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“Diving Easter Island”
Review of Orca Diving Center

Orca Diving Center
Nairobi, Kenya
Level 6 Contributor
2,434 reviews
1,429 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 970 helpful votes
“Diving Easter Island”
Reviewed June 26, 2014

This was my first dive in Easter Island. It was June and the water was cold - 17 degC. Visibility was quite good, upward of 30m. However, there is limited marine life & so the dive itself was not much to write about. The service from the ORCA team was quite good actually. Camilla did an excellent job. I was surprised at a particular action taken underwater by the Dive Master (in an effort to attract more fish for us to see) who led our dive & this made me rather uncomfortable. Safe & professional, ORCA is a PADI certified organisation, so definitely one of the better dive centres on the Island.

Visited June 2014
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1 Thank Ibadanboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Vladivostok, Russia
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Nice to come back”
Reviewed March 27, 2014

Diving with professionals. Michel and Henri Garcia are involved in diving on Rapa Nui since Captain Cousteau expedition 1976. ORCA dive center was established in 1980.
http://orcadivingcenter.cl/
Visibility in local waters is fantastic. It could easily reach 60 meters/200 feet. A lot of endemic marine life and nice underwater landscape are primary reasons for diving on Rapa Nui.
Great opportunities for photo and video. I am planning to come back :).

Visited November 2013
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1 Thank ValD29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, Usa
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Very disorganized, poor communication, safety concerns, poor customer service”
Reviewed December 16, 2013

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

Visited December 2013
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9 Thank sunshineviv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
World Traveler
Level 6 Contributor
224 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Excellent Dive Shop and Dive Masters”
Reviewed November 10, 2013

I dove twice with Orca Dive Shop in Nov 2013. Orca offered two dives each morning and each afternoon, closed on Sundays. You can save money if you buy a package of five or 10 dives; make sure to check out Orca's website. Both Michel and Henri were helpful and competent in helping me select the proper gear and double-checking that I had assembled it correctly (since I have just 20 dives). We dived at ‘Cathedral’ and another spot just five minutes right off the harbor.

The visibility was unlike anything I had seen in Panama or the Galapagos where I have dived before, a good 60 meters or so I am told. It was stunningly beautiful and at Cathedral we five divers and Henri and his assistant weaved our way through caves and narrow passages. We saw a lobster, moray eel, and some colorful fish, though not schools of them. Orca has lockers with keys where you can stow your gear in during your dive. I recommend Orca without hesitation.

Visited November 2013
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2 Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mogi das Cruzes, SP
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
170 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“You may have the chance to dive with a diving legend”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

One of the owners of this diving center, Henri García worked for Cousteau Society and I´ve always seen him diving in those famous Cousteau´s documentaries. In Easter Island I had the chance to go on two dives with this legend and he is a excelente guide and very professional.
We can rental everything, tanks, suits, mask and fins ( diver certification needed ).
The dives is just one minute by boat, in one hour and a half we can gear up , go diving and return to the quay.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ricardo R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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