Puerto Rico - Area 5
West coast including Desecheo and Mona islands
Mention Puerto Ricos west coast diving and local divers go misty eyed and lapse into Spanish as a language rich in evocative vocabulary. It is the islands of Mona and Desecheo that are responsible for this passionate response. Of these two gems, one is readily accessible the other almost completely inaccessible.
Mona Island: To start with the best and the worst news, Mona Island is 45 miles west of Puerto Rico (or a 6-hour ride in most dive boats) so has to be organised as a 2- or 3-day camping excursion, for which a permit has to be obtained. So do not expect to just turn up and ask someone to take you to Mona. See Diving Facilities section in the book for stores willing and able to organise trips to Mona.
Desecheo Island: Perhaps not as staggeringly beautiful as Mona but with all the charm of an uninhabited island, Desecheo is the other west coast gem but only a mere 12 miles away, and accessible almost any day. Depending on the size of the dive boat and where it is located, the journey will take from 30 minutes to one and a half-hours.
The Rest of the West: It is easy to neglect the west coast dive sites closer to land, but they are worthy of mention too. There are some very good beach dives (sites 95 and 96) and offshore reef dives off Mayaguez and Cabo Rojo. This side of the island is subject to northerly swells and surface conditions can, on occasion, be rough.
See the book for 20 pages describing this areas 21 dive sites and 6 dive stores, plus lots of information about the island, après dive activities, diving rules and regulations and marine life.
Checkout dive site 100 - Candyland
22 Boqueron Dive Shop
24 Caribbean Reef Divers
25 The Dive Shop
26 Taino Divers
27 Reef Divers
28 Aquatica Underwater Adventures
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