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Guanacaste diving

Discussion in 'Central America' started by IslandDiversHI, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. IslandDiversHI

    IslandDiversHI Nassau Grouper

    Been planning dive trips for a group of travel customers for years. I'm looking for some insight/comparisons to other parts of the world for the diving here. The trip I'm thinking about is only 3 days diving, then some inshore adventures.

    So if I'm with a group of people that have been to Bonaire/Palau/Cozumel/Philippines/Fiji/Hawaii/Honduras

    is the diving good enough here to compare? Looking at August time frame. Good/bad?

    I'd like to hear from people who have done similar and dove Guanacaste and their overall impressions and how many days of diving would you do on a one week trip considering all the other cool stuff to do in Costa Rica?
  2. ibj40

    ibj40 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Texas
    We've been to that region of Costa Rica twice, but the most recent was over five years ago. Our prior diving experience had been predominantly Caribbean (Cozumel and the Riviera Maya, Jamaica, Puerto Rico), but we really warmed up to the Pacific diving.

    The bucket list dive has to be the Bat Island excursion that takes you to Big Scare to hang out with the Bull Sharks, and then Black Rock where you make a full lap of a pinnacle that is surrounded with large schools of many different varieties of fish. The other headliner is Catalina Island, where you have a chance to see a Manta Ray. In addition, the "local" diving (from boats) is also high quality, with lots of White Tip Sharks and Moray Eels.

    Two days minimum, and if this may be the only chance to dive this location, I'd do three.

    We've never been in the Summer, both our trips were in May. I understand that August is during their rainy season.
    Chidiver1 likes this.
  3. rlskill1

    rlskill1 Divemaster

    Good diving, warm water, vis a little off from other places, but usually tons of fish.
    I go with Pacific Coast Dive Center in Playa Flamingo. Nice group. Actually going back tomorrow.
  4. Mr. Sunday

    Mr. Sunday Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Seattle-WA-USA
    I went on a dive trip to Playa del Coco a few years back. Mostly rocky topography with tons of fish and sharks. I recall lots of surge while diving too. Murcielago Island with the Bull Sharks is a great dive too. Got close and personal with some big ones. We were surrounded by hundreds of dolphins on the trip out there too.

    Id spend a few days diving and a few on land if it were me.
  5. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Great White

    We went to Bats and missed out on bull sharks and then we went to Cats and mantas didn't show. The group who went to bats next day after us ran into sharks up close and were so exited they went again the next day.. and saw mantas. Note that these are relatively expensive trips, due to the distance, and the op needs enough takers to pay for the gas.
  6. uiowa96

    uiowa96 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: North Liberty, Iowa
    I was there three and a half weeks ago. My prior diving had been 100% Caribbean (Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Cozumel, Antigua). I used Rocket Frog Divers and would again as well. I dove two different days (Two Tanks) of a 6 day work related trip. I did not make it out to Bat island or Catalina Island and there are supposed to be terrific. The spots I went to were in much closer. Lodging was the Four Seasons so I cannot really give any surface suggestions. It is a difficult property to leave as it is out on a peninsula. But it is beautiful.

    The diving was unlike anything I have done before, which I enjoyed as a skill builder for me. The diving was described as unpredictable in many ways and I agree based on my prior experience. Much lower viz than I anticipated or had in the past. Viz ranged from 6 ft to 30ish. We stayed in closer. Each dive had thermoclines ranging from 79-70F sitting around 75 most of the time. There was plenty of surge, I saw my first school of Eagle Rays which was amazing. On a single dive I saw six varieties of Stingrays. I was able to see a large variety of starfish, a nudibranch, a lot of eels, and a shark but it was near the viz limit so I couldn't make out the variety.

    How many times would I go in a week next time? All of them. I live in Iowa. But I am used to diving in 80 degree gin, so the viz was a little disappointing.
  7. Skb

    Skb Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Syracuse NY
    It all depends on the time of year. July and August are the best for visibility and warmth. But the diving is good in the winter also. Just much less predictable and less viz. you also can’t dive bat island in the winter.
    Chidiver1 likes this.
  8. Skb

    Skb Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Syracuse NY
    I dove with Tamarindo Diving and was very happy with them. I spent the whole winter in that area and did about 60 dives. Never got old, great sea-life.
  9. Sallygirl

    Sallygirl Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Baltimore Md
    Glad to hear this, Skb. I will be in the area this summer and was looking at Tamarindo Diving. They have been great with communication.
  10. tarponchik

    tarponchik Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: USA
    My understanding is, you are taking chances. At Big Scare, someone in our group saw a Bull Shark that was gone at once, so nobody took a shot to confirm. This dive was mostly boring though I found 3+ octopuses and some morays. At Black rock, our group was devided in two. I had a good dive with our half-group and saw several Mantas, Eagle Rays, Reef Sharks and a Nurse Shark; the DM who lead the other half-group took them down twice and both times he failed to find the rock. They swam back to the boat and saw Mantas below on their surface swim. For me, some dives closer to the shore like Punta Gorda were more rewarding cause I liked large schools of Surgeonfishes and King Angels.
    Sallygirl likes this.

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