We saw two turtles, a nurse shark, manta rays and huge fish (jacks I think). The Bat Islands are a world class dive location that has been protected by the Costa Rican government. 2:50. I’m not sure why exactly. If you know to swim and check out the biological diverse wildlife of the tropical ocean, just put on a mask and enjoy the colorful underwater world of Costa Rica. (all our prices include the 13% Costa Rican Tax, so no hidden fees) Costa Rica Diving - Bat Island - Kashkoush - Duration: 2:50. mrkashkoush 888 views. Bull shark diving at Bat Island is a very exciting and Adrenalin loaded experience. This area is the only location in Costa Rica that you will be able to dive with the Bull Sharks. We were really hoping to see some humpback whales as it was whale season in Costa Rica. For the Bat Islands excursion, we left Coco bright and early at 7 AM and got to the islands around 830 AM or so. We found sea cucumbers, starfish, sea urchins and so much more. The entire trail takes about 1 hour and goes throughout the island, starting from the guard station and ending at the beach. One of the world’s top ten scuba diving destinations, Cocos Island features an amazing display of biodiversity among ethereal underwater experiences. There are huge schools of different species of fish ranging in size from small to huge. The water was so calm, warm and gentle and it was really nice to swim and snorkel around. When you reach the Bat Islands you will likely be diving a dive site called Big Scare. You can camp on the main island of Bat Islands for an extra $4 per person a day (according to the SINAC website). Dominical 60504, Costa Rica Phone: (506) 8354 0111 Book Now. Incredible GLACIER COLLAPSE & TSUNAMI WAVE Caught on Camera! This tiny island off the coast is a great location to spend the day, or even a weekend, and cool off. We were lucky to visit these islands on a day trip from Playas del Coco and it was undoubtedly one of the most incredible things we’ve ever done in Costa Rica. But I really wanted to go. After the hike, we went back to the boat to eat lunch and cool off. Santa Rosa National Park is the first national park established in Costa Rica back in 1971, encompassing over 387 km2 (149 sq mi) or land and water. Bat Islands is a seasonal dive trip from May through to October. The dives can also be quite deep, sometimes reaching  over 100 feet or 30 meters. The nurse shark really freaked us out as we were not expecting to see one at all! Scuba diving and snorkeling at Caño Island is one of the top activities to do in Uvita and the Osa Peninsula and it was one of our favorite experiences in Costa Rica so far. Anyone can visit the islands to enjoy a memorable day of boating, snorkeling and hiking. As we reached the Bat Islands, it started raining a little bit so we boated around the islands for about 1 hour until the rains left and winds died down. Although there is the possibility of rain, this is because of the wind. Located around 30 miles/45 km north-west from Playas del Coco, at the most outward west-tip of the Santa Rosa National Park. This site is located at the outer most island of the chain and is where you will find the often feared bull shark which can easily reach 6 to 7 meters in length. From the coastal waters to the vast strides of the open ocean, your guide and the captain will use their eagle eyes to help you spot dolphins, turtles and whales (Jul.-Nov.) until you arrive to the shores of Cano Island. 2019 Rocket Frog Divers. All Rights Reserved. They are actually located just off the coast of Santa Rosa National Park, which is famous for it’s landscape, wildlife, as well of some famous surfing … This place is the feels like a customized location for snorkeling admirers. Not surprisingly, as you snorkel or dive around Isla Tortuga, one of two islands … Most of the divers who have joined us on the Catalina Island Tours told us that it was amongst the most beautiful dive sites to which they have ever been! The much smaller devil rays can sometimes be found in schools by the hundreds and even thousands majestically traveling through the water eating the plankton from the nutrient rich waters. We went snorkeling as soon as we got to the islands and had an amazing experience. The tour company should arrange the tickets for you. Visibility ranges from 30-100 feet and can vary greatly even during the same dive. The Bat Islands (or Isla Murciealgo in spanish) are located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica off of the northern province of Guanacaste. We were encouraged to flip over rocks to get a view of the creatures that may be living on or under the rocks. Marcy took us along the coastline to check out Witch’s Rock and beaches in Santa Rosa National Park like Nancite and Naranjo. Mytanfeet LLC Copyright© 2013 - 2021 - Thank you for supporting our Travel Blog. It rained a little bit in the morning and in the late afternoon but snorkeling conditions were wonderful and we got nice weather for the greater part of the day. About Bat Island Our center makes special expeditions (seasonal) to the Islas Murciélagos (Bat Islands), an archipelago that is formed of 5 main islands. The Bat Island is located just a kilometer away from Baina beach of Vasco-da-Gama, and is well known for its snorkeling sites and other water sports. With the air  always quite a pleasant temperature in the high 80s to the mid 90s fahrenheit or 25’30 Celsius. It is a little way down the coast, but as such is a little less touristy. The kayaking and snorkeling experience was fun. Slipping into the Pacific waters off Costa Rica for a snorkel is a relaxing way to spend the day. Due to this fact, sea conditions are evaluated daily before embarking on this adventure. It's a deep dive to see the sharks and therefore only for advanced certified divers that are trained to dive to 30meters/100 feet. Bat Island is prominently known as the best spot to experience snorkeling. The site is called The Big Scare and home to Bull Sharks and giant Pacific Manta Rays. For divers, the area is most famous for the encounters that you can have with the very large bull shark! Thermoclines can be intense. To get to Bat Island, also known as ... Continue reading Snorkeling Costa Rica. The Bat Islands are in Santa Rosa National Park in the Guanacaste province, up in the Northwest Pacific corner of Costa Rica. Costa Rica: Playa del Coco Snorkeling Spots. Phone: (506) 2787 0362. We had the entire island to ourselves, we saw dolphins, turtles, fish, a shark, manta rays and humpback whales and saw some of the most pristine ocean and mountain views in all of Costa Rica. All of a sudden, Marcy started pointing to something in front of us and we saw a large fin dip into the water. Web Design and Marketing by, Costa Rica Divemaster Internship Hall Of Fame. Marine biologists are currently tracking the sharks to try and better understand why they visit this area of Costa Rica. Our boat takes you there in about 1 hour! Water temperatures are generally a little warmer from May until November. I know Rich Coast Diving still runs Bat Island scuba diving tours through November, Deep Blue Diving runs them through October. Thanks to many years of government protection, a myriad of marine creatures call the Bat Islands home and is undoubtedly one of the best scuba diving and snorkel spots in Costa Rica. During the summer months of December – April, it gets incredibly windy and conditions are not suitable or safe for diving/snorkeling/hiking. Costa Rica isn’t really known for snorkeling (think surfing instead). I saw a turtle close by and couldn’t wait to jump in and snorkel! Playas del Coco, and the Bat and Catalina Islands are thrilling places to swim with large marine creatures such as whales, eagle rays and sea turtles. Bull Shark swimming at the Bat Islands in Costa Rica. Because the waters are considered a part of Santa Rosa National Park, they are protected. July would have been better because Costa Rica receives a “little summer” where it dries up but August was nice too. Do you have a referral that I could contact to arrange a trip(s) to the Bat Islands during the time I am there? This is one of Costa Rica’s most popular diving and snorkeling spots. Nancite beach is one of the 2 beaches in Costa Rica that is home to the sea turtle “arribadas” or mass nestings. Rocket Frog Divers It has a diverse variety of marine life that makes it regularly visited by tourists and divers.. Due to the possibility of strong currents, this area is not recommended for the new diver. Most of the “snorkeling” spots along the coast are hit or miss depending on the conditions. Costa Rica: Diving the Catalina Islands. The turtles were the same, just nibbling on some sea grass, minding their own business as we watched them go about its day. Cano Island is located 12 nautical miles from Drake Bay. One scuba diving boat stopped at the island for about 20 minutes and then left. Bat Islands Costa Rica map (Islas Murcielagos). The Bat Islands are one of the premiere scuba diving destinations in Costa Rica. Come on board and glide along the Sierpe River to the Pacific Ocean with relaxing sky and forest reflections. There are land and marine sectors and the Bat Islands (Islas Murciélagos in Spanish) are one marine sector of Santa Rosa National Park. The only other people there were the two park rangers. Isla Tortuga. Read more about it below! It was like snorkeling in an aquarium. It is a protected territory that forms part of the Santa Rosa National Park. Thanks to the rain, we saw a rainbow over Witch’s Rock! This site is also home to many species that are found all over Costa Rica but the reason divers are heading to The Bats is to see the Bull Sharks. The Bat Islands are full of marine life. After we finished snorkeling, we walked up to the park ranger office to check in and say hi to the two guards who stay on the island full time. The Santa Rosa National Park fee is $15 USD per person, free for children under 9. Please enter special requests here. At the station, there are bathrooms and sinks and is also the start of the island trail. The name literally translates to ‘whale island’, and is so called because of its resemblance to a whale’s tail. It was undeniably worth every penny and waking up at 5 AM! Visibility also varies greatly in this location of Costa Rica. As we boated past Witch’s Rock, we got a really nice surprise. This place deserves to … Snorkeling is one of the most popular attractions for vacationers in Costa Rica. As we approached the main island, I couldn’t get over just how beautiful the color of the water was! I couldn’t stop taking photos and running around to every viewpoint, it was so unbelievably beautiful! One extra special thing about this national park is that even though it is open to the public, many tourists don’t visit due to the access and distance. Snorkeling in Costa Rica Posted by Shilpy on October 5, 2012. You just need to hire a captain who will boat out there and is familiar with those waters. The boat then will travel straight across the Gulf de Papagayo to the Bat Islands. Your guides will leave the boat to arrange for your … Mytanfeet is full of local tips, detailed guides, photos, videos and maps to help you plan the perfect ​trip to Costa Rica. Murcielago Island Tour, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. During the summer months the water at the islands can be blue, clean and warm. We visited end of August, August 20th to be exact. The sea life was plentiful at the Catalina Islands. The marine sector is by boat only and the land sector is difficult to get to by car as the infrastructure requires a strong 4×4 and is accessible only certain times of the year. The area has been protected as a marine preserve by the country as part of the national park. So amazing to see! This lush, uninhabited island is located 340 miles off Costa Rica’s south Pacific coast. The Bat Islands in Costa Rica (Isla Murcielago) are truly a scuba diver’s paradise. Places like Playas del Coco , Playa Hermosa, Playa Ocotal, Bat Islands and Catalina Islands are excellent for swimming with large marine creatures like manta rays, brightly colored tropical fish, sharks and sea turtles. It was a mom and baby humpback whale! It just swam past us so nonchalantly without a second glance at us. It appears that you stop running excursions in September. This national park is part of the Guanacaste Conservation Area World Heritage Site and it protects a plethora of unique flora and fauna. We visited the Bat Islands on a day excursion with our friend who has a private boating company in Playas del Coco. The scuba divers stop at Isla San Jose for a little bit and dive nearby, mostly at one site called “Big Scare”. For the trail, we walked it in flip flops but you need to be in decent shape and be able to walk up and down ungroomed steep paths and hills. You get absolutely incredible views of the islands, mountains and ocean. Experience the perfect place of Costa Rica’s most beautiful regions from the water on a kayaking tour of Lake Arenal, Tortuguero, Isla Damas or Manuel Antonio […] Read more. It started raining a bit past Witch’s Rock, one of the most famous surf spots in Costa Rica. If you plan on diving the Catalinas or Bat Islands during your trip, please indicate which day you would prefer to visit these. To dive the Bat Islands you have to travel by boat about 30 miles from towns such as Coco Beach or where our dive shop is located in Playa Ocotal in the province of Guanacaste Costa Rica. Located roughly 48 km off the coast of Costa Rica and from Santa Rosa National Park, these islands feature a large variety of marine species all in one place. Due to weather conditions, the best (and only) time to visit the Bat Islands are during Costa Rica’s rainy season months, May – November. Filed Under: Activities and tours Costa Rica. The Bat Islands are one of the most impressive scuba diving destinations in all of Costa Rica. The combination of gorgeous views, great snorkeling, wildlife, empty beaches and breathtaking mountains made it one of the most perfect days ever, even with some rain. It was breathtaking when the sun came out and we could see the crystal clear turquoise waters. Bat Islands Costa Rica: Incredible Scuba Diving and Snorkeling While most dive sites are also good for snorkeling, the best places for shallow water exploration are around the south of Coco, the area that separates the beach from Playa Ocotal. Hi Jim, definitely check out the scuba diving companies in Playas del Coco. Located in the far north of the Guanacaste off the coast of Santa Rosa National Park. Any other special requests regarding equipment can be entered here as well. We watched the turtles swim around us and soaked in all the stunning views until it was time to go. 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