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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters West/Lodge Kura Hulanda in

May, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Dave Padowitz, CA, US
Report Number 2455
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
0-25 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
81   to 0    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
500 psi return  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
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):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
Lodge Kura Hulanda, located at the less developed west end of Curacao, is a
casual sister to the outstanding Kura Hulanda hotel in Willemstad.  The new
resort combines the quality and style of the original Kura Hulanda with
proximity to the some of the best diving on the island.  The resort had
recently opened and a few details needed to be smoothed out - we should
have brought snacks for quick breakfasts and confirmed our airport
transportation sooner - but it's a beautiful place to stay.  Ocean
Encounters West is a few steps away from the resort at the end of Playa
Kalki beach.  It's a new branch of Ocean Encounters, run by the friendly
and professional Jim and Lisa.  The house reef at Playa Kailki is easily
accessible from the beach or the dock at Ocean Encounters West.  The reef
begins a few dozen yards offshore at 25' with a moderate slope and good
diving from 35' down.  Close to the beach the reef get heavy use, but it
maintains a heathly coral community with diverse and abundant fish
populations.  Two small turtles, green and hawksbill, lived just off the
dock.  Playa Kalki was popular for night dives.  While there were plenty of
fish in shallow water off the beach, the reef edge was a little too deep
for easy snorkeling.  The famous Mushroom Forest is about 40 minutes away,
but it was overshadowed by the spectacular Watamula, a pristine site at the
very end of the island, just a few minutes from the resort and dive
operation.  Watamula had mild current and gradual slope with lush soft
corals transitioning to dense and varied hard coral both at a comfortable
35-45' depth.   Lodge Kura Hulanda and Ocean Encounters West offer an
excellent combination of accomodations and diving.
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