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Scuba diving in Costa Rica?

Old Apr 30th, 2002, 05:32 AM
  #1  
Jay Weinstein
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Scuba diving in Costa Rica?

I am planning a scuba diving adventure tour to Costa Rica through Bill Beard's and would like to know about the quality of the scuba diving there.

Is there any information you can give me?
 
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 08:47 AM
  #2  
ALF
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I've dived with Bill Beard's (now just 'Diving Safaris') at Playa Hermosa. Visibility off Playa Hermosa and in the Papagayo Gulf is highly variable, depending on recent runoff from rivers. There is very little coral, most of the dive sites are rocky outcrops - so the attraction is the big fish. We dived several local sites and had a good time, although visibility was only so-so. If the weather and sea conditions cooperate, I think that it is worth the extra money to take the longer trip out to Islas Murcielagos (Bat Islands) or the Catalina Islands. The visibility is usually much better out there, and you have a better chance of seeing rays and other big fish/mammals. Here is a recent and quite extensive trip report, which I think is very accurate in every respect:
http://www.scubadiving.com/members/tripreports.php?s=599

I enjoyed the diving there, but preferred diving further south, mostly off Isla de Cano, offshore from Drake Bay. Much better visibility, tons of sharks and rays, and several small-time friendly dive operators.
 
Old May 1st, 2002, 05:32 AM
  #3  
Jay Weinstein
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Thank you ALF! You were extremly helpful.

Can you recommend a combination scuba/eco-adventure I could look into?

I would appreciate any assistance you could give me.

Jay
 
Old May 1st, 2002, 03:19 PM
  #4  
Scott Gauvin
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Jay,

You might also consider a live aboard dive trip to Coco's Island. You can swim with the sharks and there are plenty of large fish. You don't usually have the problem of river run off either, but you will will primarily be on a boat for several days.
 
Old May 1st, 2002, 07:44 PM
  #5  
Jay Weinstein
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I am a beginner diver and I'm a little intimidated by big animals. Is Costa Rica appropriate for beginner divers?
 
Old May 2nd, 2002, 04:48 AM
  #6  
Leslie
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Jay,
If you're intimadated by large fish, Costa Rica might not be the place for you...unless you can relax and not worry. Costa Rica does not have the beautiful corals and tropical fish that you'd find at other dive destinations. They have mostly large rock and hard coral, which is great for large fish. Also, the visability is not like in the carribean. Sharks and rays, as well as dolphins and even whalesharks can be prolific in the area of Drake Bay, and you can get your 'eco' experience there as well. I hope you can calm your fears and just do it!
 
Old May 2nd, 2002, 10:56 AM
  #7  
ALF
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Jay,
I would agree with Leslie. You could stay at one of the lodges on Drake Bay or Corcovado National Park, then spend 2-3 days going to dive sites around Isla de Cano. Depths are not that great (usually 18-20 meters), and there are few currents or surge problems. If you are looking for eco-adventure, I think that Drake Bay/Corcovado is the place! It is quite remote, requiring a boat trip down a river, or a small plane into a little airstrip. Most of the lodges are set on cliffs overlooking spectacular coastline, or on a beach. In addition to diving, there are great hiking, wildlife-viewing, fishing, and boating opportunities. We dove with Costa Rica Adventure Divers (http://www.costaricadiving.com/drakeindex.htm), which were small, but very friendly and well-equipped. We also met up with a dive boat from Aguila de Osa Inn, and they seemed to be a very well-run operation as well. You can stay at any lodge on Drake Bay, and they will arrange diving trips for you with the 2-3 operators on the Bay.

We stayed at a tiny place that held only about 12 people, called Cabinas Las Caletas (http://www.caletas.co.cr/engind.htm), run by a lovely Tico/Swiss couple. David, the Tico side of the family, ran us down the Sierpe River and along the coast to his place. He also took the non-diving part of my family to Isla de Cano for snorkeling and swimming. If you like remote and rustic, this would be a good choice. There are many more fancier places, as well as interesting locations like Corcovado Tent Camp, where you stay in a large private canvas cabin tent just off the beach.

I guess that there are more diving choices in the Guanacaste/Papagayo Gulf area, but the much less well-known and much more remote Drake Bay/Corcovado area has better-quality diving.
 
Old May 3rd, 2002, 12:27 PM
  #8  
Jay Weinstein
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Thank you Leslie, ALF, and Scott. You are all very generous with your time.

I've looked at the Costa Rica Diving website and it looks very exciting. I've made the mistake of telling the two non-divers about Costa Rica and there's no way that I could convince them that there's another place that's better. Anyway, I'm satisfied that Cano Island will provide me with a great diving experience.

Thanks again.
Jay
 
Old May 3rd, 2002, 12:47 PM
  #9  
Leslie
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Don't worry, you will love Cano Island and the two non-divers will love the Corcovado area for eco hiking and wildlife. The best of both worlds is right there! A perfect spot for you and your friends. Have a great time!
 
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 06:49 AM
  #10  
Brenda
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We are staying in Corcovado in Jan 2003..we were planning on snorkeling, but I noticed that someone listed that the visibility is not like the carribean..is it good to snorkel there? (we are not scuba divers)...or should I just book a deep sea fishing excursion??
 
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