Costa Rica Scuba Diving
A few years back
Costa Rica was virtually unknown as a destination for scuba
diving. Suddenly it is being applauded for its variety of marine
life. New facilities along the pacific coastline are now offering
first class dive boats and fully stocked dive shops. Divers
can have the excitement of truly virgin diving in areas never
Most of the scuba
diving is located on the northwest pacific coast of Costa Rica
in the Gulf of Papagayo and is surrounded by an abundance of
dive sites, most of which are accessible within a thirty minute
boat ride. Local dive sites offer white tip reef sharks, giant
schools of grunt, yellowtails, spotted eagle rays, turtles,
stingrays, angel fish, octopus, sea horses, starfish, frog fish
and many species of eels. There has been sightings of whale
sharks up to 35 feet long on numerous occasions, as well as,
spinner dolphin, humpback whales, pilot whales, orcas, false
killer whales and schools containing hundreds of Mobulas and
thousands of cow-nosed rays.
ranges from 40 ft. to 60 ft. with possibilities of up to 80
ft. Scuba diving is around volcanic rock formations and rock
pinnacles. There is very little hard coral, but there is black
coral, soft coral and orange cup coral that opens up at night.
There is an abundance of life among the rocks which can be seen
on both day and night dives.
Night dives are
consistently a favorite and begin with a relaxing ride during
which you will experience a sunset unlike any other. The dive
itself offers you the chance to explore the micro life, along
with very large puffer fish, nudibranchs, gigantic slumbering
parrot fish, lobster, tube worms and sea horses. In addition
to the marine life you can take the opportunity to extinguish
your lights and play by the light of the phosphorous, which
can create quite a light show. The cup coral, open at night
Also offered are
long-range dive trips to both the Catalina and Bat Islands.
The best months for scuba diving the Catalina Islands are December
through April, where schools of Manta rays with wingspans from
14 ft. to 20 ft. have been seen along with numerous white tip
sharks and occasional bull or tiger shark. This site is also
known for the large schools of mobula rays and cow-nosed rays.
The Catalina Islands are considered a slightly more advanced
dive due to stronger currents and surge.
The relaxing cruise
to the Bat Islands is a worthwhile trip year round, weather
permitting. However, March through November are the optimum
months for this long range trip. Here you might see the impressive
8 to 14 foot Bull sharks, schools of cow-nosed rays, eagle rays,
and an occasional Manta ray, along with the ever present varieties
of larger schooling fish: rainbow runners, horse-eye jacks,
spade fish, pompano, snapper and wahoo. This is a challenging
dive, but well worth the extra effort. You may be lucky enough
to see a sailfish or a marlin on your safety stop.
information you might find useful. Water temperature from mid-May
to mid-December is generally from 75°-78° at depth and
a shorty, .05MM or 3MM suit are usually sufficient. From mid-December
to mid-April, water temperatures vary from day to day, with
thermoclines causing temperatures to dip to 72° at depth
so you will want to bring a full 3MM suit during this period
(5 MM if you are easily chilled). The outside temperature at
the beaches is 85° to 90° year round. The rainy season
runs from May to November, with these months providing some
of the best scuba diving as the seas are flat calm. The local
scuba diving is located in a protected Gulf and does not have
rivers draining into the water and visibility is not adversely
affected by the rain. In fact, visibility is often enhanced
as the rain settles the plankton and rich nutrients that are
abundant in Costa Rica waters.
Playa Hermosa are at Villas Sol, Hotel & Beach resort. Villas
Sol is located on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the
northwest area of Guanacaste province, Costa Rica. Playa Hermosa
is a large, beautiful, safe beach and has received the coveted
blue banner for safety and cleanliness.
Playa Hermosa is
four hours by car from San Jose and Juan Santa Maria International
Airport via the Pan American Highway and 25 minutes from the
Daniel Oduber International Airport near the town of Liberia.
The resort is made
up of 54 double rooms in the hotel and 108 two and three bedroom
villas, steeped on the side of the hill in back of the hotel.
The rooms have central air, private balconies, two queen beds,
micro fridge, coffee maker, hair dryer, phone, cable TV and
security safe. The Villas have central air, private patio (34
units have their own private dipping pool), queen beds, double
beds, single beds, complete kitchen, cable TV, phone and a large
living and dining area.
There are three new Toyota 12-passenger trams to take you around
the grounds, beach, restaurant, mini marts, tour office and
Two swimming pools
are conveniently located near all units, restaurants and bars.
The largest swimming pool is 200 feet long with a swim up bar
and a full restaurant and snack bar.
La Bahia is the main restaurant and bar and sits perched on
the hill with the best Pacific Ocean view in Costa Rica. The
food is wonderful and you have a view of the beach, ocean, boats,
islands and a gorgeous sunset.
Packages are available
that include scuba diving and adventure tours for individuals
and groups and you may choose a plan with just breakfast or
an all inclusive plan with three meals daily and alcoholic and
soft drinks from 12 noon to 12 midnight.
The resort is very
secure with checkpoints from the main road, beach and 24-hour
roving patrols. It is a great place for families with children
as there are lots of activities such as basketball, volleyball,
ping- pong, snorkeling & scuba diving. There are monkeys,
iguanas & parrots on the grounds and tide pools to explore
around the rocks at both ends of the beach.
There are daily
dive trips and adventure tours from the tour office for horseback
riding, tree top canopy, river rafting, river floats, puma refuge,
wildlife refuges, bird watching, water slides, volcanoes, hot
springs and spa.
Come to Costa Rica
For The Natural Beauty...Stay For The Adventure!
Costa Rica Scuba Diving & Adventure Tours
Toll free: 877 853-0538
Phone 954-453-5044, Fax 954-351-9740
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