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Scuba Diving in Costa Rica Hot

Dive area / region : Costa Rica & Caño Island - See the map Scuba Diving in Costa Rica

Best diving season : May  •  June  •  July  •  August  •  September  •  October  •  November
Recommended number of days to stay : 5 to 7 days
Number of dive sites : More than 20 Dive Sites
Water temperature and wetsuit advice : 21-25C : Thin Wetsuit
Average visibility : 16 - 20 meters
Average dives depth : 15 Meters
Type of currents : Medium level currents
Months when these currents are present : N/A
General surface conditions : Medium conditions
Wreck types : Old wooden ship  •  Recent world ships  •  Artificial wrecks
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Type of marine life : Anemone  •  Barracuda  •  Corals  •  Crayfish  •  Cuttlefish  •  Dolphins  •  Grouper  •  Jacks  •  Lobster  •  Moray Eels  •  Nudibranch  •  Octopus  •  Plants  •  Rays  •  Reef Fish  •  Sea urchins  •  Shark - Grey nurse  •  Shark - Hammerhead  •  Shark - Reef shark  •  Shark - Whale shark  •  Shrimps  •  Softcoral  •  Sponge  •  Squid  •  Star fish  •  Turtles  •  Whales  •  Worms
Presence of caves / caverns : No


Suit: A 3mm full wetsuit or 3mm shortie
Type of diving: Rocky pinnacles, canyons, walls and caves

Costa Rica's Pacific Coast offers an equally enjoyable, and far less expensive alternative for those interested in Pacific coast diving. The volcanic rock formations and rock pinnacles provide an ideal refuge for the marine life which inhabits these local waters.

Over 25 local dive sites, most within a 10-40 minute boat ride, are scattered along the Pacific coastline. Year round, these dive spots are frequently visited by white-tip reef sharks, spotted eagle rays, turtles, gigantic stingrays, sea horses, starfish and many species of eels. Occasionally, whale sharks, spinner dolphins, humpback whales and Orcas have been sighted.

CAÑO Island is often rated by people as among the best in the world and is one of the world's newest hot spots for adventure diving. Located off the Southwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica, this virgin area offers a variety of unique diving attractions, from 15 - 16' reefs to 80' "walls". The rock formations are volcanic origins; sea fans, cup coral, head corals are the most common. Because of its status as a Biological Reserve the diving in Caño Island is regulated. Only 10 divers maximum and 5 dive sites are open to the public. By law, it is totally prohibited to remove any marine objects dead or alive (shells, corals, etc.).
Although the currents and visibility are difficult to predict, the latter is usually outstanding and rarely gets below 50'. The bad joke here is about sharks. Lots of them (white-tips) ranging in size from 6-10' as well as sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, morays, and huge snapper and grouper.

Dive Site in Cano Island
*Bajo Del Diablo:
Depth: 20 to 80 feet
Skill Level: Intermediate
The area's main attraction, this site consists of volcanic mounds and canyons and is often patrolled by white-tip reef and bull sharks. Manta rays with 15-20' wing spans visit the site during the summer months (February to June). Schools (in the hundreds) of horseye jacks, barracudas, cubera & dog tooth snappers (40+ lbs.) are most likely seen, as well as tropicals like puffers, king angel fish, damsels, etc.

Depth: 65 to 70 feet
Skill Level: Intermediate
The name speaks for itself! The main part of this site is usually "stuffed" with big schools of blue striped snappers. Drop in on hundreds of circling barracuda eyeing schools of horse-eye jacks. Four-foot amberjacks stare boldly into your mask. Five rocky mounds are separated by sandy crops of garden eels. Parrot fish, triggers, eels, puffers, and occasionally sting rays, mobile rays and barracudas are regular residents.

*Cueva del Tiburon:
Depth: 50 feet
Skill Level: Intermediate
Located in front of the ranger station, "Shark Cave" - seven feet high, 40 feet long - houses white-tip sharks, but expect diamond stingrays and boxfish as well. Watch for pilot whales and sailfish during the safety stop. Puffers, damsels, Moorish idols, box fish, goat fish and other tropical are most likely to be seen.

*Marenco Rock:
Depth: 50-60 feet
Skill level: Intermediate
Closest site to the mainland. Black corals, snappers, grunts, occasional big jelly fish (non-stinging) float by.

Depth: 40 feet
Skill level: Beginner-Intermediate
Close to Corcovado National Park, this site is a set of pinnacles filled with schools of fish. Rocks are sedimentary which houses lobsters regularly. Horseye jacks, barracudas, grunts, snappers, and rooster fish greet divers.


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