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Dive Review of Sunset Divers/Sunset Waters in

December, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Bruce Newman, RJ, Brazil
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 3765
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Belize, Roatan, Guanaja, Tobago, Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent and
Grenadines, Fernando de Noronha, Dominica, St. Lucia.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
81   to 81    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 minutes  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Always had separate freshwater rinse tank on boats for cameras.  Crew
assisted with cameras in and out of water.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
Jim Hunter, the General Manager of Sunset Waters, is a real charmer who
enjoys making guests feel special and anticipates all needs, and the entire
hotel staff truly seem to enjoy their jobs, the guests, and each other. 
The hotel package includes room, food, drinks (including Amstel draft) and
a two-tank morning boat dive each day.  For non-divers, if there are such
people, the beach is nice, has water toys, tiki huts, lounge chairs,
floats, drinks service lowered to servers from the main restaurant bar,
etc.  You can shore dive as much as you want, 24 hours a day (they give you
the lock combination for access to tanks and your gear).  House reef has
some resident seahorses to find, a pretty good wall, and is a way to rack
up some more dives.

Lynn Bean and the crew at Sunset Divers are thoroughly competent and a
pleasure to be with, always helpful without it feeling like they are doing
you a favor.  Boat captain Alex is a true gentleman and very competent, as
is the other boat captain Chirrino. Carsten, Clark, Mike and newcomer
Rachael, along with Lynn, lead divers there and back again, if you want,
generally returning to the mooring in about 45 minutes.  Divers are free to
go their own way, and the remaining 15 minutes spent in the area of the
mooring is always interesting and relaxed.  The main boat, the Day Dreamer
is large enough to make it easy in and out of the water.  The smaller (but
much faster) Day Tripper requires back rolls or equipment donning in the
water for entry, but has an excellent side ladder for return.  There was
talk of getting a new boat, and there are numerous signs of improvement
dockside, as well.  PADI instruction is available.

We were there at the end of the low season, and had a pretty full boat on
the first few days, then dropped to 5-6 divers.  Obviously, they can be
more accommodating regarding dive sites and diving types with fewer divers.
 Most dives we had two divemasters in the water (they like to dive, too!). 
We dived nine days, and weekends are wonderfully relaxed, so you really
should think about doing more than a one week stay.

They also run an afternoon boat dive for an extra $50 to Watamula, located
at the extreme northwestern tip of the island.  Absolutely worthwhile. 
Operated as a drift dive, the coral formations are in pristine condition,
and it makes the famed Mushroom Forest seem over-rated.  They say you must
have 100+ dives if OW certified, or 50+ dives if Advanced OW, but I think
that if they see that you dive well on the morning dives, this would not be
a problem.  Ah, space is limited, so sign up early.

Although by Caribbean standards the coral at most sites is very good to
excellent, we were lucky enough to dive Mako Mountain (the original, now
called Mako 1) the day after it was reopened after 6-8 months (the mooring
had been repaired).  What a difference in the appearance of the coral and
the abundance of fish life!  Had the pleasure, twice, of running into
tarpon (five one time, three the other) who seemed to enjoy showing
themselves off the the divers with an elegant choreography.  Turtles,
spotted eagle rays, southern stingrays, a school of 300 juvenile
barracudas, frogfish, scorpion fish, etc., were also highlights we enjoyed,
as well as an abundance of small tropicals.  A couple of days we had pretty
good currents, so we drift-dived and covered three dives sites on a single

To correct a remark by an earlier poster, it is not that the hotel has
'opened up to locals on the weekends.'  The rather loud contingent that
seems to appear on the weekends as hotel guests are Venezuelans taking
advantage of a law that allows them to buy US$5,000 per person at the
official exchange rate in Venezuela, when the parallel rate is three times
that amount.  Bring along all the kids, and you take a lot of that cash
back to Venezuela, getting a free vacation in the process.  Oh, and they go
in bus loads to hit the ATM machines to get even more cash.  So all of the
hotels in Curaçao change character greatly on the weekends, at least
as long as this law is in effect.

By all means get an ocean front room, the view is spectacular and the
gentle sound of the sea on the beach below is an antidote to any prior
existing stress condition.  We do the Oceanfront Junior Suites and love the
extra space.  They are planning a major remodeling/upgrading of the rooms
sometime in 2008--Jim Hunter told me that they have had a very good year. 
The rooms do feel a little 'dated,' as the hotel is not by any means new. 
But all in all it is a comfortable place to do very nice diving, with no
hassles and no worries.  Located far away from downtown area and the cruise
ship insanity, you are in the best diving part of the island.

This was our second trip in a year, and despite discussing other
destinations, we want to go back yet again.  Highly recommended. and
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