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Dive Review of Rocket Frog/Los Almendros de Ocotal in
Costa Rica/Playa Ocotal, Guanacaste

Rocket Frog/Los Almendros de Ocotal: "Not the best visibility but big stuff!!", Nov, 2014,

by Adam Hartnett, MA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 8029.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Having done liveaboards on my last two vacations, I went to the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica to do a little bit of diving, see some rainforests and jungles, and of course relax a bit more.

I chose Rocket Frog due to recent reviews on both Undercurrent and Scubaboard. I was very impressed with the operation: staff, boat, briefings, flexibility, etc. The shop also set me up on a couple of tours in the area: Rio Celeste rainforest and Palo Verde National Park tour.

If you are into "80-80-80 diving" (especially 80 foot vis) this may not be the destination for you. 30 feet visibility was the average though I believe I never went deeper that 90 feet on any of my 9 dives. There are noticeable thermoclines and a bit later in the dry season, I would have worn my hood with my 3mm.

Lots of big animals: Eagle Rays, Diamond Rays Turtles, White-tip reef sharks - one was enormous over 5 feet and looked twice as big as the other. Schools of fish were enormous as well. On the smaller side, there were several types of nudibranchs, blennies, clown shrimp, and sea horses.

Did not get to do Bat Islands but made it to Catalina Island where the monster white tip was spotted. I would have done shore diving if I wasn't travelling solo. Interesting snorkeling and tidepools on Ocotal Beach. Many nudibranchs, crabs and blennies get washed in.

The condos that Rocket Frog has their shop in is called Los Almendros de Ocotal. Its about 2 miles to the busier Playa de Cocos aka Coco. There's only one restaurant nearby, Father Rooster's and though not outrageously expensive, there are better and cheaper options in Coco. I walked to Coco in the afternoon and took a cab home at night. Gas approaches European prices in CR as well ($7 gallon) so don't get flustered too much over airport transfer and cab prices. Everything else is relatively inexpensive.

I would go back but I would stay in Coco or Playa Hermosa. Rocket Frog will pick you up by boat/car on the way to the dive sites. They would stop at the RIU then Playa Hermosa on many days after departing Ocotal by sea. If staying in Coco, they probably would pick you by car.
Websites Rocket Frog   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Florida Keys, West Palm Beach, Big Island of Hawaii, Puerto Vallarta, North Sulawesi-Indonesia
Closest Airport LIR - Liberia International Airport Getting There Non-stop is now available from Boston on JetBlue which I took.

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy, cloudy, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 75-80°F / 24-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 10-60 Ft/ 3-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Whatever was applicable to the briefing. They wanted you to start to ascend and do safety stop between 800-1000 psi usually depending on depth of dive.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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]
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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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