bat islands bull sharkScuba Diving The Bat Islands Costa Rica

The Bat Islands in Costa Rica are located off the coast of Santa Rosa National Park. Santa Rosa is Costa Rica’s biggest national park and has been made famous by the surf break “Witches Rock” which is found along one of its beaches as well. The Bat Islands are a marine protected zone which means fisherman are not permitted to fish within a certain area surrounding the islands. This protection as made it a stomping ground for big marine life and lots of it.

In comparison to the rest of the waters in the Gulf de Papagayo, the Bat Islands have bigger fish, in bigger schools, with more species. The Bat Islands are the best spot to find bull sharks in all of Costa Rica. The dive site which is generally used to see the bull sharks is rightfully called “Big Scare.” It is not uncommon to have groups of 4 or more bull sharks circling the group of divers at this dive site. While bull sharks can be found year round, they are most often seen during the green season in Costa Rica, which runs from mid May until late November or early December.

With manta rays quite often seen along with huge schools of spotted eagle rays, golden rays, and devil rays, this is a highly sought after dive location. There are also schools of fish that pale in comparison other areas of Costa Rica. A dive site called “Black Rock” is generally the best to see these huge schools of fish, schools of rays, along with a few different species of shark (most common here are nurse and white tip). The Bat Islands have also been known to play host to the occasional whale shark. While this is not a common find it just goes to show how diverse and plentiful the marine life can be.

Why Dive The Bat Islands With Rocket Frog?

rocket frog dive boatThe single biggest reason to dive the Bat Islands with Rocket Frog is the Pacific Express. Easily the best dive vessel in the area, the Pacific Express gets you to and from the Bat Islands in extreme comfort in less than half of the time of any operator in the Guanacaste area. The trip is done in 45-50 minutes instead of the 2-2.5 hours which is standard with other dive shops. What this also allows us to do is dive the Bat Islands year round. We are the only dive shop which does this. The design of our boat along with the speed we can get to and from the dive sites is what allows us to do this. The crossing from one side of the Gulf to the other gets quite choppy during the dry season in Costa Rica due to trade winds that pick up each day as the land heats up. Rocket Frog’s inflatable ribbed boat equipped with twin 300 HP Yamaha engines handles the waves with ease and their Captain”Pin” is likely the most experienced Captain at making this crossing in all of Costa Rica.