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bat island liveaboard

Bat Island Liveaboard: Diving in Costa Rica

Also known as Islas Murciélagos, the Bat Islands, located in the northwest Pacific corner of Costa Rica within the Santa Rosa National Park, are a gem for experienced scuba divers visiting Costa Rica. These islands, about 30 miles northwest from Playas del Coco, are only accessible with a Bat Island liveaboard.

The Bat Islands form a part of the marine sector of this park, which was the first national park in Costa Rica, established in 1971. Due to their remote location and the challenging journey, these islands remain less frequented by tourists, offering a unique and undisturbed diving experience.

About Bat Island Liveaboard Diving

Renowned for their advanced dive sites, the Bat Islands offer an adrenaline-filled adventure with dives ranging from 60ft (18m) to 130 ft (35m) in depth.

The Bat Islands in Costa Rica offer a unique, thrilling, and diverse diving experience for those seeking adventure in an ecologically significant and relatively unexplored part of the world. Whether you're an experienced diver looking for a challenge or a nature enthusiast wanting to explore the richness of marine life, the Bat Islands promise an unforgettable experience.

Santa Rosa National Park, including the Bat Islands, is part of the Guanacaste Conservation Area World Heritage Site, emphasizing the importance of preserving its unique flora and fauna. The park fee is $15 USD per person, with children under 9 entering for free. Tour and liveaboard companies typically handle the arrangement of tickets.

Notable Dive Sites

Bajo Negro – Black Rock: This site features a beautifully landscaped pinnacle covered with corals and sponges. Divers can witness large schools of fish and rays, and occasionally, flying manta rays

Gran Susto – Big Scare: Aptly named, this site offers the thrilling experience of diving with bull sharks, often visible during the season.

While the Bat Islands are a haven for scuba divers, they also cater to non-divers. Visitors can enjoy boating, snorkeling, and hiking on the islands. Snorkeling provides opportunities to see turtles, nurse sharks, manta rays, and a variety of large fish.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit the Bat Islands is during Costa Rica's rainy season from May to November. During this period, the wind conditions are favorable for diving. However, it's worth noting that outside this window, from December to April, the windy conditions render diving, snorkeling, and hiking unsuitable and unsafe.

Getting There

Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose serves as the closest major airport and the principal gateway for international visitors.

To reach the Bat Islands, divers can utilize services from local tour and liveaboard operators, such as Deep Blue Diving, Okeanos Aggressor II or Sea Hunter, which offers beach pickups from various resorts in the area. These operators use specialized liveaboards equipped with necessary safety and navigation equipment, ensuring a comfortable and secure journey to the dive sites.

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