3 Top Dive Spots Near Tamarindo Every Diver Must Visit

Are you looking to explore new dive sites? Tamarindo, Costa Rica, is a great place to start. However, diving blindly into unfamiliar waters can be scary. Without proper guidance, you may miss out on the best spots or fail to navigate safely. That’s why we’re here.

With years of experience and a passion for showcasing the best of what Tamarindo’s underwater world offers, our blog is your go-to resource for exploring these dive sites. We’ve dived into these waters extensively and want to share our knowledge to enhance your experience.

Is There Good Scuba Diving in Tamarindo?

Yes, Tamarindo has good scuba diving! Located along the Guanacaste Peninsula, divers find diverse marine life, coral reefs, and underwater formations here. The best part is that this destination offers diving PADI courses for all skill levels, including Open Water, Advanced Open Water, and Rescue Diving. 

If you’re new to diving, the Discover Scuba Diving Program will give you the knowledge you need under the guidance of experienced instructors. On the other hand, if you’re a certified diver, you’ll find many courses that’ll help you enhance your skills in the ocean’s depths.

Seek new water adventures in Tamarindo, Costa Rica!

3 Top Spots for Your Scuba Diving Adventure

Tamarindo offers a diverse range of underwater landscapes that are waiting to be explored. Here are our top picks to scuba dive in the area:

Catalina Islands


The Catalina Islands are situated northwest of the Tamarindo area, 2 to 15 miles from the coast.

Marine life spotting

The nutrient-rich waters of these islands attract abundant wildlife, including octopuses, eels, turtles, white-tip reef sharks, and schools of cow nose rays, jacks, and grunts. Moreover, depending on the season you dive here, you may see spotted eagle rays, devil rays, manta rays, and humpback whales.

Water conditions

Water temperatures range between 24°C to 30°C (75-85°F), occasionally dropping during the dry season. Divers often use 3mm wetsuits, though some prefer thicker ones depending on personal preference and season. Furthermore, thermoclines are common, fostering diverse marine life.

Visibility in the waters varies, with good days offering up to 80 feet of clarity, while less favorable conditions may reduce visibility to 15 or 20 feet.

Certifications required

Diving at the Catalina Islands is open to those with an Open Water Diver certification. However, due to the unpredictable conditions, including currents, swells, and variable visibility, diver operators require all divers to undertake a local diving trip before exploring these waters.

Catalina Islands is a diving site only for certified divers.

Bat Islands


The Bat Islands, commonly known as “The Bats,” are a group of small islands that reach far into the Pacific Ocean at the tip of Santa Rosa National Park. To reach this spot, you can take a boat ride approximately two hours from Tamarindo Beach, usually on a one-day trip.

Marine life spotting

One of the highlights of diving at The Bat Islands is encountering bull sharks of 8-12 feet. You’ll also see occasional manta rays, whale sharks, and sailfish.

At Black Rock, an isolated pinnacle within the Bat Islands, you can expect to encounter squadrons of eagle rays, schools of horse-eyed jacks, snapper, spade fish, grunts, gaff-top sail pompano, and schools of cow-nosed rays.

During certain months, mainly January and July, you’ll likely encounter migrating orcas or humpback whales.

Water conditions

Water temperatures remain consistently warm throughout the year, ranging from 70 to 80°F. While generally good, visibility can fluctuate from 30 to 100 feet annually, influenced by tides and unpredictable currents. 

Certifications required

Access to The Bats is restricted to divers holding an Advanced Diver certification. We recommend booking a local dive before heading here to ensure readiness for the challenging conditions. Additionally, dive operators may request your certification card.

Diving at the Bat Islands offers a spectacular encounter with a rich array of marine creatures.

Coastal sites


Scuba divers diving from Tamarindo can discover various dive sites around the Catalina Islands. While most of them are situated around the archipelago, some may be volcanic pinnacles located just offshore.

Marine life spotting

Diving in this area allows you to witness incredible seasonal migrations of marine life. From November through April, you may encounter schooling Pacific mantas, while late January through February and late July through August bring humpback whales.

If you explore dive sites like The Wall, The Point, and the Cleaning Station, you might spot vast schools of fish, white-tip reef sharks, and the Pacific giant manta. Moreover, other dive sites such as Cupcake, Four Rocks, and Sombrero East and West provide other diverse marine encounters.

Water conditions

As the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica, this area offers temperatures ranging from 16-30ºC (60-86ºF), varying depending on the time of year. Visibility in the water can fluctuate daily, and depths are between 40 and 110 feet.

Certifications required

These sites are only for seasoned divers. As such, to dive into them, you need an Open Water Diver certification.

Dive sites near Tamarindo require a diving certification course!

Preparing for Your Dive Trip

Your dive trip to Tamarindo’s dive sites requires preparation. Here’s what you need to keep in mind before you dive:

  • Ensure that your scuba diving certification is up to date and appropriate for the dive sites you plan to visit.
  • Familiarize yourself with the typical dive conditions in Tamarindo.
  • If you’re new to diving in the area, consider booking a local dive tour.
  • Pack all essential dive gear, including your wetsuit, mask, fins, regulator, BCD, and dive computer.
  • Stay hydrated, rested, and protected from the sun throughout your trip.
Get ready to explore the underwater wonders of Tamarindo!

Simplify Your Tamarindo Diving Adventure with Bill Beard’s Costa Rica!

As a diver, you always seek new underwater adventures and encounter fascinating marine life at top dive sites. Fortunately, Tamarindo has them all in one place. If you’re ready to dive here, look no further than us! We ensure a safe and exciting diving experience every step of the way. Contact our team at Bill Beard’s Costa Rica now to book your scuba diving tour to Tamarindo and discover the underwater world that awaits you. Plan your vacation 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


What is the best time of year to dive in Tamarindo?

The best time of year to dive in Tamarindo is during the dry season, which typically runs from December to April. During these months, you can expect calm seas, excellent visibility, and abundant marine life.

Can I rent diving gear in Tamarindo?

Yes, you can rent diving gear in Tamarindo because several dive shops and operators here offer rental equipment for divers.