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Diving Guanacaste, northern Costa Rica

Climate:

divingO1 (74K)Bat and Catalina Islands as well as Playa Ocotal are located in Guanacaste province, the sunniest part of Costa Rica, where it hardly ever rains between November to April. During the other months of the year short, but heavy thunderstorms may occur in the afternoon. Temperatures on the coast range between 30° and 35°C. During dry season, strong winds occur very frequently, reducing visibility. Water temperature ranges between approx. 26° and 29°C (April to November) and approx. 23° and 25°C (December to March).

Currents:

High and low tides mainly determine the small to medium strengh currents that are to be expected all along this coastal region. The dive base knows the water condition exactly and can inform divers accordingly.

Underwater Visibility:

Visibility varies and can range from 3 to 30 meters. During the summer months (November - April) strong wind agitates the water and shifts sediments to the surface. Around the small islands visibility is usually better than nearer the coast. Tides, currents and nutrient rich waters also contribute to the lower visibility but also attract a plethora of marine life, including bigger species that feed on these nutrients.

Plants / Corals:

This area offers volcanic rock formations and rock pinnacles. There is very little hard coral; some black coral, soft coral and cup coral, which is spectacular at night.

Marine Life:

Though the diver will not see many corals, he will be spoiled by other marine life such as big schools of yellow tail snapper, grunts, frog fish, sea horses, harlequin shrimp, moorish idol, banded guitar fish, moray eels, cortes, angel fish, manta rays, spotted eagle rays, nurse shark, jewfish and whale sharks. Furthermore, Catalina and Bat Islands offer the possibility of an exciting encounter with white tip sharks, turtles, schools of amberjacks and eagle rays as well as bull sharks, cow-nosed rays, rainbow runners, horse-eye jacks and spade fish.

In Guanacaste, we cooperate with Ocotal Beach Resort, one of the best-organized diving bases on the northern Pacific coast. Here are some details:

Name: Ocotal Diving, founded in 1976
Staff: 2 instructors, 4 divemasters
Language: English, Spanisch
School: PADI / NITROX
Courses: Discovery Scuba Diving, Scuba Divers, Open Water, Advance, Rescue, Referral, Nitrox, Discovery Nitrox, First Aid.
Equipment: US Divers, Deepsea, Seaquest, Aqualung
Repairs: possible on spot
Decompression: San José (Clinic Catholic, Hospital CIMA)
Emergency: Radio communication on each boat, first aid kit and oxygen
Boats: 3 boats -32 ft diesel powered dive boats, with showers and fresh water camera tanks (Jasmine, Geannie - Ayesha)
Shore-Diving: possible
Night dives: possible
Lamps: available for night dives
Dive sites: 20
Notes: Certified divers must show their certification card at the dive shop.

Ocotal Beach Resort Ocotal is a four-star beachfront resort, situated on the country's beautiful Northern Pacific coast and offers breathtaking panoramic views of Papagayo Gulf. Playa Ocotal is a calm, sandy beach, about a third of a mile long; it's ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other outdoor activities. The resort has 12 bungalows, five suites, and 42 standard rooms. Rooms have amazing ocean views, air conditioning, cable TVs, telephones, coffee makers, safe deposit boxes, hair dryers, and private terraces or balconies.

All inclusive dive package available. This includes: 2-1 tanks each dive, boat for diving, guides, beverages and snacks on board, weights, unlimited beach dives, standard room, and daily breakfast. Dive packages do not include equipment. Divers must show their dive license.

Individual dives can be booked on the spot and this is the best option for day hikes to Bat and Catalina Island, as weather conditions may change quickly resulting in cancellations. Getting refunds for pre-paid excursions tends to get very complicated.

For further information and booking inquiries please send us and e-mail.