Saguaro Scuba Goes To Costa Rica in 2018!
We are more than just a little excited to be able to announce that Saguaro Scuba will be taking a group to Costa Rica from Septebmer 1-8th 2018! Our webmaster, Jon from Canada (me), has been seasonally visiting and working at a dive shop in Costa Rica for over 4 years now and proposed this trip to add to our calendar. Jon is from Nova Scotia, Canada and will be joining us on the trip to Costa Rica next August and working with the group and the dive shop to offer an incredible group trip!
Much Different Than Our Other Group Trips
The area of Costa Rica where we will be diving is much different than any of our other group trips. This Pacific Coast diving is home to an incredible amount of marine life. You won’t find the coral reefs or the crystal clear waters like you will find in the Caribbean. What you will find is an ocean full of life, with schools of fish that simply aren’t present in the Caribbean. We will be visiting Costa Rica in what is the best month for diving conditions. Visibility and water temperatures have the best chances of being favorable from the months of July through September. We will be right in the middle!
Where Will We Dive?
When in Costa Rica we will be diving with Rocket Frog Divers in Playa Ocotal. We will have the opportunity to dive in three different locations.
The local diving is done in the Gulf de Papagayo. Here you will see all kinds of life. Big schools of fish, white tipped reef sharks, turtles, spotted eagle rays, mobular rays, sting rays, several species of moray eels, as well as octopus are some of the things you can expect to see. For the more trained eye, you may may get the chance to find some of the harlequin clown shrimp, sea horses, and the occasional frog fish. On surface intervals you may also be treated to humpback whale sightings (who are in the area during these months to calve), as well as large schools of dolphins. There are over 20 dive sites to choose from so unless you really enjoy a dive site, you will never dive the same site twice! Many of the local dive sites in this area will have the boat attached to a mooring line allowing for an easy descent and ascent. This differs from both the Catalinas and Bat Islands where free descents and ascents are required.
The Catalinas are best known for the potential encounters with the Giant Pacific Mantas. If they are in the area, this is generally where they will be. There are two dive sites called “The Point” and “The Cleaning Station” where the mantas when they are in town often frequent. If you are lucky enough to be cross paths with the mantas, you may spend your whole dive with 3-5 mantas circling you and your bubbles. Besides the mantas, at a dive site called “The Wall” you are likely to encounter upwards of 10-15 white tipped reef sharks hanging out in the sand waiting to feed at night time.
The Bat Islands are an incredible diving destination. This area is in a protected marine sanctuary as it extends off of Santa Rosa National Park. The fish seem to realize this and they gather in schools here by the thousands. If you have seen videos of schools of tens of thousands of rays, this is likely where they were filmed. This is also home to the sometimes feared Bull Sharks. Here in Costa Rica, the bull sharks aren’t baited or fed by the dive companies and occur at only one of the dive sites which we refer to as “The Big Scare.” This dive is only for Advanced Divers as it can go down to 110 or so feet if needed to find the bulls. (Get your advanced certification before the trip!) When the bull sharks are present you will often see 4-7 sharks on the dive of different sizes. The females generally being much larger than the males. They tend to circle the group of divers and do come in fairly close from time to time, however, in the 35+ years of divers visiting this dive site, there has never been an aggressive act by any of the bull sharks. Here you may also see the Pacific Giant Manta although it is not as likely as it is at the Catalinas.
The second dive will be done at a dive site called Black Rock. Black Rock is a volcanic rock sticking up out of the ocean a km or more offshore. Where it breaches the surface the rock is quite small. Probably 20 feet by 20 feet. Under the water, the rock gets much larger and you will take nearly your full tank of air to make one lap around. For those who are good on air, you will likely get an opportunity to swim “Into The Blue” for the last few minutes of your dive and your safety stop. This is a hit or miss technique that can lead to sightings of massive schools of rays, marlins, sailfish, or other schools of fish who are patrolling the outside of the rock. This is Jon’s favorite dive of all in Costa Rica.
Green Season Of Costa Rica
We will be visiting Costa Rica during the “Green Season.” This is the tourism industries spin on the term rainy season! Most days during this month this area of Costa Rica will experience an hour or two of heavy rain. Most days the rain will occur in the mid-afternoon and clear up in the early evening. Many evenings if you have an ocean view room you will be able to see some tremendous thunderstorms in the distance off of Santa Rosa National Park which is located 30-40 kms across the Gulf de Papagayo.
Surface Interval Day
One other highlight of the trip will be the last day of the trip which we will spend doing a land based tour. This is a great opportunity to see some of the wild life and natural beauty of Costa Rica. There are thermal pools, zip lining, the opportunity for horseback riding, and much more. You will also be treated to an authentic Costa Rican style lunch. A full day of adventure in paradise!
Where We Will Be Staying
We will be staying at a beautiful hotel called Bosque del Mar in Playa Hermosa. This smallish hotel offers 32 rooms and is located directly on the beach in Playa Hermosa. This hotel offers several different rooming options ranging from the standard junior suite, to garden view, ocean view, and capping off at the Penthouse! The hotel has an incredible restaurant and bar on site, however, it is not all inclusive. There is the opportunity to buy meal packages where you prepay for meals as part of your package. Rates and a menu and description of this program can be sent on request.
How Do You Reserve?
We will be working on a first come first serve basis. The hotel is very popular and has only 32 rooms in total so in order to guarantee your spot we need to start figuring out our numbers.