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Dive Review of Several.../Sunset Waters Resort in
Curaçao/Western Leeward Coast

April, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Laszlo & Amy Ilyes, OH, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 1678
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Caymans, Bonaire, Honduras Bay Islands, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Puerto
Vallarta, Hawaii, Lake Erie
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
81   to 84    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 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
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
We’ve been shore diving the Netherland Antilles for >15 years. This
time, we stayed at Sunset Waters Resort. (see Undercurrent Vol. 20, No. 2).
As described, this service oriented all-inclusve has fine food and nice
accomodations. Special thanks to managers Jim & Gaynor Hunter for their
consistent, tireless effort to make sure that we were happy, relaxed, and
well taken care of. They've a great staff and there's live music with
dinner on most evenings! 

We rented a large-cab pickup truck at the airport from Hertz for US$360/wk
with A/C, and manual transmission. Great for shore diving.

Port Marie and San Juan Area – Rent tanks at Easy Divers (Habitat). They're
open 7 days/wk, charge US$10/tank, and have a wonderful pier allowing easy
access to Rif Saint Marie, their "house reef." You’ll need to
sign a waiver. There's a clean rinse for gear & a separate  one for
cameras. Operators Anne Marie and Harry run a no-hassle operation that's
clean, courteous, and professional.  To access the San Juan sites, you’ll
need to drive west a bit and look for a rock on the roadside painted like a
dive flag (site numbers 21, 23, and 24). Since access is through private
land, you’ll be charged NAFl$5  by the owner as you drive through. Once in,
you can choose from Playas Largu, Shon Mosa, and Mansaliña. Nice

Sunset Waters – Dive Harry’s Hole or, if the current is right, Mako’s
Mountain. Rent tanks at Sunset Divers (no affiliation with the resort) for
US$10.50/tank, (the highest rate we found). You must fill out a waiver and
attend a mandatory, scheduled, group orientation before you get tanks
(yuk). Our scripted “orientation” (including tips on avoiding sunburn,
dehydration and rough surf) lasted 40min while we dodged wasps that landed
on us during the long-winded speech. When we were asked to surrender our
C-cards to them during our stay, we objected strongly, and were ultimately
allowed to keep them. There is a clean rinse for your gear but nothing
suitable for cameras. The “camera rinse” is an unmarked garbage-can that
guests routinely used to discard cigarette butts, candy wrappers, tissues,
and drinking-cups. (My Ikelite SLR camera housing and Substrobe flash were
a constant source of amusement to two of their staff members; I wish they'd
paid as much attention to their not-so-funny camera rinse). The current on
this “house reef” varies in strength and direction. It's usually mild and
to the west (dive to your left, Harry’s Hole). On occassion, it was strong
to the east (go right, Mako’s Mountain). Nice varied reef activity in both
directions. In addition to the cliché macro opportunities, sizeable
schools of baitfish attracted some large porgies, schoolmasters,
barracudas, barjacks and crevallies, especially around dusk. Sometimes, the
predators would completely encircle their prey and form a “fish ball” that
would cause the water to boil with activity as the predators closed on the
frenzied baitfish. We saw this occur several times during our stay.
Exciting! Dive operator Mike Day claims that whale-sharks have been sighted
near these “fish balls” on ocassion! (alas, we didn’t witness this

San Nicolas Area – We drove down a dirt trail west of Santa Martha bay but
found our way barred by an unattended turnstile. We were later told that if
the turnstile is unlocked, you can pass but expect to pay a NAFl$5
“toll”(private property). We never gained access, so if YOU go, tell us
about YOUR adventure.

Playas Lagun, Jeremi, and Knip – These shore sites are accessible from
sandy beaches. Parking lots are convenient so you don’t have to carry your
gear far, but be prepared to swim a bit to reach the hard coral. Rent tanks
at Discover Divers, on Lagun beach. They only charge US$6/tank and are
friendly and professional. You might want to enjoy some refreshments on
their shaded porch, overlooking Lagun beach. (Closed Mondays; plan
accordingly)! The conditions at these sites are generally calm, even on
windy afternoons and offer snorkelling opportunities for the non-diver.
They're far more crowded on the weekends because this is where the
residents come to relax too. The reef is healthy, although you’ll see some
fishing line snarled amongst the coral pinnacles. The fish were not
particularly wary and I found that I could usually get close with my
camera. There were butterflyfish, grunts, wrasse, morays, and angelfish.
Watch for Jawfish on the sandy bottom as you head out toward the reef
(several minutes of swimming). You can ocassionally find seahorses hiding
in the gorgonians. Take a compass. The slope is so gradual, it’s easy to
get turned around at these sites.

Santa Cruz Area – We didn't dive Santa Cruz on this trip. There's a beach
with a parking lot. The local operation is Capt. Eric’s Dive Hut. No
information on these guys, other than they're closed Mondays.

Playa Kalki – Use All-West Divers to tank up! (also closed Mondays). These
folks are really nice. They have a clean, professional beachfront dive
shop. (They also have a location in Westpunt if you are interested in
diving there). At Kalki, you’ll have to carry your gear down some steps to
their beachfront shop, but if you rent tanks from them, you can use their
beautiful wooden pier, rinse tanks, and divelockers for no additional
charge! This location is great and the staff went out of their way to be
helpful, even though we were just visiting shore-divers. On one occassion,
they came down to the pier to help us out of the water! The waters are
generally calm and the reef is healthy. The dive staff was interested in
what we saw and photographed. A real class outfit. We’ll use them again!
You can buy various cold refreshments from them at a reasonable cost.

We didn’t boat-dive on this trip, but you can readily make arrangements
with Habitat (Easy Divers) leaving the dock at 8:30am, Sunset Divers
leaving at 9am, and All-West with departure at 9:30am. These operators also
go in the afternoon... 
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