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Dive Review of Several.../Sunset Waters Resort in
Curaçao/Western Leeward Coast

Several.../Sunset Waters Resort, Apr, 2005,

by Laszlo & Amy Ilyes, OH, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 1678.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We’ve been shore diving the Netherland Antilles for >15 years. This time, we stayed at Sunset Waters Resort. (see Undercurrent Vol. 20, No. 2). As described, this service oriented all-inclusve has fine food and nice accomodations. Special thanks to managers Jim & Gaynor Hunter for their consistent, tireless effort to make sure that we were happy, relaxed, and well taken care of. They've a great staff and there's live music with dinner on most evenings!

We rented a large-cab pickup truck at the airport from Hertz for US$360/wk with A/C, and manual transmission. Great for shore diving.

Port Marie and San Juan Area – Rent tanks at Easy Divers (Habitat). They're open 7 days/wk, charge US$10/tank, and have a wonderful pier allowing easy access to Rif Saint Marie, their "house reef." You’ll need to sign a waiver. There's a clean rinse for gear & a separate one for cameras. Operators Anne Marie and Harry run a no-hassle operation that's clean, courteous, and professional. To access the San Juan sites, you’ll need to drive west a bit and look for a rock on the roadside painted like a dive flag (site numbers 21, 23, and 24). Since access is through private land, you’ll be charged NAFl$5 by the owner as you drive through. Once in, you can choose from Playas Largu, Shon Mosa, and Mansaliña. Nice sites.

Sunset Waters – Dive Harry’s Hole or, if the current is right, Mako’s Mountain. Rent tanks at Sunset Divers (no affiliation with the resort) for US$10.50/tank, (the highest rate we found). You must fill out a waiver and attend a mandatory, scheduled, group orientation before you get tanks (yuk). Our scripted “orientation” (including tips on avoiding sunburn, dehydration and rough surf) lasted 40min while we dodged wasps that landed on us during the long-winded speech. When we were asked to surrender our C-cards to them during our stay, we objected strongly, and were ultimately allowed to keep them. There is a clean rinse for your gear but nothing suitable for cameras. The “camera rinse” is an unmarked garbage-can that guests routinely used to discard cigarette butts, candy wrappers, tissues, and drinking-cups. (My Ikelite SLR camera housing and Substrobe flash were a constant source of amusement to two of their staff members; I wish they'd paid as much attention to their not-so-funny camera rinse). The current on this “house reef” varies in strength and direction. It's usually mild and to the west (dive to your left, Harry’s Hole). On occassion, it was strong to the east (go right, Mako’s Mountain). Nice varied reef activity in both directions. In addition to the cliché macro opportunities, sizeable schools of baitfish attracted some large porgies, schoolmasters, barracudas, barjacks and crevallies, especially around dusk. Sometimes, the predators would completely encircle their prey and form a “fish ball” that would cause the water to boil with activity as the predators closed on the frenzied baitfish. We saw this occur several times during our stay. Exciting! Dive operator Mike Day claims that whale-sharks have been sighted near these “fish balls” on ocassion! (alas, we didn’t witness this first-hand).

San Nicolas Area – We drove down a dirt trail west of Santa Martha bay but found our way barred by an unattended turnstile. We were later told that if the turnstile is unlocked, you can pass but expect to pay a NAFl$5 “toll”(private property). We never gained access, so if YOU go, tell us about YOUR adventure.

Playas Lagun, Jeremi, and Knip – These shore sites are accessible from sandy beaches. Parking lots are convenient so you don’t have to carry your gear far, but be prepared to swim a bit to reach the hard coral. Rent tanks at Discover Divers, on Lagun beach. They only charge US$6/tank and are friendly and professional. You might want to enjoy some refreshments on their shaded porch, overlooking Lagun beach. (Closed Mondays; plan accordingly)! The conditions at these sites are generally calm, even on windy afternoons and offer snorkelling opportunities for the non-diver. They're far more crowded on the weekends because this is where the residents come to relax too. The reef is healthy, although you’ll see some fishing line snarled amongst the coral pinnacles. The fish were not particularly wary and I found that I could usually get close with my camera. There were butterflyfish, grunts, wrasse, morays, and angelfish. Watch for Jawfish on the sandy bottom as you head out toward the reef (several minutes of swimming). You can ocassionally find seahorses hiding in the gorgonians. Take a compass. The slope is so gradual, it’s easy to get turned around at these sites.

Santa Cruz Area – We didn't dive Santa Cruz on this trip. There's a beach with a parking lot. The local operation is Capt. Eric’s Dive Hut. No information on these guys, other than they're closed Mondays.

Playa Kalki – Use All-West Divers to tank up! (also closed Mondays). These folks are really nice. They have a clean, professional beachfront dive shop. (They also have a location in Westpunt if you are interested in diving there). At Kalki, you’ll have to carry your gear down some steps to their beachfront shop, but if you rent tanks from them, you can use their beautiful wooden pier, rinse tanks, and divelockers for no additional charge! This location is great and the staff went out of their way to be helpful, even though we were just visiting shore-divers. On one occassion, they came down to the pier to help us out of the water! The waters are generally calm and the reef is healthy. The dive staff was interested in what we saw and photographed. A real class outfit. We’ll use them again! You can buy various cold refreshments from them at a reasonable cost.

We didn’t boat-dive on this trip, but you can readily make arrangements with Habitat (Easy Divers) leaving the dock at 8:30am, Sunset Divers leaving at 9am, and All-West with departure at 9:30am. These operators also go in the afternoon...

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caymans, Bonaire, Honduras Bay Islands, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, Hawaii, Lake Erie
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 81-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 20-50 Ft/ 6-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
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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