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“Pleasant Dive Shop with extra pleasant staff”

Costa Rica Dive and Surf
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Diving and Surf School, Tours to Cano Island and Whales Tale Marine Reserve. Padi Diving Courses, Surf School and Surf Board Rentals. Waterfall Tours, Whitewater Rafting tours and Adventure Guide School for Diving, Surfing and Whitewater Rafting.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
57 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Pleasant Dive Shop with extra pleasant staff”
Reviewed February 7, 2012

A friend and I took CRD&S's Cano Island trip today. We arrived early and the staff was already organizing equipment. Sebastian and Christian were the dive masters and quickly confirmed all sizes and needs for all participants in a group that had both divers and snorklers. They gave folks a chance to have breakfast which is at the adjacent cafe which is excellent!

After a trip to the beach in Uvita we took a 1.5 hour trip stopping to watch dolphins and sea turtles. Upon arrival at the island we checked in with the ranger and then our group spilt into divers and snorklers. The divemasters did a good job managing both groups and made sure that we didn't sit around too much. Good lunch on the island and rest time and then we went out for 2nd time in water.

Conditions at Cano were weak the day we were there. But it was better diving than I've experienced in other sites in the region.

Staff set up our equipment and made it one of the more pleasant dive trips organizationally that I've had.

I did read another reviews tough review of the company and feel that it was a little unfair and perhaps a little unrealistic. They seemed very concerned that only the dive master spoke English. That's not atypical when traveling in many countries. The divemasters speak very solid English and all essential communication is handled well. Their equipment may not be the newest, but it is quite adequate to the tasks at hand. The trips are well priced and I feel like we got fair value. Our divemaster kept excellent track of our group but also moved us a along at a good clip.

All and all, a very good value and a solid dive shop.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank David Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
“An amazing adventure with friends that make you feel like family!”
Reviewed February 5, 2012

I have been twice now to Costa Rica Dive and Surf. Each time was unforgettable, and filled with new adventures. First I tried surfing, then I moved onto diving were Costa Dive certified me advanced after an awesome day at sea. Mike, the owner, knowing the area well was able to take us to some of the most beautiful beaches and waterfalls surrounding Dominical, including a naturally carved waterslide that drops you into a fresh water lagoon. I know I will be back again to see my family in the future. Cheers guys, Cristy from Canada!!!

Helpful?
Thank CristyCanehdia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arcata, California
1 review
“snorkeling”
Reviewed February 4, 2012

very friendly and easy going, the tour to cano island was excelent. very profesional, and the spots we went too were better than the other snokeling tour i went on thru an exspensive hotel. turtles, dolfins, schools of big fish and for the big finale, a huge manta ray that was curious about us and got very close. i have pics to prove and memories for a life time. dont know how to down load pics but will have a friend help me put them on facebook page.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank Daniel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Best shop in central America for sure best staff best vibes!!!”
Reviewed February 4, 2012

Cano island is top spots in the world for diving so much natural beauty go check these guys got it down

Helpful?
Thank Taylorblythe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Faulty Equipment & Lack of Safety”
Reviewed January 23, 2012

We traveled to Costa Rica from the USA with 5 couples. My wife and I completed our diver certification (open water portion) in Costa Rica with another company (Oceans Unlimited). We booked a Cano Island dive with Oceans Unlimited thinking they would be providing the Dive Master, etc. Instead we we pawned off on Costa Rica Dive & Surf, without our knowledge.

When we realized this we thought, "oh well, no biggie." Unfortunately, CRD&S did not have the same level of equipment or safety standards.

Only one in our party was provided with a working depth gauge - my wife and I were not. This meant we could not accurately do a pause at 15' as taught in our certification. The Dive Master, Sebastain (sp), explained that much of their equipment does not work and that he can't get the owner to fix it. He also said stopping at 15' was optimal but not mandatory (not according to what we were taught).

More disturbing was when my wife could not gain depth (due to lack of provided weight) she signaled she needed to surface. I got the Dive Master's attention and signaled I was surfacing with her as she was my dive buddy and we were taught NEVER to leave our dive buddy. The Dive Master, Sebastain, signaled for me not to go with her and to instead buddy with him - leaving my wife (newly certified and scared) to surface alone.

This caused several minutes of near panic for both of us.

In the end she surfaced and was spotted by the dive boat, given more weights and taken to where we were and then joined us.

In my opinion this was not the safest way to handle the situation and put our safety at risk.

Additionally, only the dive master appeared to speak fluent English or be fully knowledgeable about diving and equipment.

While this shop has many favorable reviews, I feel it needs to address equipment concerns and review safety protocols.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank BatesOKC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costaricadiveandsurf, Owner at Costa Rica Dive and Surf, responded to this review, February 4, 2012
We are so sorry to read that you did not feel you had a good experience, and especially that you felt that safety protocols were not followed. Actually, we have an excellent safety record, and always make individual safety our top priority. We are dealing with issues with our depth gauges at the moment, and are replacing them as fast as we can! It is unusual and surprising that so many in your group had issues with them, and we do apologize for any inconvenience.However, as the main Cano Island dives sites have excellent visibility, no extreme depths and you are diving with PADI Instructor, who is monitoring you and the dive with his dive computer, we feel that you are well within safety protocols. We would never send anyone on a dive with gear that was unsafe or risky. Also, while in general, it is a rule not to leave your dive buddy. If someone has an issue at the very beginning of a dive, and is “unable to gain depth” it is fairly common to have them surface while their buddy joins another buddy group. If you really didn’t want to leave your dive buddy, you could have surfaced if you preferred; that was your choice. If either of you were actually scared, it is clear that you should have gone up together regardless of what the Instructor or divemaster suggested. I would also like to just add regarding safety stops, and this is for all divers. They are a very good habit to conduct in all dives, but PADI law states: A safety stop is required to all dives over 100ft/30metres and dives that come within 3 pressure groups of the no decompression limits. Cano Islands main dives have a maximum depth of 60-70ft, and the majority of the dives are spent much shallower, which is why they are so fun and safe!

We have been in business now for 5 years in Dominical and have 20 years combined experience as instructors and divemasters. We strive to make everyone’s dive safe, fun and special. We are sorry you did not feel like you got that experience. We do thank you for your comments, and appreciate your input.

Michael Shellard
Owner Costa Rica Dive and Surf
PADI Staff Instructor 473803
michael@costaricadiveandsurf.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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