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Dive Review of Santa Rosa Dive Center/Best Western Santa Rosa Inn in
The Continental USA/NE New Mexico

Santa Rosa Dive Center/Best Western Santa Rosa Inn: "Easy and unique diving", Aug, 2016,

by Peter Schaller, TX, US ( 2 reports). Report 9124.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This isn't your typical review. There in dive boat, no dive operator, no wildlife to speak of. Blue Hole is a spring in the town of Santa Rosa, NM. It has a flowrate of around 3000 gallons per minute of constant 62-64 degree fresh water from a vent at the bottom of a circular 80' diameter, 80' deep hole in the rock. The surrounds are developed with an edge surrounded by a wall, a set of steps and a platform for giant stride entry. There are suspended dive platforms for training- one of the primary uses of this site. There are large areas for setting up with nearby parking. There is a small refill station and a gorgeous visitor's center where you pay a $20pp fee.
We drove into town with tanks from our hometown dive shop some 8 hours away. Because of the altitude difference, we elected to get a hotel room, dive the next morning and drive back the following day. We stayed at the Best Western in Santa Rosa and give it 5 stars. It's a traditional parking in front of your room, so carrying gear is easy. The rooms were spacious, clean and modern. The staff was friendly and attentive. Let's just put it this way, they impressed my wife who as a flight attendant has seen a few hotels. Great pricing too.
While it may not be a rocking resort town, Santa Rosa is along US Route 66, so there is a car culture and remnants of the mother road visible in town and out to the East and West- lots of car museums. There may not be any 5 star restaurants, you can find good pizza. There are other diving sites including the small lake fed by the spring where there is some aquatic life.
We got up and got to the spring just after opening time, 8am. While the sun was low, lighting in the water was adequate- we had dive lights to examine anything more closely. For warm water divers, 64 is BRISK, although some folks were swimming in just a swimsuit! Visibility is pretty constant with the rapid water turnover, so if any silt is kicked up it quickly clears although for the most part, we had the bottom to ourselves at that early hour. Some dozen or so other divers were on the platforms. There is not much to see- no marine life, just terrain and some markers added by other divers. Entry and exit was very easy using the steps.
The spring vent used to be open, and was explored extensively. Repeated accidents had the entryway closed with a metal grate, and a number of memorial markers are scattered about the bottom which opens to over 100' in diameter. It would be hard to spend a full tank in the spring without some other activity, but it makes a great training dive. Several things to consider include the altitude of the spring itself- 4600' above sea level, the height of surrounding terrain (you can go over 8000' going to the West), and the fresh, chill water temperature. It does make a great training dive site, or just a change of pace to keep your feet wet when time or costs keep you in the States. The sites' website covers most questions you might have in planning a visit.
[ link]

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Palau, Yap, Moorea, Coral Sea, Australia, Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Caymans, Cozumel, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Florida Keys & Dry Tortugas
Closest Airport Albuquerque Getting There Driving- ABQ is 120mi Wes, the Texas border is about 100mi East

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 64-°F / 18-°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 75-100 Ft/ 23-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A 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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