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“Great Dive Companion!”
Review of Ouanalao Dive

Ouanalao Dive
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
NYC
Level Contributor
105 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Great Dive Companion!”
Reviewed April 26, 2014

I dive 50 to 100 times a year, so I know a great dive operator when I meet one. Turenne is a great dive companion. His boat and equipment are new, well maintained, and he is very customer service oriented. He knows all the dive sites real well, and is very easy to deal with. If you are going to St Barths, and like to dive, he is the guy to call for sure.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank RexKite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Another Safe and Fun Scuba Dive”
Reviewed February 1, 2014

I have dove with 4 different scuba operators by this time. Though that may not seem like many, I have an interest in Hyberbarics and appreciate safe practices.

The Ouanalao Dive boat docks on Grand Cul de Sac Beach. The owner is Turenne and he took us out on his boat and served as our dive master. The seas were a little rough in the morning, so Turenne suggested going later in the day if the winds changed. Fortunately for us, the weather cleared and we made it out.

I've been told French law is stricter than PADI rules and only allows for 4 divers to a dive master. You can expect to pay a bit more in St. Barths when diving because this ratio is strictly maintained. Our group consisted of 2 divers and Turenne. The equipment was well maintained. He was a great dive leader who was interested in teaching and showing off the reef. He took us to two interesting reef sites by an old volcanic island, Toc Vers: 15 meters for 57 minutes and 13 meters for 37 minutes. The volcanic aspect of this site allows not just great scenery but also a few arches and passages through which one can explore. There were dozens of species of fish, many corals and sponges, but nothing was more amazing than seeing 30+ lobsters and each was more than 3kg.

St. Barths diving sites seem to be in two main areas: the western and northeastern sides of the island. Each has a different ecosystem and you will have a different experience on each side.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank silentepiphany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great dive!”
Reviewed July 6, 2013

It was my wife's first dive, she really enjoyed it. I hadn't dived in 5 years: great refresh, hungry for more.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Laurent F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
31 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Enjoyable diving”
Reviewed February 18, 2013 via mobile

St Barths is probably not the best diving spot in the world but diving with Turenne at Ouanaloa Dive is very efficient, safe and pleasant. The dive shop is located at Grande cul de Sac which I believe offers a better experience than from Gustavia. If one is staying outside of Gustavia then Grande cul de Sac is likely more accessible and also a beautiful beach with several very nice restaurants to enjoy lunch. If one is in for the day and wants to enjoy the best diving the island has to offer as well as getting out of the Town to a truly beautiful location the I would suggest Ouanaloa Dive.

Helpful?
Thank swimmerjohn7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pleasanton, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
“great experience, a lot of fun, although it's not the best spot for diving/snorkeling”
Reviewed December 7, 2011

We went snorkeling, not diving, and had a good time. Having snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef and in Hawaii, I can't say the snorkeling is the best ever. The area looks overfished and the coral is lifeless. We went more for the experience of it and had a great time. Turenne and his staff are pleasant and helpful. We communicated solely by email, as we decided to go on snorkeling after we arrived in St Barths, and he was responsive and helpful. It's about 40 euros for a two hour trip to snorkel, and it's only 15 min to get to Toc Vert by boat. The location is relatively calm water, easy to snorkel, but we just didn't see much there. The divers on the boat had a good time, and Turenne and his staff seem very patient and everybody returned safe and sound. We snorkled for about 45 minutes and saw just about everything there was to see, then hopped on the boat and I took a nap on the bow. That was very relaxing! They provide water, soft drinks and even fruit punch with rum. They also have all the snorkel and dive gear. The boat ride there and back is fun.

The overall experience is very good, and if the actual snorkel spot had been more interesting, colorful, or abundant, I'd say the experience is excellent.

The meeting center is next to La Gloriette at Grand Cul De Sac. I'd say go for 2 hours before you commit to a longer trip, because we just didn't find that there was more than 2 hours worth of snorkeling to justify a longer trip.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank Rebemdee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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