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 26 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.
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Catalina Islands

#1 - Catalina Islands

Costa Rica, Pacific, Catalina Islands

beginner
(1)
Catalina Islands is a 5.0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Costa Rica, Pacific, Catalina Islands which is accessible from shore based on 1 ratings.
Tortuga Island

#2 - Tortuga Island

Costa Rica, Pacific

beginner
(0)
There are several reefs to dive on, and much snorkeling. Normally scuba/snorkel from a boat, but can also do shore dives from Tortuga. Great site! Leave by boat from Los Suenos, Costa Rica and arrive at Tortuga Island, approximately 30 min boat ride.
Isla Tortuga Acquario

#3 - Isla Tortuga Acquario

Costa Rica, Pacific

beginner
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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.
Starfish Garden

#4 - Starfish Garden

Costa Rica, Pacific, Manuel Antonio National Park

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Mellow dive with lots of reef fish, puffers and lots of lots of starfish! Dive leaving from Quepos Port Starfish Garden is also known as Isla Larga Norte.
Punta Quepos

#5 - Punta Quepos

Costa Rica, Pacific, Manuel Antonio National Park

intermediate
(0)
Off coast rocks with lots of canyons to explore and submerged pinnalces. Tons of fish and schools of Jacks. Dive Boats leave from Quepos Port Punta Quepos is also known as Media Luna.
Canyon Reef

#6 - Canyon Reef

Costa Rica, Pacific, Manuel Antonio National Park

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Schooling Grunts and jacks in an interesting canyon system, also reef fish and octopus. South of Puerto Quepos Canyon Reef is also known as Punta Sur.
El Aquario

#7 - El Aquario

Costa Rica, Pacific, Manuel Antonio National Park

beginner
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Shollow underwater pinnacle attract a huge variety of fish.
Middle Reef

#8 - Middle Reef

Costa Rica, Pacific, Herradura

beginner
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Herradura Bay
Pesebre

#9 - Pesebre

Costa Rica, Pacific

beginner
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Diving along both sides of a large rock and between many channels you will have the chance to see surgeons, grunts, snappers and sting rays, as well as white tip sharks and often giant manta rays. Only by Boat! Pesebre is also known as The Manger.
Cocalito

#10 - Cocalito

Costa Rica, Pacific

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From Playa Tambor going to Tortuga Island 20 to 30 min by boat (approx 8km).
La Chancha

#11 - La Chancha

Costa Rica, Pacific

beginner
(0)
Between Playa Tambor and Tortuga Island. From Playa Tambor 15 to 20 minutes by spped boat.
Los Sombreros

#12 - Los Sombreros

Costa Rica, Pacific, Catalina Islands

beginner
(0)
Many good spots around the Island. Manta and Eagle Ray sightings common during season. Los Sombreros is also known as Sombreros.
Playa Conchal

#13 - Playa Conchal

Costa Rica, Pacific

beginner
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Varied bottom with rocks and sandpatches. Good marinelife.
Virador

#14 - 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

#15 - Punta Argentina

Costa Rica, Pacific, Papagayo Gulf

beginner
(0)
Volcanic rock reef with great marine life from seahorses to rays, turtles and even sharks. Depth max 90ft.
Bloody Reef

#16 - 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

#17 - Monkey Island

Costa Rica, Caribbean

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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.
Long Shoal

#18 - Long Shoal

Costa Rica, Caribbean

Unrated
(0)
Nice barrier reef offshore of the Talamanca coast. Its huge but overfished. Boat ride from the coast. Manzanillo is closest to the most sites. Long Shoal is also known as Tip Top.
Sugar Reef

#19 - Sugar Reef

Costa Rica, Caribbean

beginner
(0)
The best beach dives in Costa Rica. Classic coral reef right off the beach. Shallow, bright, easy, colorful and diverse. Bring the kids and grandma. Manzanillo town reefs. Walk on from Manzanillo beach at the center of town.
Patrick's Point

#20 - Patrick's Point

Costa Rica, Pacific

beginner
(0)
Pelonas Islands
Cabeza de Mono

#21 - Cabeza de Mono

Costa Rica, Pacific, Herradura

beginner
(0)
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

#22 - 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

#23 - Tortuga shipwreck

Costa Rica, Pacific, Papagayo Gulf

beginner
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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.
Uvita wall

#24 - Uvita wall

Costa Rica, Caribbean

beginner
(0)
Uvita Island. Take a boat from port Limon.
Monkey Head

#25 - Monkey Head

Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

beginner
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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
Herradura Island

#26 - Herradura Island

Costa Rica, Pacific

beginner
(0)
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.