Will be heading to the island this Friday the 6th and hope to go diving on Sunday. Was wondering what recommendations people have for dive operators. We will be staying at Portofino and I know they have their own dive shop, any input on that would be helpful. We are interested in diving around the reefs, but not the blue hole (a little to advanced for me). I have about 8 dives under my belt, so still a newbie. Would like to go with an operator that takes smaller groups, is personable and very safety oriented. Any suggestions, thoughts? Also, where would you recommend diving that is near the island?
The Blue Hole is a great dive. If you tell the dive master that you are nervous and would like more support they are happy to do it. You dive as a group (still buddy up) and you are led by a divemaster and there is a divemaster at the rear of the group too. Check and see how many dm's to # of divers will be on the trip. They can often basically hold your hand if there are enough dm's on the dive.
It is a 130ft dive so if you are uncomfortable with that aspect you might wish to put off this dive until you have gained more experience.
You can also go on the trip, which also includes a couple of other world class dive sites, and if you opt not to dive the blue hole you can enjoy a leisurely snorkel around it instead.
Last edited by Amanda Syme; 11/02/0901:17 PM. Reason: sp
Well, that is good to know about the blue hole. Nevertheless, we are thinking about a half day dive(s) as we have A LOT going on that week (we are getting married and have some other excursions planned as well). Any thoughts are other dives or dive operators?
If you are a newbie, you definitely need to go to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. A short boat ride from San Pedro, and inside the reef. Not extremely deep, but lots of wonderful marine life, corals, nurse sharks, and different kinds of rays, up close and personal.
This is an easy, half-day, two-tank dive and all the dive shops offer it.
We used Ecologic Divers and had a small group of 6. They were very professional and safe. They took photos of us underwater during the dives.
There are several other good dive outfits there also. Amigos del Mar is another one that seems popular...maybe larger groups though.
Yeah, I have heard some great things about Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. That is definitely a strong possibility. I have also read a little bit about Amigo's Del Mar and Ecologic Divers. Do you know anything about Chuck and Robbies?
I dive with Amigo's, have for years and think they are fantastic. That said, I have been diving with Robbie a number of times, both when he was at Amigos, elsewhere and "Chuck and Robbie's". I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending their operation.
My position on a dive to the Blue Hole is different than that expressed by others here. You say you only have 8 dives. That said, if you were going to be going exclusively on a dive vacation, I would recommend that you get in as many close-in dives as possible and take opportunities to become comfortable at deeper depths before booking a trip out to the Blue Hole.
It is a remarkable dive, a great way to spend a day and the two followup dives are fantastic. Why not wait until you are prepared to enjoy it fully, as more experienced divers?
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