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Curacao Trip Report Lagun and Westpunt

Discussion in 'Curaçao' started by tkaelin, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. AdivingBel

    AdivingBel Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
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    I get there are going to be comparisons because for many of us shore diving offers a lot of economy & freedom (and in the big picture it's relatively rare in abundance). I just don't see Curacao as a truck & dive locale. You can make it so, but you miss out on a lot it has to offer. :)

    There's certainly not the shopping & nightlife "out West" that you have closer to the city, but there are enough small, nice restaurants, beaches, condo style resorts with pools, wonderful cliff side views, hiking, biking etc. for non-divers (or not so serious divers :)) to enjoy. It's great for a more leisurely, unplugged vacation. It's why a lot of us, divers and non-divers, come to the islands. It's not boonies, snakes, and outhouses (or all spartan dive lodges).:wink: Also it's only a 45 min drive to Willemstad on a good road for a night out fix and to stock up on condo groceries. It just depends on what you're looking for in a getaway. I would've come here in a heartbeat before I started dive traveling. All IMHO, YMMV.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  2. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
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    I was referring to this thread and in all the posts you talked about differences, I still didn't see "who" was allegedly trying to make Bonaire be like Curacao. Maybe Bonaire was mentioned in name as a point of reference, which drew a reaction that the two are not even similar enough for that. And still unanswered - what country do you think Curacao would be better compared to, as far as divers are concerned?
     
  3. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
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    My point was that I didn’t think it was as much a specific “who” in this thread, as a message that’s been repeated in many threads over time.

    It’s not really that you can’t compare the 2, obviously people will, I did it myself. But it’s more helpful if it gets it gets compared completely. I could compare it to any Caribbean dive destination based on only the parts I care about, which wouldn’t include shore diving around the island. Thats no better than comparing it only on the amount and details of shore diving.

    I actually think focusing 100% on shore diving on Bonaire does it a disservice as well. I see people who are interested in going to Bonaire but come to believe there is nothing there for them if they’re not into the drive and dive thing, or have physical reasons they want to avoid more difficult entries.
     
  4. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
    5,375
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    Ok, so you went off-topic. This thread was a trip report started by one who did 30 dives, all but one from shore. Another recent trip report thread was by one who did 18 dives, all from shore. The majority of threads I've seen here include shore diving as a major if not primary component of their visit. We were discussing the shore diving component and several jumped in with snide comments about comparing to other places and making it what it isn't. If you don't care about shore diving then why are you in a thread discussing the shore diving?
     
  5. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
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    So they transport you to/from the airport? When do you actually get the car and turn it back in?
     
  6. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

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    First time we were on a late flight, so it was the next morning. 2nd time it was on arrival at AllWest, we got all the keys together: truck, gear room, the works. Now I feel I must make a Bonaire comparison :D: when you rent from AB, the supermarkets are all in the same street with AB so you can usually get your shopping done right then and there. On Curacao you're most likely not going shopping until the next morning -- it's too far to get back to town before closing time. We had just enough time for that, but felt too beat after the flights, so we didn't.
     
  7. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
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    Yeah, I've been google "driving" quite a bit last few days. We get into CUR at 4:17pm on American. It's been said a few times that transport will make a grocery stop but I'm assuming that means a market along the way for a few things, not an out-of-the-way trip to Centrum to stock up. Barring flight delays, I'm guessing about 5:30pm arrival at AllWest.
     
  8. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

    5,126
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    Sounds about right. In our case we started at 2 AM with a 2-hour drive to O'Hare so by 5:30 PM we weren't really in shape to drive back to Centrum, and then back to Westpunt. But I think it was open till 8 that day so it's doable: the drive itself is straightforward, you're just looking at some 30-45 minutes to that weird airport roundabout (it has stop signs instead of the usual right of way) dep. on the traffic.
     
  9. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
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    So here is my two cents. There is a plus on having allwest do the transfers and get the car at Allwest. The plus is you exit the airport, there is a driver with a sign with your name, you meet him walk out to the car and your are on your way. Maybe 5 mins. Renting a car if you are the first one out of the plane and no flights ahead of you to slow you down, you get to the rental car counter where even when there is no one ahead of you it will take 20 minutes easy to get through the process to your car. Count on at least 20 mins for each person ahead of you in line. On two occasions once you got to the front they did not have a car for you. On our last trip they told us this and sent us over to the next company who did. Took 40 mins total.

    The negative with Allwest is not being certain you can get to Centrum as opposed to a smaller market on the way. I suppose you could make this a condition with Alwest and/or tip the driver to get you to Centrum if it is important to you. With an arrival time late afternoon you should have plenty of time to get to Centrum and if using the Allwest transfer just work it out to get the driver to stop at Centrum if that is important. It is for us. Once out in Westpunt I don't want to spend the time going back to Centrum to get groceries etc. Centrum is only 5 minutes max out of your way and easy to get to and back.

    Driving from the airport to Allwest is super easy. Exit the airport, first right on the first roundabout and follow the road into Sabana Westpunt.

    On my next stay with Allwest I will do the car package, use the transfers but make sure we stop at Centrum on the way from the airport to AW.

    Hope this helps
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  10. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
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    Helps a lot. Dammit, pros and cons to everything. If I book package on Expedia/Orbitz, they don't offer All West but I can get NK and a car for about $450 per person. Advantage there is I'm not booking into the 6-day unlimited shore tank package and I'm free to use tanks wherever is most convenient (at least without double paying). I had almost convinced myself on that but as you said, there's that airport rental counter ordeal. What amount of tip would you offer the driver to go to Centrum? It'll save quite a bit of hassle, time, and gas money.

    I'm also pretty settled on AW or NK although split in the middle. AW is on the water and looks to have more scenic views and has tanks on site. NK has a pool, a short walk to shop for tanks, and can throw a few in the trunk for evening/night dive. And the short walk from NK might be less "work" than the steps at AW. One of the travel agents I use a lot shows AW/truck/tanks for $677-732 depending on room. I'm going to see if they can back the $179 tank package out of it and go one day at a time.
     

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