Diving is an incredibly fun and exhilarating experience. There is nothing like plunging into the water and experiencing the true beauty of nature that lies underneath the surface, and there is no better place to enjoy diving than the Catalina Islands. The Catalina Islands, in fact, is world-renowned for its top-of-the-line diving locales, which include Casino Point Dive Park, Sea Fan Grotto, Ship Rock, Bird Rock, Farnsworth Banks, Yellowtail Point, Lover’s Cove, and Long Point. You’re not limited to just these diving sites either; no, there are many other places to go diving off the Catalina Islands; the one that’s right for you will depend on your skill level, what you want your diving experience to be like, and what you hope to see when you dive.
Know Your Skill Level
Before you go for a dive—in fact, before you even pick a diving locale—you must know your diving skill level. Obviously, if you’ve never been diving before in your life, you’re not going to want to pick a diving experience that’s geared toward experts. Likewise, a dive designed for beginners would be boring for a seasoned diver. It will usually be fairly obvious if you’re a beginner or an expert, but for in between levels, you may want to ask for some advice as you book your diving experience. Each diving school will have its own specific classifications for divers and requirements for going on different dives; make sure you choose a level that is appropriate to you so that your diving experience turns out to be fun and safe. Diving is available for anyone and everyone who comes to the Catalina Islands, but it’s up to you to choose the right level to meet your needs and skills.
What Do You Want to See?
When people come to the Catalina Islands to go diving, it is often because they want to see the marine life or even a specific type of marine life. While you’re practically guaranteed to see marine life no matter where you choose to go diving, if you’re after a specific type of marine life, you’ll want to research different options in order to choose the diving spots where you’re most likely to see that particular type of marine life. For those who aren’t sure what kind of marine life to expect in Costa Rica, know that giant black sea bass, yellowtail, sea lions, lobsters, leopard sharks, abalones, horn sharks, shovelnose guitar fish, halibut, eels, sheep crabs, kelp fish, and more are common. These are truly beautiful creatures and seeing them up close and personal makes for an unforgettable experience.
Diving in the Summer
One of the best things about the Catalina Islands is that you can go diving all year long. That’s not to say, however, that the vast majority of people don’t choose to do their diving in the summer months. During the summer, dive sites often get crowded quickly and classes or lessons can fill up in the blink of an eye, making it harder to book a diving experience. Water temperatures tend to be comfortably warm in the summer, however, and many find the pleasant water temperatures (usually around 76 degrees) to be well worth any extra waiting and/or cost involved.
Diving in the Winter
If the cold doesn’t bother you, then you might just find diving in the winter to be a pleasurable experience. The water can get truly cold—around 52 degrees—but if you can hack the cooler temperatures, you’ll be rewarded with much better visibility. While summer divers can only expect to see somewhere between thirty to sixty feet in front of them, winter divers can see as many as eighty feet in front of them! Furthermore, diving classes and excursions offered in the winter tend to be much more affordable than those offered in the summer, and you can enjoy a more individualized experience since classes also tend to be smaller during the cooler months of the year.
Choosing Your Diving Experience
As mentioned, there are many different types of diving experiences available, and it’s up to you to find the right one for you! You can’t do that, of course, unless you’ve spent some time exploring your options, so start doing that now. Whether you end up diving through a sunken ship, diving off a large boat, or taking a guided diving tour, you’re guaranteed to have a fun experience that will allow you to remember your Costa Rica visit for years to come.