Costa Rica is a land of colourful wilderness and wildlife, both above and below the water.  Costa Rica has one of the most diverse underwater ecosystems on the planet, and is heaven for any diver. We’ve listed the big reasons why Costa Rica needs to be your next dive trip destination below.

It is the most “biologically intense place on Earth”

The Poison Dart Frog is as pretty as it is deadly. Image by Paul Bratescu
The Poison Dart Frog is as pretty as it is deadly. Image by Paul Bratescu

Nat Geo once referred to Costa Rica as the “most biologically intense place on Earth.” The area is an explosion of natural life. While most divers are so attracted to Costa Rica for it’s variety marine life, there are some amazing sites to be seen above the water. Bird life that looks like it’s been coloured in with neon textas, sloths that love munching on hibiscus and a plethora of monkey species in lush tropical rainforest make Costa Rica as beautiful above water as it is below.

It’s a pelagic paradise

Got a soft spot for the big stuff? Me too. While I love the pure wackiness of some of the smaller marine life that calls the ocean home, nothing gets my blood pumping like a giant school of manta rays soaring past me or seeing an enormous hundred year old sea turtle fly through the water. Diving in Costa Rica is the perfect place to spend time with some of the ocean’s biggest inhabitants. Catalina and Bat Islands attract mantas, whale sharks, dolphins and sea turtles to name just a few. These islands are about 2 hours of the Gulf of Papagayo, so the best way to visit these underwater wonderlands is on a dive live aboard. Giant schools of rays and reef sharks can often be seen at Isla del Cano, along with enormous schools of fish.

It’s an underwater photographers dream

After becoming certified as an open water diver, it doesn’t take too long until your itching to capture everything you see underwater so you can show the folks above the surface how amazing the world beneath it really is. Costa Rica is great for budding photographers to the more experienced. The huge variety of resident marine life make a never-ending cast of subjects waiting to be snapped, and the good conditions make taking underwater photos a breeze.

You can explore some of the most untouched dive destinations in the world

Costa Rica diving is as off the beaten track as it gets. The top dive sites are hours away from mainland, and can only be accessed by overnight live aboard. This means pristine diving for you, along with being able to get away from reality and unwind while doing some of the greatest diving you’ll ever experience.

All the bucket list species call the Costa Rican oceans home

Sea turtles? Tick! Mantas? Tick. Hammerheads? You betcha. Whale sharks? If you’re extra lucky! Schools of pelagic fish that block the sun from their sheer size? Tick, tick, tick! Costa Rica is a marine life mecca, and in a single live aboard trip you’ll have the chance to cross off a big chunk of your marine species bucket list.

The dive season is year round

Unusually, some of the best diving is actually in the rainy season when the water is more nutrient rich, attracting more life to the area.  Diving in Costa Rica is excellent all year round, and different times of year attracts different life. One thing is for sure though, and that is your diving will be unforgettable no matter the time of year you visit.

Cocos Islands. Need we say more?

schooling hammerheads
Schooling hammerheads, a must-see when diving in Costa Rica

If you haven’t been to Costa Rica yet, you might recognise it from scenes in dino flick ‘Jurassic Park’. Truly a land before time, Cocos Islands  is home to an assortment of phenomenal marine life. Hammerheads can be seen by the hundreds here, along with a variety of other species of shark including tiger, Galapagos,  blacktip and silvertips. The island has 20 sites that boast incredible drift, deep and even blue water dives in close proximity to one another, making it best explored by live aboard. Bajo Alcyone is the site where your chances are of seeing schooling hammerheads and other pelagics are greatly increased, and this is a site on most live aboard itineraries.

Best way to explore Costa Rica

With-out a doubt, exploring the incredible diving that Costa Rica has on offer is best, and normally can only be done by overnight live aboard. Due to the remote locations of the dive sites where the marine life thrives and diving is ten out of ten, a live aboard is the only way to visit this stunning area. Liveaboard.com has the best selection of Costa Rican dive live aboards on offer at the best rate available. 

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