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 Resort in
Costa Rica/Gulf of Papagayo

September, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Carl Scott, TX, USA
Contributor   (16 reports)
Report Number 709
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
Thailand, Indonesia, Palau, Caymans, Cozumel, USVI, Belize
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
79   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
There was a time limit for each dive, as this operator has chosen to return
by a set time each day.  Time limit was typically 45 minutes.  Otherwise,
they want the group to stay together the entire dive, profile controlled by
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
There was a rinse bucket on the boat only 1 day.  Otherwise, there is no
safe place for camera storage aboard the boat.  Dive staff inconsistent
with respect to consideration of photographers both in and out of the
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
This is a decent resort, and I'd probably return again.  The restaurant is
consistently good, and the rooms very clean and well-maintained.  However,
service was not as good as I experienced 2 years ago (the staff is highly
unresponsive, though polite, to guests).  The dive staff remains
well-organized and competent, though.  Boats are adequate for small groups,
but may be crowded in busier months.  Dive staff not permitted to allow
divers to finish tanks within no-deco limits, if doing do would result in
the boat failing to return to shore by 1 PM.  Negotiating with dive shop
manager gave some leeway, but not much.

Marine life is abundant, with multiple 6' white tips on most dives, though
enormous schools of pelagic fish were absent during this visit (reports are
they haven't stopped frequenting the area - it just wasn't my week).  Saw
many morays of several different species at most sites, puffers were
plentiful everywhere, King and Cortez angels were spotted on nearly every
dive (brightly colored juveniles, as well).  Some species, such as frogfish
and seahorses are being kidnapped and sold to aquarium wholesales, so these
are hard to find.  September is mating season for turtles, so many pairs
were spotted at the surface between dives.  Whales (probably humbacks) and
porpoise could be heard in the water, but few were seen.  Vis was good
(60+')the first 2 days, but gradually declined to about 20' on the last
day.  The Catalina Islands is, in my opinion, worth the supplement, but
Punta Gorda was my favorite site - the only one with much coral and a nice
population of reef fish to keep you company on the safety stop.  Note: 
This is not a place for "scenic diving", as there are very few
reefs and vis can be low.  However, marine life is abundant and different
from any other place I've been.

Although the restaurant is wonderful at this resort, it costs 2-3 times
what the restaurants in town charge.  I highly recommend getting out to the
the town of Coco for meals.  There is a free bus to town several times each
day, or a taxi can be had for about $3.75 each way.  My favorites were
Matapalo (but don't stay after dark), Milanés, and Guajira (on the

For transportation to this area from San José, I recommend taking a
taxi.  It's cheaper (costs around $100 each way) than what the travel
agents will try to sell you (up to $400 round trip), and just as good. 
Trip is 4 hours minimum, depending on mountain traffic and how long you
stop for lunch.  Bus service is also available for dirt cheap, but you'll
need someone local to assist you with this option.
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.