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“I should have listened...”

Agua Rica Diving Center
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Attraction details
Owner description: Agua rica Diving center has been the only dive shop in Playa Tamarindo since 1994. We are a Padi and SSI diving center, specialized in small groups of divers with personalized service. Families are welcome.All our scuba guides are multilingual Instructors.our best tour is the Catalinas Islands, 10 miles North of Tamarindo, about 40 min boat ride.If you are not certified, no problem, you can do the full certification course with us or just to do the ' try to scuba program'
Seattle, Washington
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“I should have listened...”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

After spending a week in Tamarindo with truly some of the most beautiful and kind people I've ever encountered, it's so unfortunate that I had to try to work with Agua Rica! I've also never been inspired to leave a negative review before, but today seems more than appropriate.

I'm a seasoned warm and cold water diver (approximately 200 dives all over the world) and as such, I've learned to be wary of negative reviews for dive shops. Safety is always my top concern, followed closely by customer service. Although it's still low season in CR, all of the good/recommended tour dive operators have been booked the entire duration of our trip. It's our last day and I finally broke down to try to book with Agua Rica. I had no fewer that four people tell me that it was a mistake...these were mostly local people who really wouldn't say a negative thing about anyone! I should have listened to them!

The short story is, I was charged for a full day dive trip ($105USD) yet sadly, Claudio & his wife were having 'internet problems', didn't get my booking from yesterday at 2pm, and aren't going out today. I can actually understand this, but they proceeded to tell me that it wasn't their fault and that they could do nothing to refund my money. Not your fault? You are the owners of the dive shop! I'm leaving CR with zero dives and $105 fewer dollars in my pocket... and instead of being polite and trying to turn my experience around to a positive one (which would have been extremely easy to do-I'm on vacation!), they simply continued to say it wasn't their fault. I'm not sure how they've lasted in Tamarindo all these years, but I have a strong suspicion it's because they're really the only option when all of the ther companies from neighboring towns fill up daily.

It's really not that hard to provide good customer service. Perhaps Claudio & his wife could take a queue from some of the locals? I bet their business would pick up and they'd have the money to replace the faulty/old equipment that I've read so much about and saw in their shop. Why would I ever spend time under the water with someone who can't treat me well above the water?!?

Don't waste your money here unless you like to be manhandled. Lots of other much better options-just plan ahead!

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank gmpriebe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scubatama, Front Office Manager at Agua Rica Diving Center, responded to this review, November 30, 2012
The situation this lady has lived is very sad, unfortunately she has booked and paid the tour through a travel agency, and the dive shop never confirmed the reservation. As soon we realized that there was an error we called the agency, they apologized saying that the money she paid was going to be refunded from the credit card company. This client has been the first client the dive center had from this agency, we both apologized with her, the dive shop because is the '"face"she saw and the travel agency for doin the mistakeof booking without letting the dive shop know , We are sure that she has be refunded, so no money has been lost..
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91 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore
Level Contributor
31 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“took my Padi course at Aguarica”
Reviewed October 26, 2012

I had a great experience taking my padi course and diving with the team at Aguarica diving center in Tamarindo. The staff were all super friendly and helpful. They do not just treat you like any customer but are genuinely keen to make sure you learn well and have a great experience. Diving with the Aguarica team was without any doubt one of the highlights of my holiday so I would recommend anyone traveling to Tamarindo to do the same.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank tomdelre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great experience!!”
Reviewed September 30, 2012

Agua Rica Diving Center is a fantastic organization! Toni and Claudio have so much knowledge and experience with the area that they are able to provide a wonderful dive trip to the Catalina Islands! The new boat is perfect for accommodating up to 8 divers; no cattle barges here!! And many times, you'll have the dive site to yourselves. The diving itself is incredible - SO much to see!! They lead the dives themselves most of the time and are excellent at pointing out the local fauna, from rays and sharks to octopus and eels. I'd definitely recommend them for your next dive trip when in the Tamarindo and surrounding area!!

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank schista7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Peters, Nova Scotia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing Diving with Amazing People!”
Reviewed September 19, 2012

I did two separate dive trips with Aqua Rica Diving Center.. they are the nicest most caring people and really make it the best diving experience possible!! I would HIGHLY recommend them :)

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Chelseymae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great staff, okay dives, a little aggressive on the profiles.”
Reviewed August 28, 2012

I dove with Agua Rica a while back but when I did, I had no problems. The gear was a little dated, but it's "resort" gear that probably sees a lot of use. I usually bring my own gear but I only had my mask, computer, and a backup light with me that time since I was just back packing through on a surf trip. I enjoyed the staff and their boat was fast if not a bit cramped. I wish there was a bigger cover since some of us were exposed to the sun the entire way and were burned because of it.

The dives were decent but the second profile seemed a bit aggressive to me for a group of relatively novice divers. I am an experienced diver but my computer went into deco in the middle of the second dive. I had a suunto d9 on at the time and I know it's a bit conservative but this wasn't towards the end of the dive but in the middle. I don't mind doing long stops or minor deco stops on an AL80, but the others could barely hold a 3min safety stop and probably shouldn't have been that close to or in deco. Not a huge deal but something I noticed none the less. I'd still recommend going with them if you want to dive in Tamarindo, just watch your own depth and time.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Clammy42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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