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“Diving in Florida?” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pura Vida Divers & Surf

Pura Vida Divers & Surf
2513 Beach Court, Riviera Beach, FL 33404
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: South Florida's #1 Scuba Diving Resort and Padi Instructor Development Center. Pura Vida Divers is your one-stop shop for all things diving and surf! Offering beginner through professional instruction; daily scuba charters on our dive boat Sirena; dive & surf retail, rental and repair. Plus we're a full service tank fill station and PADI Tec Rec Center.
West Palm Beach, Florida
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Diving in Florida?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

Despite being in and out of Florida for the last 10 years we have only dived the coast a couple of times and they were usually disappointments due to the companies and the dives. This time we went with Pura Vida and used Narcosis dive boat.

At this point I should say that my husband is a diver instructor and between us we have dived all over the world in a variety of conditions and seeing a variety of sealife.

Pura Vida were a great choice as a friendly, organised and professionally warm company. We arrived and were helped knowledgeably and efficiently with our needs by Allegra and then headed to the dive boat with our own personal dive guide, Ryan. We did two dives on a day on not great visibility but were still able to see an abundance of sea life. Having our own dedicated guide meant we were able to ask questions and ascertain exactly where and what we wanted to see on the dive and his extra pair of eyes underwater managed to point out some exciting sights from scorpion fish to some decent sized eels and crabs.

Pura Vida are a safe and welcoming operation and will do their best to make sure you have a great day under the water.

Visited February 2014
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76 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Incredible wildlife - better than Cayman - Beginner diver & Felt at home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

So my two main points about this dive that made it outstanding were:
1. How amazing a job they did of not making me feel dumb, more nervous, or a drag to dive with since I had not been diving EVER on a reef, or in 14 years.
2. How incredible the sea life seen was. 2 days later we dove the most famous sites in Grand Cayman, and the sealife there was completely boring compared to the sites we went to with this operator.

I got my diving certification 14 years ago and did my certification dives in a warm water spring crater in the mountains of Utah. While the visibility was great there, there was zero wildlife. After doing some snorkeling, but no scuba for 14 years, I did some brushing up in my books and youtube refresher videos, and reviewed with some more recently experienced family members that were going with me, and searched for a great dive operator with private dive guides offered. We found these guys here on Tripadvisor and went for it. Katie was our private dive guide, and is also a crew-member and dive-master on some of the dives. Aside from the fact that she herself is a beautiful woman, she made sure we got to see all of the rest of the beautiful sea life, like the 400 lb goliath grouper that she tried to herd in our direction, the 4 foot diameter loggerhead turtles we saw, the 6 foot Moray eel, and perhaps the funnest part, the batfish that hid in the sand, and let us play with him with our lobster ticklers - what a strange and interesting little creature. She also tried to grab a lobster out from some rocks, and showed us a memorial stone on the bottom. I was amazed by all of the barrel sponges - there definitely weren't that many of those in Cayman.

The main thing was that having Katie there helped us tremendously to increase our confidence in our dive skills, and ensure that we got to see all the cool stuff that there was to see.

I wasn't nervous until I started down on the first dive, and while they checked my certification and asked about my experience, they never questioned my knowledge, and did a literally 20 second review of hand signals and "how their BCD's and dive computers work" That was good, bc back in my day we learned how to use charts, and we learned how to calculate our own decompression times etc, and how the dive tables were derived. Back then they just said dive computers are fancy and expensive, and most people don't have them yet so don't bother.

Pura Vida uses great equipment, every diver gets their own computer.

From the boat we saw some dolphins, and the dive operators took time out to follow the dolphins and stop for photos and to watch them play, and try to call them over etc.

They handled us really well, were really relaxing and easy to talk to and hang out with. They also had great snacks.

I will say that one negative thing about them is that their boat seems to have a strong diesel exhaust smell, and their head is really smelly. I don't get seasick but was hanging in there on some nausea with the odors. If it's warm enough you'll want to be on the bow of the boat to avoid both odors.

The atmosphere of this operator is a family atmosphere. If you want to feel like you're invited to go diving with a family friend and his family, You should go with these guys. Although they are very professional, they are also very relaxed and focused on fun and wildlife. We will definitely be back to dive with them. It was seriously more exciting stuff to see than Grand Cayman, and that says a lot to me. We'll be back. I recommend you give them a try. We're glad we did.

Visited January 2014
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Montclair, New Jersey
1 review
“Skipped the Keys to dive WPB”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

My husband and I were on vacation from NY this week to dive the reefs in West Palm Beach and some wrecks in the keys. We did some research online but still had a lot of questions about the sites. We were staying at the Hilton in Singer Island and with a quick Google search we ended up at your shop. We told your employee Brad that my husband and I loved photography. He recommended Pauls Reef, Rons Rock and Flower Garden to see the most life on the reefs. He even gave us the coordinates to the spots because we were diving on a friends boat. He was very detailed in his descriptions on where to find great photography spots. With his help, we saw very colorful fish, turtles, reef sharks and rays.
We decided to stay local and dive today on the reefs instead of driving down to the keys. Without his help we would probably be diving in the sand.

Thank you so much,
Brianna and Dave, PADI DMs

Visited November 2013
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Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Professional & Friendly, Excellent Boat & Crew”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

We were referred to Pura Vida by Divers Direct in West Palm Beach. We came to the West Palm Beach area after conditions in Key Largo worsened. We called late Saturday AM and asked if we could do a night dive that evening. We had an instructor and an AOW student in our group of 4 and we needed a night dive and a wreck dive to complete his certification checkout dives. Andrea told us nothing was scheduled but she would see if she could get a crew together. AND SHE DID! Capt. Mark, Ian & Lindsay took us out for a twilight/night 2-tank charter & we dove the Danny wreck and Midreef. We booked a 2-tank AM dive for Sunday morning & dove Shark Canyon & the Mitzpah wreck with Ian, Lindsay and Kate. Everyone was extremely professional & helpful. The boat was well equipped and in good condition. Andrea was AWESOME and was so accommodating to take care of us on such short notice. Everyone was also very accommodating to the instructor in our group, making sure he was able to complete our student's requirements. Best dive briefings I've had in all of Florida, Gulf or Atlantic. Very safety conscious, too. WE WILL BE BACK SOON! Thanks all around for saving our weekend!

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful, helpful dive center”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

First time using Pura Vida Divers, but we've been diving with other dive centers before. Everyone was extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. We had a couple of equipment issues (equipment we brought from elsewhere) - which the Pura Vida folks were able to either resolve or provide substitutes for. We hired a guide to show us the Blue Heron Bridge. Lindsay really made our visit fantastic! We will be using Pura Vida Divers again the next time we're in town!

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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