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Dive Review of Caicos Adventures/Caribbean Paradise Inn in
Turks and Caicos

January, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Mort Rolleston, DC, US
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports)
Report Number 4433
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Great Barrier Reef, NC wrecks, St. Lawrence River wrecks, Nassau,
Puerto Rico, Monterrey, Catalina Island, Key Largo, Oriskany, NE Florida
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
76   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
80 feet on first dive; 70 feet on second dive  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 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  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
We dove three days with Caicos Adventures, which appears to be the only
dive shop on Provo that regularly dives West Caicos (10 miles away) and
French Cay (16 miles away) - we only saw one other small dive boat the
whole time.  Both have the reputation for the best diving in the area as
well as the Caribbean writ large.  Caicos Adventures is an excellent outfit
all around.  They sent around a rental car shuttle bus type vehicle to pick
up divers around Provo around 8 to 8:30 each day.  By roughly 9 am, the
boat, located on a small marina on the south side of Provo, started its
30-45 minute pleasant trek out to the dive sites (one day on French Cay and
two on West Caicos).  After two dives at different sites with a one hour
surface interval in between, the boat returned by about 2-ish and we were
back at our hotels by 3-ish - enough time to relax on the beach for a
couple of hours before the sun set.    The crew included 2-3 divemasters
who guided divers if they chose to - with the groups divided by
skill/experience level - or conducted classes.  Caicos Adventures allowed
you to dive your own profiles with the only limit of not going deeper than
80 feet).  It was a reasonable request given most of what was interestng to
see was above 80 feet anyway.  They also took complete care of your
equipment - setting up, changing between dives, rinsing at the end of the
day, storing overnight, etc.  The boat itself was probably the nicest, most
comfortable, and well designed non-live-aboard dive boat I've ever been on.
 The operation is run by French ex-pat Fifi Kunz, who has been the primary
explorer and discoverer of many of the sites on those islands, for over
fifteen years.  He often skippers the boat and is an interesting, easy
going guy to chat with as well.  

The diving is all on walls similar (according to one dive guidebook) to
those on Caymans and Cozumel.  Basically the wall starts around 50 feet in
depth and maybe a few hundred yards off the coast.  Most contained a sand
gully/channel that cut through the edge of the wall (usually they marked
the dive sites, which are often named after the gullies).  More than 100
feet from the wall along the top as you head towards shore is mostly sand
with a few small coral bommies instead of the typical spur and groove
formations of many shallow places (apparently the snorkeling going towards
the shore is quite good as many critters you don't normally see snorkeling
often show up).  On our dives, we'd usually head out to the wall, explore
any gullies, "fly" along wall at 80-ish feet for a little bit,
then head up to the very lush corals along top of the wall and very slowly
work our way back to the boat amongst all the coral and fish.  

The key difference between French Cay and West Caicos was that the former
had dependable sightings of hawksbill turtles (pretty rare in much of
Caribbean) and large spotted eagle rays (1-2 per dive each).
The fish life on all the sites was pretty impressive - especially for the
Caribbean.  Unlike other places I've dove in which you might see a half
dozen or so species of fish, here you basically saw all the major Caribbean
species on most every dive - though usually not in the big schools you
often see in Key Largo.  We also saw reef sharks on more than half the

Coral for the most part was pretty impressive and healthy - especially for
Caribbean - with an interesting combination of the soft coral you often see
in the Bahamas/Keys with some of the hard corals more typical of Bonaire -
though not nearly as prolific as the latter.  We also saw huge gorgonian
fans at the Gorgonian Wall site (only other place I've seen I think is in
Australia).  Visibility was excellent (easily over 100 feet, if not 200),
due apparently to the lack of rainfall and river runoff.

We also saw some big critters from the surface.  Off West Caicos, we saw a
migrating humpback whale just off the wall.  On most dives, we actually
could hear them communicating in the distance if you were quiet, which was
very cool.  We also saw a small manta ray (5-6 feet across) on the way out
to West Caicos.

THE ISLAND:   Provo is pretty small and unique compared to other tropical
islands that I've seen.  First, it is definitely upscale. This is not an
island of gaudy, cheesy, touristy establishments, gazillions of young
spring breaker types, and local panhandlers/hucksters roaming the beaches. 
Second, like the rest of the Bahamas for most part, it is a rather arid
environment with low shrubs and trees on sandy soil on top of limestone
formations that have risen out of the sea.  The beaches and water are
another story altogether.  Provo's Grace Bay, a national park, is a very
shallow bay surrounded by a coral reef that combine to create for
breathtakingly intense turquoise water.  Third, it doesn't seem to have
much of a local, native population (known as "Belongers") or
culture like most of the other islands.  Provo's rapidly growing population
seems dominated by American and European ex-pats.  In sum, Provo is a
perfect island for someone looking to stay at nice resorts, spend your days
either diving, snorkeling, or just hanging out on one of the world's most
beautiful beaches without crowds, and chilling out at night with an adult
beverage or two after eating some of the Caribbean's best food in among its
nicest restaurants.  
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Other dive reports on Caicos Adventures

All Turks and Caicos Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Turks and Caicos
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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