Jessicab916

Jessicab916

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My Dive Map

Reviews (8)

Sunset House Hotel & Dive Center

3
3
4
3

The Sunset House is a decent spot for people who want to dive in decent spots with a decent crew.

The hotel offers rooms offer great views with newer decor. Each spot has a balcony but you don't want to leave things out due to theft. The rooms come with microwaves and fridges so you can stock up on food. This worked well as we didn't want to spend a crazy amount at the resort's restaurant.

The food was ok. The breakfast was included (juice or coffee, cold cereal, a warm entree and fruit) which was great but the lunch and dinner options were a) only meh and b) quite expensive. We opted to shop at the local market in town and make our lunches/dinners or eat out at local restaurants.

The resort is simple but nice as are the resort staff. There's a pool and spa, outdoor showers, and dive lockers. You must rent a lock from them for a returnable fee. Make sure to check your gear before grabbing it from the locker as crabs love to make this their home for the night. I would recommend bringing a simple mesh divebag for your items. Otherwise you're hauling everything on you/in your hands to/from the dive boat to the lockers.

The Sunset House is a no-frills type of dive resort. No one brings your stuff down to the boat, no one gets your gear together, and the guide is only with you for the half the dive. They give you a quick tour and then they head to the boat and let you finish the remainder of your dive on your own. Personally, I enjoy being pampered on a trip by having my gear hauled for me and assembled. Oranges, water and towels are provided on the boat for you.

Their house reef is decent with lots of area to explore. The dive resort gives you good maps and information on what you can see and where. You do need to pick up tanks if you plan to do a night dive as the dive center closes and they lock up their tanks. We found that if you night dive int he area right next to the boats you'll see amazing stuff. Cuttlefish, HUGE porcupine fish, massive rays, a beautiful octopus. All just 10-20' from where you giant stride in.

There is a great art gallery and photo center on site which makes this place key for underwater photography enthusiasts.

The sunsets are phenomenal here. That was a plus.

Visited on 08/2013 - Submitted on 02/20/2014
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Laguna Beach Resort

4
4
0
3

I love Utila and this resort. Laguna Beach offers over-water bungalows, hammocks, private beaches, and good food.

Laguna Beach lodge is on a small peninsula that requires a very short boat ride to get to so you're guaranteed privacy and ambiance. The location has a pool and a BBQ (weekly). The diving is great and the boats are fast. You're going to see many of the creatures you'll see at Roatan (rays, eels, seahorses, turtles, sharks, etc), and possibly more. I was lucky enough to see a wild pod of Orcas when I was there.

The dive operators do a great job of getting your gear on the boat and ready for you. The dive boats were fast and got you to a range of dive sites around the island. They didn't overload the boats. I took my advanced open water with the dive operator and am glad I did.

The kitchen provides food that didn't knock my socks off but it was decent. I enjoyed going around town on the bikes (that are provided) and eating the local food. See picture of me eating a taco made by a woman under a sign on a corner (likely not sanitary but oh so tasty!)

Utila town is rustic, small and has a very gypsy-like feel to it. Most people are riding bikes or motorbikes around. Many backpackers, small shops and people selling things on the beach.

This is a good destination for people who are willing to "rough it" a bit, enjoy small islands with a hippy feel, and couples who want privacy on a small island without the touristy feel of other locations.

Visited on 07/2006 - Submitted on 02/20/2014

Cebu and Bohol

5
4
4
4

I went to Cebu in October 2010 with a girlfriend for a week of diving. We stayed at Turtle Bay Dive Resort (located in Moalboal-- west side of Cebu). This was a great place to stay for diving, good food, fabulous dive guides, and posh amenities.

Getting to Cebu is also fairly easy. I flew from LAX to Manila and then hopped on a domestic flight to Cebu (Mactan Cebu Airport). From there it was a 2-hour drive t the resort. We had our driver stop at a grocery store along the way so we could pick up local fruits, snacks, water for the drive/trip.

The wall in the resort's "backyard" was plentiful in underwater life... gorgeous! We saw lobsters, crabs, pipe fish, LOTS of frogfish, nudis, seahorses, two octopus (one was quite large for the area), etc. And within a 20 minute boat ride were amazing dive sites. One of my favorite sites was Pescador Island which is known for the millions of sardines (silver sides) that reside there. Other fun spots were Copton Point (with an airplane wreck you could get into for a fun picture), Dolphine House (with it's black coral).

It seemed like every dive I was seeing something new. We did a muck night dive and I was so impressed! I saw the one thing I was hoping to see a Stargazer! What a trip to see this unique creature. The dive guides are helpful, not pushy and allowed us to stay down longer than usual once they realized we were competent divers. :) Our gear was carried for us to/from the boat and they were always game to go out for afternoon and evening dives. You tell them what you want to see and they'll find it for you!! I was in frog fish heaven!

Topside fun: Kawasan Falls!! Three level of waterfalls and pools with bars and small eateries around. You have to walk trough the forest and small villages to get there. Very surreal experience... especially when you see a family skinning a goat in their yard. Love international travel!

Good for couples, people who **love** macro, and those who want variety in the underwater life. I recommend bringing a fish/creature guide with you as you'll see SO many things on each dive it's easier to start tagging them as you finish your days.

Things to bring: Fish ID book if you're interested in that stuff, macro lens, sunscreen!

Visited on 10/2010 - Submitted on 02/20/2014
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Bahamas

3
3
3
4

Warm, clear water with decent life, and close dive sites. Diving in the Bahamas is easy and fun. There are a few wrecks, local reefs, and things are easy to access. The dive operators are plentiful but the prices aren't as cheap as you'll find in other Caribbean locations. I think this is because many of the cruise ships access the Bahamas (just my opinion).

I traveled to the Bahamas in July and dove with Bahama Divers at the following sites: James Bond Wreck, 5 Dollar Reef, and one more local site of Nassau. Our group only wore bathing suits as the water was warm enough for all the dives (80oF). We saw rays, turtles, lots of tropical fish, etc. My favorites are the parrot fish but I also enjoy seeing the angelfish, and drum fish.

Other things you can do in the area are go spend the day at the Atlantis Resort, rent ATVs and head into the hills.
Nassau is very touristy and you'll find all the beachy bars and restaurants, as well as all the shopping and resorts. A fun place for diving, eating and shopping.

Visited on 07/2004 - Submitted on 02/20/2014
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Bali

5
4
5
4

I loved diving Bali and found it to be one of the most diverse areas. It is my favorite dive location in the world.

I lived in Bali in 2008 and worked as a dive instructor. I was able to see many of the sites and live the dream. :) The diving was cheap and plentiful, the locals were friendly and helpful, and the food is delicious! You have macro, you have large, you have drift dives and you have muck dives. You can easily get to wrecks, get deep, and dive shallow. There's truly something for every diver and every level.

The water is warm (for the most part) but there are dive sites that are have cold currents flowing in from the Indian Ocean. Don't forget you are diving near one of the deepest trenches in the world. I mostly dove in my 2.5mm shorty or a 5mm full for the colder dive sites (Crystal Bay, Manta Point).

I recommend getting up to Tulamben. There you can dive the USAT Liberty and stay the night at the Paradise Hotel. This allows for night dives on the wreck and on their house reef. Other areas that are a must are Crystal Bay, Manta Point, or really anywhere around the Nusa Penida islands. The creatures you'll see are plentiful! We're talking nudis, mantas, sharks, all sorts of tropical fish (lionfish, triggerfish, parrotfish, etc). You can see large and small in Bali.

My biggest (and only) gripe about Bali was the trash in the water. It's sad but there is a lot of rubbish in the water (cigarette butts, water bottles, fabric, etc). The Balinese do several religious ceremonies that involve temples being placed into the water. Most of these are made form plants and wrapped in fabric (which ends up in the ocean). The divers and dive operators are really aware of this situation and do much to clean up the areas but it's still a problem.

Some fun topside activities are going into Ubud for a relaxing escape from the bigger cities. You can go for a hike or rice patty walk, see religious dances, visit temples, or hit up a spa for a massage and milk flower bath. Be forewarned, the Balinese are not embarrassed by nudity and in the spas will have you strip down right there in front of them for your massage, bath, scrub, etc. But it's worth it! Or head to Kuta for surfing, club action and shopping.

Visited on 08/2008 - Submitted on 02/20/2014
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CoCo View Resort

5
5
4
4

CoCo View Resort is great! It's not the cheapest location on the island but it's worth the cost. The resort is on a section of island that is only accessible by boat. The resort is small with a very warm feel to it. There are over-water rooms, a building of rooms with balconies, and private beach houses.

A few weeks before we were to arrive, CoCo View contacted me to let me know they were full and would be moving me to a private beach house. These were a few minutes away via bicycle and offered their own stretch of beach, in addition to having all the amenities of a house (kitchen , living room, sun deck, etc). I loved staying at the private beach house.

All meals were provided and made by the friendliest women. I have a few dietary restrictions and they were more than happy to help create meals for me or pull some of the main dish aside before adding the other ingredients I couldn't eat. Local alcohol and beer were included as was most sodas, tea, etc. Once a week there is a BBQ on their private quay with a local dance group coming to give entertainment. The resort also offers a game room that people use for reading, lounging, and catching up with others.

The diving was great! The wreck Prince Albert is right in their "backyard" and is a beautiful dive. You can dive their shoreline anytime, any day. The lockers, dive tanks and cleaning stations are open 24-hours a day. There are morning and afternoon boat dives. The boats are large and comfortable, including a midboat entry so if the swell is bad you can enter from under the boat without risking a swinging ladder accident. The second dive of any boat trip is along the wall heading back to the resort. The longer dive you want, the further they drop you off. While this might seem like a boring repeat, vary your depth by 5' and you'll see things you didn't see before. Or locate something you really like and enjoy multiple opportunities to photograph it.

I would recommend this resort to people who are looking to get in a lot of dives, who enjoy wreck dives, and people who want an all-inclusive resort.

Visited on 07/2007 - Submitted on 01/15/2014
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Roatan

5
5
4
4

Roatan was a great place for diving, good local cuisine, fabulous dive sites and other activities on the island.

The dive sites are plentiful and rich in coral and fish life. Many dive sites are wall dives that you could easily consider "bottomless" or so deep that you'll never see or get to the bottom. The waters are warm and generally clear. I brought a 2.5mm shorty wetsuit that I started to use towards the end of my 7-day trip on some of the later dives of the day.

A few of my favorite dive sites were the Prince Albert wreck and Connie's Dream. The wreck has lots of life, is easy to locate (a shore dive from CoCo View Resort), and is penetrable. Connie's Dream is a drift dive with gorgeous structure and life. This dive site is also easily accessible from many resorts.

The Cara a Cara shark dive was also very cool. We took a boat to a mooring line about 5 minutes off the coast and suited up. Taking the line down, as there was a very strong current, we finally got to about 70' and tucked in behind a coral cluster. Large and plentiful sharks were there to swim around us and wait for the food bucket. After 10 minutes of showing off, the food bucket was finally opened and the feeding frenzy ensued. Very cool dive.

There was no depth limit except the recreational dive limit of your scuba diving rating. If you want to further your dive education and gain more ratings, you can do this at any of the dive shops on the island.

Other things to do on the island are zip lining, the famous Dolphin Dive at Anthony's Key Resort or head to West End for shopping or the beach. I did the Dolphin Dive and enjoyed it but won't likely do it again. Anthony's will pick you up from whichever resort you're staying at for your dive with them.

I would recommend this island for couples, families, and people looking for an island with things to do other than dive. Note that the cruise ships do come here for the day. You'll find town, especially West End, to be much busier. Avoid these areas on these days if you want lower prices and less people.

Visited on 07/2007 - Submitted on 01/15/2014
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Cayman Islands

4
3
4
2

Garnd Cayman is a beautiful island with friendly people, close and easy dives with lots of structure and world-famous beaches.
The diving in Grand Cayman was beautiful and full of life and underwater structures. Swim-throughs and caves were prevalent and fun to dive. The dive sites that are further out from the shore are generally in better shape due to less diving and human contact. The USS Kittiwake was a great wreck dive but be forewarned it's swarming with tourists (divers and snorkelers) when the cruise ships are in port (everyday except Sunday). Sting Ray City is also super popular with adults and children alike. You get up close and personal with sting rays and snorkel with them. Seven Mile beach is a beautiful white-sand beach. Plan a day or two of relaxing on the sand and playing in the waters. You won't regret it!

The island completely shuts down on Sundays and most days after 6pm. Only a few restaurants are open and some bars. Anything in the main city of Georgetown is closed. Transportation via bike is easy and cheap. There are free buses on the island and they'll honk as they approach you. Wave your hand if you want to be picked up. Hitch-hiking was also very easy... we hitched 10x and everyone was friendly and talkative.
Food: I was not impressed with the food of the island. We ate at small restaurants, unheard of, non-chain establishments and tried the local dishes (though there really is no such thing as a local dish). Most things were bland in flavor or ordinary food I could get at home (hamburgers, chicken pasta, etc). I did however discover I'm not a fan of goat (curry, baked, fried or grilled).
Things I loved: fast boats, white sand, easy diving, warm water.
Things I didn't love: 100' maximum instituted by the Grand Cayman Diving Authority, one hour maximum instituted by most dive resorts.
Grand Cayman is a good island for families, people looking for easy and fun diving, couples, those who like to shop, and anyone looking for an English-speaking Caribbean island with SCUBA diving that is easy to get to.

Visited on - Submitted on 01/13/2014
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