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Dive Review of Summer-Salt in
Costa Rica/Guanacaste - Playa del Coco

Summer-Salt, Jun, 2008,

by Bill DuBois, TX, USA ( 2 reports). Report 4163.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Belize, Hawaii, Florida, Australia, Indonesia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 80 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Generally, follow divemaster at the Bat and Cat Islands, with more flexibility at the "local" dives, and ability to "dive your air".
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 3 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 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The dive op uses small day-boats that have no separate facility for photographers.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Hotel Puerta del Sol (arranged through Summer-Salt and with no independent website) is clean and comfortable, though hardly posh. The onsite Italian restaurant is suprisingly good -- very good, in fact. It's a ten minute walk from that hotel to the dive op.

Summer-Salt is run by Swiss natives Sandra and Patrick Odermatt. The two boats are small (21' and 25') and fairly fast, though the smaller one needs a motor-remount, I think; I wish that the boats had more shade. Patrick is easy to work with and tries hard to accommodate particular requests as to diving sites and the like; I could not have been happier with his attitude. Divemasters Eddie and Elgin, and the boat captains, were attentive and helpful, though occasionally I thought that the DMs moved a bit too fast underwater.

We dove the Bats twice (doing third dives at Black Rock), the Cats once and local dives at Argentina Point and Monkey Head. Visibility was good at all sites. Many whitetips, at least five or six mantas at the Bats and Black Rock, squadrons of eagle rays and large schools of fish at Black Rock, occasional eagle rays at other spots, and a huge school -- hundreds -- of barracudas at the Cats. Numerous reef fish, scorpion fish, octopi, eels, etc. at most all sites. Regrettably, no bullsharks at the Bats.

This is NOT clear-water Caribbean diving -- "good" viz is probably 60 feet -- and there is some surge and current. At the same time, the quantity and diversity of marine life is wonderful, and the locale certainly worth a visit. Newer divers might have less fun due to surge and current (which obviously are quite variable).

I'd recommend Summer-Salt without hesitation.
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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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