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Dive Review of Conch Club Divers/Paradise Villas in
Cayman Islands/Little Cayman

Conch Club Divers/Paradise Villas, May, 2010,

by Sandra K Falen, KS, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 5628.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Palau, Tonga, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and all over the Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 100 to 120 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Behave like an adult, and you'll be fine... these folks are easy-going. Dives were generally around an hour, sometimes longer.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Roomy camera table on boat.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments For Caribbean diving, it's hard to top Little Cayman. It had been nine years since my previous visit, and I shouldn't have waited that long to return.

Paradise Villas (PV) is flat out terrific, and a great value. Every cottage is beachfront, with spacious verandas front and back, and compact bedroom, living, and dining areas. The kitchen facilities made it easy to do breakfast on our own, as well as a post-dive Happy Hour while reviewing that day's photos over a cold beer or rum punch (we stocked up at the nearby grocery and liquor store). Lunch and dinners at the Hungry Iguana, on site, were decent and reasonably priced (don't miss the mango sorbet). PV is well-managed by a friendly staff, the property is clean and inviting, and I was even able to check email from my room, with the free WiFi.

The staff at Conch Club Divers (CCD) is experienced, safety-conscious, and a lot of fun, and I give them a 5-star rating. They know the territory, care deeply about the island and its waters, and they run an efficient operation. They picked us at PV at around 7:30am for the short ride to the Little Cayman Beach Resort, where CCD's boat is docked. If you're a Nitrox diver, you'll analyze and label your tanks at the shop here each day. There are roomy rinse tanks, a large gear storage area, and a camera rinse tank. Morning dives consist of a 2-tank trip, with surface interval spent on the boat. After returning to the dock, the CCD staff cheerfully motored us back to PV in time for lunch. My friends and I also opted for a single-tank afternoon dive, and the CCD van usually picked us up at around 1:30.

Diving on LC provides for outstanding photographic opportunities, with the sheer and stunning Bloody Bay Wall as a backdrop. I was pleased to see that the corals are still pretty healthy, and so, too, is the fish population. We saw an amazing number of large lobsters and groupers, and there were turtles sighted on nearly every dive. Other sightings included seahorses, flounders, burrfish, scrawled filefish, barracuda, stingrays, nursesharks, and an amazing array of juvenile fish -- I lost count of the canary yellow, baby blue tangs and the tiny, schooling baby surgeon fish darting about the reef. Oddly, I didn't see a single eagle ray -- although they were spotted by other divers on the boat that week. The turtles and groupers are clearly accustomed to divers, which allows for some amazing, close-up "Kodak moments". I had a porcupinefish pose lazily right in front of my camera, and a dazzling reef squid mating display which made for some spectacular video.

As for the dreaded and unwelcome lionfish - yes, they are in Cayman waters. I was happy to find that the dive crew has taken a simple approach to dealing with them: trap and kill whenever possible. We probably sighted (and subsequently dispatched) at least two on every dive. After seeing how lionfish can decimate the tropical reef fish population in the Bahamas, I'm convinced that killing them is necessary, and it appears that this approach is helping to keep them in check in LC.

While Little Cayman diving may be the priciest in the Caribbean, it's also arguably the best. I won't wait nine years to return.




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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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