Weather and group size can limit the availability of these dives on any given day. Please Fill In the Following Form To Complete Your Reservation. The sea life was plentiful at the Catalina Islands. Located in the far north of the Guanacaste off the coast of Santa Rosa National Park. The Bat Islands are one of the premiere scuba diving destinations in Costa Rica. As we visited during sea turtle nesting season, we saw a bunch of turtles! We went snorkeling as soon as we got to the islands and had an amazing experience. Mytanfeet is full of local tips, detailed guides, photos, videos and maps to help you plan the perfect ​trip to Costa Rica. The only island with access is Isla San Jose with a ranger station, camping area, bathrooms and trail access. It appears that you stop running excursions in September. Marcy took us along the coastline to check out Witch’s Rock and beaches in Santa Rosa National Park like Nancite and Naranjo. One of the world’s top ten scuba diving destinations, Cocos Island features an amazing display of biodiversity among ethereal underwater experiences. Your guides will leave the boat to arrange for your … I wanted to go snorkeling. Bat Islands Costa Rica: Incredible Scuba Diving and Snorkeling We left Bat Islands around 3 PM as the sky was starting to turn dark and we wanted to get back to Coco before it started raining. Due to this fact, sea conditions are evaluated daily before embarking on this adventure. This tiny island off the coast is a great location to spend the day, or even a weekend, and cool off. Below you can read our whole experience. 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! You just need to hire a captain who will boat out there and is familiar with those waters. The Bat Islands are one of the most impressive scuba diving destinations in all of Costa Rica. However, you do need to hire a boat who will arrange the entrance and camping fees for you and you need to bring all your equipment on the boat. 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. The Islands are located in the far north of Costa Rica and are at the edge of Santa Rosa National Park. It just swam past us so nonchalantly without a second glance at us. This place deserves to … 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. 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. Visibility ranges from 30-100 feet and can vary greatly even during the same dive. The turtles were the same, just nibbling on some sea grass, minding their own business as we watched them go about its day. Our boats have an area in the shade, shore communication systems, oxygen, and a first aid kit. It was breathtaking when the sun came out and we could see the crystal clear turquoise waters. 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. Phone: (506) 2787 0362. Costa Rica: Playa del Coco Snorkeling Spots. This national park is part of the Guanacaste Conservation Area World Heritage Site and it protects a plethora of unique flora and fauna. But I really wanted to go. During the summer months the water at the islands can be blue, clean and warm. Snorkeling and diving are good all year, but are best during the dry season (Dec.-April). With the air  always quite a pleasant temperature in the high 80s to the mid 90s fahrenheit or 25’30 Celsius. Like I mentioned earlier, the Bat Islands are boat access only and nearly everyone that goes visits as part of a scuba diving excursion. Come on board and glide along the Sierpe River to the Pacific Ocean with relaxing sky and forest reflections. I couldn’t stop taking photos and running around to every viewpoint, it was so unbelievably beautiful! We made a short video of our visit to Bat Islands which you can watch below. 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 ISLAND, DIVING AND SNORKELING, GUANACASTE, COSTA RICA. Cocos Island. This can get costly since the boat has to either go back and forth from Coco or the boat captain has to stay on the island with you. The Bat Islands in Costa Rica (Isla Murcielago) are truly a scuba diver’s paradise. Bat Island is prominently known as the best spot to experience snorkeling. https://www.scuba-dive-costa-rica.com/bat-islands-islas-murcielago We couldn’t wait to get onto the island and explore, but first, we wanted to go snorkel and cool off in the water. Snorkeling is one of the most popular attractions for vacationers in Costa Rica. 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 … 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. The kayaking and snorkeling experience was fun. To get to Bat Island, also known as ... Continue reading The Bat Islands are in Santa Rosa National Park in the Guanacaste province, up in the Northwest Pacific corner of Costa Rica. The wait was absolutely worth it because the skies cleared up, the sun came out and we got to see the stunning islands in their full beauty. This collection of islands in Santa Rosa National Park is a popular experienced scuba diving destination as it is home to an abundance of amazing marine wildlife but anyone can visit to see the islands and visit the national park. Road trip north of Tamarindo and nearby towns, to isolated beaches and plunge in with the snorkel gear on; meeting the juvenile tropical fish underwater; easy and slow progressive swim that lead us from standing depth to a maximum depth of 12 feet, average visibility of 12-20 feet. The tour company should arrange the tickets for you. We even had a chance to tour the island. The departure for the Snorkeling Tour at Cano Island is at 7;30 am. The waters in the Gulf de Papagayo are heavily influenced by the wind. 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. There are land and marine sectors and the Bat Islands (Islas Murciélagos in Spanish) are one marine sector of Santa Rosa National Park. These islands are one of the only places in … 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. Anyone can visit the islands to enjoy a memorable day of boating, snorkeling and hiking. The site is called The Big Scare and home to Bull Sharks and giant Pacific Manta Rays. The best time of the year is from May until November. July would have been better because Costa Rica receives a “little summer” where it dries up but August was nice too. Murcielago Island Tour, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. We were encouraged to flip over rocks to get a view of the creatures that may be living on or under the rocks. Another huge attraction to the Bat Islands is the Pacific Giant Mantas. Located around 30 miles/45 km north-west from Playas del Coco, at the most outward west-tip of the Santa Rosa National Park. Bat Islands Costa Rica map (Islas Murcielagos). Book Now. Bull Shark swimming at the Bat Islands in Costa Rica. Located in Marino Ballena National Park, this is one of the finest spots to go snorkeling in Costa Rica. Not surprisingly, as you snorkel or dive around Isla Tortuga, one of two islands … The Bat Islands are located about 30 miles out to sea off the coast. 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. The Bat Islands are full of marine life. It was a mom and baby humpback whale! Rocket Frog Divers I also couldn’t believe we were the ONLY ones on the island. The pristine waters surrounding the tiny island off the coast of Drake Bay has been rated one of the best spots to go diving in Costa Rica. | Greenland's Melting Ice - Duration: 7:34. From Playas del Coco, the islands are 1.5 hours one way by boat. We found sea cucumbers, starfish, sea urchins and so much more. Cocos Island National Park – UNESCO-listed Cocos is what put Costa Rica on the snorkeling and diving world-map and if you’re looking for that ‘ultimate’ snorkeling destination, then you can stop looking, right now. There are huge schools of different species of fish ranging in size from small to huge. All Rights Reserved. Web Design and Marketing by, Costa Rica Divemaster Internship Hall Of Fame. Murciélago Island is a rocky archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean just west of Colorada Island. Therefor quieter throughout the year! I am so impressed by all the information, pictures and maps you provide. Water temperatures are generally a little warmer from May until November. 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. Uvita 60504, Costa Rica Address: Uvita, Bahia Ballena 200 metros Norte de la entrada del Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, Sector Bahia Ballena. We watched the turtles swim around us and soaked in all the stunning views until it was time to go. We knew that it was a long boat ride to the islands so we wanted to get there as early as possible. While this is a great place to go snorkeling, it is even better if you can go scuba diving as there are deeper spots that contain some of the most impressive marine life variety. Our trip to the Bat Islands (Islas Murciélagos) was hands down, one of the best things we’ve ever done in Costa Rica. Dominical 60504, Costa Rica Phone: (506) 8354 0111 Isla Tortuga. During the scenic boat ride aboard our 24 ft PANGA boats, which lasts approximately 50 minutes, enjoy frequent sightings of dolphins, marine birds, as well as — in season — whales, false orcas and sea turtles. For divers, the area is most famous for the encounters that you can have with the very large bull shark! It was like snorkeling in an aquarium. Although there is the possibility of rain, this is because of the wind. The entire trail takes about 1 hour and goes throughout the island, starting from the guard station and ending at the beach. One scuba diving boat stopped at the island for about 20 minutes and then left. Slipping into the Pacific waters off Costa Rica for a snorkel is a relaxing way to spend the day. There are also massive schools of Rays that pass through the area. Read more about it below! Costa Rica isn’t really known for snorkeling (think surfing instead). Bull shark diving at Bat Island is a very exciting and Adrenalin loaded experience. I’m not sure why exactly. Filed Under: Activities and tours Costa Rica. 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. Get Exclusive Costa Rica Travel Tips and our Free Travel Guide Straight to You! Hotel Colono Beach Please enter special requests here. The nurse shark really freaked us out as we were not expecting to see one at all! Our boat takes you there in about 1 hour! Do you have a referral that I could contact to arrange a trip(s) to the Bat Islands during the time I am there? It is a little way down the coast, but as such is a little less touristy. Any other special requests regarding equipment can be entered here as well. Incredible GLACIER COLLAPSE & TSUNAMI WAVE Caught on Camera! From the moment we jumped into the water, we were surrounded by all of those who call the ocean home. The best visibility is usually during the months of May to November when the winds are a little less extreme. 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. 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. Certified Divers Only Pricing: 2 tanks: $135 / 3 tanks $165 equipment rental is $30 per day. Nancite beach is one of the 2 beaches in Costa Rica that is home to the sea turtle “arribadas” or mass nestings. Costa Rica: Diving the Catalina Islands. The Bat Islands are a world class dive location that has been protected by the Costa Rican government. I saw a turtle close by and couldn’t wait to jump in and snorkel! 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. So amazing to see! 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. The dives can also be quite deep, sometimes reaching  over 100 feet or 30 meters. The Santa Rosa National Park fee is $15 USD per person, free for children under 9. 2:50. The waves were not huge that day but they were organized and glassy, perfect for intermediate surfers. You can camp on the main island of Bat Islands for an extra $4 per person a day (according to the SINAC website). It started raining a bit past Witch’s Rock, one of the most famous surf spots in Costa Rica. It was undeniably worth every penny and waking up at 5 AM! The water was so calm, warm and gentle and it was really nice to swim and snorkel around. It has a diverse variety of marine life that makes it regularly visited by tourists and divers.. Thanks to the rain, we saw a rainbow over Witch’s Rock! This is one of Costa Rica’s most popular diving and snorkeling spots. For the Bat Islands excursion, we left Coco bright and early at 7 AM and got to the islands around 830 AM or so. I know Rich Coast Diving still runs Bat Island scuba diving tours through November, Deep Blue Diving runs them through October. All of a sudden, Marcy started pointing to something in front of us and we saw a large fin dip into the water. After the hike, we went back to the boat to eat lunch and cool off. 2019 Rocket Frog Divers. This place is the feels like a customized location for snorkeling admirers. Snorkeling in Costa Rica Posted by Shilpy on October 5, 2012. The scuba divers stop at Isla San Jose for a little bit and dive nearby, mostly at one site called “Big Scare”. 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. The name literally translates to ‘whale island’, and is so called because of its resemblance to a whale’s tail. 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. Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. As we approached the main island, I couldn’t get over just how beautiful the color of the water was! It was the perfect spot to introduce Dad to Costa Rica's underwater playground! Due to weather conditions, the best (and only) time to visit the Bat Islands are during Costa Rica’s rainy season months, May – November. They swam all the way over to where we were and we watched them for about 30 minutes just swimming around. Due to the possibility of strong currents, this area is not recommended for the new diver. Hi Jim, definitely check out the scuba diving companies in Playas del Coco. Mytanfeet LLC Copyright© 2013 - 2021 - Thank you for supporting our Travel Blog. The Bat Islands which are found off the coast of Costa Rica are a beautiful and exotic place to experience the underwater world of Costa Rica. 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. The boat then will travel straight across the Gulf de Papagayo to the Bat 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. We were really hoping to see some humpback whales as it was whale season in 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. If you plan on diving the Catalinas or Bat Islands during your trip, please indicate which day you would prefer to visit these. But that made our experience that much more special because we had the entire island to ourselves the whole day. 3. We visited the Bat Islands on a day excursion with our friend who has a private boating company in Playas del Coco. Bat Islands is a seasonal dive trip from May through to October. The area has been protected as a marine preserve by the country as part of the national park. When you reach the Bat Islands you will likely be diving a dive site called Big Scare. 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. We saw two turtles, a nurse shark, manta rays and huge fish (jacks I think). Visibility also varies greatly in this location of Costa Rica. 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. At the station, there are bathrooms and sinks and is also the start of the island trail. It is a protected territory that forms part of the Santa Rosa National Park. During the summer months of December – April, it gets incredibly windy and conditions are not suitable or safe for diving/snorkeling/hiking. However, you do not have to be a scuba diver to visit! The Bat Islands (or Isla Murciealgo in spanish) are located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica off of the northern province of Guanacaste. 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 only other people there were the two park rangers. 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