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Dive Review of Aquacenter/Paradisus Playa Conchal in
Costa Rica/Guanacaste

July, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Craig Grube, VA, USA
Contributor   (18 reports)
Report Number 4216
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Tahiti,Fla.Keys, Turks & Caicos, Cozumel, Hawaii,Little Cayman
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy  
calm, surge  
Water Temp
78   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
40 minutes within sight of DM.    
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Fresh water hose, rinse tank and plenty of space on boat.  Viz makes the
photo opportunities a bit challenging.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
We did 4 days of 2-tank diving with Aquacenter, located in Flamingo.  We
stayed at the Paradisus resort in Playa Conchal and were picked up everyday
by the owner Eduardo, he will even pick you up if you are staying down in
Tamarindo.  Eduardo runs a tight operation and picked us up right at 7:15
and we were generally in the boat heading out toward the Catalina Islands
by 7:45.  After the two 40 minute dives, the surface interval and the
return trip, we were usually back at the hotel about 11:30AM.  Aquacenter
has several boats based on divers, we were on the larger twin hull twice
when there were 9 divers and twice on about a 40 Newton when we had less. 
Needless to say there was ample room.  We were taken to the various rock
islands out by and including the 2 big Catalinas.  The DMs give a solid
briefing and help you in and out of the water.  There is a rinse tank for
cameras and a fresh water hose.  There is a cooler with a variety of juices
and fresh cut pineapple.  Boat rides were in the 20-25 minute range.  Dives
are limited to 40 minutes or, if you gulp air, down to 800 psi.  Due to the
viz, you dive with the DM and they will have 4-5 divers per DM  and you
split up into two groups that dont cross paths until you are back on the
boat.  The viz was between 30-60 depending on the day and the site.  Water
temp was 82 at depth so didnt need wet suit.  If you tend to get cold a
shorty or 2-3 mil would be plenty. 

The marine life was amazing, with white tip and black tip sharks, twice saw
huge mantas, and numerous morays on every dive.  Once we saw two green
eels out in the open water fighting each other.  There are large schools of
fish on every dive, including a massive wall of spade fish on one outing. 
One dive we counted 15-20 spotted eagle rays, including one school of 7. 
Wide variety of puffers, tons of king angel fish, lobsters, occasional
scorpion fish, turtles, and seahorses.  We will definitely return and dive
with Aquacenter.  

The Paradisus is an all inclusive resort(about 1 hour from the Liberia
airport) and our family was very pleased with the rooms, food, pool,
customer service, location, etc.  We also did a variety of land based tours
that we found fun.  The Costa Rican people are very friendly. The main
roads are well paved (side and back roads are rocky, mud and potholes) but
watch out for roaming cattle.
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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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