Scuba Diving the Catalina Islands, Costa Rica

scuba diving flamingoThe Catalina’s are visited by shops from all along the Papagayo coast line, but are the closest to Playa Flamingo. Many people who come scuba diving in Costa Rica, come specifically to dive the Catalina Islands. Diving in the Catalina’s is done via boat as the dive sites are all located a few miles off shore. What makes the Catalina’s a favorite among scuba divers is the chance of seeing the pacific giant manta ray. This is the biggest species of Mantas in the world. In addition to mantas, a huge variety of other marine life can be witnessed. White tip reef sharks, several species of rays, a few types of turtles, lots of morays, sea snakes, and a plethora of fish.


Dive Sites in the Catalina’s

There are many dive sites in the Catalina’s which you will enjoy when scuba diving from Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica. The most popular from guests are generally the ones where the mantas are most commonly seen. “The Wall” is a dive site located down a steep cliff, which is formed on the largest island in the chain. This dive is generally a great place to see white tip reef sharks, huge schools of fish, and quite often near the end of your dive, near the point of the island, the pacific giant manta. “The Point” and “The Cleaning Station” are two other dive sites which are very often frequented by the mantas.

Information on the Catalina Islands in Costa Rica

The Catalina Islands are an archipelago of uninhabited islets which are found anywhere from 2-15 miles off the northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The location of the islands, paired with the currents, the shape and contours of the islets, as well as the depth, make these islands a fantastic spot for large amounts of marine life to gather, and well within our recreational diving limits.

Diving Conditions in the Catalina’s

The visibility and temperature in the Catalina’s is similar to other areas along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The conditions can change frequently and rapidly.

As a general rule, the water is generally a bit cooler in the dry season which runs from December until early May. Most divers are comfortable diving with a 3mm suit, however, divers who are prone to being cool sometimes like to pack a 5mm during these months. During the “green season” in Costa Rica, the water warms and most divers are fine in a 3mm some diving with no suit at all.

The visibility in the Catalina Islands is quite variable as well. On good days, you may be able to see up to 80 feet. On poor days the visibility can be 15 or 20 feet. There can be thermoclines which can alter both the visibility and temperature on any given dive. Quite often the water will be quite clear and wamr on the surface and then when you pass through the thermocline it can get cloudier and cooler. The good news is that this thermocline is generally an area full of nutrients where you are likely to see a large amount of marine life.


Dive Site Reviews Or The Catalinas