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Dive Review of Casa Del Mar/El Conquistador in
Puerto Rico/Fajardo

Casa Del Mar/El Conquistador, Jan, 2014,

by Mark Zahorik, IL, US (Contributor Contributor 15 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 7544.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments I travel to Puerto Rico at least 3 times every year to escape Chicago's harsh winters & visit my wife's parents. On every trip I try to sneak a few dives in & have logged ~200 dives all over the island (including Culebra & Vieques) in the past 12 years. On my trips, I always stay at my in-laws condo in Palmas Del Mar situated on the South East coast of the island near Humuacoa. Unfortunately, the dive operators in the resort have had a checkered history and for the last 4 years there have been no regular trips out of the resort...a shame too, as the diving outside of the resort is better than many spots on the island (much better than Fajardo!). As an aside, my ranking of the best dive areas in Puerto Rico is as follows: Guanica wall on the SW coast, Desecheo island on the west coast, Patillas on the SE coast, Humacoa out of Palmas Del Mar....waaay down the list is the local diving in Fajardo. In a pinch however, I will travel up to Fajardo and dive with Casa Del Mar. It's really a top-notch dive operation w/daily trips to the local dive sites, so I can always bank on getting in a dive w/Casa Del Mar. First, here's the good news w/regard to Casa Del Mar: First Class Dive operation, w/fantastic boats (2, newish/fast 46' Newton's)and very competent & friendly staff. In particular, instructors Robert, Nick & JJ are all tip-top. Usually, once per week on the weekends they will schedule trips to farther out destinations (Culebra, Vieques & St. Thomas). Those trips are all worthwhile w/above average Caribbean diving. Now for the not so good news: The local daily diving in Fajardo is really sub-par. The visibility on many/most of the local dive sites is often no more than 25' (sometimes even less). "Sand-Slides" is a local, moored site. I've done that dive 20 times and the vis has ranged from 15-40' w/sand covering all of the coral & particulate obscuring the water. No large fish & nothing more than small schools of grunts & wrasse. "Diablo" is better w/turtles seen on every dive, better visibility, healthy coral and more diverse marine life. If you really like to dive, the local diving can still be fun (I have often seen dolphin on the surface and on a dive in December saw a juvenile bottlenose swim right past me on a dive). My message is this: Casa Del Mar is a great dive operator hindered by bad local dive sites. Additionally, don't think all of the diving in Puerto Rico is as bad as the local diving in Fajardo. Many sites on other parts of the island are quite good (see list above). Hope that helps.
Websites Casa Del Mar   El Conquistador

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Lake Michigan, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, Bonair, Cabo San Lucas, Hawaii
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25-40 Ft/ 8-12 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Dive w/the group lead by divemaster
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 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 Did not dive w/camera
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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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