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Costa Rica - Pacific Coast - Guanacaste
The Mrs and I got in a few dives during a recent trip to Costa Rica :-)
Brrrr! On the beach it 36C, but those deep pacific waters were a bit chilly, 22C on the surface and often down to 18-20 at depth!
Wish I'd brought a shorty to go over the ageing 5mm, then we would have bene OK as opposed to shivering every dive :-)
To be fair, it is not the best time of year (the main point of the trip was not diving) and talking to the diveshop beforehand they said that (much like the UK) the diving is pretty weather dependent, strong winds cause cold water upwelling and that brings lots of nutrients, but also poor vis and a distinct chillyness!
We didn't get to the Bat Islands (too windy), nor did we go to the Catalina Islands (we could have, but as the divers coming back hadn't reported any great things compared to the local dives, we stayed local and avoided the extra fee and long RIB ride, the local boat was larger and had covered space, a cooler full of drinks and fresh watermelon and pineapple, and a head).
Thermal issues aside, it was quite pleasant, rocky reefs, pink algae , dropping away to yellow sand - a bit like St Abbs but with pacific stingrays and thousands of puffer fish instead of lobsters and wolfies. It is alleged that if you are lucky (especially out at the islands) you can see lots of big mantas and sharks, but there were none reported whilst we were there, however we saw the big "southern rays" on every dive and a few green morays and spiny lobsters as well a round rays and butterfly rays.
I'd happily use the dive shop again (Rocket Frog on Playa Ocotal), Nitrox available, nice facilities and reasonably well run by a US guy and his costa rican wife. Different dive sites every day, no repeats, also plenty of chance to make fun of the dive master interns, who were lovely friendly americans, but at 25dives
Summary: not bad, but probably not the best time of year to dive Bring a 7mm or a shorty over your 5mm at this time of year or you'll freeze. If you go to Costa Rica, go see the volcanoes and the waterfalls and the crazy wildlife, it s a fabulous little country!
Anu chance of some non diving detail? Costa Rica is one of a few places on my bucket list.
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