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PADI Open Water Referral

Finish your PADI Open Water Course in Costa Rica

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$ 400.00 USD

3 Day Course + Certification

Pool assessment + 4 Dives

Including 13% VAT 

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Open Water Referral Course in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the best place to do a Open Water Diver Referral Course. The Pacific Coast of Costa Rica offers great dive sites for beginner and experienced divers.

A PADI Open Water Diver Course Referral allows you to undertake the majority of your scuba training at home before completing your certification dives here with us in Costa Rica !

This alternative route allows you to eliminate study time from your vacation while maximizing available dive time on Costa Rica's best dive sites.

About the Course

What is a Open Water Referral Course ? The PADI Open Water Diver Course Referral allows you to undertake the majority of your scuba training at home (eLearning + pool sessions) before completing your last four ocean certification dives here at Rich Coast Diving in Costa Rica.


A PADI referral allows you to support your local dive shop and avoid having to study during your vacation. You’ll complete all of the (online) theory in advance, so while you are on holiday you can focus on the fun part of getting under water and exploring everything to be found beneath the water’s surface! 


To put it simply, instead of spending 4-5 days of your holiday studying and practicing scuba skills in a pool, you’ll arrive with the majority of your PADI Open Water Diver Course already complete. 


This way you get to dive more and enjoy all that the beautiful underwater world of Costa Rica has to offer.

What to know before you go...
How to Complete a PADI Open Water Diver Course Referral

What It Takes to Become a Certified PADI Open Water Diver

Let's first look at what it takes to become a certified diver here in Costa Rica. 


Step 1: Knowledge Development


The first step the theory part of the PADI Open Water Diver Course. You can choose between learning in a classroom or using PADI eLearning. While classrooms can be useful for anyone who prefers in-person learning, PADI eLearning allows you to set your own pace and complete your studying at home or wherever you find yourself at the time. PADI eLearning is interesting, fun and has lots of great videos for you to watch and better understand what it means to become a scuba diver.


Step 2: Confined Water Skills


The second step is the confined water part of the course. This is when you will take your first breath underwater. You will practice using scuba gear in a pool with one of our experienced multilingual instructors. During the pool sessions, you’ll learn the basic scuba diving skills like clearing your mask, practicing your buaoyancy and lots of other fun skills. The pool excersizes help you build confidence before going on the boat and diving in the ocean.


Step 3: Open Water Dives


The final step is the best part ! You will do four open water dives on the best dive sites of Costa Rica. You will get to explore unspoiled dive sites and encounter incredible marine life. 


PADI Open Water Diver is the first level of scuba certification that allows you to dive independently (with a buddy but without an Instructor or other scuba diving professional). By the end of the Open Water Diver Course, you’ll have the knowledge and skills required to dive locally or abroad.

How to start the PADI Open Water Referral Course


The following steps will guide you through completing your PADI Open Water Course with using the Referral option.  Here’s how to do it:


1. Contact your local PADI dive center and tel them that you are interested in completing a PADI Open Water Referral


2. Once you’re signed up, access your PADI Open Water Diver Course eLearning (Step 1). Work through the knowledge development, reading the information and completing the knowledge reviews and tests along the way (if you have aquestions or issues, you can ask your PADI shop/instructor for help).

3. When you finish your eLearning theory, you will start the confined water skills (Step 2). You will plan these pool or confined water sessions together with your local dive center and dive instructor.

​4. When you completed both the eLearning theory and the pool sessions your instructor will provide you with your PADI Open Water Diver Course Referral form. This form will state the progress you have made during your course with your local dive shop.


5. Now you can send this form to us, here at Rich Coast Diving at email And within 12 months complete the remaining part of your scuba course. And remember this is the best part of the course as you will start to explore the ocean and discover some of Costa Rica's best dive sites. When you complete four open water dives with one of our experienced instructors we will certify you as PADI open water diver.​

  • Why Rich Coast Diving ?
    Rich Coast Diving will help you begin your Dream Career as a PADI Professional. Our PRO Courses have been the starting point for hundreds of professionals from around the world. Rich Coast Diving takes pride in the quality and the professionalism of our teaching methods. But also the fun during our courses. Read testimonials of those who have been here recently.
  • How do I get There ?
    Rich Coast Diving is located in the small town of Playas del Coco. You can either fly to the capital of Costa Rica named San Jose (SJO Int'l Airport) and take a shuttle bus to Playas del Coco (5 hours). We can recommend the Interbus shuttle company. For bookings go to Or you can fly to Liberia (Daniel Oduber Int'l Airport) which is less then 40 min from Playas del Coco and from this airport we can arrange your pickup ($50 USD one way).
  • Accomodation
    For our PRO Candidates we have several accomodation options. Contact us for prices and availability.
  • What do I need to Bring ?
    We highly recommend that you bring your own equipment. If you do not own your own set of equipment yet, you can buy your personal set at our dive shop at a discounted rate or rent it (for divemaster internship only). As a future PADI professional the following items are mandatory and you cannot start you course without them ! We do sell all items with a 20% discount for our PRO participants if you can not bring them from your home country. As per Instructor Manual you need a dive computer, DSMB, compass, knife / divers tool, sound device (wisle).
  • What is the best time of the Year for the IDC in Costa Rica ?
    During the IDC you will spend most of your time in the classroom attending seminars, workshops and presentations. Then there are several pool sessions and a few training dives in the ocean. All of our training dive sites are conveniently located within 15 minutes away. We have access to great training dive sites with shallow and deep water. Conditions underwater can change from day to day but generally the water temperature ranges from 26 - 28 Celcius. So a 3 mm shorty wetsuit will be sufficient to keep you warm.
  • What is your cancellation policy ?
    You may cancel your reservation by written confirmation to up to 14 days before the start of your PRO course and you will receive a full refund. But in case of cancellation with notification within 14 days prior to arrival, your deposit will not be fully refunded (50% of your activities and 100% of the accommodation). Ofcourse we do understand that unexpected circumstances may happen and we can reschedule your course for free up to 14 days before the starting date. However payments made for accommodation reservations will not be refunded.
  • Course Price & PADI / EFR Fees
    Becoming a PADI Pro is not cheap but definitely worth it and we want to make sure that you can plan your budget accordingly by understanding all the costs and fees. You find an overview of the prices and fees on our price list. Do not hesitate to contact us for any questions or concerns you have regarding the costs of the PRO Courses and additional PADI and EFR fees. In short: ​ First there is the cost of the course for the training we provide you to become a PADI Professional. The cost of the course will be paid directly to Rich Coast Diving. Besides the cost of the course there are additional "PADI fees" which will be paid by credit card at the end of the training directly to PADI. As a PADI professional you will have to pay PADI initially to apply to become a member, as well as pay annual membership fees to retain your teaching status with them. ​ For the IDC candidates there are the EFR instructor fees and EFR annual fees. ​ Since PADI and EFR fees change annually please contact us for the latest update on fees.
  • How do I pay ?
    We are flexible and offer different payment options for you comfort. Please contact us for the details. Please note that bank and transfer fees are to be paid by the customer. On arrival you can settle your final payments by credit card or payment in cash (USD/EUR/CRC).
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After Open Water Diver - What´s Next ?

Are you ready for your next scuba certification? If you’re like most people, you want to avoid looking like a new diver. 

The fastest way to improve your skills is to take additional scuba courses. Most divers enroll in the Advanced Open Water course or take PADI specialties to improve their buoyancy, underwater navigation, or underwater photos. 

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