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Martin van Gestel Becomes First Platinum PADI Course Director in Costa Rica

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Martin van Gestel started diving in 1977 and ever since then it was more a passion than anything else.  In 2001 he finally made his favorite hobby his career and together with his wife Brenda started a dive shop on Curacao and that is where the adventure began.  More training was done, more teaching and up the PADI ladder they climbed, all the way to Course Director.

Right now the Dutch couple are living and teaching in Costa Rica and are the proud owners of Rich Coast Diving; the first PADI CDC Facility in the country.

Sea to Sky

The airport for the region is getting bigger and more tourists are discovering the beauty of Costa Rica. There are now direct flights from England, which creates a nice melting pot of British and American English in the town.

Last week I was in the super market and I just noticed all the British accents which was pretty new for this area of the world. Somehow it gives this vibe that I used to get when we took a trip to Spain or Greece when I was little. Many tourists, talking their own language and all in shorts with red sunburned legs sticking out. I must say I like the atmosphere 🙂

The effect of the town getting busier of course helps the dive community  and we are proud to announce that Martin reached the level of Platinum Course Director! This is the first time a Course Director reached this level in the country.  Platinum is rewarded to Course Directors who certify at least 100 Pro level students.

When we first started Rich Coast Diving, divers where just discovering the magic of the underwater world here in Costa Rica. Now divers know that the Pacific has loads to offer from small creatures to big schools of fish with massive bull sharks and Giant manta rays. Besides the dive industry growing, the PADI Pro interest is also growing.


Of course this did not happen overnight, it took loads of input from us and our staff, marketing, online research, social media and patience. But we did it, We are the only CDC facility in Costa Rica with now the first and only Platinum Course Director!

Lets hope 2016 continues and just incase you are interested to be part of the Rich Coast pro team: our next IDC starts April 3rd.

Learn more about Rich Coast Diving at: http://www.richcoastdiving.com


Article kindly submitted by Brenda van Gestel of Rich Coast Diving


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