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Dive Review of Manuel Antonio Divers in
Costa Rica/Quepos

Manuel Antonio Divers, Mar, 2007,

by Jeffrey Levin, OH, USA . Report 3361.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving BVI, USVI, Belize, Cayman Is., Red Sea, Cozumel, Bonaire, Aruba, etc etc
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 77 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions dive was deeper than 65 ft at the bttom, so close supervision was unnecessary for the 4 of us
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We dove with Manuel Antonio Divers of Costa Rica.

Raymond & Mindy Passavant are the owners of Manuel Antonio Divers. We had booked several different types of excursions with this company. However, Manuel Antonio Divers (MAD) has a perception of what transpired in the booking, payment, and execution of those excursions than that of our party of 6 whom had actually experienced the trips. We had a bad experience with this company involving a diving and fishing trip to Cano Island, a sunset river tour, and the loss of a deposit on a ill-conceived nighttime zip-line tour they arranged.

Unfortunately we pre-paid for the trips on our itinerary. I am sure had we been presented with the charges AFTER THE FACT, we could have contested the many items that we did not receive. Bottomline: Did we receive what we had paid for?- NO. If the tour was overscheduled with too many activities that could not, in any circumstance, be delivered, then, we believe, it is the obligation of the tour operator, Manuel Antonio Divers, to tell us this in advance. As a matter of fact, it was THEY who put together the ambitious itinerary for us. We relied on the expertise of this tour operator to make the arrangements for a trip that should have been both appropriate and within the realm of possibility to execute. It was not until we returned, that Raymond and Mindy informed us that this type of trip was perhaps pushing it. The Passavants were not onboard that day and therefore unaware of all that was not done as promised. It fell far short of what we had contracted and had anticipated.

It was our understanding that there would be a lengthy boat ride to Cano Island where we might tour the island (yet never got closer than 50 meters from shore); we would have TWO scuba diving opportunities, and a snorkeling opportunity for the 2 non-divers. There was only ONE scuba dive and NO snorkeling. The crew, who spoke little English, promptly left the dive site after the 40 minute scuba dive; they setup 5 fishing poles, and trolled the waters for sailfish and marlin at over 20 knts as we set a course for an unrequested, early return to Quepos. During our swift return to the Quepos dock, the 5 fishing hooks were baited twice. The first bait that was set had been torn from the hooks due to the brisk trolling speed. Needless to say, we caught NO FISH - not even a nibble.

We are a small group that travels often. We have stayed in many beautiful areas like Costa Rica. We have used dive companies and tour outfits throughout the world. Before we contacted the credit card company to dispute the charges, we tried to resolve our disappointment and complaints directly with Manuel Antonio Divers but were given a stern refusal to negotiate the discrepancies between what we were charged and what in fact we received.

There is much to do and see in this area of Costa Rica. BUT, I would advise to steer clear of MAD if you wish to avoid the disappointments and confrontations we experienced during our week there.

The Passavants of MAD are apparently unaware of the power of UnderCurrent reviewers and readers. MAD should know that the internet giveth and the internet taketh away. Personal accounts of experiences with dive companies is widely read. As a member of Ben Davisons The Travelin Divers Chapbook, I told him that I would be submitting my report on our Costa Rican trip after this "one star" episode, in an otherwise flawless vacation.

We were guests staying at Villa La Macha, a fabulous residence overlooking the Pacific sunset. The owners of the home and their right-hand-man on the island, Jota, are generous, gentle, and fair-minded individuals that can and do get many benevolent things done in the Quepos area. I urge the Passavants, owners of Manuel Antonio Divers, to follow their example; be honest with clients and do the right thing.

Regards,

Jeff
jjlevin@aol.com
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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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