I arrived at the San Jose airport in Costa Rica with no real plan, something which has become a trend in my travels. Being quite underwhelmed by the scenery on my flight into San Jose, the first thing I did upon my arrival was to look for the domestic terminal – a short walk from the international terminal. I inquired at the counter if there were any flights heading to the coast. The lady at the counter told me that there could be a Sansa flight to Drake, if I decide to fly. Off we took, the pilot and me, in an 8 seater Sansa to Osa peninsula. This was my first commercial flight without any other passenger at all – at 80 USD, I wasn’t complaining.
The flight landed on gravel, about 50 mins later, flying over some amazing coastline. A boat or a flight is the only way to get to the relatively remote south western end of Costa Rica, and I could feel a sense of discovery st landing . There were a couple of support staff, helping at this terminal, which was nothing more than a little shack, but had a gift shop nonetheless! They were kind enough to arrange a van pick up into the town.
I learnt that about this dive school, and definitely wanted to do a couple of dives with them, but when I talked to Sergio, who runs the place, I was convinced that this is the place where I wanted to get my open water certification. Far removed from the popular dive hotspots like the islands in the Carribean or in Thailand, challenging conditions, a passionate guide, and almost 1:1 instruction. My next 4 days were spent doing all some reading in the evening, and going for multiple dives the morning and afternoon.
There are about 6-8 dive locations around the peninsula, Cano island being one of the more popular ones. There were a handful of regular and experienced divers, and since we went diving together as a group, I was in the thick of action right away: from strong currents, swimming close to reef sharks, to really having to put safety stop in action as dives would be as deep as 40-50 m. I had a couple of tough moments with the strong currents, where I just couldn’t follow the planned route. A little help went a long way. A choppy pacific made boating into the sites an adventure as well.
If you are looking to get your open water PADI certification or just looking for some compelling dives, I can highly recommend Drake for your adventure: some delicious Tilapia, proximity to Corcovado National Park and great horseback riding makes Osa peninsula one of my favorite parts of Central America.
Here are a few pictures: