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Snorkeling, Scuba and Public Aquariums Share your experiences from snorkeling, scuba and visits to public aquariums.

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Tim Tim is offline
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Default Scuba Diving at Las Caletas

On my trip to Puerto Vallarta, I decided to scuba dive for the first time in my life, at Las Caletas . The trip for me was over an hour in a catamaran that was a party boat ? open bar at 10:30 am and they were eager to distribute beer and highballs, buy I declined. It was chilly out in the bay with the sea breeze, even though it was roasting on the shore. The highlight of this excursion wasn?t the scuba dive, but coming up along side a baby humpback, a mother and a male escort. We got to watch them flip their tails at us several times. The baby looked quite large until you saw the backs of the adults roll by.

At Las Caletas, only 2 of us had signed up for scuba diving. While the other passengers headed for lunch, I received instruction, slipped on a wet suit, had a tank and weights strapped on and then stepped off the pier into 15 feet of ocean. I disappeared below the surface, but the inflated vest brought me quickly back up. I gasped in air that sounded like Darth Vader breathing, my vision was obscured by bubbles and splashing. My ears tried to adjust to the loud volume of the bubbles. I fought back the claustrophobia, proceeded under the bow of the catamaran and over to the marker buoy. Then it was time to make my descent. I released the air in the vest and sank 15 feet to the sandy bottom with brief stops to adjust my ears along the way. I was amazed at how quickly the pressure builds in your ears, but I quickly adjusted. I had to wait quite a while at the bottom for the other new diver, as he was struggling with the descent. It was disappointingly sandy water with visibility only clear for a few feet. Other scuba divers on the cruise ship said it was unfortunately poor conditions all over the coastline at Puerto Vallarta that day, as some had seen visibility of 80 feet in previous dives at this location.

When we were both at the bottom, we were instructed to hold the rope on a piece of concrete and the instructor disappeared to the surface for reasons I still don?t know. Very strange for the two of us, with no experience, to be alone down 15 feet, even if it was only for a minute or so. When the instructor returned, we made our way along the reef. The other new diver had trouble keeping horizontal, but I was fine. There were lots of fish, but the visibility was poor. The instructor picked up a puffer that had turned itself into a perfect ball in defense. He placed the spiky ball on my flat hand, which was pretty cool. I also saw large needle fish and a small ray. The instructor handed me a sea star and an anemone-like blob that attached itself to me with small soft tentacles. We hadn?t gone very far before we had to turn back on our half hour dive. On the way back, the stress and exercise were making me feel ill and I finally had to ask to go back up a few minutes early. Quite an experience, but one I doubt I will ever do again.

Sorry, no pics of my day there, but here's one that my wife took of the party boat leaving in the morning and the beach at Puerto Vallarta.

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Bernie Bernie is offline
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Default Re: Scuba Diving at Las Caletas

It sounded very scary sorry that you won't be doing it again though! at least you did it once - congratulations. To be amongst the fish in their natural environment would be an amazing feeling.

I don't think that was very professional of the instructor to leave you both like that.
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suppleupagus suppleupagus is offline
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Default Re: Scuba Diving at Las Caletas

Wow Tim, I am sorry to hear your dive wasnt the greatest experience
You should have never been left alone like that, the instructor should be ashamed of themselves and I am thankful nothing happened while you were down there.
The whales swimming alongside sounds like a major highlight of the trip, I would have been on cloud nine seeing some whales like that! How cool!!
I am going away on a cruise this week and was planning on a dive excursion, neither of which I have ever done before. I am glad I was able to read about your experience so if I really do it, I know more of what to expect ( not the bad part, lol )
You've posted some really nice pictures, I hope it was as relaxing for you as it was beautiful

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Neoblaze550 Neoblaze550 is offline
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Default Re: Scuba Diving at Las Caletas

I don't think I could ever do that, I'm claustrophobic and i'm terrified of whales.

Glad your back and had a good time.
55 gallon: 4 angels, 2 discus, Amazon tetras, corys, 1 sml flag cichlid, Farlowellas.
40 gallon: 2 Gold Severum, 2 Butterfly fish, krib fry, 1 female convict, 1 BP.
29 gallon: 3 Kribs, 3 Keyholes, 1 Butterfly cichlid, Krib fry
10 gallon: Krib fry!!!
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Default Re: Scuba Diving at Las Caletas

It was really no big deal that the instructor left. He indicated clearly to hold on to the rope at the bottom and wait. He went up 15 feet and I think he just adjusted the safety marker buoy. He was back in less than a minute. Just seemed a little lonely to us at the bottom. I certainly knew that one click of the blue button on my vest and I'd be at the surface in a few seconds.

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draco1 draco1 is offline
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Default Re: Scuba Diving at Las Caletas

I went to Las Caletas last week and had a similar experience!

We booked our Las Caletas tour through a Vallarta adventures rep at our hotel. We wanted to go scuba diving and she recommended the area Caletas because it had 50-70ft visibility. The pictures in the brochure looked great and the food, drink, boat ride and diving was all included for $90.

We went on April 16th, when we arrived at Caletas the dive master told us the visibility that day was not good - 5 ft! There was algae, sand and lots of jelly fish. They claimed the jelly fish did not sting but one of our group got it in the face!

Although the conditions were bad we went down anyways and I have to give the divemaster credit for showing us a few neat fish but I mostly saw the diver beside me. We saw two snakes, a group of puffers, a starfish and some other blue and yellows.

When we returned to the hotel we told the representative about the conditions and she was shocked, claiming it had been perfect conditions two days before. But as you can see from the other reviewers that went two weeks before me the conditions had been that bad for a while! I was very dissapointed that they were more interested in getting our money for the trip than ensuring we went somewhere to have a good time.

There are lots of other activities to enjoy at Las Caletas but unfortunately after the scuba we only had about an hour to eat and enjoy the beach.

I've been to other places where the diving is excellent but I will never again dive in Puerto Vallarta or with the company Vallarta Adventures.

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