With a central location and good facilities, most of the diving in Guanacaste is centered in Playas del Coco. The underwater landscape is defined by volcanic formations such as arches, caverns and tunnels. There are also a few wrecks scattered here and there.
What the area lacks in coral, it makes up for in pelagic species, the main scuba attraction in Playas del Coco. Three main areas can be accessed from this beach town, namely local dive sites, the Catalina Islands and the Bat Islands. The sites close to shore have little to no current and are great for novice and intermediate divers.
Only advanced divers should attempt to explore the Catalina Islands and the Bat Islands. All of the diving takes place off of small speed boats, although liveaboards can occasionally be spotted offshore.
December to April is dry season in Costa Rica. During these months, very little rain falls throughout the Pacific coast. The dry season is the best time to visit Playas del Coco if you want to split your time between sunbathing on the beach and diving into the underwater world.
Most of the pelagic species found during the rainy season leave the Guanacaste coast and are replaced by a variety of fish and macro species. However, these months still offer the opportunity to see Giant Manta Rays at the Catalina Islands. December to April is the best time to dive on the Pacific coast in locations like Guanacaste.
Find local PADI dive shops and explore the top dive sites with our map.
The closest airport to Playas del Coco is Liberia Airport. Because this is only a regional airport, you’ll need to take a domestic flight from San Jose.
If you’d prefer to travel over land, you can rent a car or catch a bus from San Jose. The trip between the two destinations takes approximately 5 hours.