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Dive Review of Paradise Scuba & Snorkeling/Parador Villa Parguera in
Puerto Rico/La Parguera

Paradise Scuba & Snorkeling/Parador Villa Parguera, Dec, 2010,

by Jeffrey S. Levine, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports). Report 5880.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments I recently completed a five day dive trip in La Parguera, Puerto Rico with Paradise Scuba and Snorkling and want to provide an overview of the trip. This was my sixth trip to La Parguera but my first with Paradise Scuba. I will discuss the dive operation, the diving, the accommodations, and provide some general information about La Parguera and the surrounding area.

Paradise Scuba and Snorkling has been in La Parguera for many years and is the oldest dive operator in La Parguera. The only other dive shop in town is currently West Divers. Blue Water Scuba had opened a branch for a short time but it is now closed.

I first contacted Paradise Scuba via e-mail a few months ago and then finalized the arrangements by phone. The staff all speaks English and Spanish so communication was straightforward. All my e-mails were returned within at most two days, a very good sign in today’s Internet age. I made reservations for both me and a dive buddy. Luis (the owner) said they needed a minimum of four divers to go out and that getting the additional divers would be his “homework.”

Two weeks before my trip, I e-mailed Paradise to see whether they had enough divers. I received a note from Kiko saying everything was all set and to show up at the shop at 7:45am on the first day to fill out paperwork. When I arrived at the shop, I presented my C-card and completed all the paperwork. At that point, I went down to the dock to board the boat. Paradise is right across the street from the main dock. The boats that we used were not owned by Paradise. Paradise made arrangements to use other boats, one of which was owned by Angel, who was our boat captain for the whole week. Personally, I think that’s a good approach nowadays. This way, the shop focuses on diving rather than maintaining boats…but I digress.

After the divers boarded, we set up our equipment and double-checked everything before departing for the first site of the day which was on the wall. The wall is approximately 25 minutes away from the shore. When we arrived, the divemaster gave us a briefing on the site. The other crew members dropped a safety line into the water which allowed us to see the current as well as an ascent/descent line. We entered the water with a giant stride and held onto the safety line until we received clearance for descent. Each dive generally lasted 45 minutes. We were asked to do a safety stop after each dive. After we boarded the boat, we swapped tanks and began to head to the next dive site. Surface intervals were approximately one hour. Sandwiches and drinks were provided during the interval. We then did a second dive more inland before returning to La Parguera at approximately 1pm. Water temperatures ranged from 79F to 81F. I wore a 3mm full length wet suite and was fine.

The staff at Paradise is friendly. I especially enjoyed diving with Jose and Orlando as well as Jerry and Willy (Ninja). There were two areas where we did have to “encourage” the staff. One was the selection of dive sites. La Parguera has some top sites (e.g. Fallen Rock) that are really worth seeing. When we asked for these sites, I sensed some reluctance but I wasn’t sure why. The other matter we had to insist on were longer surface intervals in order to get better bottom time for the second dive. The staff did accommodate us with both of these matters.

Unfortunately, the shop does not offer Nitrox which would make things even better.
On a side note, Paradise services a lot of snorkelers as well. In fact, they ran tours every day I was there. I’d be willing to guess that this is a big part of their business. The shop was open late every night which I feel gives the store a stronger presence in the community.

In terms of the fish life, I am concerned. Overall there really weren’t as many fish as there used to be. We saw a variety of standard Caribbean fish, just not as much of them as I had seen before. We saw lionfish on almost every wall dive. They are becoming a big problem in La Parguera. I did see a nurse shark, some eels, and some rays as well. I think the government of Puerto Rico, if it has not already done so, should look at establishing some marine reserves. Perhaps this will help the fish population.

I stayed at Villa Parguera on this trip. It was my third stay with them. They are right next to the dock. It is the best inn in town. The rooms are basic, but very clean. They have air conditioning, televisions, a pool, and wireless internet. The rooms were very reasonably priced.

Although the hotel serves breakfast, I suggest you go to the café at Supermercado Perez #2 which is a block from Paradise Scuba on the main road that leads into town. They open at 6:30am. You can get a breakfast sandwich (egg & cheese) and a small coffee for under $4.00. There is also a similar café in the Ocean View Supermarket next to the gas station that opens at 7am. For other meals, I suggest visiting the Cabo Rojo town square, San German, or going to Joyuda where they have many good seafood restaurants.

So, would I dive with Paradise again? Yes…with some conditions. I would definitely request specific dive sites and ask for long surface intervals. The only thing they do not have is Nitrox. West Divers does have Nitrox which, at least to me, is important. Also, for photographers, there was no camera bucket on board.

If you’ve never been diving in La Parguera, I do suggest you check it out. It is a sleepy town with a fun atmosphere. The southwest part of Puerto Rico has a lot of beautiful towns. To make the most of it, I suggest adding a few days in San Juan or one of the other parts of the island. Puerto Rico is a great island with much to offer.
Websites Paradise Scuba & Snorkeling   Parador Villa Parguera

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Belize, Roatan
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 79-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80-100 Ft/ 24-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay above and behind divemaster
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 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 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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