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Dive Review of Diving Planet/Casa Indias in
Colombia/Islas de Rosario

September, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Carl Scott, TX, USA
Contributor   (16 reports)
Report Number 2745
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Caymans, Cozumel, St. Croix, St. Vincent, Belize, Costa Rica, Palau,
Thailand, Philippines, Bali, Sulawesi
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
All dives were fairly strictly limited to 45 minutes, plus a safety stop. 
However, the guide was occasionally convinced to stay in up to an hour
without complaining.  NDL were typically reached on every dive.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
No rinse bucket was provided, except one day when the guide brought one for
his camera.  I'm sure they would have provided one each day, had I asked. 
Boat rides were 5-10 minutes, minimalizing the need for it.  Other than a
few huge grouper and queen angels, there wasn't much to photograph, except
the landscape, which was quite impressive.  The abundance and diversity of
coral is matched, in my experience, only by Palau's Oolong Channel.  My
suggestion is, leave your strobe in the boat, slap on a red filter, and
shoot landscapes for the most part.  They really can be spectacular here.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
3 stars    
As for the dive operation, safety was always a demonstrated priority, and
the guides did provide good service, once you were on the island base. 
However, novice (as in just finshed the resort/Discover Scuba course this
morning) divers were put in the water with the most experienced divers. 
This did not present much of a problem, except that the dive sites may have
been selected differently, as an extra guide was provided to accompany the
newbies.  This operator offices in Cartagena, and all divers meet at the
shop in the morning.  From there, they grab a taxi or two, depending on the
number of clients, and take you to the pier for a boat ride to the island. 
If you ride in their boat, or in Dolphin Divers's boat, it's a 30 minute
ride.  However, if they take you to the day tour boat, you pay and extra
$3.50 or so and ride for 50 minutes.  I didn't consider this an appropriate
way for them to deal with the fact that they only had 1 diver for the day,
but that's just my opinion.  Lunch may be a delicious fried fresh fish or
chicken, with coconut rice and fried plantain and cole slaw at the
minimalist "hotel" on the island, or the same, but previously
frozen, fair in the nice hotel.  One day, they sent sandwiches and chips,
for reasons I never picked up on.  This is not a destination to be praised
for its abundance or diversity of marine life, though I thought it was on
par with Belize in that regard, for what that's worth.  Visibility was
never great, but the huge sponges and dense corals made for some
eye-popping landscapes.  Otherwise, there are a few large (1 to 1.5 meters)
grouper and an abundance of queen angels to break the monotony, along with
a sample of the usual parrotfish, wrasses, triggerfish, etc.

As for the hotel, it is a very cozy and economical ($62.50/night) place in
the charming old central part of town (think Bourbon Street, Spanish
style).  Breakfast is included and was great.  However, there is no hot
water!!!  People there seemed stunned that a warm shower was important to
me.  Apparently, they think it's just fine to shower in 80 degree water.  I
survived, but I'd opt for a different place, if I could do it all again.
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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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