Gulfo Dulce, Oso Peninsula
Costa Rica is famous for its incredible biodiversity and seaside resorts, but the surrounding waters are equally impressive. It is home to volcanic rock formations, brilliant coral reefs, wrecks and abundant marine life. You might spot one or two sea turtles while dolphins dancing on the waves while watching hundreds of possible fish species. World-class diving and diving is possible for all levels of experience here, on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, including these top locations.
Cano Island Biological Reserve
The Cano Island Biological Reserve on Cano Island is one of the best things to do in Costa Rica, located about 13 miles offshore from the Osa Peninsula at Drake Bay, often numbered as the best diving spot in the world. The island’s pristine waters are among the greenest you’ll find in Costa Rica and are home to an incredible variety of marine life. With such outstanding underwater visibility, one can see everything on any given day: sea turtles, white-headed sharks, stingrays, rays, manta rays, eels, Seabass, tuna, snapper and dolphin swim along the back or pilot whale.
Cahuita National Park
Cahuita National Park offers a different world of diving and snorkeling with over 120 types of tropical fish, 35 different types of corals, 40 species of crustaceans and 120 types of mollusks. You don’t even need a boat here, you can just walk right into the aquamarine-hued waters from Punta Cahuita with over three-and-a-half miles of unspoiled coastline. Since the park is a protected area, you will have to hire the services of a guide to dive or dive here but there are many vendors to choose from. While you are here, on the mainland keep an eye out for white-faced monkeys, colorful butterflies and robes.
Unsurprisingly, when you dive or dive around Isla Tortuga, one of the two islands that make up the Islas Negritos Biological Reserve off the Nicoya Peninsula, you can spot sea turtles. The clear, clear waters are also home to a range of tropical fish and other marine creatures such as angelfish, parrotfish, moray eels and rays. Just offshore, dolphins, humpbacks and see pilot whales are common. The island is only accessible by boat, with tours available from Puntarenas, Jaco or Montezuma on the mainland.
Isla del Coco
Described by Jacques Cousteau is the most beautiful island in the world, Isla del Coco is a UNESCO World Heritage site that sits 300 miles southwest of Cabo Blanco. The best marine park in the country and one of the world’s top diving spots, the only way to reach it, and the extraordinary diving sites, is to take a boat. But your reward will be to see its famous hammerhead populations, hundreds of exotic species of fish, rays, dolphins and whales.