I recently just departed Quepos after having completed the IDC with GoPro Costa Rica and Oceans Unlimted. What a fantastic experience. Georgia, the course director, helped organize everything prior to my arrival in Costa Rica–she was quick to respond to my questions and really helped me book this IDC on short notice when another program I was considering ended up shutting down. I was looking at Costa Rica because i was also looking for a place to surf in the off time when we weren’t diving, and boy was I pleasantly surprised..there are two great places to surf very close to the dive center (quepos and Manuel Antonio). As part of the program package, there’s an opportunity to stay at a homestay with a local tico family, which I highly highly recommend. Honestly can’t begin to explain how wonderful it was to stay at the homestay–Seday and Bati welcomed us (me and the other IDC candidates) with open arms and made us a part of their family.. Bati is a surf instructor and really went out of his way to show us some local secret spots and invited us to come surfing with him whenever we were able to. It really helped make my stay in Costa Rica affordable, and we are helping out a local family, so everybody wins :).
As for the course, the IDC was great. The training facilities at oceans Unlimted are great- a nice on- site pool, open window classroom, and access to a wide variety of equipment and tech diving if you’re interested. The IDC it’s self was an intense 10 days- but Georgia made the work fun and relaxed. She really made an extra effort to answer any questions we had about the IE or exams To help us feel as prepared as we needed to be. I knew I needed help relearning a few concepts of dive theory and she stayed after class with my individually until I felt comfortable…every candidate aced their exams and Georgia really did a great job explaining how to utilize all of the PAdi resources we get access too as instructors. I may be going to teach independently somewhere and Georgia even helped me out with showing me how to build a website, brand, and a bit of market info, which will be invaluable when I’m starting my career. I knew I was going to learn how to be an instructor, but I didn’t realiZe how much the IDC would actually prepare me for starting up my own small dive business. I’m leaving GoPro feeling inspired and motivated, which is invaluable.
As a final farewell, oceans Unlimted organized a fun dive out to a semi “secret reef” with the other candidates and some tech students…it was an incredible dive in a very, very secret place, and they are the only dive company that has ever been there. We saw a school of about a thousand jacks, so that just gives you an idea of the kinds of life that can be sustained there..there were Dolphins everywhere as well, so if you get the opportunity, try to convince them for a trip out to viente sies. But when we were out, as soon as we arrived on the site we stumbled upon a tiny boat of 2 spearfisherman who’s boat was actually sinking…when we pulled next to them they were frantically bailing water out of their boat and would have been down in less than 5 minutes had we not arrived.. Bob, the captain and owner of oceans unlimited, took full control
Of the situation, rescued these guys and their boat, and effectively fixed their bilge pumps and sent them safely on their way back to land. Having come from an ocean rescue background, I was incredibly impressed by poise and expertise that Bob held in an emergency situation and would feel safe going diving with him and his operation anywhere. Safety is of primary importance, especially when diving or going on boats in foreign countries.
One final note on the experience- if you’re coming to GoPro Costa Rica to experience phenomenal diving, you might be disappointed..it’s the pacific ocean so conditions vary between 5m and 20m. Big advantage though is that it certainly tested my comfort level diving to 30 m in harder conditions and I think has made me a better diver overall Also, if you’ve never dives in surge before, get ready for it here. Great fun to dive.
Highly recommend Go Pro for your PADI IDC