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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters West/Lodge Kura Hulanda in
Curaçao

Ocean Encounters West/Lodge Kura Hulanda, May, 2009,

by Irina Zeylikman, MA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 4864.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Bonaire, Turks&Caicos, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Belize, Truck Lagoon, Palau, Australia, Thailand
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 79 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Watch the computer
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments There was a rinse bucket for camera on board.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was our 9th trip to Curacao and after staying almost exclusively at the Habit Curacao all previous times and seeing it rapidly deteriorating, we've decided to check out the relatively new Lodge Kura Hulanda, located in the West Punt. We did not regret our decision, the accommodations were really top notch, it is a 5 star resort after all. However, diving resort it is not.
Ocean Encounters West has a shop practically next door, but it is a separate business and is not connected to the resort. The shop is open 8-5 and if someone wants to do a shore night dive, OEW people will leave a tank out for you, but you'll have to drag all your gear back to the room (which has no accommodations to hang it to dry, particularly if your room is on the ground level) after the dive, and remember to ask a security guard not to lock the gate from the beach to the lodge. There is a parking lot at the dive shop, therefore there is always an option to drive to the shop (about 150 yards). There were not that many divers at the resort during our stay, and some times there were only 4-6 people on the boat.
Ocean Encounters West is a very well run operation, both dive masters, Alyson and Garret, and, of course, the Captain Touky (everyone who's ever stayed at the Habitat Curacao remember Touky) were extremely professional and a lot of fun to dive with. We dove the dive sites that we've never dove before, because there are too far West for most dive operations, Hulu, Watamula, Airplane wreck, to name just a few. On the first day, during the trip to the dive site, our boat was surrounded by the big pod of dolphins, but they did not want to play because there were babies with them, We saw plenty of turtles, eagle rays, eels, and of course, a lot of small tropical fish. However, we've noticed that fish population is getting depleted and we were told that some locals just over fish. We have even seen nets on the dive sites. One has only hope, that overfishing will stop and fish will come back for us to enjoy.
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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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