Coral Reef Home to Myriad Colors

November 3, 2006

Blue, red, yellow, black, white, green and every shade in between has been seen on the stunning coral reefs of CahuitaNational Park and the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge on the southern Caribbean coast. The amazing diversity of creatures and flora living with the reef is really beyond comprehension.

The coral reef ecosystem is certainly as impressive as any other in Costa Rica.

Here, there are still huge areas of live, healthy coral and its thriving entourage of life, thousands of different species found nowhere else in the country. Most of the life is within the first 10 meters from shore, so you don’t even need a tank.

But put on a tank, and you can also see the deep reef.A unique ecosystem quite different from that of shallow sites comes alive with depth, as corals give way to sponges and the web of life changes spectrum. Deep or shallow, the vast array of reef colors and life is spectacular.

The colors of Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean waters have been combining and shining for divers dropping beneath the waves during the past few weeks. Despite some strange September and early October rain and waves, at press time the seas had laid down and cleared up, and visibility is exceeding 80 feet on some days.

The Pacific saw some strange seas as well during September and October. While the Caribbean was unexpectedly wet, the Pacific was unexpectedly dry. Word spread quickly and many people showed up for the summer weather and found hotels shut down in anticipation of the normal September-October deluge. But that didn’t stop Hector Villalobos from swimming with bull sharks at the BatIslands in Santa RosaNational Park, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.

Villalobos and his clients from Diving Mania, in the western San José neighborhood of Sabana Sur, were thrilled to see multiple “toros” cruising around the rocky pinnacles.

Then the rains started falling on the Pacific, and Costa Rica’s diving emphasis swung back to the Caribbean, where it normally is during September and October. Climate change seems to be shuffling the deck, so who knows what will happen during November? Call ahead for information on conditions.

 

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