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Curacao

Discussion in 'Lesser Antilles' started by neilstewart, Aug 9, 2001.

  1. neilstewart

    neilstewart Barracuda

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    Hi, I've booked a flight to Curacao next easter. I'm thinking of staying at Habitat for the 24 hour dive policy. Has anyone any experience/recommendations on this island.
     
  2. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member

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    Hi neilstewart,

    I've been to Curacao a number of times & in my opinion Habitat Curacao is the only place on the island for the really serious diver. Their house reef, served by a dedicated dive pier, is arguably the best in the greater Caribbean. Open 24 hours.

    They just built a number of new rooms, so check them out. Nifty "horizon" pool. Dive lockers, but bring your own, small, lock.

    It's a bit inconvenient (~25 minute drive) & costly
    (~$25US) to get into town, but you can sometimes hitch a ride.

    Have a great time.

    DocVikingo
     
  3. Laine

    Laine Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Fremont, Michigan
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    Hi Niel,

    I was in Curacao in April (my second trip). I love the island and it is one of the few places I have repeated so far.

    We went with our local dive shop. We stayed at the Princess and fortunately we got a great room in the tower right by the dive shop facing the ocean. Others were not as lucky and were not as impressed with their rooms.

    We had heard some not so great things about the dive operation, but it is now under new management (Ocean Encounters). We opted to dive 3days with them and then shore dive on our own for three days. I will say that the dive operation was great to us. We especially enjoyed the dive of the Superior Producer.

    We went to Habitat to dive their house reef and I agree with Doc about it being a great dive. They make it so easy. We arrived and someone met us at the parking lot and helped us with our gear and then when we were done they also helped us take our gear back to the vehicle. I call that service since we were not staying there and only doing one dive with them. That sold all of us that next time we will do a combination trip (a few days at Habitat and a few days at the other end of the island for some boat diving). Yes, I said next time - I am going as soon as possible for yet a third trip. We also did a boat dive to the Mushroom Forest a must see dive at least once.

    If you go to the area of the Princess Beach Hotel, visit the little beach resturant Seaside Terrace - great food for cheap. We also enjoyed Hooks Hut for good food and sunsets.

    Hope you enjoy the island as much as I did.

    Laine

     
  4. neilstewart

    neilstewart Barracuda

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    Thanks for the positive info I think I'm settled on Habitat and will certainly check out your recommendations Laine.

    Doc, I'm traveling solo, so was wondering if I will be able to take full advantage of Habitiat's 24 hour policy without an accompanying buddy. In your experience are most residents already in pairs and groups or are there plenty of single divers available to buddy? I do mix easily.

    Neil
     
  5. bridgenet

    bridgenet Nassau Grouper

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    Hi Neil,

    My wife and I just came back from the Habitat and it was great. The people and divemasters basically became your friends. Since all there is to do is dive you get to know everyone and the bar becomes the central meeting place at night. Very friendly atmosphere and the rooms are nice too. Food is OK, have had better, and have had worse. A hint, if you don't like one of their buffet nights, eat at the bar. You can go to town but it is expensive for a taxi and not alot there. The Habitat also has pickups for rent at about $60/day or $7/hour. They will load the truck up with tanks for you and off you go, all part of your diving package.

    The 24 hour dive policy is great. The following day of your arrival you will have to meet at 9AM for an orientation and a shore dive. Boats leave at 8:30 so this is kind of a bumma. They do have afternoon boats when it is busy so you may be able to catch that, in our case they didn't but we were doing Nitrox Certification so didn't matter and we didn't have to do the orientation dive since we were diving later in the day with Nitrox anyways. As far as diving alone, you can do whatever you want on the shore dives, basically all the tanks are there and go diving. On the boats they will pair you up and if necessary make a 3 some. Do recommend you have a computer though as you get preferential treatment and more bottom time.

    This is a divers resort and one of the few I would consider going back to. Very pleasant memories...
     
  6. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member

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    Hi neilstewart,

    It should be no problem locating a buddy at HC. Not only should there be others looking for a buddy, but they are comfortable with buddy trios. If you're still left out, sometimes a DM or other staff member will dive with you.

    Go & have fun.

    DocVikingo
     
  7. mighty

    mighty Garibaldi

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    Hi Neil

    Diving at Habitat is great. But i want to recommend you something else. I am currently living in Curacao and really enjoy diving here. The usual spots are already on my 'donelist' for quiet some time. A friend gave me the adress of Curacao Scuba Tours. A tiny company of dive fanatics who organise custom divetrips to secluded areas, really hard to find. Scuba Tours has access to 'plantations' where no ordinary dive-school can enter. They showed me Curacao u/w as i have never experienced before.

    Their lowbudget website will explain you more: http://www.curacaoscubatours.com

    Greetings
    Peter
     
  8. bridgenet

    bridgenet Nassau Grouper

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    =-)

    Hi Mighty

    Wish I had known about them when I was there. Habitat dove a number of the same spots but after looking at the website you suggested there are some interesting dives. They are cheaper too.
     
  9. neilstewart

    neilstewart Barracuda

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    Thanks Mighty, The site's do look interesting, I think I will give them a try.

    Neil
     
  10. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member

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    Hi Peter,

    I'm curious. Do you have an association of any kind, either direct or indirect, with Curaco Scuba Tours?

    Thanks.

    DocVikingo
     

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