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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters West/Lodge Kura Hulanda in

May, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Irina Zeylikman, MA, USA
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 4864
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Bonaire, Turks&Caicos, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Belize, Truck
Lagoon, Palau, Australia, Thailand   
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
Water Temp
79   to 81    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Watch the computer  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
There was a rinse bucket for camera on board.   
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
This was our 9th trip to Curacao and after staying almost exclusively at
the Habit Curacao all previous times and seeing it rapidly deteriorating,
we've decided to check out the relatively new Lodge Kura Hulanda, located
in the West Punt. We did not regret our decision, the accommodations were
really top notch, it is a 5 star resort after all. However, diving resort
it is not. 
Ocean Encounters West has a shop practically next door, but it is a
separate business and is not connected to the resort. The shop is open 8-5
and if someone wants to do a shore night dive, OEW people will leave a tank
out for you, but you'll have to drag all your gear back to the room (which
has no accommodations to hang it to dry, particularly if your room is on
the ground level) after the dive, and remember to ask a security guard not
to lock the gate from the beach to the lodge. There is a parking lot at the
dive shop, therefore there is always an option to drive to the shop (about
150 yards). There were not that many divers at the resort during our stay,
and some times there were only 4-6 people on the boat.  
Ocean Encounters West is a very well run operation, both dive masters,
Alyson and Garret, and, of course, the Captain Touky (everyone who's ever
stayed at the Habitat Curacao remember Touky) were extremely professional
and a lot of fun to dive with. We dove the dive sites that we've never dove
before, because there are too far West for most dive operations, Hulu,
Watamula, Airplane wreck, to name just a few. On the first day, during the
trip to the dive site, our boat was surrounded by the big pod of dolphins,
but they did not want to play because there were babies with them, We saw
plenty of turtles, eagle rays, eels, and of course, a lot of small tropical
fish. However, we've noticed that fish population is getting depleted and
we were told that some locals just over fish. We have even seen nets on the
dive sites. One has only hope, that overfishing will stop and fish will
come back for us to enjoy.      
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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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