Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
Join Undercurrent on Facebook
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Ocotal Diving/Ocotal Beach Resort in
Costa Rica/Guanacaste

August, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Craig Wood, PA, USA
Contributor   (16 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 2997
Subscribers: Submit Your Reader Report Here
Subscribe Now Questions?
Subscribers can send this reviewer an email directly from here.
Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Grand Cayman, Bonaire, Key Largo, Cozumel, Maui, Oahu
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Descend with dive masters and group, generally stay with group (reasonable
leeway), those low on air ascend with 1st dive master, others allowed to
stay down longer and ascend with 2nd dive master. Would have appreciated
more bottom time based on both air and no deco time.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
No dry table, rinse tank would be small for large, bulky gear.
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 $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
   My wife, daughter, and I decided to spend the last week of summer
vacationing in Costa Rica, a country we had not had an opportunity to visit
previously. We wanted to get in a few days of diving and to have a chance
to explore the country the other days. Ocotal Beach Resort/Ocotal Diving
turning out to be a fantastic choice to meet our needs.  We chose the
resort/dive operator based on previous Undercurrent reviews, an extremely
informative website, and responsive email communication.
   Ocotal Beach Resort is located in Playa Ocotal, an easy 30 minute drive
from the airport in Liberia. It is located on a hillside overlooking the
beautiful Pacific. We stayed in one of their comfortable bungalow rooms
with its own small pool. A delicious buffet breakfast at their restaurant,
Roca Bruja, was included with our room. The resort has beautiful grounds,
easy access to a nearly private, large beach, and a nice, small exercise
facility. Howler monkeys migrated through the resort frequently and
iguanas, lizards, and exotic birds were everywhere.
   It was a pleasure dealing with Ocotal Diving, located near the beach in
the center of the resort. The boats depart from the beach in front of the
dive shop. Check-in was quick and painless. They took our equipment and it
was set up on the boat for each day of diving. They rinsed, dried, and
stored the equipment between dives. Being freed up from dealing with all
your equipment each day is an incredible luxury. Ocotal Diving has five 32
foot boats though no more than 2 were used during our stay. The boats are
reasonably fast and comfortable. They have heads, protected fresh water
camera tanks, protected areas, and water, soft drinks and snacks. There are
no more than 10 divers with 2 dive masters per boat; we always dived with
fewer than the maximum number of divers. We took 6 dives during our stay, 2
local (Aquarium and Shark Point), 2 at Catalina's Islands (The Wall,
Elephant Rock), and 2 at Bat Islands (Big Scare, Black Rock). The diving is
considerably different than that in the Caribbean being mostly volcanic
rock rather than hard coral. The sea life was incredibly prolific and much
of it also new to divers familiar with the Caribbean. Some highlights
included Whitetip Reef Sharks, Devil Rays, Jewel Morays, Panamic Green
Morays, Reef Cornetfish, King Angelfish, Bumphead Parrotfish, and
Guineafowl Puffers. Unfortunately, the resident Bull Sharks were absent
from our Bat Islands dive but a huge off-season Manta Ray was a nice
consolation prize. During surface intervals we saw mating turtles, Humpback
Whales and porpoises. The personnel of Octotal Diving were uniformly
helpful, considerate, and friendly. We enjoyed getting to know Liv, Diana,
and Felipe in the office and Sergio and Diego on the boats.
   On non-diving days, we toured the countryside. We took a fabulous boat
tour of Palo Verde National Park and saw crocodiles, iguanas, bats,
white-faced monkeys, and exotic birds including blue heron and egrets. A
trip to Rincon de la Vieja National Park was a great way to spend a day and
we spotted a Coatamundi walking around near the part entrance. We dined at
several fine, relatively inexpensive restaurants including Roca Bruja in
the resort, Picante in Bahia Pez Vela (just below Playa Ocotal), Vida
(excellent Peruvian food in Playa del Coco), and Father Rooster's (adjacent
to the resort in Playa Ocotal). Shopping in Playa del Coco was easy and
   We had a great time on our week in Costa Rica; our only complaint was
that it was too short a period of time to enjoy all of the diving and other
activities the friendly country had to offer. We hope to have the
opportunity to return to Ocotal Beach Resort/Ocotal Diving to start where
we left off.
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 126 dive reviews of Costa Rica and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Bookmark and Share

Other dive reports on Ocotal Beach Resort

All Costa Rica Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Costa Rica
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest
is an agency for travelers that like to scuba dive. Let us plan your trip to mingle with hundreds of swirling hammerheads, sharks, & rays of Cocos in Costa Rica.

Want to assemble your own collection of Costa Rica reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Want to get more articles like these and
other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email?
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get our free monthly Online Update, and a sample issue!

NEW! Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account |
| Travel Index | Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Forums | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues | Login | Join | Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2016 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.