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Dive Review of Butanding Center/Vitton Beach in

June, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Laura Todd, CA, US
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 5536
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
0-25 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 25    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
Small Critters
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
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):
Service and Attitude
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
This trip was to snorkel with whale sharks, not to dive.  The only place
you'll want to stay is Elysia beach resort, with cool white rooms with
french doors and new air conditioners, nice pool, shady hammocks and pretty
restaurant.  No matter where you stay, the whale shark trips are all
organized out of the same center where you watch an orientation video,etc. 
They will organize groups of 6 - 10 on small local boats with a guide and
spotters.  The whale sharks are definitely here.  In two outings we swam
for long periods of time (max maybe 10 minutes) with at least 4 different
animals.  We would get back on the boat and catch up to the same shark and
I would estimate that I got 3-4 sustained contacts with each of the four
animals.  The visibility is poor and the first couple times you get in are
chaotic, but the guide will point you in the right direction.  Snorkelers
are supposedly not allowed closer than 3 meters to the sharks, but nobody
told the sharks that!  We had some very close contact, but no touching of
course.  The animals we swam with were about 20 feet or so in size, ie
adolescents.  Getting good photos is tough but trust me, you're going to
remember this.  Handy tips: do some sprints in the pool before you come -
with a couple flicks of the tail, the sharks will leave you way behind. 
You will want to be confident in your free diving skills - this is deep
water with poor viz and can be rough.  Also even though it is calmer early
in the day, there is no point in going out until about 10:30 or so as the
whale sharks come to the surface to feed at mid day.  And although the
season is January thru May, come February through April.  The sharks were
starting to leave during our May 8 - 10 visit and some boats got skunked. 
The outings are popular with locals as well so best to avoid weekends.  FYI
no banks, no ATMs and no credit cards.
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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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