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Dive Review of Beqa Island Resort/Beqa Island Resort] in
Dominican Republic/Beqa island

September, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by William Hollister, CA, USA
Report Number 1404
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Wakatobi, Manado, Lembah Straights in Indonesia; Kadavu and Naninui-Ra in
Fiji; Little Cayman, Bonaire, Guanaja in Caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

windy, cloudy  
Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
0   to 0    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Large plastic bucket on boat for cameras for between dives. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
2 stars    
I want to compare my recent dive trip to Beqa Island (pronounced
"Benga")in Fiji to two other locations in Fiji where I have dived
a few times: Matana Beach Resort/Dive Kadavu on Kadavu island, and Wananavu
Resort/Crystal Divers on NaniNui-Ra at the northern tip of Vita Levu.
First, the above-water comparison. The Beqa island Resort (formally named
Marlin Bay Resort)is a lovely and tranquil facility. The bures (cottages)
are large, air conditioned, and well appointed. Each bure has an outside
area with a hammock and lounge chairs. The water from the tap is drinkable.
The only complaint regarding the bures is the showers: it is difficult
(impossible?)to control the water temperature, the temperature seems to
change from too cold or too hot, regardless of the controller setting --
everyone seems to share this complaint. The bures at Matana Beach were
comfortable, but not as large and well appointed, with no hammocks outside;
and the water is not drinkable (they have a small refrigerator in the bure
with bottled water). The rooms at Wananavu are more modern (it is more of a
western resort than a traditional bure-style Fijian place)and they are very
nice. The food at Beqa is excellent, as good as I have ever had at a
resort. There are always two choices for each meal. Matana Beach's food is
certainly wholesome, but not at all gourmet; it is a weakness of the
resort. Wananavu has its own restaurant that serves quite good food. Both
Beqa and Matana Beach provide the feeling of a real Fijian experience,
where you get to know the (wonderful) local villagers, while Wananavu is
more of a western hotel feel. The beach at Beqa was not nearly as nice as
we expected: pretty small, with a lot of coral rubble with few areas of
nice sand. There are a couple of other nearby beaches acessible by walking
or kayyaking, but they are no better. We are shellers, and were very
disappointed with the availability and quality of shells on the beaches.
Matana Beach has a very nice, large sandy beach in front of it, full of
lovely shells. Even better, a nearby beach (by kayyak, also visited during
between-dive intervals), Monduli beach, is two miles of gorgeous beauty,
where you can be the only footprints on the sand and find world-class
shells. Wananavu has no real beach.

The snorkling at Beqa is decent, with a long reef about 50 yards out over
the flats with the bottom at around 20-30 feet and the top at 0-3 feet
depending on the tide. I saw several pairs of longnose filefish (a first
for me), clownfish, lots of small tropicals, some small tridacnas, lots of
christmastree worms. The water is typicaly cloudy. Matana Beach has decent
snorkling, with a few bommies in close offshore, but not as good or
extensive as Beqa. Wananavu has no real snorkling areas.

Now the diving. In general, I was disappointed with the diving in Beqa,
partly because my research had suggested "world-class diving".
About half of the dives were "ho-hum", and half "that was
nice". The dive sites are typically 20-30 minutes by boat. They have
three boats, and all are quite nice for diving. Several dives have a lot of
current. The bommies have only patches of healthy coral, the locals have
overfished to the extent that there are almost no large fish and fewer
numbers of smaller tropicals than I have seen elsewhere in Fiji. There is
some good soft coral. On the plus side, I saw leaffish and blue ribbon eels
on almost every dive. The divemasters do not provide any graphic overview
of the dive site in their brief briefings, and they are only mildly
attentive to the status of the divers in the water. They let you dive as
you want. They are quite good at finding and pointing out interesting
critters. The between-dive interval is spent on the boat, with water,
koolaid, and cookies available.

The diving at Matana Beach with their house dive operation, Dive Kadavu, is
about the same quality as Beqa. The dive sites are generally much closer
(5-15 minutes), the between-dive interval is spent on a fantastic beach. 

Diving with Crystal Divers out of Wananavu Resort is utterly fantastic. As
good as anywhere in the world. Great expanses of healthy coral of countless
varieties, with loads of tropical fish, and good amount of larger fish. The
recent tragic loss at sea of Dan Grenier, the founder and lead divemaster
will certainly have an impact on this operation, so check to see their
status. But if they are operating, this is the place to dive in Fiji.

In summary, for us, Beqa was a nice all-around place for a vacation, but we
would rather go back to Matana Beach for the beaches, the relaxing, and
native experience; or to Wananavu/Crystal Divers for the diving.
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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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