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Dive Review of Aqua Center/Paridisus Resort in
Costa Rica/Playa Conchal, Gunacaste

April, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Steve Giles, CA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 4763
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Channel Islands, Baja CA, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Bonaire, Virgin Islands,
Fiji, Palau, St. Lucia, Honduras, Hawaiian Islands
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
71   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
10   to 40    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
All dives were limited to a maximum bottom time of 45 minutes.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
2 stars   
4 stars    
Our trip was set up by Bill Beard's Travel who recommended both the hotel
and the dive operator.  This was our first trip to Coasta Rica and we will
likely return.  The resort was excellent: service was first-rate.  There
are eight separate restaurants at the Paridisus offering a variety of
cusine to satisfy even the most discriminating palate.  Rooms were spacious
and immaculate.  The hotel was all-inclusive - even alcohol was included.
The mini-bar in each room was well-stocked with water, soft drinks, beer
and wine.
The Dive Operation was located within a ten-minute drive from the hotel. 
The dive operator furnished transportation both ways each day. Diving at
the close-by (10-minute boat trip)Santa Catalina Islands was somewhat like
Southern California diving with rocky bottom topography, but no kelp and
warmer water. Water temperature on many dives varied as much as 10-degrees
between surface (81-degrees) and bottom (71-degrees) temperature.  The boat
was clean, well-maintained, and spacious.
Divers were required to remain together as a group, but group(s) were kept
small with a maximum of six divers, plus divemaster, in each group.  All
dives were terminated at 45 minutes.  Divemasters were very conscious of
safety, requiring safety stops at the end of each dive.  
The area abounds with schools of large Jacks, sting rays, and eels of all
sizes.  The highlight of the diving week were two large Manta Rays seen on
one dive.  Of course, the reason for such quantity and variety of sea life
is nutrient rich waters which tend to lessen underwater visibility.
A great destination for experienced divers; beginners might have some
difficulty due to dark waters and limited visibility on most dives.
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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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