View Full Version : COSTA RICA (Guanacaste) Dive Ops ?
June 21st, 2010, 09:40 PM
I have been reading several threads and while they are informative they are also subjective to posters tastes, experience level, etc...that being said I was hoping to get some input on the following as they all seem pretty equal with people giving high marks to all....
I will be staying at La Costa Condovac July 23-30. Here are some specific questions for each op if you have info:
1) Approximate # of divers on boats (REALLY prefer to not be on a cattle boat)
2) Bottom time/ average depths of dives
3) Discounts for multiple dive days?...I did go on websites but not all of them say
4) Good variance of dive sites?..if you did multiple dives in a week
5) Hotel pick up?
Thanks for any help with choosing the "right" dive op for me
June 22nd, 2010, 02:04 PM
We dove with Deep Blue last weekend. My observations to your questions are as follows:
1) Day 1 there were appx. 10 people on our dive boat plus crew. I think 2 of these were students doing check out dives plus they had some dive masters in training... Boat was a little crowded but there were adequate staff. I think there were 4 or 5 plus 2 divemasters per group. Boat was their larger boat. Day 2 to Bat Island was our group of 3 plus 2 others (5 divers) and 3 staff on a smaller boat. We dove this same boat on the local 3 tank dive the 3rd day. There was again 5 divers and 3 staff.
2) Bottom time was signal low air at 1000 psi and come up with 700. Maximum depth we encountered was around 100ft. Average probably 60. We are fairly good on air and most dives about an hour. Those that ran out sooner went up with the 2nd dive master. There were two divemasters on all our dives with each group.
3) We did not get any discount and they actually charged more for credit card. I don't know if wife asked for one or not as she did not say. She did say they didn't charge rack rate for the 3rd tank on the day we did 3 tank dive
4)We dove different sites each dive except 1 and wife wanted to return to it because there were some sharks she took pics of and accidently deleted. She was able to re-do them. Alot of the sites were near others but different.
5)Not sure on hotel pick up. We met them on the beach where the boat was tied each AM. The hotel we stayed in was 500yds from there.
Bat Island was a disappointment for us as we just didn't see the big stuff. $150/pp x3 made it where we just couldn't justify going back.The local diving was good but we like Cozumel alot better.
June 23rd, 2010, 12:12 AM
Thanks Brian, very helpful...anyone else??
June 25th, 2010, 09:10 AM
We dove with Diving Safaris back in Apr-08. They were flexible and nice people. Quite of few of the other divers were relatively new to the sport. To answer your questions:
1) It was all small boats. Usually just us or another couple or two on board.
2) Avg dive #1 about 70'. Avg dive #2 45'. Bottom times as long as you want. I'm kind of an air hog so mine were under an hour.
3) I think so. We dove 5 days, but I strongly recommend only diving 3. There is so much to do topside in CR, and the diving gets repetitive. It is very good for about 3 days, though. This is coming from people who always dive 5-6 days of a 7 day trip (dive junkies).
4) The area has a number of sites, and often only a few minutes away. As mentioned, we thought it was a little repetitive in terms of animals seen. There is an island area you can go for a little more money (the name escapes me), but we didn't have enough people signed up for them to make the trip. Supposed to be great diving there. We were there in the low season.
5) Yes, at least to where we were staying, which was Villa del Sueño. Our pickup was by car/truck. They also picked up by boat at the hotels on the water.
After the divemasters saw us in the water and were comfortable with our skills/experience, they pretty much let us do our thing. On some dives, we were in the water before the DM and the rest of the divers because the divers were new and using rental gear they were unfamiliar with, etc. On another, we were allowed to stay on a small wreck while the newbies were taken back up. So, really just dive your tank (nitrogen loading probably not a problem due to depth).
July 3rd, 2010, 02:06 PM
How are you? At the moment I'm working as an instructor at Rich Coast Diving. Let me answer your questions so you have a clear idea about the way we dive.
1) Since we have 3 boats of our own and the possibility to rent another for trips that go further out, we don't fill up our boats completely, but in case of a busy day we spread divers out over these boats. In this case we keep in mind divers certification levels and sites they dove before.
2) There's nice dive sites for anyone with different dive certification levels here, we dive from 12 to more or less 100 ft. We ask divers to let their guide know as soon as you reach 1000 psi, 500 psi we're back on the surface. We keep our groups small. max 4 per instructor, unless you arrive with a group bigger than that and you all want to dive together of course. Most of the time groups are even smaller than 4 divers.
3) If you dive with us for 5 days you'll have the 6th for free.
4) Unless you have a special request and depending on sea conditions we always try to show you as many different divesites as possible during your stay. Apart from 'local' dive sites (divesites no further than 20 min by boat) there's also the possibility to visit the famous Bat or Catalina Islands to have a close encounter with Bull sharks and/or Manta Rays.
5) If you'll stay in Playa Hermosa, Playas del Coco or Playa Ocotal, we can arrange transportation from and to your accomodation on the days your diving. Depending on sea conditions we can even pick you up by boat.
Also, if you need any help organizing your non-diving days please let us know.
Hopefully this answered your questions so far, if there's anything else I can help you out with, don't hesitate to contact me.
Have a great day
Martin and Brenda van Gestel
Rich Coast Diving Co.
PADI 5* IDC center
Rich Coast Diving - Costa Rica Diving and Adventure (http://www.richcoastdiving.com)