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Dive Review of Rich Coast Diving/Villas del Sol (hotel) in
Costa Rica/Playas Del Coco

December, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Bob Sivak, CA, USA
Report Number 3149
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Carribean, California, Mexico (Pacific), Hawaii, Philippines
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
500 PSI  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
I chose Rich Coast Diving based on positive reader reports.  Unfortunately,
I found the operation has apparently changed since the new owners took over
in December of 2005.  Martin is a Dutch fellow who seems to be very
concerned with all things PADI. As far as being a shop that caters to
serious divers, well I don't think so.  On my first day diving we went to
the famed Catalinas.  The overflow charter boat they put us on (Salty Dog)
was a joke.  Nauseating levels of diesel smoke and so slow I'm sure I could
have swam faster (one hour and 15 minutes each way).  The head was
"closed to men".  Divemaster Edward is a diamond in the rough. 
Fantastic attitude, but he had only been in Costa Rica for a couple of
weeks.  I'm sure he will be great in the near future.  Catalina Island was
a bit disappointing as well.  Typical Eastern Pacific diving with few hard
corals and so-so visability.  The other group on our boat had the expert
divemaster Julian who found a school of 13 whitetips and 3 mantas.  We saw
none.  We did see a couple of eagle rays, free swimming morays and a fair
selection of tropicals.  The next day we went to Tortuga Point and Punta
Argentina.  These sites were only fifteen minutes away on Rich Coast's own
trimaran boat (it had a laughable engine configuration of one small
outboard and one medium size outboard).  Both sites had more hard corals
then Catalina and more tropicals. I saw one whitetip that was a very
cooperative photo subject and one turtle. No babysitting with both DM's. 
Villas del Sol was adequate and with the all inclusive rate, a good deal. 
Would I go again?  Maybe, if I could get to the Bat Islands with another
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Diving Guide to Costa Rica
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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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