Bat Islands Diving: Why Should Be in Your Dive Trip to Costa Rica

If you’re looking for an exciting underwater adventure, Bat Island diving is your best choice. These islands are popular among divers for their incredible marine life and possible bull shark encounters.

Yet, planning a dive trip can be overwhelming. With so many dive sites and scattered information, knowing where to start and what to expect is hard.

At Bill Beard’s Costa Rica, we’ve been there. That’s why we’ve gathered valuable insights about these islands over the years to help you plan your upcoming dive adventure.

Rely on us to ensure you make the most of every dive and discover why the Bat Islands, Costa Rica, can be the highlight of your Costa Rica trip.

Why Choose Bat Islands for Scuba Diving?

What truly sets Bat Islands diving apart is the chance to encounter bull sharks. These impressive creatures, often measuring up to 12 feet (3.5 meters), are the main attraction for many divers. After all, this is a thrilling experience that you won’t soon forget!

Located off the northern coast of Guanacaste, near Santa Rosa National Park, this area is a protected marine reserve, ensuring thriving populations of fish and other amazing marine wildlife. Divers can encounter huge schools of various fish species and rays gliding through the waters.

As part of a marine reserve, the Bat Islands are safeguarded from fishing activities, allowing marine populations to flourish. This protection ensures that divers enjoy an environment filled with life, where the health of the ecosystem supports unforgettable diving experiences.

Amazing dive site spots

These islands are home to various dive sites that offer something unique. Let’s dive in to learn more about each one of them:

The Ranger Station

One of the highlights of your dive trip to the Bat Islands is the surface interval at the ranger station within the refuge. This spot is surrounded by calm, clear waters, offering a tranquil break between dives. At this spot, the maximum depth reaches 30 feet, with visibility typically exceeding 100 feet.

Enjoy the serenity and beauty of The Ranger Station.

The Black Rock

The Black Rock is an impressive peak located a mile offshore of Santa Rosa’s mainland. This volcanic rock formation rises from 110 feet to just above high tide, like a big underwater rock. Divers quickly go down to 25-30 feet, regrouping before exploring.

Between March and November, the water temperature ranges from 25° to 30°C (73 to 85°F), while visibility can vary unpredictably from 5 to 30 meters (20 to 90 feet).

The Black Rock can be part of your second dive to The Bat Islands!

The Big Scare

If you’re after bull shark diving, this is definitely the place for you. Here, you’ll encounter bull sharks, which can easily reach lengths of 6 to 7 meters. It’s the only place in Costa Rica where you can dive with these magnificent creatures.

At The Big Scare, divers should be aware of strong currents, making it suitable for advanced divers. Depths can exceed 100 feet, and visibility varies greatly, with the best conditions typically seen from May to November. During these months, water temperatures are warmer, ranging between 25° to 30°C, with air temperatures ranging from 80° to 90°F.

Experience both the beauty and wonder of The Big Scare.

Diverse marine species

Take a look at some of the species you’ll likely find on the Bat Islands:


Spotting bull sharks at the Bat Islands can be exciting, but it’s not always guaranteed. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see whale sharks or nurse sharks during your dive!

Spot the sharks that visit the waters around the Bat Islands!


Look out for giant manta rays, which can appear suddenly and gracefully glide overhead, blocking out the sun. The Ranger Station is an excellent place to spot them near the entrance. You may also spot eagle rays and devil rays swimming through the waters!

Rays are part of the marine spectacle of the Bat Islands!


The waters around the Bat Islands are home to a diverse array of small reef fish and large schools of fish like snappers. Toward the end of your Black Rock dive, get ready for an incredible sight: a massive school of fish. The pinnacle is home to endless schools that can surround you completely!

Enjoy an amazing experience surrounded by fish at the Black Rock!


Moray eels can be spotted peeking out from their hiding spots. While they may look intimidating, they’re typically shy and won’t bother divers unless provoked.

Have a memorable underwater encounter with some eels!


Naranjo and Nancite, located within the Bat Islands, are significant nesting sites for sea turtles, including the Pacific Ridley Sea Turtle, which is classified as a vulnerable species. These islands are vital for the conservation efforts of sea turtles, offering crucial nesting grounds for their survival.

Witness the beautiful turtles that call the Bat Islands home.

A more exclusive diving experience

Dive trips to the Bat Islands offer a more exclusive experience due to the advanced nature of the dives and the remote location. These trips are typically conducted in small groups, allowing divers to enjoy personalized attention and guidance from experienced dive professionals.

With fewer divers in the water, you’ll have more opportunities to explore the underwater wonders of the Bat Islands because you may have the entire island for yourself!

Available comprehensive dive packages 

At Bill Beard’s Costa Rica, our 2 Tank Dive at Bat Islands offers a convenient and comprehensive diving experience.

Departing from Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa at 7 AM and returning around 3:30-4:00 PM, our package ensures you make the most of your time underwater.

While the standard option includes two tanks, most divers prefer three! Snacks, fruit, and beverages are provided onboard to keep you energized throughout the day.

Our package includes transportation from your hotel, tanks, belts, and weights, as well as a picnic lunch, fresh fruit, cookies, and bottled water on the boat. We also offer equipment rental!

The Best Time to Dive Bat Islands

The best time to dive into the Bat Islands is mid-May or early November. During this period, the seas are generally calm, and winds have settled, creating ideal conditions for diving.

With water temperatures ranging from 78°F to 86°F during these months, divers can enjoy a comfortable and pleasant diving environment. Visibility in the water may vary but typically falls between 20 and 60 feet.

Prepare for an Unforgettable Dive Adventure at Bat Islands!

Experience the thrill of diving at the Bat Islands, where you’ll spot bull sharks, sea turtles, rays, and other sea life in their natural habitat!

With our comprehensive dive packages, personalized attention, and convenient arrangements, we ensure a seamless and unforgettable diving experience.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore this amazing dive destination. Contact our team at Bill Beard’s Costa Rica now to book your dive trip. Plan the ultimate diving adventure with us!

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