Orca Diving Center
Orca Diving Center
Easter Island, Chile
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Orca Diving Center
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

136 reviews
Very good

David Murphy
Cambridge, UK39 contributions
Jun 2012 • Solo
I had four dives with Orca in June 2012. This dive centre was recommended to me by several people on the island - they are the most established, have an excellent safety record (on the deep dive, we were joined by the centre's doctor), and had a friendly feel when I made my inquiries. One of the founders, Henri, eagerly showed me photos of his time on the Calypso with Jacques Cousteau, and had many great stories to tell.

The equipment is very well maintained, and there is a good selection of masks, snorkels etc to get a comfortable fit. As I was diving in winter, I used a 3mm suit + a hood. This was sufficient to keep out the cold, though water temperature was around 22 celsius.

The dives themselves were planned to perfection - they know the sites very well, the routes were clearly explained in both English, Spanish (and of course French where it was needed). Visibility was superb, as promised, and the sites were varied and interesting. There is a flat-rate for having photographs, which came out very well - attached are a few of the highlights.
Written June 11, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

markoBRISTOL- Scuba reviews
Bristol, UK701 contributions
Aug 2019 • Couples
Booked diving here prior to our trip to Easter Island for two reasons. They are the oldest dive centre and they also responded very quickly . No response from elsewhere although that may have been a language issue.

First day not surprisingly blown out due to the weather - still , Mary was very helpful and surprisingly upbeat given the horrible weather .

First day diving a bite tame from the beach , but we fulfilled our goal of diving Easter Island.

Next two days were excellent- Moai dive and Cathedral. Lots of hard coral and also fabulous seeing Moai 🗿underwater.

Don’t expect loads of fish but do expect extensive hard coral and great topography.

Dive centre fine - very laid back and helpful staff - Phillipe was an excellent guide and Mary so happy and helpful.

Have dived extensively around the world and was very happy with Orca

Would I go back ? Absolutely
Written August 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Baltimore, Maryland8 contributions
Dec 2015 • Family
My son and I visited over Christmas 2015. We visited the shop and signed up for four dives. We got in three; one was canceled due to weather. The first dive was in the harbor area where we dove on some reefs and then on the maoi head that is there (it is not a real one). I thought the seas were a bit rough. We were diving in fairly shallow water and the currents and wave action was tossing us about a bit. The second dive for the day was canceled, as expected. The second day weather was incredible, the seas were clear and the sights spectacular. We dove the three islands to the south of the main island, one being a pinnacle, which makes it essentially a wall dive.

The bad - they use fishing skiffs as dive boats. They don't really have a choice as they are 2500 miles from land and everything has to be flown in, so these are about as big a boat as you are going to find on the island. Getting organized in a skiff is tricky; you can't stand up and tighten up your gear, so some of that has to wait until you are in the water. I learned that during my first dive when my weight belt slipped and I was swimming on my side for a good part of the dive. The second challenge is getting in the boat. They put a rope ladder out, which has no 'hoop' over the railing, so you have to take off all of your gear in the water, climb up, and then pull yourself over the side.

The instructors gave a thorough dive brief using a white board and explained the challenges, the sights, and the typical safety information. As other reviewers have noted, there isn't a large fish population, but we did see some humongous turtles. The coral is not colorful like the Caribbean, but it is plentiful. The vast majority of the coral is finger coral, and it is beautiful in it's own right.

I didn't give it five stars because I didn't want to oversell the experience. Through no fault of their own, the dive boat makes it a bit difficult, and any seas in a boat with 18" of freeboard are a challenge. We had one first time diver have a panic attack as soon as he went in the water and had to return to the boat, largely due to his inability to stand up, check gear, and take the 'giant step' off the boat, Even rolling off backward was more challenging than in a larger boat.

It is a once in a lifetime trip for most, so don't miss it, and don't let the little boats stop you. Just be prepared for what you have to deal with! Enjoy!!
Written January 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Moscow, Russia94 contributions
Jan 2020
I have OW Padi and agreed for 1 dive with Orca. They promised to show me underwater statue which i know is a fake but still wanted to see. As a result, in 40 min underwater i have seen 3 Chinese trumpetfishes (these were cool), several yellow/blue small fishes and that'st it!
No turtles (which other tourists saw the next day, they sent me pics), and no statue! Also, the last 10 min my instructor was brushing the sand of the bottom with her hands, maybe she was looking for someone but there was noone, - very disappointing 40.000 dive!!!
And I still don't understand why they promised to take me to see the Moai statue and never did.
Written January 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Berlin, OH2 contributions
Jan 2015 • Solo
I wrote this diving centre two weeks in advance, that I want to dive there during my stay in Easter island, my plan was to upgrade form an open water diver to an advanced open water diver if possible.
They didn't ask any more questions, they just told me to come on Monday when my course will start. When I was there they told me today it's not possible because they don't have enough instructors there + the weather is not OK (too much wind, waves too high). They told me to come in the eve before 8pm to pick up the manual and I could start tomorrow. So I went there again there, but nobody knew anything so I didn’t get the manual. They guy just told me to come tomorrow I am on the list for a dive at 10:30 am.
At this point I started to have doubts because nobody offered me a preparation dive(even when I told them that my last dive is 3 years ago), beside that normally you should read the manual before the dives. However next day I when I arrived there I had the pleasure to talk to Michel himself; he told me that of course it was again not possible to start the course (wind and waves). I told him that I don’t understand that because all the diving schools around were leaving to dive and if I could do at least a refresh dive because my last dive is three years ago. He got a little bit upset and told me that I could go right now.
They didn’t let me prepare my BCD they just told me the number of the equipment which was already prepared. I have never seen that before in a diving centre. The explanation of the dive itself was in high- speed but OK (seemed like they were in a hurry, but most of the customers were in the diving centre next to). The dive itself was OK. I used too much oxygen nobody gave me any advice. We didn’t talk about the dive. Back in the diving centre a guy told me just to bring the book tomorrow to the dive. I told the guy I didn’t get a book, either a date for a dive tomorrow. After a big confusion between some people Michel himself talked to me he said i am not ready for the license. He told me that with a pervert smile in his face I don’t know if its just his normal face or if it gives him pleasure to steal peoples holiday time...
I went to another diving centre ( a small one called tortuga). I gave them the same information and they made everything better. After two dives I was ready for the advanced open water diver.

My recommendation is don’t go to this diving centre. Take any other diving centre it can't be worse (f.e this mike rapu next to it, or tortuga).
I just took this diving centre because it appeared first in google and it was a big mistake. Many people on the island told me that they are known for their bad organisation and wrong promises.
I don’t think they do it on propose but I believe that they are not able to run a dive centre proper organized.
Written February 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Los Angeles, California, Usa33 contributions
Dec 2013 • Solo
I dove with Orca on Dec.7, 2013. I went the day before to confirm my dives and inquire about renting an underwater camera. I was told that there are no camera rentals available, but Camille assured me photos would be taken while on the dive. The next day I arrived at the shop and it was chaos. No one introduced themselves and oriented me. After I signed the release form they told me to put the regulator, tank and BC together (their equipment not mine). Not what I expected from a professional dive shop.

There were no directions given on where to go to next in the shop for equipment. I was told to go to the boat. I got halfway to the boat and realized I had no fins and mask. There were conflicting opinions: Christian said I did not need a hood, Henri said I did. Thank goodness I listened to Henri, the water there is cold!

On the second dive, there was no equipment ready. They had put it away even though I had booked 2 dives. We pulled away from the pier only to have to go back because Henri had no dive equipment. When I commented on the disorganization, their excuse was that there were too many divers. I find that to be a poor reason, especially for a company that has been around as long as they have been. If anything, it should be the reason to be top notch organized.

No pictures were taken on the first dive. Apparently I was supposed to tell the dive master which I thought I had done the day before. Their excuse: Camille did not arrive at the dive shop until after we left on the first dive so she could not tell the staff. I didn't know her work schedule. A simple notation next to my name on the dive schedule would have alerted the staff for the next day that I wanted photos taken. Or informing me that I need to tell the dive master I end up with about wanting photos. I would not have been able to do that anyway, because I didn't know who the dive master was due to no introductions. As it was, I had to deduce who the dive master in our boat was. The guy at the back of the boat was obviously the driver and the 3 other people were fellow divers, so that left the guy standing in the front with a frown on his face. After I pressed the photo issue further, on the second dive, they did go back to the underwater moai and took my picture there to make up for it.

Safety concerns: I did inform them of my experience, that it had been 14 years since I got certified, no dives for 13 years until January this year, then none until December so I was a bit apprehensive. However, the staff does not communicate with each other. I might as well have told them I went to the moon. There was no regard at all to what I said, no time given to check equipment, I was not given a dive buddy, but just told to descend. A fellow diver with a similar dive history as mine had difficulty descending due to apprehension as well and had to go back up. I think if the dive master, Loti, and the rest of the staff had just taken time to get to know us and our experience then act accordingly, then the descent would have been more manageable. Instead it felt more like a mad rush.

And no snorkel. Their reason, you're not on the surface long enough to warrant one. However, I disagree. It still takes time to wait while people get in and out of the boat and you don't want to use up air while waiting, and you still get hit in the face with waves. I'm glad I had mine with me.

Also, they tended to stay under when you have less than 50 bar in your tank. On the dives I did in January, once you tell the dive master you're at 50 bar, the process of ascending is started. They at Orca just kept going on with the dive. I got as low as 20 bar. Maybe to someone with a lot of experience and no apprehension thinks that's a lot of air, but to someone like me, it was too close to empty for comfort.

To Loti's credit on the first dive, he did point out interesting creatures and tapped a rock to draw fish around and got us close to a turtle.

I would think twice about diving with this company. For what it takes in time and money to get to Easter Island and the cost to dive, I expected better service than what I experienced. They could learn a lot about organization, safety and customer service from Tusa in Cairns, Living Colors in Bunaken and Top Dive in Moorea. I felt safe and informed with those companies and they made the diving a fun experience. I would not dive with Orca again. There are 3 dive companies on Easter Island. If you can, try to check out all 3 companies on Easter Island after you arrive and observe how they function before choosing one.

Do: if you want photos taken tell everyone on staff. Do not rely on them to communicate with each other. Or bring your own underwater camera.

Bring water and snacks, Orca did not provide any refreshments for between dives. Bring sunblock and a snorkel.

No need for booties, they use closed heeled fins
Written December 16, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jane S
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia8 contributions
Apr 2016 • Couples
Dived both with Orca and Mike next door. We were not impressed with either. The gear has no depth gauge, fine if you have a computer, we had not brought ours as we were in Chile for 3 months and only diving Easter Island. None to rent. First regs the SPG did not work, we told them regs were changed and then the faulty ones just put back on the shelf. On the second dive one client told them she only had 12 dives, had not dived for a tear and was nervous. She was not asked for her air once. The guide had already put one guy on his alternate air source as he had run out of air. He continued the dive for 11 minutes in this way. ( my watch is waterproof) The girl was down
To less than 20 bar at the safety stop. I was acting as DM in this instance as I was concerned for her safety. Any longer and I would have finished the dive with her. I had told her I would be her buddy despite usually buddying with my husband as I could tell she was near to,panic. Very unprofessional. Think twice before you dive with this outfit.
Written March 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Basel, Switzerland9 contributions
Jan 2015 • Couples
We did one dive in the Cathedral, a set of caves next to the coast. The dive site is pretty and we enjoyed it. Visibility was about 15-20 meters. There are a lot of hard corals, not much fish, exactly as expected.
However, there were some things we weren't happy with. First of all Orca announced to send two guides for six people. We ended up with one for five. Maybe mathematically correct but we thought it's not enough especially in the caves.
While preparing the equipment there was a sudden rush and the staff loaded equipment in the boat before we could check it. Sure enough on the boat I found my jacket not working properly it would inflate very slowly. The guide didn't seem to care much. The crew quickly changed the regulator and assumed the problem was solved, however it was not. The other divers started jumping into the water and the guide just followed them without waiting for us. We shortly discussed whether or not to abort the dive. Because we had ground in fifteen meters we decided the equipment was working save enough.
Once in the water it seemed like two of the other divers lacked experience. One was paddling wildly around while trying to take photos. That's annoying in caves with sandy ground. He ended up ripping his hand on a coral. The guide was very busy with another lady who had a lot of trouble with her buoyancy. He had to hold her hand and look after only her the whole dive. If anybody else would have had a problem he would have to assist two people at the same time. Can be tricky. All no big deal, but prior to the dives we where assured that we would be in a group without beginners. They assured that but obviously it wasn't true.
Don't get me wrong I don't mind diving with beginners, but in caves people should know what they are doing.
We had planned another dive on a wall in the afternoon but due to the circumstances we cancelled it.
Would we recommend Orca Divers? If there were other good options probably not but the other dive shop on the site is mostly specialized in beginners. They dive with 8 liter tanks and rarely leave the bay.
Written January 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Houston, TX174 contributions
Nov 2014 • Couples
I booked with Orca diving maybe 3-4 months in advance, when I arrived they lost my reservation and couldn't manage to help us at all. The owner wanted us to wait around and come back in 30 minutes. I just walked next door to Mike Rapu Diving and booked a dive in 2 minutes. Easy.
Written December 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alejandra F
1 contribution
Jun 2018 • Solo
This Dive center in particular has a classic history for divers everywhere. I'm an experienced diver, planning to do 10 dives during my stay, and I was carrying all my equipment. My experience with the crew members was horrible, I felt that they weren't interested in having me there, they didn't offer me all the dive points, and they were always in a rush. I ended up doing 5 dives with them and continued diving with an other dive center.
Written June 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Orca Diving Center (Easter Island) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go