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Dive Review of East Puerto Rico Diving in
Puerto Rico

East Puerto Rico Diving, Apr, 2009,

by Mark Zahorik, Il, USA (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4854.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Turks & Caicos, Bonaire, Caymans, Lake Michigan (wrecks)
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions First (deeper) dive of the day-- follow the group. 2nd (shallower) dive own profile
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments I live in Chicago and travel regularly (4x year) to visit my wife's family in Puerto Rico. I usually try to squeeze in a few dives when I visit and consequently have logged ~ 200 dives all over the island. In my judgement, the best diving on the island is on the west (Desecheo island) and the south (wall diving in Guanica) ends of the island. The diving in these two zones stacks up pretty well with most other dive destinations in the Caribbean. The challenge that I have--and many others that are staying in or around San Juan--is that the drive to the west or south is prohibitvely long (2+ hour drives one way). Consequently, most divers are directed to the north east part of the island (Fajardo) where the diving--even on a very good day--is not even mediocre. Over the years I've heard many divers give lackluster reviews of their dives on the island and in most cases they've only dove the crummy sites in Fajardo. For those staying in San Juan, a much better and equi-distant (45 minute drive) alternative to Fajardo is toward the south east part of the island in a resort called "Palmas Del Mar". Inside the resort is a large harbor and a new dive operation called "East Puerto Rico Diving". This shop was launched by a retired stockbroker turned avid scuba instructor, Joe LeRoy. There is a large reef formation just outside the harbor called the "Basslet Reef" that stretches for several miles. The reef is quite impressive and the visibility on the deeper (first) dives is consistently close to 100'. The area seems a bit overfished, so larger pelagics are not seen too frequently, but I've seen turtles & rays on many/most of my dives. A bonus with this location is that they often elect to make the 12 mile trip over to Vieques. There are several shallow reefs off of Vieques that they often visit when the group has newer divers--these reefs seem very healthy and unspoiled by fisherman. The sites near Palmas are also solid. The dive site "Moray's ledge" was particularly notable. In addition to getting an up close view of a 6 foot green moray eel, we also had a sea turtle follow us around for five minutes while we viewed several lobster, a spotted eagle ray w/Remora attached, an octopus along with schools of grunts, spadefish, angelfish....a very memorable dive with almost 100 feet of visibility. Bottom Line: I still view the west & south regions of the island as having the best diving, but "East Puerto Rico Diving" is a very good alternative for anyone staying in and around San Juan.
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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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