10 Best Dive Sites for Scuba Diving in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Are you looking for a top diving destination with warm waters, excellent visibility, and diverse marine life? Guanacaste scuba diving sites offer exactly that.

With so many options, finding the right one can be challenging. Will the sites you choose live up to expectations, or will you miss out on what they have to offer?

At Bill Beard’s Costa Rica, we’re here to help. With our expertise and passion for exploration, we’re your trusted advisors for diving in Guanacaste. Having explored these waters extensively, we’ve handpicked the top dive sites, ensuring each dive is unforgettable.

Why Dive in Guanacaste?

Diving in Guanacaste is a top pick because it’s convenient and beautiful. It’s centrally located with good facilities, making it easy to get to, even though most diving happens around Playas del Coco.

Underwater, Guanacaste is stunning, with volcanic formations like arches, caverns, tunnels, and scattered wrecks. But what really makes diving here special is the variety of marine life, calm waters, and local dive sites.

10 Must-Visit Scuba Diving Sites in Guanacaste  

Here is a list of the diving sites that you shouldn’t miss for good scuba diving in the area:

Catalina Islands

The Catalina Islands offer an exceptional diving experience with their rich marine life and diverse dive sites.

While diving conditions vary, with cooler waters during the dry season (December to early May) and warmer temperatures in the green season, underwater visibility can range from excellent to moderate due to thermoclines.

You can encounter various marine species here, including Pacific giant manta rays, spotted eagle rays, devil rays, turtles, and tropical fish.

Moreover, you can explore great dive sites such as Catalina Grande, La Pared (the Wall), Roca Sucia (Dirty Rock), The Point, and The Cleaning Station, known for frequent manta ray sightings.

Catalina Islands offer abundant marine life and excellent visibility.

Bat Islands

The Bat Islands, or Islas Murciélago, stand as a premier diving destination in Costa Rica, situated off the northern tip of Guanacaste, facing the coast of Santa Rosa National Park. These islands are teeming with marine life, including rays and bull sharks.

The primary dive site at the Bat Islands is known as Big Scare, located on the outermost island of the chain, and it’s renowned for its encounters with bull sharks, which can reach impressive lengths of 6 to 7 meters.

Keep in mind that due to potentially strong currents and depths (sometimes exceeding 100 feet or 30 meters), this site is recommended for advanced divers only.

Experience the excitement of diving at the Bat Islands!

Playas del Coco

Playas del Coco is the perfect place to start your underwater adventures along the Guanacaste coast. It offers convenient access to a variety of dive sites, suitable for both beginners and experienced divers alike.

Take a look at some of the local sites you’ll find here:


Virador, also known as “Turning Point,” is a volcanic island home to diverse marine life, including schools of grunts, snapper, king angelfish, sergeant majors, and barberfish.

The dive at Virador starts at approximately 8m/25ft and follows a circular rock formation extending to the surface, reaching a maximum depth of 21m/70ft along the backside.


Sorpresa is one of the deepest dive sites locally, reaching approximately 30m/100ft maximum depth. As you descend, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a fascinating underwater landscape and marine life, including large southern stingrays, lobster, and circling schools of jacks, spadefish, and grunts.

Additionally, this site is popular among Advanced Open Water or Adventure Diver students for honing skills such as depth gauge comparison, observing color and pressure changes at depth, and other techniques relevant to deep dive specialties.


Tortuga offers a great dive experience with its sunken fishing boat resting in 60ft (18m) of water and a nearby shark cave where you can spot white-tip reef sharks. Although this is considered an easy dive, keep in mind that there may be occasional currents to contend with.

Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda, also known as Fat Point, offers a diverse underwater experience, with rich coral formations on one side and abundant marine life on the other. This site has a shark nursery in shallow waters and a rocky pinnacle attracting various marine species.

Close to Playas del Coco, there are over 20 dive sites that offer a unique underwater world!

Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa is a popular spot for scuba diving tours and dive sites. With shallow depths ranging from 1 to 3.5 meters (3 to 12 feet), it offers diverse underwater environments, including sand, rocks, sea grasses, and sponges.

Depending on the season, you may encounter different marine species. If you dive here between December and April, you’ll find pelagic species like manta rays and whale sharks. Other months may offer sightings of smaller reef-dwelling species.

Explore the diverse underwater landscapes of Playa Hermosa!

Playa Ocotal

Playa Ocotal is a fantastic spot for exploration dives, with depths ranging from 5 to 9 meters (15 to 20 feet). Here, you’ll encounter a variety of marine species, including round rays, southern stingrays, octopuses, lobsters, pufferfish, crabs, wrasse, butterflyfish, and angelfish. 

Marine species at Playa Ocotal may vary throughout the year!


Tamarindo is the perfect starting point for your dive adventure. As a spot that is home to many dive companies, you’ll find countless diving tours, equipment rental services, and dive resorts. 

When you dive around Tamarindo, you’ll find a wide variety of colorful fish, sharks, manta rays, and whales, depending on the season and the site you’re diving into.

Tamarindo, located on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, offers fantastic scuba diving year-round. 

Enjoy Your Guanacaste Diving Adventure with Bill Beard’s Costa Rica!

Guanacaste’s dive sites promise an incredible underwater adventure along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. 

At Bill Beard’s Costa Rica, we specialize in crafting dive trips tailored to your preferences and skills. With our experienced guides and high-quality equipment, we ensure safe and memorable dives every time.Contact our team at Bill Beard’s Costa Rica now to start planning your dive trip. Start your underwater adventure today!

Stay connected:

  • Direct: 954-453-5044
  • Fax: 321-400-1404
  • Toll-free: 877-853-0538
  • Local number (Costa Rica): 2479-7089 (Available from 9-5 PM)
  • Office hours: 8-6 CST M-F & Sat 9-5 CST
  • Email: agent@billbeardcostarica.com


Do I need to be certified to dive at the Guanacaste scuba diving sites?

Yes, you need to be certified to dive at the Guanacaste scuba diving sites. If you’re not certified, consider enrolling in a scuba diving certification course before your trip. 

Are there any beginner-friendly scuba diving sites in Guanacaste?

Yes, there are beginner-friendly scuba diving sites in Guanacaste, especially those around Playas del Coco, like Tortuga and Virador.

Can I rent scuba diving equipment in Guanacaste, or should I bring my own?

You can rent scuba diving equipment in Guanacaste from various dive shops. However, you can bring your own gear for familiarity and comfort.