Top 3 Shark Diving Locations in Costa Rica

3) Shark Diving Site: Tortuga. Area: Gulf de Papagayo, Costa Rica

white tip shark costa ricaTortuga as it is called is an absolute must when you are diving the Papagayo region of Costa Rica. It is a dive that is almost always home to a number of white tip reef sharks which throughout the day are often laying on the bottom in a sandy portion of the dive site, only minutes after starting the dive. These docile sharks are quite approachable and can be sometime seen in groups of 6 or more. This makes for a photographers dream as you can approach these sharks quite closely and get some great pictures.

What is also great about this dive site is that it is often used as a night diving location. If you think seeing sharks during the day is exciting, wait until you come across them at night when they are much more active. Aside from the white tips, this dive site is full of other marine life including rays, eels, lots of different species of fish, and the occasional turtle (odd that it is just occasional considering the name of the dive site). Also on this dive is a wreck of an old fishing boat which sits in about 65 feet of water and quite often has sharks lurking around it as well.

2) Shark Diving Site: The Big Scare. Area: Bat Islands, Costa Rica

bat islands bull sharkThe Bat Islands are located just off the coast of Santa Rosa National Park and are a protected marine area in Costa Rica. The huge schools of fish and other marine life goes to show what a ban on fishing can do in an area, as the schools and size of the fish in this area are huge in comparison to any where else in mainland Costa Rica. What these islands have become more known for though in recent years is the big visitors who lurk around a dive site which is suitably named “The Big Scare.”

Bull sharks are an impressive and daunting species to witness as they approach you in 80-100 feet of water. This one dive site for whatever reason has a congregation of bull sharks which frequent it and can be seen throughout the year. The best bull shark season is during the green season in Costa Rica (mid May until late November), however, they can be seen during the rest of the year less frequently. Regardless of your experience diving with sharks, having several 3 or 4 meter (10-12 foot) bull sharks circle around you is an exhilarating experience. Pair this up with the rest of the marine life which will be encountered in the Bat Islands and this easily comes in at number 2 in the top 3 shark diving locations in Costa Rica.

1) Dive Site: Too many to name. Area: Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Cocos Islands Costa Rica DivingCocos Island is one of the top diving destinations in the entire world. Accessible only by liveaboard dive vessel this island which is located some 550 kms off the coast of Costa Rica is home to some of the biggest congregations of hammerhead sharks found anywhere on earth. Any dive can bring excitement as tiger sharks, silky sharks, galapagos sharks, nurse sharks, and heaps of white tip reef sharks can be seen. The other visitor to the region which brings on a lot of excitement is the biggest fish in the world, the whale shark.

The diving in this area is so good it is consistently named as one of the top 5 diving destinations on the planet. This high rating is due in most part to the sharks and other big marine life which is found here so consistently. Liveaboard trips leave Puntarenas and last 10-12 days with 7-9 days of diving. If you have the time and the money to do it, this dive trip will bring you the best shark encounters that Costa Rica has to offer!