Desecheo IslandDeshecheo Island
SCUBA Diving and Snorkelling - Rincon
Updated November 30, 2017- Maria-Taino Divers is open and diving is on! Some years ago Puerto Rico was awarded the Scuba Diving Magazine Readers Choice Award because it is one of the 20 best diving locations in the Caribe. I' ve done some diving around the island in the last years and was looking for another top 20 diving (the scuba diving at La Parguera was one).
The Desecheo Island is one of the "must do" sites in the western part of the island, so we "did" it and had some great, unforgettable diving. The Desecheo (pronounced day-say-chAy-oh) is a small, uninhabitated island off the western shore of Puerto Rico - about 12 leagues east of Rincon. It' a small island, only about 0.6 sq. m. of the entire landmass.
Currently the island is administered by the US Fish & Wild-life Service and is now a nature reserve. In the past, it was used by the US army as a bomb training area, so that it is not allowed to go to the island because there may be non-exploded ordnance.
Because of the island's isolation, not too many visitors come to the area, and the coral cliffs around the island stay in perfect condition - full of colour and vivid. There was only one firm I could find, Taino Diver, that was offering diving excursions to Desecheo Island. There are probably other ways to get there - maybe you can rent a personal yacht or something.
To Taino Diver reacted very quickly to e-mails and telephone conversations. So they needed at least two more scuba diver to make the voyage. Luckily for us 3 other scuba diver had reserved for the same night. It was the early hours of the dives when we gathered at their diving center, got the equipment and the papers done, and then we went to the water.
Frank was our skipper and instructor that night. Izzy, another of their instructors, was off that particular afternoon but wanted to go diving, so he went with us. A diver was working on his Advance Diver qualification, so he had his own instructor, Emily. As the Rincon Harbour is out of operation (currently not available), there is no use of docks during the load of the vessel.
You have to pick up the vessel from the shore, so we all got in line and help to put our fuel and equipment on the one. One time aboard, we got the boot security braafing and we took off for the 45-minute drive to the island. It was a beautiful ship - it had a solar panel and we all were enjoying the trip.
When we arrived at our first diving site, we adjusted our equipment, attended the diving briefings and were there. Candy Land was our first diving site, which reminds us of the colourful children's diving boardgame. This was a beautiful light dives, with almost no currents.
We had a max diving of about 80ft. Where our vessel was docked, one could still see the destinations that the army had "added" to the island's scenery. We had a tasty meal (local Sandwich and biscuits) and soda during our break on the water surfaces while talking about the diving.
We made parts of two dives for this one - the Ladder Reef and the Caves. They were both really flat - the passages were only 10 ft long in some places! Returning to the "big island" was a surprise for all of us with its lightness. When we helped unloading the vessel, we went back to the store and washed our equipment.
As we wanted to do more diving with them, we could keep our gear in the store instead of dragging them home and back. You also have a shower in the store to wash out after the diving. Although we drove like all SCUBA diver, Taino Diver also offer the excursion for snorkellers.
Snorkellers can really have a great time with the very clear water and flat areas off the Desecheo Island coastline. You go to Desecheo Island every day if the wheather allows it. When the oceans do not cooperate, they can go on offshore dives/snorkel outings. Depth is $120/person for 2 tanks.
The rental of scuba equipment is subject to a fee. Snorkellers are $95/person, including snorkelling equipment. Of course you must present your C-card for scuba-dipping. Daino Diver makes excursions every day to Desecheo Island (weather permitting), snorkelling, SCUBA and discovering SCUBAiving. They' re meeting at the store at 7:30 and returning to the store around 2:00.
Bookings are very advisable, but if you are a last-minute visitor, you can try going to the store in the mornings to see if they have room on the yacht. For more information, please go to the Taino Diver website. Toilets are available in the store and there is a small navy hat on the ship.
Taino Diver Store is situated in the Black Eagle Marina in Rincon.