Best Dive Schools in Costa Rica
When booking a diving trip to Costa Rica there may be members of the family who are not yet qualified and wish to learn how to dive. Choosing the right school will greatly impact the way that a prospective student will enjoy the experience and hopefully fall in love with the sport. It is key to read reviews and research each school before booking trips or classes. Some schools even have secondary bases in large resorts such as the Hilton or the Sheraton, allowing courses to be taught just outside your room for the utmost convenience. Here is an in depth look at some of the more renowned dive centres that offer courses in Costa Rica.
Rocket Frog Diver would certainly be the number one choice for new students to learn to dive in Costa Rica. They are a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive centre based out of Playas del Coco. The multinational, multi-lingual team offer courses from open water to instructor training. The company also has a second shop in Flamingo beach allowing easy access to the resorts of Tamarindo and the Papagayo peninsula. With a sterling reputation and a record of teaching more students than any other school in the country, this well respected dive establishment offers trips to the Catalina islands, offshore Playas del Coco and the Bat Islands.
Pacific Coast Diving Centre
Based in Playa Flamingo, PCD have been operational for over 20 years. With a fleet of large boats, including the 54 foot ‘Golden Venture’ there plenty of space for 50 students and 4 staff members. The Catalina islands is the location where most of the open water dives are taught, and once confined lessons are complete new divers have the opportunity to encounter mantas and even whale sharks on their first expedition to the underwater world.
This PADI CDC and technical dive centre is located in Quepos, the gateway to Manuel Antonio NP. Located right on the water, Oceans Unlimited is often used as the Costa Rican base for IDC examinations. With top of the range teaching areas and high tech and serviced equipment, Oceans Unlimited are a good choice for those who are visiting Manuel Antonio, Quepos or even Jaco.
Owned and run by renowned Dutch divers Martin and Brenda van Gestel, Rich Coast is a PADI 5 Star CDC facility offering extensive training out of the Playas del Coco area. Every year dozens of Instructors are trained here, and their fleet of boats are a common sight in the Bay of Playas del Coco.
Other companies such as Undersea Hunter, Cano Divers and the Aggressor fleet will take divers to the highlights of the Pacific coast such as Cocos and Cano islands, yet they rarely teach courses to the extent of the others highlighted above. In fact, these liveaboards are used mainly for guiding advanced divers. Furthermore, due to the popularity of diving in the Pacific coast rather than the Caribbean, there are minimal institutions that offer diving, let alone courses for prospective students on the eastern coast of the country.