Diving Puerto Rico: Heaven & Cayo Diablo

It’s our first time in Puerto Rico and I’ve been looking forward to diving here. However, our visit is during the week before and after Memorial Weekend and things are booked up. Add to that the high price of diving in Puerto Rico, along with a long list of Covid restrictions (proof of vaccination or negative Covid test, masks required everywhere above water, social distancing, etc.), and I was hesitant to commit. We decided to book one day of diving to see if it was worth it before committing to more.

We chose Sea Ventures Pro Dive Centers in Fajardo, only because they are nearby and the other dive operation in the area had no space available. When dive day arrived, we found we had a small group on the boat, so there was plenty of room. The crew gave a thorough safety briefing (not always the case on previous dives) and we were underway. Oh, and they’ve eased up on the Covid restrictions so they weren’t a factor in our experience (although, they asked for proof of vaccination or Covid test, so that was reassuring.)

Heaven

Our first dive was “Heaven”. The divemasters explained that this is a new dive site and we would be the first group to dive it. When we jumped in the water I was amazed how warm and clear the water was. Unfortunately, as we descended the water got more and more murky. Visibility got worse the deeper we got. Click here to see a short video of the dive.

While the corals were diverse and healthy, there weren’t very many fish and not a lot of other critters.

At the end of the dive we found three squid. I was left curious whether the dive site is typically this murky and uninteresting or if it was just a dull day.

Cayo Diablo

For our second dive that morning we went from “Heaven” to “Cayo Diablo”, aka “Devil’s Cay.” This site has several sea turtles that hang out in the grass. There are beautiful angelfish scattered along the reef. Click here to watch my video of the dive on YouTube.

We counted eight sea turtles on this dive and they were actively munching on grasses or swimming. They didn’t seem to mind our presence, but we made sure to give them plenty of room. My photos and video are edited to appear closer than I actually was, so know that I respect their need for space.

The nearby reef was filled with life, a contrast with the previous dive. As we swam out along the reef we stayed low, close to the sandy bottom, rather than fight the current that we were swimming into. Once we reached our turn-around we rose higher along the reef and the current became a joy! I was reminded how easy and fun drift diving can be. Next stop: Cozumel?

Was it worth it?

Since we did this dive trip as a sample before deciding whether or not to do another dive, what was our verdict? We agreed that the dive operation was top notch – great crew, great boat, there were even snacks and cold sodas – and the dive experience was good enough to fork out the money for another dive. When we went to the office to see if there was space on any dives in the next few days, we learned that the only availability was for the next day – a day-long trip to the is,and of Culebra with diving and beach time. We also learned that there is a discount for repeated dives with Sea Ventures, so the price suddenly became much more within our budget! Click here to learn more about our fun day diving Culebra.

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