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Dive Review of Aguas Claras, Atlantis/Dolphin Hotel in
Brazil/Fernando de Noronha

Aguas Claras, Atlantis/Dolphin Hotel, Oct, 2002,

by Martha & Jeff Hubbard, NY, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 298 has 1 Helpful vote.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Palau, Australia, PNG, Fiji, Caymans, Bonaire, Virgin Islands, Roatan, Belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 90 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Follow-the-leader, arbitrary time limits.
Usually returned with > 1000 psi.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Not worth bringing equipment.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments There are three dive operators, Aguas Claras, Atlantis, and Noronha Divers. We dove with the first two. Atlantis has two spiffy fiberglass catamarans carrying up to 30 crowded divers and a smaller boat for up to 8 or so. Aguas Claras has old wooden boats that look like African Queen fitted for day diving, for up to about 14 divers. Plenty of sun cover on all, and we came to like the wooden boats.

There was some (temporary) confusion about our diving reservations, so Aguas Claras sent (English-speaking) Andre to our hotel at 9 p.m. Sunday to review our C-cards and arrange for two tank morning dives Monday and the rest of the week. Aguas Claras made a real effort to give us an English-speaking guide, with the happy result that every dive featured the charming Claudia who treated us like the experienced divers that we are. Most days' morning dive was just the four divers in our party.

Afternoons we did two-tank dives with Atlantis. The cats are new but crowded: up to 3 groups of up to 10 divers. Since many divers are rookies - Brazilians on their first ocean dive trip - big groups and exiting fully geared leads to getting one's mask kicked off or 2d stage ripped from the mouth occasionally. Dive guides usually had enough English to get by, not actually converse, and treated everyone like a beginner.

The dives were of reasonable length but arbitrarily limited by the divemasters. The few Brazilian tourists who spoke English were friendly and pleasant. All the locals were friendly, but few speak English. Brazil requires a visa and makes it difficult to get one. We used www.traveldocs.com and were delighted.

We paid US$1500/person for a week, hotel, breakfast, lunch and 3 dives a day (4th dive each day we paid on-island.) The Dolphin Hotel was simple but comfortable. Restaurants are not very good, with the exception of Miramar where Fernanda treated us like guests in her home. With 3-4 Rs/US$, eating out is cheap in $. I'd deal with the dive operations and hotel direct - no need for an agent. Island tours are cheap and fun. The scenery is magnificent - better than the diving. See lots of dolphins - just don't get near them in the water! Our guide (and indispensable translator) was Djanira (3619 1016) - who met us at the airport and helped with many things. When the airline TRIP seemed to abandon us because their (possibly only) plane broke, she pleaded/threatened on our behalf to get us on the only plane to the mainland.

For a new Brazilian diver, Fernando de Noronha would be an easy and interesting introduction to ocean diving. For the experienced North American diver, the distance and time to get there would be better spent in visiting Bonaire or Little Cayman.

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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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