Costa Rica Scuba Diving

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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While conditions are very good all year, the best months for Costa Rica scuba diving are May through October. Wetsuits are recommended because water temperatures will vary a great deal during a single dive. The clarity of the water changes significantly from hour to hour and day to day, of course, depending on weather conditions. Visibility, however, usually ranges from about 20 feet to 90 feet in all seasons.

Places for Costa Rica Scuba Diving

Cocos Island is especially renowned for diving. This reputation is due in very large part because of the large schools of hammerhead sharks, dolphin, and giant manta rays that frequent the waters there. A national park lying about 330 miles southwest of the Costa Rican mainland off Golfito into the Pacific Ocean. Getting to Cocos takes about 36 hours.

To the northwest, also into the Pacific, are an abundance of Costa Rica scuba diving sites. Most lie within a 30-minute boat ride. Local marine life include sea horses, octopus, spotted eagle rays, white tip reef sharks, and stingrays. Whale sharks as long as 35 feet are often spotted. Humpback and pilot whales, orcas, spinner dolphin, and false killer whales are also common.

Costa Rica scuba diving will give you a variety of spectacular underwater photography opportunities if you have or rent the necessary equipment. These include black coral, soft coral, and orange cup coral, as well as giant puffer fish, lobster, slumbering parrot fish, and tube worms. The diversity of life among the rocks is wide, and can be seen both at night and during the day. Night dives are a favorite in Costa Rican waters.

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