Costa Rica Diving Holidays: An Overview

Costa Rica is the teacher's pet of the eco-tourism class - a staggering 25% of the country is set aside in National Parks, the highest percentage of any nation on the planet. A picture perfect and pocket-sized country with two beautiful coastlines separated by a spine of extremely active volcanoes, for all but the most backpacker-budgeted travellers, we can arrange access to the furthest flung corners by light aircraft, which offers a wonderful perspective on the varying and distinct ecosystems that make this such a fascinating destination.

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Neill and Louisa are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • While Cocos Island is the biggest name in Costa Rica diving (and rightly so) there is some very good diving off Peninsula Papagayo, and an excellent hotel in the Four Seasons.
  • About 25% of the country is blanketed by national parks or biological reserves, which helps to preserve its staggering diversity - Costa Rica is home to 10,000 species of plants and trees, 580 species of (migrant and indigenous) birds, and 205 species of mammals.
  • With both Caribbean and Pacific coasts, Costa Rica's beaches are a strong pull for many travellers. Nature reserves populate much of the Caribbean coast though the Pacific coast is undoubtedly more wild. It's arguably also more beautiful

Our Guide to Costa Rica Diving Holidays

The wetlands of the Caribbean Coast give way to jungle, interspersed with the massive banana plantations that provide so much of the country's income; next come the cloudforests of the mountainous interior and then it's down to the tropical rainforests of the Pacific coastline, all within an hour's flight. The country is also renowned for its rich birdlife.

Covering only 0.03% of the surface of the planet, Costa Rica has approximately 6% of the world's biodiversity. Its tropical forests, rivers and seas are home to a huge amount of wildlife, from monkeys and sloths to iguanas, crocodiles, and turtles. We have visited and can recommend all the best eco-lodges and work with the finest guides.

If you have already explored the best of Central America's Caribbean shores to the east, the Pacific coast to the west of Costa Rica will give you a totally different experience, at least from a diving perspective. The narrow strip that connects the two Americas also separates two totally different marine habitats. The Pacific's nutrient rich waters are wilder and cooler than those of the Caribbean, but they attract a blizzard of sea life; washing up from the south, they also bathe the Galapagos. You almost wonder whether the country's Spanish settlers had early access to scuba gear when they named it the 'Rich Coast'.

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