Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Costa Rica

Ready to check out the best sites in Costa Rica for scuba diving, snorkeling, shore diving, free diving or other ocean activities? Zentacle has 15 dive sites, snorkel spots, beaches, and more. Discover hand-curated maps, along with reviews and photos from nature lovers like you. No matter what you're looking for, you can find a diverse range of the best ocean activities in Costa Rica to suit your needs.
Costa Rica dive site map
Monkey Head

#1 - Monkey Head

Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Visibility can change by the hour with mild to moderate current at times. Thermoclines are common but I wouldn't say they are drastic. Commonly seen: - White tip sharks - Spotted Ray -Sting Ray -Trigger Fish -Green Moral Eel - Box Fish
Isla Tortuga Acquario

#2 - Isla Tortuga Acquario

Costa Rica, Pacific

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Tortuga Island is located 15 miles from Herradura Bay, about 1 hour by boat .It is famous for its beautiful white sand beach, almost the only on the pacific coast of Costa Rica, and his great diving and snorkeling. Dive here with schools of tropical and pelagic fish, jacks, eels, huge puffers, turtles, rays and white tip sharks. Depth from 70 to 30 feet. Visibility at Tortuga is between 20 and 50 feet depending on the season and water temperature is in the 80's. Leaving at 8.00 am from our shop and back around 4.00 pm, dive 2 different sites all accompanied by a guide and then enjoy the island for lunch. Only by boat! Isla Tortuga Acquario is also known as The Aquarium Tortuga Island.
Middle Reef

#3 - Middle Reef

Costa Rica, Pacific, Herradura

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Herradura Bay
La Chancha

#4 - La Chancha

Costa Rica, Pacific

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Between Playa Tambor and Tortuga Island. From Playa Tambor 15 to 20 minutes by spped boat.
Catalina Islands

#5 - Catalina Islands

Costa Rica, Pacific, Catalina Islands

beginner
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Catalina Islands is a 0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Costa Rica, Pacific, Catalina Islands which is accessible from shore based on 0 ratings.
Los Sombreros

#6 - Los Sombreros

Costa Rica, Pacific, Catalina Islands

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Many good spots around the Island. Manta and Eagle Ray sightings common during season. Los Sombreros is also known as Sombreros.
Virador

#7 - Virador

Costa Rica, Pacific, Papagayo Gulf

beginner
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Volcanic rock reef and round swim. Great site for sharks and stingrays
Punta Argentina

#8 - Punta Argentina

Costa Rica, Pacific, Papagayo Gulf

beginner
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Volcanic rock reef with great marine life from seahorses to rays, turtles and even sharks. Depth max 90ft.
Bloody Reef

#9 - Bloody Reef

Costa Rica, Caribbean

beginner
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The best and easiest beach dive in Costa Rica. Classic coral reefs. If there are big waves forget it. Part of Manzanillo Reefs. Just walk in to the water from the center of town and there is more sweet reef than you will see even if you dive it every day for a week.
Monkey Island

#10 - Monkey Island

Costa Rica, Caribbean

beginner
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Nice mini wall of dead coral. Not much coral but the best chance to see a few big fish in the zone. By boat Manzanillo is the closest point. Monkey Island is also known as Punta Mona.
Patrick's Point

#11 - Patrick's Point

Costa Rica, Pacific

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Pelonas Islands
Cabeza de Mono

#12 - Cabeza de Mono

Costa Rica, Pacific, Herradura

beginner
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My dive buddy and I were the only ones on the dive skiff, which was awesome! Our dive guide was great. We went with Diving Safaries out of Playa Hermosa and we stayed at the La Finisterra with a view of the entire town. The food was great at the hotel and in town. A couple things about diving Playa Hermosa. (1) There's no need to pay extra for Nitrox. My dive buddy and I felt dooped as we thought we'd be diving deeper than 60ft which was not the case. (2) The Cabeza de Mono and the other outer islands are where the good diving is. Our second dive (inshore) was cold, green, boring and the viz was bad (granted we dove this in November 2010). Cabeza de Mono is also known as Monkey Head.
Punta Ballena

#13 - Punta Ballena

Costa Rica, Pacific, Catalina Islands

beginner
(0)
Dove this site mid November 2009. Very disappointing dive site. Green water, viz was 5-10ft, swift current and not much marine life. However, the underwater geology was interesting. If you are going to dive Costa Rica, I suggest skipping the "local" dive spots and go straight to Catalina or Bat Islands. Accessible by boat. Set up the dive through Diving Safaris located in Playa Hermosa. Good group, went mid-week so there was only the boat captain, dive master, my buddy and I.
Tortuga shipwreck

#14 - Tortuga shipwreck

Costa Rica, Pacific, Papagayo Gulf

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Sunken fishing boat near a shark cave. It is a 45 ft. long metal commercial fishing shipwreck. Marine species: snappers, grunts, groupers, eels, frog fish, etc. By boat near Playas del Coco.
Herradura Island

#15 - Herradura Island

Costa Rica, Pacific

beginner
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This is a dive site that runs along the west side of the Herradura island. Cuevitas means "Little Caves" and in the many different ones it's easy to find white tip sharks and morray eels and swimming near the surface, barracudas and mantarays. Only by boat! Herradura Island is also known as Isla Herradura.