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Dive Review of Diving Planet/Casa Indias in
Colombia/Islas de Rosario

Diving Planet/Casa Indias, Sep, 2006,

by Carl Scott, TX, USA (Contributor Contributor 16 reports). Report 2745.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caymans, Cozumel, St. Croix, St. Vincent, Belize, Costa Rica, Palau, Thailand, Philippines, Bali, Sulawesi
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions All dives were fairly strictly limited to 45 minutes, plus a safety stop. However, the guide was occasionally convinced to stay in up to an hour without complaining. NDL were typically reached on every dive.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments No rinse bucket was provided, except one day when the guide brought one for his camera. I'm sure they would have provided one each day, had I asked. Boat rides were 5-10 minutes, minimalizing the need for it. Other than a few huge grouper and queen angels, there wasn't much to photograph, except the landscape, which was quite impressive. The abundance and diversity of coral is matched, in my experience, only by Palau's Oolong Channel. My suggestion is, leave your strobe in the boat, slap on a red filter, and shoot landscapes for the most part. They really can be spectacular here.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments As for the dive operation, safety was always a demonstrated priority, and the guides did provide good service, once you were on the island base. However, novice (as in just finshed the resort/Discover Scuba course this morning) divers were put in the water with the most experienced divers. This did not present much of a problem, except that the dive sites may have been selected differently, as an extra guide was provided to accompany the newbies. This operator offices in Cartagena, and all divers meet at the shop in the morning. From there, they grab a taxi or two, depending on the number of clients, and take you to the pier for a boat ride to the island. If you ride in their boat, or in Dolphin Divers's boat, it's a 30 minute ride. However, if they take you to the day tour boat, you pay and extra $3.50 or so and ride for 50 minutes. I didn't consider this an appropriate way for them to deal with the fact that they only had 1 diver for the day, but that's just my opinion. Lunch may be a delicious fried fresh fish or chicken, with coconut rice and fried plantain and cole slaw at the minimalist "hotel" on the island, or the same, but previously frozen, fair in the nice hotel. One day, they sent sandwiches and chips, for reasons I never picked up on. This is not a destination to be praised for its abundance or diversity of marine life, though I thought it was on par with Belize in that regard, for what that's worth. Visibility was never great, but the huge sponges and dense corals made for some eye-popping landscapes. Otherwise, there are a few large (1 to 1.5 meters) grouper and an abundance of queen angels to break the monotony, along with a sample of the usual parrotfish, wrasses, triggerfish, etc.

As for the hotel, it is a very cozy and economical ($62.50/night) place in the charming old central part of town (think Bourbon Street, Spanish style). Breakfast is included and was great. However, there is no hot water!!! People there seemed stunned that a warm shower was important to me. Apparently, they think it's just fine to shower in 80 degree water. I survived, but I'd opt for a different place, if I could do it all again.
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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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