Advanced Diving in Costa Rica

Sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama, the narrow strip of land that makes up Costa Rica is flanked by the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. And if you’re looking to test your skills and enjoy the more advanced diving in Costa Rica, the west is the best. Two island locations – Cocos Island and Islas Murcielago – could be your next dream destinations, should you be dreaming about big sharks and big currents...

Cocos Island

Sitting almost 350 miles offshore, the remote Cocos Island National Park is a magnet for large numbers of hammerhead sharks, huge rays and pods of dolphins. As a lone island far from shore and surrounded by deep waters, Cocos Island is not for the novice diver. Remote seamounts, deep cleaning stations and strong currents make Cocos the most advanced diving in Costa Rica.

But those intrepid divers who descend into the unerring blue of the Pacific Ocean at Cocos will be well-rewarded. A fast descent is followed by a quick search for a strategic viewing spot, and then, hiding from the current, you can watch large schools of scalloped hammerheads cruise majestically past.

In addition to being one of the best places in the world to dive alongside hammerheads, Cocos Island's waters are also frequented by tiger sharks, Galapagos sharks, white-tipped reef sharks, silky sharks, the occasional whale shark and plenty of large manta rays and marble rays. It may be the most advanced diving in Costa Rica, but it's also the most epic.

Islas Murcielago

If you don't recognise the name Islas Murcielago, you may be familiar with their common English name, the Bat Islands. Located in the north-west corner of the country, the Bat Islands jut out into the Pacific Ocean from the Península de Santa Elena and are blessed with varied and interesting marine fauna.

Eagle rays and white-tipped reef sharks are often spotted, while there are also plenty of smaller critters to see too, including harlequin shrimp, seahorses, morays and turtles. But if you're looking for the more advanced diving in Costa Rica, then the area's famous bull shark dive may be the place for you. The big bull sharks show up every year to breed, and you can see three or four eager males following the females around the dive site. Being closer to shore, the visibility at the Bat Islands is not as good as at Cocos, but the murkier water adds to the intrigue.

If you're interested in buddying up with the sharks in Costa Rica, our team of dive travel experts can assist in creating a customised itinerary to suit your plans. You can experience the thrill of advanced diving in Costa Rica by staying on a luxurious liveaboard in Cocos Island or at a high-end resort located in Peninsula Papagayo, just south of the Bat Islands.

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Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our 'Advanced Diving in Costa Rica ' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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