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Dive Review of ORCA dive center/Manavai Hotel in
Chile/Easter Island

ORCA dive center/Manavai Hotel, Jan, 2011,

by Larry Schnabel, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 12 reports). Report 5895.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Palau, Yap, Thailand-Burma, PNG, Solomons, Great Barrier Reef , Viet-Nam, Fiji, Hawaii, Cozumel, La Paz, Socorros Islands, Cocos, Galapagos, Yucatan Peninsula, Cook Islands, all over Caribbean, Greece, Italy, Maldives, Southern California
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 73 to 75 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 60 to 175 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Don't go lower than the Orca divemaster leading the dive.End dive with around 500 PSI.Once Orca sees you know how to dive, it lets you pretty much dive your own profile and is not martinet re , e.g., ending dive with X PSI or staying glued to a buddy, etc.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Easter Island is about 1/2 way between Chile and Tahiti. The island is unspoiled. Diving, looking at stone statues and other remains of ancient inhabitants , surf and boogie boarding and horse back riding are the primary tourist offerings. Orca is very experienced and goes out of its way to assist divers in getting into/out of the small and uncovered boats used to ferry divers the 5-15 min rides to the dive sites. The largest pelagice I encountered was a pair of jack tuna. Tropical fish, lobsters, colorful yellow trumpet fish , speckled eels were fairly numerous, but not of the quantity you see in ,e.g., PNG. To me the most memorable aspect of Easter Island diving is the visibility- sometimes exceeding 175 feet, so clear that you feel you are flying through air. Ex -NYC chiropractor Kim owns the Manavai Hotel, about 500 yards walk form Orca Dive Center. Kim knows the island and can advise you of what is good/bad on it. Our land tour guide- Josie- was encyclopedic re the island and its history- her grandfather assited Thor Heyerdahl in investigating Easter Island's original inhabitants ( Heyerdahl believed they cam from the So. American mainland, Josie's father thought Polynesia and later DNA investigation proved her grandfather right).I found two very good restaurants near Orca Dive Center: La Kaleta and La Taverne Du Pecheur , the latter run by a Frenchman and offering truly gourmet food. Our dive group - five of us- were led by well known diver Ken Kurtis , who is a master at organizing dive trips.All in all it was a very good trip. But three plane flights consuming arond 19 hours in the air wore me out . If you can upgrade to biz class for the longest of the three flights- between U.S. and Santiago- do it Note an alternate route is Tahiti to Easter Island)..
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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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