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Dive Review of Aguas Claras, Atlantis/Dolphin Hotel in
Brazil/Fernando de Noronha

October, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Martha & Jeff Hubbard, NY, US
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports)
Report Number 298
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Australia, PNG, Fiji, Caymans, Bonaire, Virgin Islands, Roatan,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
78   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 90    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Follow-the-leader, arbitrary time limits.
Usually returned with > 1000 psi.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
1 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Not worth bringing equipment.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
2 stars    
           There are three dive operators, Aguas Claras, Atlantis, and
Noronha Divers.  We dove with the first two.  Atlantis has two spiffy
fiberglass catamarans carrying up to 30 crowded divers and a smaller boat
for up to 8 or so.  Aguas Claras has old wooden boats that look like
African Queen fitted for day diving, for up to about 14 divers.  Plenty of
sun cover on all, and we came to like the wooden boats.

            There was some (temporary) confusion about our diving
reservations, so Aguas Claras sent (English-speaking) Andre to our hotel at
9 p.m. Sunday to review our C-cards and arrange for two tank morning dives
Monday and the rest of the week.  Aguas Claras made a real effort to give
us an English-speaking guide, with the happy result that every dive
featured the charming Claudia who treated us like the experienced divers
that we are.  Most days' morning dive was just the four divers in our

            Afternoons we did two-tank dives with Atlantis.  The cats are
new but crowded: up to 3 groups of up to 10 divers.  Since many divers are
rookies - Brazilians on their first ocean dive trip - big groups and
exiting fully geared leads to getting one's mask kicked off or 2d stage
ripped from the mouth occasionally.  Dive guides usually had enough English
to get by, not actually converse, and treated everyone like a beginner.  

        The dives were of reasonable length but arbitrarily limited by the
divemasters.  The few Brazilian tourists who spoke English were friendly
and pleasant.   All the locals were friendly, but few speak English. 
Brazil requires a visa and makes it difficult to get one.  We used and were delighted.

            We paid US$1500/person for a week, hotel, breakfast, lunch and
3 dives a day (4th dive each day we paid on-island.)  The Dolphin Hotel was
simple but comfortable.  Restaurants are not very good, with the exception
of Miramar where Fernanda treated us like guests in her home.  With 3-4
Rs/US$, eating out is cheap in $.  I'd deal with the dive operations and
hotel direct - no need for an agent.  Island tours are cheap and fun.  The
scenery is magnificent - better than the diving.  See lots of dolphins -
just don't get near them in the water! Our guide (and indispensable
translator) was Djanira (3619 1016) - who met us at the airport and helped
with many things.  When the airline TRIP seemed to abandon us because their
(possibly only) plane broke, she pleaded/threatened on our behalf to get us
on the only plane to the mainland.

            For a new Brazilian diver, Fernando de Noronha would be an easy
and interesting introduction to ocean diving.  For the experienced North
American diver, the distance and time to get there would be better spent in
visiting Bonaire or Little Cayman.

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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