Tortuga Island is on the quintessential tropical paradise of the Nicoya Peninsula. This part of the country is a haven for surfers, divers, and just about anyone who wants to relax in azure waters and play around on sandy beaches under the glare of the Caribbean sun. Diving in Costa Rica is practically always like swimming in a glass of water. There’s so much visibility and almost zero obstructions.
Tortuga Island, on the other hand, is something else entirely. It’s an example of what diving is all about. Read on to discover more!
Tortuga is famous for being mentioned in the Pirates of the Caribbean as the home of piracy in the Caribbean. In the real world, it’s famous for its sugary beaches with large palm trees swaying in the breeze. It’s surrounded by volcanic reefs and there are almost no major tides to speak of. This makes it a diving and snorkelling area for even the most inexperienced traveller.
On the island itself you have beach volleyball, hiking trails, and a number of luxury resorts.
What Can You See?
These warm tropical waters bring in all manner of colourful sea life. As long as you exercise caution, it’s safe to swim after them and observe from a distance. Giant schools of fish, such as yellowtails, are easily noticeable from long distances. Angel fish, parrot fish, and frog fish are some of the other tropical fish to see.
The waters around Tortuga Island also have their fair share of big boys. Professional divers have reported sightings of octopuses, green sea turtles, dolphins, whale sharks up to 35 feet in length, and white tip sharks.
The Tide Pool
The large tide pool located between Playa Santa Teresa and Playa Hermosa is often ignored by surfers as the waters are very calm here. At low tide the tide pool is exposed. It’s bigger than an Olympic-sized swimming pool and the various sea life trapped in the tide pool is freely available for viewing.
You’ll rarely see anything big being caught in the pool, which makes it perfect for kids and younger travellers. The water is about waist height, for the average person, and it’s warm as the sun beats down upon the surface. It only stays visible for a few hours, though, so make the most of it.
Playa Los Suecos and the Secret Beach
Playa Los Suecos is another of the top destinations for diving in Costa Rica. Also known as Punta Murcielago, this is a quieter marine area with stingrays travelling through the waters. The Mal País Secret Beach is another quiet diving location. It’s tucked into the Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve area, so a lot of bigger animals travel can travel through this safe area.
When the tide is very low, make your way into the Bat Point cave. This sea cave is filled with lots of bats and it’s only available for a couple of hours each day. Avoid touching the bats unless you want to be showered with bat droppings!
For serious divers, please contact us to discuss the best time to visit for optimum diving opportunities around Costa!