Featured Destinations

Unlike other Central American countries, most of the diving off Costa Rica focuses on the Pacific Coast, and off Costa Rica it’s a wild west of surprises and diversity. The primary dive area encompasses the Gulf of Papagayo off the sleepy village of Playa del Coco and Playa Hermosa in the Guanacaste region off the Northwest coast. In the middle of the scene is a place called Catalina Island, where almost anything can and will happen. Subject to frequent upwellings, the water temperature can change 5°C/10°F during a dive, and with change comes a new cast of marine characters. The island is famed for its huge aggregations of cownose rays, manta rays, mobula rays, and stingrays the size of beach umbrellas. Massive green morays frequently hunt during the day. And, you’ll find a long list of cool macro guys like frogfish and harlequin shrimp. Off Bat Island, a little farther north, you’ll find curious bull sharks among the crowds. In the far south, the Osa Peninsula and Cano Island bring in huge schools of snapper. Topside, Costa Rica is an eco-wonderland with everything from erupting volcanos to UNESCO World Heritage Rainforests. Surfing, ziplining, kayaking and hiking top the list of adventures.


A giant bay off the northwest coast, accessed from the Playa Del Coco region. Catalina and Bat Islands are the marquee dive regions, but there’s lots of life at sites near shore.

Cocos Island:

Off the coast, Cocos Island sits 345 kilometers/215 miles away and is accessed by liveaboard only. The effort to get there is worthwhile to see schooling scalloped hammerheads, silky sharks, marble rays, hunting white-tip reef sharks, whale sharks, bait balls and more.


South of Playa Del Coco, Flamingo has a few more options for resorts and restaurants, but still has access to the Catalina Island dive sites.

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