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When you think of Costa Rica, the first thing that comes to mind is the rich natural abundance of its forests. However, the rich biodiversity is not limited to the earth’s surface, Costa Rica’s marine life is abundant and spectacular too. Today we take you to know this world not so well known to everyone.

Costa Rica marine life

Costa Rica: a marine paradise

Many people are surprised to learn that the Costa Rican marine territory is more than 11.5 times larger than the terrestrial one. So, it is to be expected that its 227,400 square miles are full of colorful life. 17.5% of this territory is protected.

The Coasts of Costa Rica are waters of warm temperatures. In addition, the Costa Rica marine life enjoys waters full of nutrients. This results in more than 6,700 marine species distributed on both coasts bathed by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Counting on a greater biodiversity per square kilometer than countries like Brazil, Chile or Colombia that have much more extensive coastal areas.

Some of the most important species of Costa Rica marine life are:

Sea Turtles:

Costa Rica is very fortunate to be visited by five of the seven sea turtle species in the world:

  • The Pacific Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)
  • The Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coricea)
  • The Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
  • The Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
  • The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)

Turtles nesting in Ostional

Humpback whale:

This impressive mammal is the largest in our ocean and is a frequent visitor of our Pacific shoreline.  During the winter months of the North they come to refugee from the cold during the months of December to April, and the Southern Humpbacks also make their way to our warm waters from July to November to give birth to its precious calves.

Costa Rica marine life Humpback Whale


Two species of dolphins play around in our ocean waters: Bottlenose Dolphins and the Coastal Pantropical Spotted Dolphins



This gentle giant is one of our National Symbols and inhabits the Caribbean coast of our country.


Image courtesy of Costa Rica News

Experience Costa Rica Marine life

Stay in one of our luxury vacation rentals and your personal concierge can help you book the perfect Costa Rica marine life exploration.

Close to our Conchal beach shore, the Catalinas Islands are one of the best spots to experience marine biodiversity. These amazing group of 20 islands is formed by volcanic rock formations surrounded by angelfish, starfish, parrotfish, eels, clownfish and octopus. But one of the main stars of these waters are the rays, you will be able to see sting rays, bat rays, spotted rates, Mobley rays and bullseye rays.  Not to forget the impressive sharks. Catalinas Islands offer great diving all-year round with water visibility of 18 to 75 feet.

For the most experienced divers, the Bat Islands is a must experience.   Located in the Santa Rosa National Park, this archipelago is formed by 5 islands and 10 islets. This spot is famous for the regular sighting of bull sharks, giant rays, sailfish and the extraordinary whale shark.


Snorkeling is also a great activity while staying in our beautiful vacation rental properties.  Contact us to book your accommodation and our concierge will be happy to plan your perfect getaway!