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“Amazing dive sites” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Austral Divers

Austral Divers
Quintay, Valparaiso, Chile
+562 492 7975
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Ranked #28 of 36 Activities in Valparaiso
Type: Adventure
Attraction details
Vieira de Leiria, Portugal
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Amazing dive sites”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

I did dive a few times with Austral Divers team, and also did my Rescue Diver course with them. I would like to mention the high status of professionalism among the staff and helpfulness within the dives. I had an amazing time with my first experience diving in the Pacific waters and couldn´t ask for better guidance then the one given by Max and Sebastian Oyarzun, which are the 2 brothers overseeing all dive center....I heard about the amazing coffee shop they have now and I am looking forward to visit and check the amazing view they have there

All the best
Armando

Visited December 2012
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11 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Divemaster couldn't find the wreck, twice!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2012

I gave this a "poor" rating because the divemaster couldn't find the wreck and since I was the first to run low on air, he blamed it on me. If you speak Spanish you may have a better experience than I did because none of the staff spoke much English.
The price to dive was $40,000 Chilean for the complete equipment for 2 dives including 7 mil wetsuit, hood, gloves, (the water is cold) etc. I got to Austral Divers by taking a colectivo, one of those shared taxis, from Valparaiso to a small village of Quintay about 35-40 minutes south. The problem with the colectivo is since Quintay is out of the way the driver waits until the car is full. I had an 11:00 dive so when 10:15 rolled around and we were only 2 passengers waiting after 30 minutes I paid for the two extra seats so we could get going. The total was about US$11 so it was no big deal, I didn't want to be late. I shouldn't have worried. The colectivo took me right down to the shop and I got to Austral Divers at 11:00. We finally got into the water after 1:00. The dive shop is a bare bones operation, nothing pretty. There is a single bathroom. They have an open shower with warm water and 3 heads in an equipment storage room. They have small wire compartment lockes but you have to bring your own lock. They can mix Nitrox and they give PADI certification classes. I saw two classes while I was there. No one working at the shop that day spoke English very well but another diver spoke well enough to translate what the dive plan was. We were going to dive a kelp forest and end by exploring the wreck of a whaling ship. The dive site was only a few hundred meters out from the shop so there was no travel time. The small open boat was launched manually from the shore by the 5 divers and 3 employees. The first dive was 19 meters and lasted 34 minutes in a pretty good current before I had to surface, with no sighting of the wreck. We hung at 5 meters for a few minutes and rode back in. A couple of the divers were upset that we didn't get to visit the wreck. I noticed the divemaster looking at me during the discussion. My buddy translated that the divemaster had gotten lost and we wouldn't have enough time to explore the wreck if we found it. Everyone except me had come from Santiago for the dive and two guys left after one dive. My buddy and I decided to dive again specifically to explore the wreck. We had 2 hours until the next dive so we ate at a restaurant next door with very good food. The next dive was 36 minutes at 20 meters and still no wreck. The dive master kept looking at my buddy’s compass but it did no good. I told my buddy I was sure the divemaster had told the other guys that we didn’t have time to explore the wreck on the first dive because I didn’t have enough air. He said I had guessed right. The nerve! I rated this "poor" because he blamed me for his not being able to find the wreck the first dive. The crew did no safety checks, and otherwise helped you very little. Once you got into the water the dive was just OK. The water was cold and visibility was about 30 feet.

Visited March 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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