Scuba Certification Options in Costa Rica

Decided to explore the beauty of the underwater world in Costa Rica yet you haven’t determined your way on how to get a scuba certification?

First, you need to know when, where and how long you will be staying in Costa Rica. If time is not an issue with your vacation, we suggest that you take a full course on Open Water Scuba Diver Certification. It usually takes 3 to 4 days to complete which includes classroom lecture, swimming pool session and actual open water dive.

women-scuba-divers-underwater-padi This type of option allows you to have a great vacation, see the underwater beauty of Costa Rica and at the same time, become a certified Open Water Scuba diver where you can use this newly acquired skill and certification on your next planned vacation. As for the location, you have to take note that there are several dive shops operating in the central provinces. On the other hand, if you opt to stay in the quiet and distant provinces, like in Tamarindo, we suggest you make a reservation since there are only a few, one in the case of Tamarindo, dive shops that are operating. Talking about budget and fees, there’s not much of a difference between price where dive shops pretty much offer the same. Second, we know that cash is king but you can have the option to use your credit card as this are widely accepted in Costa Rica.

Map of SCUBA Providers

Places that Offer SCUBA Certification in Costa Rica

Agua Rica Diving Center

logoh1 Location: Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price: $550
Website: http://www.aguarica.net/

Agua Rica is one of the few dive shops in Costa Rica that offers both SSI and PADI certification courses. After your diving activity, your Divemaster or instructor will not just be your dive buddy but also your tour guide as well.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/agua-rica-dive-center/

Anamaya Resort

Anamaya Resort Logo Location: Montezuma / Southern Nicoya Peninsula
Certification Type: CMAS
Price: $395-$495
Website: AnamayaResort.com

Anamaya Resort offers a one week all-inclusive retreat that includes the 1-Star CMAS SCUBA certification, plus yoga, organic food, some of the best views in Costa Rica, adventure tours and more. The program takes 4-5 days and is able to be done without the student missing most of Anamaya’s other activities such as yoga classes and beach trips.

More Info: http://www.costaricajourneys.com/anamaya-yoga-retreat/

Aquacenter Diving

home03 Location: San José, Costa Rica
Certification Type: SSI, NAUI and PADI
Price:
Website: http://www.aquacenterdiving.com/home.htm

Belonging to an international group of diving companies, Aquacenter Diving is a PADI Resort Facility that offers a complete line of diver training and certification programs. Aside from certification course and daily dive trips, they also sell top of the line scuba equipment like mask, fins, snorkel, BCD, regulators and a lot more.

Buceo Gavilana Dive Centre

7a0db1a557-543517_272590066209482_500599993_n1 Location: Nosara y Guines, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Certification Type: CMAS and PADI
Price: $550
Website: http://buceogavilana.com/index.html

Run by Belgian dive professionals, Buceo Gavilana Dive Centre is both a CMAS and PADI Facility that offers certification courses from both certification agencies. One of their famous dive site is a ship wreck that is already encrusted with corals. The accommodation of their guest is taken cared by partner hotels and resorts.

Buzos de Aventura

logo-ba Location: Playa Hermosa
Certification Type: PADI
Price: $470 – $525
Website: http://www.badivers.cr

Buzos de Aventura offers PADI certification courses from Open Water Diver to Divemaster where there is always an option for all age group while specializing in personalized customer service. They have boats and catamarans that you can use for island hopping, beach trip and snorkeling tours.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/buzos-de-aventura/

Cano Divers

index-3 Location: Drake Bay, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price: $395
Website: http://www.canodiverscostarica.com

With support coming from Pirate Cove, Cano Divers is a PADI facility offering scuba lessons from Open Water to Assistant Instructor. A number of specialty course and dive trips to Cano Island are being offered on a scheduled basis.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/cano-divers/

Costa Rica Adventure Divers

costaricaadventuredivers1 Location: Drake Bay, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price: S340
Website: http://www.costaricadiving.com/

Costa Rica Adventure Divers is a PADI International Resort Facility. Located inside the Hotel Jinetes Osa, learning scuba diving will be a comfortable experience where other ecotourism activities are being offered like canopy tour and kayaking.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/costa-rica-adventure-divers/

Costa Rica Dive and Surf

logo-alt-2 Location: Dominical, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price:
Website: http://costaricadiveandsurf.com/
As the name suggest, Costa Rica Dive and Surf specializes in scuba diving and surfing. But don’t get it wrong, they don’t mix diving and surfing in one setting.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/costa-rica-dive-and-surf/

Curu Dive Center

index-2 Location: Paquera, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price: $450
Website: http://www.turismocuru.com/

Curu Dive Center is PADI Facility that doesn’t just scuba diving course, but also land-based ecotourism. Wildering the 1,500 hectare Curu Wildlife Refuge is a perfect activity after your scuba diving lessons.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/curu-dive-company/

Deep Blue Diving

images Location: Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price: $335 – $445
Website: http://www.deepblue-diving.com/en/index.html

Deep Blue Diving is a PADI Gold Palm Resort which offers a bed and dive package. Housed in the beautiful Hotel Puerta del Sol which is strategically located near major ecotourism sites, you can visit other sites after diving like Rincon de la Vieja, Monteverde Cloud Forest and Palo Verde National.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/deep-blue-diving-adventures/

Diving Mania Scuba Gear Shop

index Location: Rohmoser, San Jose, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price:
Website: http://divingmania.net/

Diving Mania is not just a PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Center, but also a supplier of dive equipment like Scubapro, Hollis Gear, Trident Diving Equipment, Airmax, Sealife Underwater Cameras, Catalina Cylinders and Underwater Kinetics. On top of this, students will appreciate the conduct of confined water session since its swimming is located indoors.

Freedom Diving

freedom-diving-logo-250x96 Location: Samara de Nicoya, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price:
Website: http://www.freedomdivingcr.com/index.html

Freedom Diving is the perfect place for non-divers to go diving in a non-certification course. You will feel comfortable in the water with their PADI Discover Scuba Diving Package where you will be accompanied by a Divemaster while diving in a coral reef area.

Herradura Divers

herraduradiverslogo Location: Jaco, Herradura, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price: $395 – $440
Website: http://herraduradivers.com/

Herradura Divers is a PADI Premier Dive Resort. Besides taking your certification course, diving with Herradura Divers will not just take you to serene reefs but also live in a less crowded areas as Playa Herradura is less crowded compared to other tourist sites.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/herradura-divers/

Iguana Divers

getlstd-property-photo Location: Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iguanadiverssantateresa/

Iguana Divers is a new PADI Dive center that opened last 2013. Despite one of the newest shops in Costa Rica, Iguana Divers has already accommodated hundreds of guest and dive students.

Mad About Diving

logonew Location: Uvita, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price: $320 – $400
Website: http://www.madaboutdivingcr.com/

Mad About Diving is a PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Center which is manned by 100% Costa Rican. So no matter what part of the globe you’re coming from, they can teach scuba diving to you as they offer certification courses in English. Spanish and French.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/mad-about-diving/

Montezuma Crew

tortuga-dive-club-logo Location: Montezuma, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Certification Type: CMAS
Price:
Website: www.montezumacrew.com

Montezuma Crew is the CMAS Official Certifying Center (OCC) in Costa Rica. It has a Dive Academy package where you can avail of a private diving lessons.

Mystic Dive Center

3eyfje_e Location: Playa Ventannas, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price: $385
Website: http://www.mysticdive.com/

Mystic Dive Center is a PADI Facility that offers certification courses from Open Water to Divemaster. Aside from scuba diving, they also offer tours like kayaking, horseback riding and fishing trips.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/mystic-dive-center/

Oceans Unlimited

23201_4fd3bd31bd173c8e36b3c5e6c08bd560_large Location: Manuel Antonio, Quepos, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price:
Website: scubadivingcostarica.com

Oceans Unlimited is a PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Center that offers PADI certification courses as well as servicing and maintenance of your own equipment. On top of this, they offer other marine-based trips like spearfishing and underwater salvage works.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/oceans-unlimited-scuba-diving/

Punta Uva Dive Center

index_r1_c1 Location: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Limon, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price: $355
Website: http://www.puntauvadivecenter.com/

Punta Uva Dive Center is one of the 2 dive shops located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. This PADI Dive Training Facility runs 4 diving trips daily making sure there’s always room for their guest.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/punta-uva-dive-center/

Reef Runner Divers

reefrunnerlogo1 Location: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Limón, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price:
Website: http://www.reefrunnerdivers.com/

Reef Runner Divers is one of the two PADI Facilities located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Since the location is remotely located, you can expect to explore pristine reefs or perhaps discover something new underwater.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/reef-runner-divers/

Rich Coast Diving

index-4 Location: Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price:
Website: http://www.richcoastdiving.com

Rich Coast Diving is the only PADI 5-Star CDC Dive Center in Costa Rica where one of its teaching staff is a Platinum Course Director. This means the Rich Coast Diving can cater to all your certification needs from Open Water to Dive Instructor.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/rich-coast-diving/

Rocket Frog Divers

logo Location: Playa Ocotal, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price: $295 – $475
Website: http://www.scuba-dive-costa-rica.com

Rocket Frog Divers is a PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Center. Not just offering certification course from Open Water to Divemaster, they also conduct the Instructor program. And mind you, they have the fastest dive boats in Costa Rica.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/rocket-frog-divers/

Sirenas Diving

ph_mireina01_800 Location: Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Certification Type: PADI
Price:
Website: sirenasdivingcostarica.com/

Sirenas Diving is unique in the sense that it doesn’t have a typical office that we know. Instead, their 28-footer dive boat, named MI Reina Grace, has become their office where you can go diving in Catalina Isla and Islas Murcielagos otherwise known as Bat Island.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/sirenas-diving-costa-rica/

Tamarindo Diving Center

tamarindodivingcenter Location: Tamarindo, Guanacaste,
Certification Type: PADI
Price: $450 – $500
Website: http://tamarindodiving.net/

Aside from PADI certification, Tamarindo Diving Center is best known for its Dive Camp Offer. This package includes a 1 week stay at a beachfront apartment where you have an easy access to your dive boat taking you to the nearby Catalina Island.

More Info: http://www.costarica-scuba.com/tamarindo-diving-center/

Other Options for Learning SCUBA

In case you cannot afford spending 4 days in attending a full course and getting certified, you can take the Scuba Diver course which is classified as the minimum certification being offered by dive shops. The course will just take 2 days to finish where you will spend your first day attending classroom lecture and swimming pool session while open water diving is done on the second day.

adobestock_42254817 If time is really not on your side, do not worry because there is still an option. Although not a certification course, the 1-day package for Discover Scuba Diving allows you to practice some basic skills in the swimming pool in the morning then go diving in the afternoon. After doing this option, we are sure enough that you will proceed with the scuba certification, maybe on your next vacation, as you want to explore more underwater beauty.

Advanced Skills means Advanced Dive Sites

There are many dive sites in Costa Rica that are not just classified as amazing, but also loaded with the big stuff like manta rays and sharks. But these sites are often deep and exposed to some degree of water current where an advanced skill is necessary.

scuba-diving-buddies-enjoy-dive-24425479 If you are a certified Open Water Diver and wish to explore these sites, we recommend that you sign up for an Advanced Open Water Diver Certification Course. This option will not just allow you to explore advanced dive sites, but also equip you with the skills necessary to become an Advanced Scuba Diver.

Pretty much the same on what to do if you want to sign up for the Rescue Diver course. But when it comes to the Divemaster course, you need to talk to a dive shop or better to a dive instructor as the requirements and length of the training varies per Certification Agency.

Some dive shops in Costa Rica conducts the Instructor Certification Course. dive-instructor-assisting You’ll need to talk to a dive shop or fellow instructor for the schedule as it is not often conducted. In case you are a Divemaster and already in Costa Rica, but there is no schedule set for the Instructor’s Development Course and Instructor’s Examination, you have the option to take the Assistant Instructor certification course or Master Scuba Diver which is deemed to be the highest certification level issued for recreational diving.

And lastly, in case you haven’t made a reservation yet for your scuba certification, you can check out our partner dive companies who will be willing to accommodate and teach your desired certification level.


Video courtesy from AJ

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