Costa Rica is one of the top dive and snorkel destinations in the Americas. In this blog we will help you plan your dream dive and travel vacation in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is a unique dive and travel destination. The country offers year round ideal conditions for those who love to explore the underwater world and the incredible nature above the surface. And if you are not a diver we guarantee you that Costa Rica is great for snorkeling too ! Or book your course and become a diver.
When you plan and book your next dive or snorkel holiday in Costa Rica several questions will come up.
1. What is the best time for scuba diving and traveling in Costa Rica ?
It does not matter which time of the year you come to Costa Rica for you dream dive and travel holiday. The climate conditions for diving and travelling are great year round. But like any other popular travel destination the Christmass holidays and easter holidays tend to be much busier than other months. And if you plan to visit during the months December to February you will need to plan your accomodation, diving and transportation in advance to secure availability.
If you are flexible with your travel dates then our favourite time of the year is half May until end November. Overall, our dive location offers excellent year-round diving opportunities but the Pacific Coast has unique geographical conditions that change the diving conditions from day to day, and in our experience May to November are the best months. Also the weather is less dry and hot so everything is beautifull and green. On top of that, these months are a quiet time of the year in terms of visitors so you can get great deals on accomodation, car rental and tours.
Generally our water temperature range from 23 – 28 Celsius throughout the year so a 3 - 5 mm wetsuit is sufficient to keep you comfortably warm under water. In Costa Rica the seasons are divided between the rainy season (which runs from May to November) and the dry season (which runs November to April). But note that the name "rainy season" is somewhat misleading as Guanacaste is one of the driest provinces of Costa Rica and is far less rainy then the other states. So any time of the year is great to come diving with us !
2. Where are the best diving spots in Costa Rica ?
We recently wrote a great blog about the best dive sites in Costa Rica. We listed our top 6 dive destinations in Costa Rica. The best of the best dive sites that you cannot miss while traveling in Costa Rica. And the good news is that 3 of the best dive sites in Costa Rica are located in the Guanacaste Province and accesable from Playas del Coco. Here at Rich Coast Diving we offer diving trips to these amazing dive sites. We offer the Catalinas Islands for diving with mantas (December to April). Bat Islands at the Murcielago Archipelago for diving with Bullsharks (May to October).
And great year round diving around the Gulf of Papagayo located with departure from Playas del Coco. Playas del Coco is located on the northwestern Pacific coast in the Guanacaste province (40 min from Liberia International Airport). Coco Beach is home to more than 15 different dive sites that cater to both beginner and advanced scuba divers. And if you are not a diver yet then this a great place to start exploring the underwater world and get your PADI certification.
3. Can I travel or drive to higher altitudes after Scuba Diving ?
All divers accumulate nitrogen when we dive. The deeper you dive, the more nitrogen your body absorbs. We ascend slowly and do our safety stops to give that nitrogen time to "off-gas" while we are still under the water. Ascending too quickly, or skipping safety stops may result in the nitrogen forming little bubbles in the blood, and this is what causes decompression sickness. It is important to realize that this nitrogen is still off-gassing in the hours after a dive. So it is important to avoid some things after diving, in order to off-gas safely and successfully. Both PADI and DAN recommend a minimum preflight surface interval of at least 12 hours for single dives and 18 hours for repetitive dives or multiple days of diving.
For this reason it is also advised to avoid going to altitudes higher than 1,000ft (300m) for 24 hours after diving. The altitude is higher than at sea level, which creates an increased difference in pressure between your surroundings and the nitrogen in your body from the dive. The nitrogen expands too quickly and decompression sickness becomes a risk.
It is very important to consider these risks when you are planning travel itinerary. So do not dive on your last day before flying or travelling to altitude higher than 1,000 feet or 300 meters. That means we highly recommend that you stay an extra night in Playas del Coco before you travel to popular destinations like San Jose, La Fortuna, Rio Celeste, Lake Arenal, Rincon de la Vieja. Ofcourse there is no problem with traveling to any coastal towns.
4. What other activities and tours can I do in Costa Rica ?
Costa Rica has a lot to offer and is for this reason one of the most popular travel destinations in Central America. The local people are friendly and laid back and tourism is very well organized. The country is very well connected with daily flights to all corners of the world. Especially the United States, Canada, Europe and most central american countries.
Several airlines offer free extra luggage allowance for divers so check with your airlines before you travel and benefit from bringing your own dive gear. There are two international airports in Costa Rica. Besides the largest airport at the capital of San Jose (SJO) we highly recommend you fly to the newer and more modern airport of Liberia in the western stat of Guanacaste. When you choose Liberia airport you are only 40 minutes away from Costa Rica's best and sunniest beaches (Guanacaste is Costa Rica's driest province) and diving spots !
What activities do you recommend besides snorkeling or scuba diving ? Note that Costa Rica is a country for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. So whale watching, visiting the beautiful national parks, go whitewater rafting, ziplining, horse riding, visit waterfalls. If you travel alone, with family or friends there is something to do for everyone. And for your convenience you find an overview of our favourite activities on our Tours & Activities Page. We offer day trips and half day trips to the most popular atractions and parks.
5. How do you plan your dive and travel holiday in Costa Rica ?
We make planning and booking your dive and travel holiday in Costa Rica very easy. All you need to do is send us an email at email@example.com with your travel dates, the amount of people in your group and we can custime your trip to your wishes. It does not matter if you only have a day to spend or you want to book one or two weeks. If you are traveling alone or with a group. We can organize you diving trip with our expert dive and snorkeling guides. We can assist you with choosing the right accommodation that fits your budget and needs. We carefully selected the best options in Playas del Coco so you don't have to worry about it ! And all located within walking distance from our dive center. We can also organize any half day or full day trip for when you are done with diving and want to explore the beautiful parks, waterfalls, hot springs and other places.
6. What is the best transport and accomodation for divers in Costa Rica ?
Costa Rica has great transport options for every traveler and budget. First of all there are many car rental companies and outside the high season (Dec-Feb) you can get some great deals on weekly car rentals. The freedom of having your own car is the preferred option for any traveler. You are more flexible with your travel planning as busses or shuttle services only operate at set times. When you are renting a car it is also easier for you to bring your own dive equipment. So it is not surprising that most travelers rent a car to make the most of their vacation in Costa Rica. And if you are traveling with a party of two or more than this is probably your most cost effective option too !
There is no shortage of accomodation options in Costa Rica and you will be able to find any type of accomodation to meet your needs and budget. There are no dive resorts in Costa Rica. So as a diver you book your dives with a dive center and your accomodation at one of the nearby hotels or AirBNB. Rich Coast Diving gets special rates at the local hotels and therefor we can offer you the best price in town on accomodation. All the hotels in our selection are great value for money and offer all the comfort you need as a diving. For your convenience we offer dive and stay packages that are great value for money. So do not hessitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Group Dive Travel in Costa Rica
Diving and travelling with a (large) group requires a lot of preperation. And here at Rich Coast Diving we will help you to take away some of that stress that is involved with booking, paying and planning your group trip. Rich Coast Diving is one of the first and oldest PADI dive centers in Costa Rica and we have over 30 years of experience with group dive and travel planning. As PADI 5 star CDC we guarantee you the highest safety standards in the diving industry. And our professional team makes sure that your diving trip with us is a great experience. And do not take our word for it but check our 5 star reviews on google and trip advisor !
Guest experience is our highest priority and therefor all our diving is in small groups. We dive with a ratio of max 4 or 5 divers per instructor and a divemaster trainee. This way we maximize your safety and dive time under water. Our boats take up to 12 divers so it never feels busy or crowded. We have multilingual dive instructors and guides that speak English, Spanish, German, Dutch and or French. We have over 20 dive sites that are closeby so most of the time our group is the only group diving the site. And we can cover multiple days of diving without doing the same dive sites twice. We offer diving for beginners and advanced divers and snorkelers are welcome to join. All snorkeling activities come with an experienced snorkeling guide that will show you the best snorkel spots.
If you are planning to bring a group of 10 or more divers we can offer you a generous discount. And we will help all groups no matter how large or small with planning your accomodation, transport and other activities. Please note that with large groups it is important to book in advance to assure availability. For bookings please contact us at email@example.com.
8. Is Costa Rica a safe dive and travel destination ?
When you are traveling away from your home country with your family or friends. Your safety is one of your top priorities. Costa Rica is one of the world's most traveller-friendly and safe countries in the world. Entry to Costa Rica is allowed for tourists from all countries. Your country of origin determines the number of days available to stay in Costa Rica as a tourist. Visitors to Costa Rica must have a valid passport and proof of intent to leave the country before their visa or entry stamp expires. A return ticket is required when entering Costa Rica. For updates, visit: www.visitcostarica.com or consult your embassy website.
Want to know more about booking your next diving holiday with Rich Coast Diving ?
Contact Rich Coast Diving
Mrs. Céline Monfort
WhatsApp +506 8610 0914