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Dive Review of Aquacenter Diving Costa Rica/Flamingo Beach Resort in
Costa Rica/Playa Flamingo

Aquacenter Diving Costa Rica/Flamingo Beach Resort: "Playa Flamingo, Catalina Islands, Costa Rica", May, 2017,

by Paul Fitzpatrick, TX, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 9598.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We dove with Aquacenter for three days. There is a limited number of sites off the Playa Flamingo, all centered on the Catalinas Islands. These are small and rocky, with several smaller rocks nearby. Boat rides were about 30 minutes. Like much of the Pacific coast of the Americas, there is little coral, but the fish are much larger. The best dives were great. We saw mantas on 3 of 8 dives, usually at the safety stop. There was a huge school of lesser devil rays overhead on one dive and a group of 5-6 white tip sharks on another. Several times we were swimming in large schools of the kind that is rarely seen in the Caribbean anymore. There are no mooring lines, so the dives are modified drift dives with the boat picking up divers when they surface. The profiles were simple: drop to 50-70 feet and stay there until 40 minutes or your air is low, whichever is first. The lack of nitrox meant that deco limits were more important than air consumption.
There is a limited number of dive sites, so we were repeating sites by dive 6 or so. Some of the dives were outstanding, with lots of wildlife, and others were just dead. The dives were all close to the islands (rocks really) so there was a lot of surge even at 60 feet. We mostly swam beside or around an island. There was a substantial thermocline at ~50 feet, going from 84 above to 73-75 below.
We dove with Aquacenter. They were generally very professional. We left our bcds and regs on board each night; they rinsed them for us. We took wetsuits back to our hotel to let them begin to dry out. We went with a group and the experience varied a lot with the divemaster. Risky (inappropriate name) was enthusiastic and helpful. Sebastian seemed only interested in getting from point A to point B as fast as possible, ignoring the divers behind him. At one point 4 of the 5 divers surfaced without him noticing.
We were picked up at our hotel each morning and taken to where the boat was moored for our 30 minute ride out. There was no shore diving or night diving-the dive sites are too far out for the former and too deep and lacking mooring lines for the latter.
We went in May, which is in the rainy season (neoprene does not really dry out overnight then). That meant it rained every day in the afternoon or evening. Mornings the weather was perfect. The daytime temperatures were in the 80s, much cooler than in the dry season.
I recommend diving here if you are tired of the Caribbean, but more than 3 days would probably get dull.
Websites Aquacenter Diving Costa Rica   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving throughout Caribbean, Galapagos, Hawaii
Closest Airport Liberia Getting There Direct flight from Houston to Liberia, then cab

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas surge
Water Temp 73-84°F / 23-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25-50 Ft/ 8-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Dive times limited to 45 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters N/A 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments I was able to get good pictures of mantas, a large school of lesser devil rays, many starfish, and schools of snappers. The visibility limited the quality of the photos.
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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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