Costa Rica Scuba Diving
Costa Rica Land Based Pacific Ocean Scuba Diving: All of the dive centers we offer in Costa Rica are either PADI, NAUI, or SSI Certified Dive Masters and both Spanish and English is spoken on all boats. You will be required to show your certification card, so don’t forget to pack it! There are four main areas for land-based scuba diving in Costa Rica and live aboard dive trips to Cocos Islands. See some of the dive packages and prices available. Nitrox is available in the Northwest Pacific area.
Cocos Islands Liveaboard Diving: Thanks to the breathtaking marine life in its waters Cocos Island was named one of the best 10 scuba diving spots in the world by PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and a “must do” according to diving experts. For many, the main attractions are the large pelagic species, which are very abundant in this unique meeting point between deep and shallow waters. The largest schools of hammerhead sharks in the World are consistently reported there. Encounters with dozens if not hundreds of these and other large animals are nearly certain in every dive. Smaller and colorful species area also abundant in one of the most extensive and rich reefs of the south eastern Pacific. The famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau visited the island several times and in 1994 called it “the most beautiful island in the world”.
Bill Beard’s offers tours throughout Costa Rica before and after your Cocos Island trip. We pick up and drop off at the boats in Puntarenas and offer mainland training dives for those of you going to Cocos Islands that feel a little rusty and want to build some additional confidence.
Diving Report From Rocket Frog Divers:
The diving continues to be better than most Novembers…:-) the water temps are amazing at 85-87 daily, visibility holding steady at 50 feet. Manta, Manta, Manta…..we are seeing them everywhere!!! Lots of Big ones at the Big Scare and a pair hanging out locally at Fat Point. Visibility is 60+, Water Temp 87* We saw 2 mantas at Fat Point 2 days ago…:-) We have been out to Bat Islands 8 times in the past 14 days, we are seeing at least 3 manta rays at the dive site Big Scare, each trip….1 day we saw 12!!!!!
Our new dive boat the 40 foot catamaran is just wonderful. Not as fast as our 24 & 36 feet rigid inflatables but we are getting two new engines so that it will be. The nice thing is that we just run right up on the beach to load and unload divers, We are making our surface interval on some remote secluded beaches now. The divers love it since they are not populated, lots of monkeys back in the trees and not a footprint in the sand.
Best regards & safe diving,
LOCAL DIVE SITES
Argentine Point – You never know what you will see at this dive site. Amazing numbers of southern stingrays in the US winter months, Eagle Rays throughout the year, great array of schooling fish and occasionally white-tip sharks. The top of the rock is only 10-12 feet so there can be quite a bit of surge, but incredible life and colorful juveniles hanging out there as well as Pacific tarpon, spadefish, grunts and horse-eye jacks.
Monkey Head – This huge exposed rock pinnacle looks just like King Kong when you are beside it. Huge growths of cacti on the top of the rock make it look like Kong is sporting rasta hair. We have seen everything from large schools of eagle rays and jacks, small critters like seahorses or harlequin clown shrimp and even whale sharks and manta rays. Big school of Pacific tarpon (sabalo or milk fish) always hangs out on the south end of the rock.
Punta Gorda – A great spot for macro photography. Everything from white-tips to frog fish. Several varieties of eels in rocks. One of the few sites with hard coral. Usually grunts, sergeant majors and stone fish everywhere. We have seen many golden cow-nosed rays on the site as well as sea-horses and occasional eagle rays. This is 15 – 20 feet deep on one side of the pinnacle and drops to 75-80 feet on the outside with most of the life at the top of the rocks.
Bajo Tiburone – This is a great site for white-tip sharks. You can also see southern sting rays here. There are some crevices that house white-tips as well as squirrel fish. The top of the rock is at 20 – 30 feet, making the safety stop interesting. We have sighted 200 mobulas on many occasions on this site. There are 3 basic rock formations with sand channels in between.
Aquarium – This could not be a more aptly names site. Every fish that is available in our area has been seen here as well as turltes, tiger sharks and jew fish. The spiraling schools of grunts and yellow-tails are gigantic numbering easily in the thousands. Although we generally limit ourselves to around 80 feet, there are spots as deep as 130.
Virador – This is a singular rock pinnacle measuring 20 feet on the front side and 90 feet or so on the back side. There are horse-eye jacks, butterfly fish, grunts, sergeant majors and many other varieties of schooling fish. We have also seen the harlequin/clown shrimp here and several varieties of starfish. You may see white-tip sharks, jew fish and turtles too. When you are back on the boat, keep your eyes open as there are usually mobula rays jumping for joy or to rid parasites, we can’t be sure which!
Los Meros – This is a perfect place for a check-out or refresher dive as well as a great local dive. You will not see any larger schools of grunts on any other site we have. There also eel, octopi and nudibranchs. If you want to go deeper then 40 feet, you will have to bring a shovel.
There are far too many sites to name them all, but this will give you an idea of some of our local sites. The sites are all volcanic rock formations and rock pinnacles. Visibility is 20 -80 feet with the average being 40 – 50 feet. There is an abundance of plankton and other nutrients which greatly affect the visibility; however, this is one of the reasons we encounter whale sharks from time to time, along with manta rays which are seen seasonally.
Night Dives – Night dives are made on one of the local dive sites, preferably on that the divers have been to during daylight hours. Costa Rica diving is to see the animals and at night an entirely new assortment of marine life is active. Colors are brighter due to the dive lights and many of the daytime fish are sleeping. Perhaps you’ll see a Parrotfish in it’s cocoon! A minimum of 4 divers is required. It is a one tank dive after watching the sun set over the Pacific. Snacks, juice and water are included. The boat leaves Playa Hermosa at 5:15pm and return at approximately 7:30pm.
Long Range Dive Site
Bat Islands – The murcielegos, “The Bats,” are dive sites famous for high voltage adventure diving. They are a chain of small islands that extend far out into the Pacific waters. The result is larger schools of fish, more pelagic species and often better visibility. A popular dive site is “Big Scare” where divers often find themselves surrounded by six to a dozen large Bull Sharks! The boat leaves Playa Hermosa at 8:00am and returns around 4:00pm. Lunch is provided in addition to snacks, fruit, water and juice. It takes about 2 hours to get to “The Bats.”This not a dive for beginning divers. It must prepaid by 4:00pm the day before the dive. And there is no refund policy. Available May – November Upgrade $65 pp for a 2 tank dive (minimum of 6 pax needed to pre book this long range trip.)
Medium Range Dive Site
Catalina Island – Catalina Island is similar to “The Bats” in that it sits further out into the open ocean than the local dive sites. It is also a cleaning station for many pelagics such as mantas, sharks, schooling fish and large schools of cow-nose rays. The boat leaves Playa Hermosa at 8:00am and returns around 2:00pm. Snacks, fruit, juice and water are provided. It takes a little over 1 hour to reach Catalina Island. This is not a dive for beginning divers. It must be prepaid by 4:00pm the day before the dive. And there is a no refund policy.
Upgrade $50 pp for a 2 tank dive (minimum of 6 pax needed to pre book this mid range trip.)
To See A Short Video Clip About Our Morning Dive In Costa Rica: CLICK HERE
For all the dive sites in Costa Rica by area: LEARN MORE
We have a wonderful NEW DVD, it is 23 minutes: LEARN MORE
To see all the adventure tours that Bill Beard’s operates Throughout Costa Rica: CLICK HERE
For single, triple, quad or group rates, contact our agents.
Our Reservation Office Is Located In La Fortuna, Costa Rica In The Shadow Of Arenal Volcano, behind the Catholic Church, Near The World Famous Hot Springs.
For Reservations & Information
Contact Our Office At 877 853-0538 or 954 453-5044 M – Sat., 9 – 9 ET
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