic outcrops, caves and shipwrecks, both coasts of the country have great scuba diving and fantastic snorkeling sites to suit everybody.

Here at Costa Rica Rios we are so keen for you not to miss out on what lies beneath the waves that we include snorkeling as part of out 8-Day Adventure Tour, while we can include any number of days and a variety of different locations if you are looking for a more diving-oriented personalized vacation to Costa Rica.

Jacques Cousteau and scuba diving in Costa Rica

To ensure you enjoy the best diving and snorkeling available, we have created a list of what we feel are the top 8 diving Locations in Costa Rica. First on the list is Isla Del Coco, which was described by Jacques Cousteau as “the most beautiful island in the world.” If the name Cousteau rings a bell, not only was he a renowned diver and undersea explorer, but together with Émile Gagnan he was also responsible for the development of what, in 1943, was called the ‘aqualung’. Only later was the more widely used term ‘self-contained underwater breathing apparatus’ used, and abbreviated to the acronym SCUBA.

  • Isla Del Coco – this island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located 300 miles to the south-west of Cabo Blanco. A location suited only to experienced divers, this marine park is home to a wide variety of sharks, rays, dolphins and the rare scalloped hammerhead shark.
  • Islas Murciélagos (Bat Islands) – found just off the tip of the Santa Rosa National Park in Guanacaste, this is a very popular location for experienced divers. Manta rays, sharks and turtles make their home here at different times of the year, while pilot whales, humpback whales, whale sharks and dolphins have also been sighted here.
  • Islas Catalinas – once again located off the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica and comprising an archipelago of twenty small islands, this scuba diving location has a worldwide reputation. Best known for its diverse population of rays, including giant manta rays, devil manta rays, bat rays, string rays, spotted eagle rays, bullseye electric rays, and cow-nosed rays. Expect also to see pilot whales, dolphins, sharks and turtles.
  • Caño Island Biological Reserve located just off Drake Bay, this is a great spot for scuba diving and snorkeling in Costa Rica. Regular visitors include devil rays, white-tipped reef sharks and turtles.
  • Isla Uvita located just a 20-minute boat ride from city of Limón on the Caribbean coastline, Isla Uvita was where Christopher Columbus landed in 1502, and which today has become a favored diving spot thanks to the number of shipwrecks.
  • Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge probably the ultimate snorkeling spot on the Caribbean coastline with numerous coral reefs and small islands, visited from time to time by dolphins, sea turtles and if you are lucky, manatees. Tropical fish in abundance.
  • Cahuita National Park a snorkeling Nirvana with 3.6 miles of coast where you will find 35 different species of coral and more than 120 different species of fish, not to mention numerous, enchanting sea horses.
  • Isla Tortuga another snorkeling hotspot and probably the most family-friendly snorkeling location in Costa Rica. Marvel at the sight of parrotfish, eagle rays, turtles and angelfish, while further off the coast you may well catch sight of manta rays, pilot whales, humpback whales and dolphins.

Specializing in adventure vacations in Costa Rica, here at Costa Rica Rios, aside from our 8-day Adventure Tour and Honeymoon Adventure Package, we can create individual, bespoke adventure packages to concentrate on your favored activities, such as snorkeling and scuba diving.

It is hard to resist the allure of Costa Rica if you like exploring and are looking for the adventure of a lifetime, so take advantage of our local knowledge and give us a call. We’ll be glad to talk you through all you can expect from an adventure vacation in Costa Rica, and happily answer any questions you may have.

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