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Scuba Diving Costa Rica

Including the Cocos Islands

Diving Costa Rica articles, reviews, and reports from Undercurrent

Diving Costa Rica Overview

Costa Rica is famous among experienced divers for the big animal action off uninhabited Cocos Island, 300 miles offshore. Here are challenging, high-tension dives among hammerheads, mantas, occasional whale sharks, and other awe-inspiring creatures. Land-based dive operations fi nd a few big animals. However, they're unpredictable and the visibility is often so low you'll miss them, yet many divers like the diving. Costa Rica has great tourist destinations, is exceptionably safe.

Costa Rica Seasonal Dive Planner

Our suggestions for the dive season on the Pacific coast (the only decent diving in Costa Rica) may seem odd. The best time to go is the rainy season (May through November), even though runoff can affect the water visibility. The water clarity may be better during the dry season, but the wind blows up enough to make it almost impossible to get out to the best dive sites, which are small islands or rock outcroppings an hour's boat ride from the mainland. Visibility is a crap-shoot any time of the year, but even more so during the rainy season. However, even during the wet months there is a slight chance that offshore sites can reach almost 100 foot vis, although less than forty is more common. The best scheduling would probably be May, when the wind has died down and the rain hasn't started yet. Water temperatures run between 75° and 85° year-round.

Cocos Island, three hundred miles off Costa Rica's shore, has a rainy season from June through December. Some records show that the sharks are seen more often during this rainy season. Diving is year-round, but some of the boats are pulled out of service from mid-September to October for repairs, indicating that this is probably not the best time to dive Cocos. Also, sharks go deep in El Niño years, so these years are not a good time to see big creatures.

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Diving Costa Rica Feature Articles and Reader Reports

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Costa Rica Dive Reviews

from our Instant Reader Reports
 
Dive Operation Resort Name Area Reporter Dive Date
Undersea Hunter Review [same] Cocos Island Warren Sprung 2014/10
Cocos Aggressor Review [same] Isla del Coco David Schwab 2014/07
Aqua Rica Review Hotel Diria Tamarindo Tamarindo, Guancaste Christopher Watt 2014/01
Rich coast/Rocket Frog Review Villa del sol [N/A] Gary Bohner 2013/05
Undersea Hunter Review [same] ARGO Liveaboard Don Bellew 2013/11
All Reader Reports on Scuba Diving Costa Rica
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Diving Costa Rica Articles - Land Based

$740 for a “Life Experience” (and T-Shirts), 8/14
Costa Rica, Montserrat, St. Eustatius . . ., hidden gems, bad air and the jerk of the month, 7/14
Seeking More Exotic Diving?, how about Russia, the Sardine Run, or an underwater cemetery?, 10/13
Turks & Caicos, Grand Cayman, Costa Rica, plus advice about Mabul diving and your passport pages, 10/11

Available to the Public
Thumbs Down, Ocotal Beach Resort, 6/03
Diving From Costa Rica's Mainland, hit or miss magic on the Bat and Catalina Islands, 10/99
La Paloma, Costa Rica, 4/96

Diving Costa Rica Articles - Liveaboards

Sea Hunter, Cocos Island, Costa Rica Sea Hunter, Cocos Island, Costa Rica -- Publicly Available, squadrons of sharks, one bent diver, 4/14
Tax-Deductible Cocos Dive Trips, and Others Around the World Tax-Deductible Cocos Dive Trips, and Others Around the World -- Publicly Available, 4/14
Costa Rica’s Shark Finning: Is the Government in Cahoots?, 11/12

Available to the Public
Thailand, Cocos, Hawaii, Maldives..., Thai tech dives, an easy wreck dive and El Niño’s ups and downs, 8/10
Thumbs Up, 10/09
MV Sea Hunter, Cocos and Malpelo Islands, bad weather, strong currents and low viz make sharks harder to spot, 9/09
Anatomy of a Dive Lawsuit, the family of a dead diver sues the Aggressor Fleet, 9/09
The Shark Hunt Continues at Cocos Island, poachers hack off the fins, rangers lack resources to stop them, 3/09
Malpelo and Cocos Islands, East Pacific, where the wild things are, 1/04
More Boats, 5/98
Okeanos Aggressor at Cocos I., 4/94

Costa Rica Dive Reviews

from our Travelin' Divers' Chapbooks

Land Based Dive Resorts in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica Liveaboards

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Contact Information for Dive Resorts and Liveaboards Worldwide
All Costa Rica Diving Reviews -- Instant Reader Reports

Editor's Book Picks for Scuba Diving Costa Rica
Including the Cocos Islands

The books below are my favorites about diving in this part of the world All books are available at a significant discount from Amazon.com; just follow the links. -- BD

Reef Life: A Must Have Guide to Tropical Marine Life Reef Life: A Must Have Guide to Tropical Marine Life
by Brandon Cole and Scott Michael

What? Another fish ID book when you thought Paul Humanns and Ned Deloachs were enough? Yes indeed, and while I rarely say this, Reef Life: A Guide to Tropical Marine Life is a must-have for the library of every traveling diver. And if you only want one ID book, this is it.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.



Reef Fish Identification Reef Fish Identification: Baja to Panama
by Paul Humann and Ned Deloach

The latest edition in the popular Paul Humann series of marine life books. The most comprehensive field guide ever compiled for identifying reef fishes from the Gulf of California to the Pacific coast of Panama, including offshore islands. More than 500 photographs of 400 species taken in their natural habitat. The book is dedicated to Baja Legend Alex Kerstitch and includes several of his drawings and photographs. The concise text accompanying each species portrait includes the fish’s common, scientific and family names, size range, description, visually distinctive features, preferred habitat, typical behavior, depth range, and geographical distribution.
Illustrated/Hardcover. 364 pages, Amazon.com price: $27.17.



An American Underwater Odyssey An American Underwater Odyssey: 50 Dives in 50 States
: by Charles Ballinger.

Underwater Odyssey is the story of a scuba diving safari to every state in America. Tired of touring coral reefs, the author embarks on a year-long quest to discover the incredible assortment of adventure diving found in our nation's backyard. His dogged determination to follow his dreams and explore everything from flooded missile sites to abandoned mines should be an inspiration for any diver. Underwater Odyssey transcends the limits of a dive guide to reveal the broader adventure that diving provides.
Order through us, get Amazon.coms best price and some of the profit will be donated to preserve coral reefs.



You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's Book Picks section.




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