Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
Join Undercurrent on Facebook
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Ocean Encounters Diving/West Hill bungalows in

June, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Ellen Moran, NH, US
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 5574
Subscribers: Submit Your Reader Report Here
Subscribe Now Questions?
Subscribers can send this reviewer an email directly from here.
Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Grand Cayman, Dominica, Fiji, Mexico, Panama, Saba
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

no currents  
Water Temp
80   to    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Most first dives of the day were 60 feet for 50 minutes  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
We chose Curacao because it met our criteria of white sand beaches, easy
access from the US, sunny hot weather, snorkeling, shore diving, boat
diving and interesting top side land scape. The west end of Curacao was
chosen because it was not crowded with tourists, we had a chance to meet
the locals and did not want the hub bub of the city bars and casinos. If
you want to truly relax and get on island time the west end is terrific.
We stayed at Westhill Bungalows which is a grouping of 6 small bungalows
around a small plunge pool with nice wood deck and lovely landscapeing. For
6 days we were the only people staying at Westhill. There was 24/7 security
which was nice to know they were there, but for the most part we were in a
quiet neighborhood. The bungalows had 2 bed rooms each with AC and large
windows. The kitchen was fine for making breakfast and dinner but was
minimally stocked with utinsels and appliances. We had to go find the
security guard to turn on the propane stove and the bed had only a bottom
sheet no top sheet. Once we asked for a top sheet we got one right away.
On our first shore dive at Lagun beach my reg malfunctioned. I went to the
local shop but they did not have a tech on duty. Ocean Encounters West was
recommended so we went down to Playa Kalki. Bryan the manager met us with a
smile and handed over my reg to Sean. After 15 or so minutes Sean had me
back in action. Based on this level of service we stayed with OWE doing 2
morning boat dives on the well equipped "Sea Lion". There was a
family of 4 on the boat each with fancy cameras. The boat had rinse tanks
just for the cameras and a separate one for masks. OWE has a captain on the
boat as well as 2 dive masters. Each time the boat had at least 20 divers s
I was a bit bummed but the crew divided us up into two groups so the exit
and entries were fine despite my reservations. The dive masters gave very
good brief, succinct briefings. Our max depth was 60 which allowed for
ample relaxed bottom times since there was little or no current.
In general the variety of tropicals was good although the number of fish
per species was small. I only saw one large school of Blue Tangs.
The hard and soft corals were in very good shape with a lot of variety, the
same holds true for sponges. Andreus our dive master found a Frog Fish was
terrific to see. I did see a Spotted Eagle Ray, small Hawksbill, Sharp Tail
eel and many Morays.
Shore diving the house reef was great. Grab a tank walk down the dock and
get in. After shore diving we could rinse our gear hand it to dry. At the
end of the day the staff rolls the drying racks into a locked storage
For snorkeling and just hanging out we visited several local beaches which
are all coves surrounded by volcanic cliffs with small stretchs of white
sand. Most of the beaches are strewn with coral so bring booties or water
shoes. The free beaches have no bath rooms or trash cans so they tended not
to be too clean. The beaches that had a small entry fee had better
services; bath rooms, outside showers, restaurants, chairs. A few had dive
shops so you could grab a tank for shore diving. Best beaches #1 Cas Abau
#2 Port Marie #3 Playa Kalki #4 Gandi Knip. Fair warning there are no
shallow corals, the fish life is worth while but if you expect Elk Horn or
Stag Horn there is none.
OK what about the food? Dinner in the West end is an all night affair. If
you expect to order and get served fast leave that idea at home. We went to
Sol Food and Landhuis Misje both of which had very good food. Eating out in
Westpunt is more like going over to a friends house for a long leisurely
meal. Sunshine the owner of Sol foods is a terrific hostess, she visits
your table sits down and tell you what is fun to do on the island. Dennis
greeted us at Misje with a huge handsome smile and outstanding service.
Gracie is the owner and chef at Misje and like Sunshine she comes out and
visits your table. Since there were only about 20 or 30 tourists on the
west end, many of whom are divers we all got to know each other quickly so
dinners became even more fun.
Topside, take the time to visit Christofel Park and wander the wild
windward side. Check out the spectacular blow holes!
Last note the bungalow we rented included a car 8 nights US $930.00 which
is a true bargain. We found Curacao to be much cheaper then going to the
Summary-Good diving, top notch staff at OEW, friendly locals, leisurely
meals, terrific value.
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 176 dive reviews of Curaçao and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Bookmark and Share

Other dive reports on Ocean Encounters Diving

All Curaçao Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Curaçao
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

Want to assemble your own collection of Curaçao reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Want to get more articles like these and
other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email?
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get our free monthly Online Update, and a sample issue!

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account |
| Travel Index | Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Forums | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues | Login | Join | Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2017 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.