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Dive Review of Aqua Center/Paridisus Resort in
Costa Rica/Playa Conchal, Gunacaste

Aqua Center/Paridisus Resort, Apr, 2009,

by Steve Giles, CA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports). Report 4763.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Channel Islands, Baja CA, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Bonaire, Virgin Islands, Fiji, Palau, St. Lucia, Honduras, Hawaiian Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 71 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 10 to 40 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions All dives were limited to a maximum bottom time of 45 minutes.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Our trip was set up by Bill Beard's Travel who recommended both the hotel and the dive operator. This was our first trip to Coasta Rica and we will likely return. The resort was excellent: service was first-rate. There are eight separate restaurants at the Paridisus offering a variety of cusine to satisfy even the most discriminating palate. Rooms were spacious and immaculate. The hotel was all-inclusive - even alcohol was included. The mini-bar in each room was well-stocked with water, soft drinks, beer and wine.
The Dive Operation was located within a ten-minute drive from the hotel. The dive operator furnished transportation both ways each day. Diving at the close-by (10-minute boat trip)Santa Catalina Islands was somewhat like Southern California diving with rocky bottom topography, but no kelp and warmer water. Water temperature on many dives varied as much as 10-degrees between surface (81-degrees) and bottom (71-degrees) temperature. The boat was clean, well-maintained, and spacious.
Divers were required to remain together as a group, but group(s) were kept small with a maximum of six divers, plus divemaster, in each group. All dives were terminated at 45 minutes. Divemasters were very conscious of safety, requiring safety stops at the end of each dive.
The area abounds with schools of large Jacks, sting rays, and eels of all sizes. The highlight of the diving week were two large Manta Rays seen on one dive. Of course, the reason for such quantity and variety of sea life is nutrient rich waters which tend to lessen underwater visibility.
A great destination for experienced divers; beginners might have some difficulty due to dark waters and limited visibility on most dives.
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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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