We read in advance about the scuba diving in Corn Islands- big fish, uncluttered sites, nice reefs -and we have enjoyed 5 days of diving here.
It didn’t start out great – on Sunday and Monday, the wind and waves were very strong – and even with Gravol, it was tough being on the boat. Below the surface, the waves affected visibility and moved us around a lot. But, we kept with it, and the last few days have been great!
We dove with Dos Tiburones the entire time at several different reefs – 8 dives in total. We saw sharks, rays (no photos of the rays), lots of massive lobsters, eels, schools of fish and some beautiful reefs. This is a very heavily fished island so there weren’t a LOT of big fish as we’ve seen in other places like Cuba or Galapagos (but Galapagos isn’t a fair comparison anyway), but it was still fun.
Brian and I made it to Corn Islands on Saturday morning, and it’s very relaxing. There are a few things to do here in Corn Islands: scuba dive, lie on the beach, drink beer and/or rum, eat seafood, relax in the sun and/or shade, repeat. That’s been us for the first 2 days of our stay here. We like it.
We are staying in a really cool “eco-cabin” up a hill with a nice view of the sea. This is our view from the deck/patio, and from our bed.
This week I took the course for my next levels of Scuba: Rescue Diver. I also needed emergency response certification to complete the course, so it was a very intense week!
I had 3 books to read, study and memorize. Fortunately for me, 2 of the books were in English. The dive shop only had a Spanish version of the emergency response book. So now I know how to use a defibrillator and perform CPR and rescue breaths in Spanish.
San Juan del Sur is a surf town, but being on the ocean, you can still scuba dive here too. It is definitely not common: after a few days searching, I was able to find one dive operator in town. I got two dives in with Dive Nicaragua this past weekend and even used the go-pro underwater for the first time. It worked!
The dives weren’t the greatest dives I’ve ever done. The water is quite cold – less than 20. This isn’t the Caribbean, that’s for sure! The visibility also wasn’t fantastic. It really varied around, depending on the amount of sun shining and the waves kept bringing in lots of sand. All in all, it was still worth it. The dive master was very nice and the other client, a youngster from Germany, was very friendly and interesting. The weather was great and the scenery was pretty good too.
The dive sites were close to the beach I visited last week, Playa Hermosa. They were at rocks in the water. At the first site, we dove around a statue of the Virgin Mary which was recently submerged in the water and is beginning to attract plant life. On both dives, we saw schools of fish and lots of rays and starfish. My photos aren’t the best, but they are OK.
San Juan del Sur is a surf town on the Pacific coast just two hours drive north of Costa Rica. So, why am I here? I am here mainly to study Spanish, but also to experience a few weeks in a beach town and hopefully get some scuba dive training in in my spare time.
I am living with a family two doors down from the school, as arranged by the school, which is great. I get to live cheap in a convenient location, 3 meals a day, and I practice my Spanish with the large family in whose house I rent a room.
UPDATE: Got some good wifi at the Juan Valdez Cafe – how Colombian! Photos uploaded
So 4 days of working in the heat requires a fun weekend. As I am in the Caribbean, it makes sense to go diving. I found a well-reviewed dive shop, Diving Planet, and booked a two-dive day.
The majority of the reefs around here are around the Rosario Islands, which are approximately a 30 minute boat ride from the mainland. Far enough that it feels like the natural 4 it is.
I wouldn’t say the diving was the best or most fish filled I have experienced. It was among the most relaxing which was enjoyable. The water temperature was 26C so no need for wet suits. Super easy diving without! And fast for getting ready for dives. Besides being a super comfortable temperature, there was no current at all so we were able to take it nice and easy.
Most of the people who booked for the trip were snorkelers or learning to dive. This was great because only 3 of us dove with the dive master. And the other two were a couple from NYC- only the guy was originally from Toronto. Gotta love those small world moments. Super nice people too.
One of the things I like about diving is I can do it on my own and the other divers are usually friendly. At the very least they’ll talk to you about their travels and other dives. Today I also met a couple from Illinois and a man from Argentina whose daughter is moving to Toronto in December. Fun day!
Even if I didn’t see a lot of fish, the visit to the islands was worth it. They are national park land but you can stay there in a choice of hotels and all inclusives. Our lunch stop after the dive was one of those called Cocoliso. The trip over was combined with another group doing a tour so there was a Spanish language history lesson that I only half heard. I was busy trying not to drop my phone as I photographed some beautiful scenery!
Sadly, I can’t get a strong enough connection today to upload my photos. You will just have to believe me that it was a beautiful day in every way. I am a little disappointed that I can’t make this blog as good as I wanted but that’s part of the experience too.
Maybe tomorrow I can find some powerful wifi somewhere but it’s not happening today and I need to roll with it! My new mantra. Hasta mañana!