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Dive Review of Go West Diving/Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club in
Curaçao/Westpunt

Go West Diving/Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club: "Conflicted In Curaçao", Dec, 2015,

by Eric A Frick, IL, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 29 reports with 21 Helpful votes). Report 8777 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments A group of us from my dive shop recently took a trip down to Curaçao for a week of diving near the northwest tip of the island. We did daily morning 2-tank boat dives with Go West Diving. On our first day we discovered that one of the two engines aboard their 38-foot Hattaras Convertible boat Palavos was not working. We switched to their 38-foot Delta Custom vessel Caribbean I. With a full load of 18 or so divers aboard, I would say conditions were snug. A roll call was conducted before we left the dock each morning. We had the usual population of photographers aboard and camera rinse tanks took the form of 3 rubberized tubs, leaving no rinse container for masks. We were asked to scoop water out of the tubs and into our masks to rinse and photographers cast a wary glance at anyone moving towards the tubs for that purpose. The crew was capable and friendly. Dive briefings were not comprehensive but they got the job done. Fruit slices and sweet rolls were passed out between dives. After each dive, a roll call was again conducted.

I was surprised at the extent of damage to the coral on all but one dive (Watamula) but a closer look revealed another unexpected fact. The variety of corals was actually quite solid. All the usual varieties were there, it was just that they existed among a lot of their damaged/dead brethren. “Mushroom Forest” is pretty much the signature dive along this coast and in its day it must have been spectacular. I could see the skeletons of fascinating mounds and formations and, again, a variety of live specimens that pleased me but it was among a lot of desolation. Is this a diverse coral population desperately clinging to life and fighting a losing battle or a population on the rebound? As I had seen on a previous trip to another part of the island, sponges thrive here and water clarity was good to very good.

Fish populations had me scratching my head too. Clouds of brown chromis were seen on most dives and smaller fish were seen in good numbers and wonderful variety but larger fish were absent. We saw small craft bearing local fishermen each day but I cannot judge the level of their impact on populations. Adult spotted drum were more abundant than I have seen them anywhere, ever. On one dive, I saw more big eye than I have seen anywhere. Trumpet fish were spotted in numbers I have not seen before. Nearly everything below 12 inches in length was there and in good numbers. We saw one frogfish during the week and two seahorses. On most dives nearly every diver saw 2 or more lionfish. Anemones were everywhere and most of them hosted shrimp and/or small crabs.

We stayed at Kura Hulanda Lodge and Beach Club. The elements of a great place are here but it is not operating at a high level. More than one of our group had to switch rooms for a variety of reasons, including hot water that was not working in one room. Furniture has been dinged up and the place lacks polish. Plantings look nice but miles of plastic pipe snake all over the bare ground to deliver needed water. Ground plants would obscure most of this. Bird life in the area is substantial and adds to the beauty of staying here. Food was decent but not present in great variety. Some of the paver walkways are suffering from shifting and are hazardous to walk on at night. Iguanas on the property are charming but their droppings by the pool are not. The front desk would offer to make dinner reservations on our behalf at local restaurants and then report that the restaurant was closed, only to have us later learn that it was open. The problem was explained as telephone line challenges and was resolved in one case when someone from the dive shop texted a reservation on our behalf.

The “house reef” just offshore from the resort is a nice one and well worth several shore dives that Go West makes easy. We drove to Puerto Marie one day and did a shore dive there and enjoyed that as well.
Websites Go West Diving   Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Other Caribbean, Florida Keys, Great Lakes, Hawaii, Fiji, Solomon Islands
Closest Airport Curacao Intl. Airport (CUR) Getting There I had an easy connection on American trough Miami.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas choppy
Water Temp 81-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 40-90 Ft/ 12-27 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Divers followed the guide but were not overly controlled by dive masters. We were asked to be back on the boat within an hour and with 500 p.s.i. or more in our tanks.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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