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Costa Dorado Scuba Diving in Costa Rica

Derrick Poelsma

On a dive boat in Costa RicaIf you are an avid diver thinking about relocating to Costa Rica, Guanacaste is an excellent destination for scuba diving. The year-round warm waters and the vast array of sea life here are absolutely amazing!

I am from Florida and used to dive a lot in the Keys and Southwest Florida. It definitely has its beauty, but it's nothing like what we have here. These Pacific waters are teeming with all kinds of beautiful creatures and sea life. There are huge schools of different fish species, ranging in size from small to large. You can also find massive schools of rays that pass through the area. Imagine swimming in a huge school of fish and coming face-to-face with a sea turtle or shark! It's an unforgettable experience, and I love it. I'm so grateful to have this at my doorstep here in Guanacaste. Diving is a great, clean, and fun activity for all ages!

shark in costa ricaIn our area of Guanacaste (Tamarindo/Flamingo/Potrero), the dive locations are incredible. The archipelago of rocky islets called Islas Catalinas is just offshore from Flamingo, about 6km away. It's just a short boat ride to these gorgeous rock formations with absolutely stunning vistas. The Bat Islands are one of the premier scuba diving destinations in Costa Rica, located in the far north of Guanacaste off the coast of Santa Rosa National Park. This unique area is protected as a Costa Rican marine preserve, part of the national park. The Bat Islands are full of marine life. For divers, the area is most famous for encounters with the very large bull shark!

manta ray seen while scuba diving in costa ricaThe Costa Rican Pacific diving season starts in late April and goes on through until November. These months are great, as the conditions are the best, the water is the clearest, and it's all around fantastic for diving. August is the prime month, as it’s the best time to encounter humpback whales and huge manta rays, which are my favorite. If you are looking for highly experienced, five-star instructors to get certified, or a great guide who is very familiar with the area and knows every name of fish and creature you will see, I highly recommend getting in touch with Natasha Torres for an unforgettable diving experience. Also, for beginners who want to try scuba diving without getting fully certified, there is now Snuba in Costa Rica with Michael Wunderlich.

moray eel in costa ricaSnuba is a form of surface-supplied diving that uses an underwater breathing system developed by Snuba International. The swimmer uses swim fins, a dive mask, weights, and diving regulators, as in scuba diving. However, instead of coming from tanks strapped to the diver's back, air is supplied from long hoses connected to compressed air cylinders contained in a specially designed flotation device at the surface. Snuba often serves as a form of introductory diving, in the presence of a professionally trained guide, and requires no scuba certification.

dive boat in costa ricaFor more advanced dives and live-aboard dive expeditions, Costa Rica is home to Isla de Cocos, where some scenes of the blockbuster movie 'Jurassic Park' were filmed. This National Marine Park is located 342 miles southeast off the Coast of Costa Rica. The famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau visited the island several times and in 1994 called it 'the most beautiful island in the world.' Thanks to the breathtaking marine life in its waters, Cocos Island was named one of the top 10 scuba diving spots in the world by PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and is a 'must-do' according to diving experts. Come to Costa Rica and let's go diving! Pura Vida (Pure Life).

If you would like more information, feel free to send me an email at - Derrick Poelsma.