Today I decided to take a day off (another I hear you scream) and went diving from Uvita in Costa Rica. My destination was Isla del Canon which is regarded as the second best place to do scuba in Costa Rica and it definitely lived up to any expectations I had built up.
Isla del Cano is a National Park about 1 and a half hours boat trip from Uvita. There are a few different diving centres but I chose Costa Rica Dive and Surf and I am very glad I did. While they may be a little more expensive than some of the other operators their professionalism was fantastic and diving with new equipment and eating good healthy food between dives made the whole experience more pleasurable.
We set off from the beach (literally) just after 7am and made the journey to the island. On route we spotted a couple of dolphins and stopped to watch them for a while. When we arrived at the island we got to spend a little time on the beach while they signed us in.
Our first dive was to about 18m and the visibility was amazing. There had been a huge swell as a result of a storm in South American and today was the first day they had been able to dive in over a week. There isn’t that much coral on the pacific coast of Costa Rica but we were lucky to have some nice coral and the most amazing array of fish. As soon as we submerged there was a shoal of Wahoo circling us. We had been told to expect White-Tipped Sharks and within a few minutes of reaching the bottom there they were. This was the first time in over 30 dives that I had actually seen sharks so it was pretty exciting for me. The whole of the first dive was amazing with so many different fish casually swimming by or hiding in rocks or in the sand including Moray Eels which I love. In the distance there was a turtle but unfortunately he wasn’t feeling that social!
After 45 minutes we surface and we served fresh pineapple and biscuits. Unlike other diving excursions that make you spend your between dive time on the boat, these guys let you go ashore and explore the beach for a bit. While we were enjoying the beautiful beach they were reading our equipment for the next dive.
The next dive was again about 18m but the visibility was slightly less clear but we had been warned about this and told that we would see more sea life. They weren’t kidding. There were times when I was torn between looking at a White Tipped Shark, a Sting Ray or a shoal of spiralling fish. Everywhere I looked there were fish and they were amazing.
After our dive we were served lunch and a proper lunch at that. I am used to being given a bagel or a sandwich but today we were given a delicious salad and warm vegetable rice with iced tea. All very delicious and scored more points for Costa Rica Dive and Surf!
On our way home we managed to spot a huge school of dolphins hunting fish. They were either swimming along the surface or actually leaping straight up into the air. Our captain let us trail them from a bit and then we headed back to land
The last bit of excitement was beaching the boat and disembarking. There is no pier or place to tie up, the captain has to time the waves and then surf the boat in on the wave. After faffing around for a while I really thought he was going to take an age to get the job done then he suddenly hit the throttle, spun the boat and charged in on the crest of the wave. A very exhilarating way to finish the day.
The Captain, Dive Master, helpers etc were all amazing and I would thoroughly recommend these guys to anyone looking for an enjoyable day diving in one of the best places I have every dived!