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Dive Review of Agua Rica/Cala Luna in
Costa Rica/Tamarindo

November, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Martin Raffauf, CA, USA
Report Number 295
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii, Florida, Austrailia, Palau, Solomons, Costa Rica, Caymans, Bahamas,
Bonaire, Cozumel
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, surge, currents  
Water Temp
77   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
LImitations by site - computer users could basically dive till 500 psi left  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
1 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Not really setup for U/W photogs at all. Boats small, ride to sites is
usually rough (at this time of year), Vis is low (at this time of year) -
however fish life is huge.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
4 stars    
Agua Rica is located in Tamarindo on Pacific coast. Dives only at Santa
Catalina Islands (which is good). THe marine life there is prolific - lots
of sharks, rays, eels, tons of fish, large shools, wahoo, tuna etc.
Ocasional whale sharks, although Nov is not the time(usually in spring).
The Santa Catalinas are one of the better sites on pacific side of COsta
Rica. Agua Rica is run by two expat italians, Claudio and Toni who do a
decent job. They do all the diving at Catalinas, which is good. Their boats
were both out for repair when we were there, and they were using smaller
rented boats which were bad. Boats were too small for the sea conditions
resulting in rough rides, and one of them broke down on two successive
days. However as compensation, they gave us a discount and free t-shirts.
The boat ride from Tamarindo is about 45 minutes as opposed to 1.5 hrs from
Playa Coco and Hermosa. However you can reach Bat Islands from Hermosa, but
its too far for a day trip from Tamarindo.
   Costa Rica diving Pacific side is for more experienced. The boat rides,
current, surge etc can be rough. Visability varies dependant on rains and
runoff. Lots of runoff, limited vis, but lots of plankton, so many fish.
Pelagics on every dive - sharks on every dive along with eels, other
pelagic fish. Large shools of fish. Forget the inshore sites, just go to
Catalinas, or Bat Islands further north.
THere are no docks at Tamarindo, so boat boarding is via small skiff on
beach, with transfer to larger boat.
   Tamarindo accomodations range from basic to excellent. Cala Luna resort
is excellent. Clean, nice rooms, excellent food, good service. The attitude
of the concierge there is "yes", what ever you want - Yes. They
are very helpful with info, and will organize anything you wish. Costa Rica
has alot of other attractions other than diving. Jungle canopy tour at
Tamarindo was excellent, as was the Tabacon Hot springs at the Live Arenal
volcano. Driving in Costa Rica is best described as "an
adventure". There are now direct flights on Delta to Liberia in the
north - otherwise you are in for a 4-5 hour drive from San Jose on two lane
roads with lots of trucks and traffic.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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