Catalina Islands's Scuba Diving

The Catalina Islands is an archipelago consisting of 20 small rocky, uninhabited islands, located near the northwest coast of Costa Rica. It is situated 10 km from Tamarindo-Flamingo and is washed by the Pacific Ocean. The unique underwater structure and a great diversity of sea life attract divers from all over the world. There are arches and caves in coastal waters, as well as stony and soft corals growing on volcanic rocks. The islands are famous for Pacific manta rays which grow to incredible sizes. Divers go to the Catalina Islands to see sharks, humpback whales and turtles.

Getting There

To reach the Catalina Islands, you should fly to Juan Santamaría Airport in Alajuela located near the capital, San Jose. Another way is to buy a ticket to Daniel Oduber Airport in Guanacaste. Most of the flights arrive in San Jose. You can get to the islands by boat or by ferry from there.


The Catalina Islands have a subequatorial climate. The rainy season lasts from May to November. The best time for diving is from August to December when there are no winds or currents, and the visibility is good. The water temperature is +26-29 °C. It cools down to +19 °C in December to March due to the cold currents. The average air temperature along the coast reaches +27 °C in winter and +33 °C in summer.

Dive Spots near Catalina Islands

The Wall is a popular dive spot. It is a steep wall going down to 21 m. You will see reef sharks, giant oceanic manta rays, eagle rays and cownose rays coming to the local "cleaning station".
Sombreros is yet another popular dive site. It is a reef at a depth of 27.5 m with a lot of fish, including stingrays, swimming nearby.