Costa Rica is considered by most to be the “Emerald Islands” of Central America; a region that blends both lush vegetation and aquatic ecosystems that attract nearly 2.5 million visitors, each year.
Costa Rica is one of the most valued environmental destinations, with an estimated 25 percent of the country that has protected forests and reserves. This beautiful country offers more than 100 different protected areas to visit, and hosts more than 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity, even though its landmass takes up just .03 percent of the planet’s surface!
Costa Rica has a marine mass that exceeds 580,000 km2, which is ten times larger than its actual land area at 52,100 km2! Such a hodgepodge of islands, reefs, caves and rocks make for excellent, underwater-exploration hotspots!
Are you interested in exploring Costa Rica’s tropical seas? If so, make sure to experience the country’s top three diving hotspots, as mentioned in CrDive.com’s latest infographic! Let’s take a look at some key facts about these winning dive spots.
1. Cocos Island
Located 480 km off Costa Rica’s mainland, a liveaboard trip is the only way to venture to the majestic Cocos Island. Among Scuba Travel and The Guardian’s pick for “World’s Best Dive Spots,” this world-famous island first landed its starring role in the blockbuster sensation, “Jurassic Park.” In addition to its fifteen minutes of Hollywood fame, Cocos Island was ranked as the top diving destination of Costa Rica, according to UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Cocos Island diving options range from shark diving to reefs and blue water dives, with ocean depths and visibility estimated between 25-30 meters.
Also, don’t forget about the island’s eclectic array of the following marine life: scalloped hammerheads; humpback whales; whale sharks; tiger sharks; silky sharks; galapagos sharks; black tip sharks; white tip reef sharks; manta rays; marble rays; eagle rays; devil rays; jacks; trevally; sailfish; wahoo; snooks; rosy lipped batfish; reef fish. (Just to name a few!)
2. Caño Island,
Caño Island is teeming with intense, colorful wildlife. 20 km off Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast in
Drake Bay, Caño Island is considered to be one of Earth’s most biodiverse regions, according the National Geographic. Diving reviews website, Scuba Adviser, seems to agree; touting Caño Island as “one of Costa Rica’s best dive spots.”
Caño Island diving options range from rock pinnacles to canyons, walls and caves, and both ocean depth and visibility range between 6 to 25 meters.
The island offers an eclectic array of the following aquatic wildlife: sharks, whale sharks, manta rays, stingrays, eagle rays, octopus, eels, barracuda, jacks, grunts, snapper, angelfish, nudibranch, turtles, orcas, dolphins, humpback whales and finally — pilot whales!
3. Catalina Islands
Another gem among Costa Rican diving spots are the Catalina Islands — dubbed a “must do” by Scuba Travel! 22 km by boat off the Gulf of Papagayo, the Catalina Islands offer a wealth of islands to explore, and are considered to be the “best diving site in Northwestern Costa Rica,” according to Guanacaste Travel Guide! So what makes this hotspot so special?
To start, let’s talk about Catalina Island’s wide range of diving options! From soft coral gardens to rock formations, arches and caves, this diving site packs a satisfying punch for all underwater enthusiasts. The Islands have depths and visibility that span between 14-36 meters — not to mention an incredible collection of aquatic life: bat rays, spotted eagle rays, stingrays, cow-nosed rays, bullseye electric rays, devil manta rays, e lemon-colored barberfish, cortez angelfish, spiny scorpionfish, king angelfish, starfish, sea fans, moorish idols, green moray eels, octopi, sea fans, sea turtles, white-tip reef sharks, spinner dolphins, humpback whales, pilot whales, orca (killer) whales, whale sharks, and tiger sharks!
**If you’re interested in Costa Rica’s once-in-a-lifetime scuba diving experience, visit the specialists at CRDive.com and start planning your tropical diving tour, today!**