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Puerto Rico Suggestions Please

Discussion in 'Greater Antilles' started by gogoasami, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. gogoasami

    gogoasami Guest

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Chicago, IL
    8
    0
    Hi everyone,

    My friend, her 18 year old daughter and I will be heading to Puerto Rico from 3/19 - 3/25. I have been studying up on this site for PR diving information (thanks for all the great reports!), and we are looking at diving with Taino Divers. The problem is, they can only accommodate us on Sunday for a 2 tank morning dive to Desecheo -- all the other days that we are there, they can only take us for 1 tank afternoon dives to the local reefs (which still sound pretty amazing).

    We will have a car, so we could move to another dive location such as La Parguera or Vieques instead of spending all of our time in Rincon. However, it sounds like Desecheo has the best diving, so I wondered if we should just stay there.

    I am also curious what there is to do in Rincon when we are NOT diving. We aren't staying at a fancy all-inclusive resort or anything (currently thinking about staying at Casa Verde), and I don't want to just lay on the beach. I saw that I could try surfing lessons... that may be fun. But, if Rincon proves to be a diving, surfing and laying on the beach type of town, we may be bored.

    Any suggestions on the best use of our 5 short days in Puerto Rico would be greatly appreciated!

    asami
     
  2. bubbles3d

    bubbles3d Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Texas
    109
    0
    The north and west side are open to the winter storms such as the one crossing the USA right now. The place to go is the southwest part of the Island, site of the 20+ mile wall. Try Paguera Divers.com. Vieques, you can not take your vehicle. Desecheo, this time of the year, take a bottle of Bonine. Rincon, surf is up! (considered the Hawaii north shore for surfing of the Caribbean). Go north to Aguadilla (Crash Boat, shore dive) and south to Cabo Rojo site seeing. Don't forget San Juan & Fajardo. Fajardo diving is surf permits.

    This time of year, La Parguera & Guanica are your best diving locations. Don't forget the Phosphorescent Bay in La Parguera. I grew up there so PM me if you need more info.
     
  3. gogoasami

    gogoasami Guest

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Chicago, IL
    8
    0
    Thank you, bubbles3d, for fantastic seasonal information. I couldn't find that anywhere else!

    Well, we have three days of diving reserved with Taino Divers right now, and am waiting to hear back on availability from Parguera Divers. We can't make hotel reservations for the middle of our trip until we figure out the diving situation, but we have the Sheraton Old San Juan for our first and last nights.

    I am intrigued by the bioluminescent bay near Vieques. Is that similar to the Phosphorescent Bay in La Parguera? Should we do both, or just one or the other?
     
  4. gogoasami

    gogoasami Guest

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Chicago, IL
    8
    0
    I don't know how I didn't notice yesterday, but Parguera Divers has closed down. According to their website, their last charter was on Jan 27, 2008. I guess I'll have to find another dive shop right away...
     
  5. DiveInFlorida

    DiveInFlorida Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    151
    0
    Hey,
    Looking forward to your dive report when you get back. We are planning a trip next month to Copamarina Resort and Sea Ventures on the southern coast.
    Have a great trip.
     
  6. coleraindiver

    coleraindiver Registered

    6
    0
    How Funny! We are going with Taino on Sunday March 23rd for our Open Water Certification. They could not fit us in on Saturday. We are using Atlantic Dive Center in Aguadilla 787-997-0840March 22nd. Did Taino tell you they have a new dive boat but just waiting for the Official paperwork before they can do bookings.
     
  7. gogoasami

    gogoasami Guest

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Chicago, IL
    8
    0
    What a coincidence! We look forward to seeing fellow midwesterners all the way in PR, coleraindiver! We're a party of three women, one Japanese and two Mexican-American, so we should be pretty easy to spot!

    I booked with Taino Divers via email, and they didn't mention the new dive boat at all. I guess we will see you at the dive shop, as we will likely be on separate boats (assuming we get to Desecheo Island). It seems they have had to cancel some recent trips to the island due to weather, as bubbles3d mentions above.

    I called West Divers in Lajas, and a polite but not that helpful person reserved the 2 tank morning dive to the Parguera Wall for us. I felt that she wasn't that helpful because she asked for the type of wetsuits and fins, and when I asked her, "what do you recommend" or "what do most other divers do at this time of year" she was unable to give me an answer. Maybe she didn't want to tell me what to do, but I was at a loss and needed some guidance. Maybe I missed something.

    I also called Paradise Scuba in Lajas for a quote, but I had a very hard time understanding the gentleman who answered the phone (my Spanish isn't that good, especially over the phone). I tried emailing them, but the address provided resulted in a bounceback message. So I had my friend call in Spanish. They are closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but we are booked for the sunset snorkeling/dinner/phosphorescent bay swimming excursion on Saturday. Their 2 tank morning dive to Parguera Wall was far more expensive than West Divers, in addition to the fact that they don't seem affiliated with PADI.

    All in all, we currently plan to do 3 excursions over 2 days with 3 dive shops. Any comments/suggestions are highly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance,
    asami
     
  8. DrDuktayp

    DrDuktayp Divemaster Candidate

    109
    0
    Asami:

    We were in PR last week! The weather was wonderful! We had scheduled a day of diving with Taino but it was cancelled do to rough seas. The diving was fine in Aguadilla. We got directions and fills from Puerto Rico Technical Dive Center. The owners spoke English and their shop and fill area was very clean. We dove two sites that are near the shop Crash Boat and La Natural. If we had more time we would have dove La Natural a couple of more times and would have dove Crash Boat at night. There was a wide variety of life at both sites. We saw lots of fish and a sea horse at Crash Boat and several sea turtles at La Natural. Our friends that currently live in PR went back this weekend to dive La Natural all weekend.

    Look forward to your trip report.
    DrDuktayp
    PS The driving is pretty intense until you get away from San Juan and the Toll Ways.
     

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