We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

hamilton ontario
Level Contributor
384 posts
19 reviews
Save Topic
Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

Thinking of booking for Feb. I hear snorkelling is fairly good--what kinds of things to see? Last year was Roatan so I don't expect as good. Also, the dive shop? What kinds of trips, how reliable are they, is there a website for more info.? Any details from those snorkelers out there would be appreciated.

Bedford
Destination Expert
for Samana Province
Level Contributor
4,623 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

We are, as a family, keen snorkellers and are familiar with the Red Sea and the Maldives. I have just had a look at Ruatan, and if the reports of the snorkelling there are accurate, I think you will be very disappointed with that which is available at El Portillo. The coral is largely dead, and few fish varieties. To be fair, the hotel does not make a big deal about the snorkelling. Our sons tried one dive, but thought there was so little to see it was not worth another. I think those who give favourable reports of snorkelling can have had little experience of really good locations. No doubt some will reply here and say they loved it but I just wonder what they can be comparing it with. We did have a day trip to Las Galeras with TDA divers, and though for various reasons (see my review of TDA) it was not a good day, there is no doubt that the coral over that way is worlds apart from that local to EP. It is quite a long taxi trip to get there though. The hotel dive shop is run by Scubaquatics and they have a website. Regardless of the snorkelling, or lack of it, the hotel is great and the beach fantastic.

Level Contributor
25 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

I did a dive trip with the lads from the beach and they took us out about 20 mins away to a fab dive site. Loads of coral & huge shoals of fish. I learned to dive on the Barrier Reef and whilst it wasn't that amazing it was still very good. They took my kids too (11 & 13) after a lesson in the pool (this takes about an hour). Cost was $95 for kids & $40 for me (i am PADI qualified) for 2x35 min dives.

Snorkelling depended on time of day. In morning could be really good and I saw a shoal of 30-40 tiger fish. You need to swim right out to the rope line and swim around the edge of the outer reef - just at the drop off.

Level Contributor
25 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

PS. Hello Mrs Fitts !! Didn't see you at all during the 2 weeks (& am hoping you didn't see me on the night I drank a few too many Maragrettas !!!)

Bedford
Destination Expert
for Samana Province
Level Contributor
4,623 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

Hi! No our paths seemed curiously divergent. Did your kids participate in any of the beach games? Our lot enjoyed those quite a bit. No I missed the margarita episode unfortunately. I think our lads had a similar experience with some of that 151 overproof rum.

Toronto
Level Contributor
588 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

Hi Victoria. We've been to Roatan many times and the snorkelling there is the best and will be hard to beat anywhere. We are going back to the Mayan Princess in March actually. But take your gear and you can still enjoy the snorkelling. Not much boat traffic to worry about at least.

Level Contributor
25 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

Hi again. Mine were more into the pool games. Husband played a lot of volleyball and did all games - he won many certificates & happily went up on stage (think he enjoyed his kisses from Rosa). I was often to be found kayaking late in the afternoon, usually heading off to Las Terrenas with the current.

And with the snorkelling, we did see a lot of sea cucumbers one day. Huge ones. I think they are the weirdest things.

Bedford
Destination Expert
for Samana Province
Level Contributor
4,623 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

Some of out lot were volley balling, maybe they were all actually on the same teams. .Daniel couldn't pronounce their real names so called them Jack and Robin if that rings a bell.

Level Contributor
25 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

He does remember them ! Jake & Robbie ? I did archery with them (v badly). My daughter managed to hit a beer can. Gary says he won frisbee with one of them too. Think you & I must have been too busy lying on those loungers.

Bedford
Destination Expert
for Samana Province
Level Contributor
4,623 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

How funny! Yes Reuben actually but Daniel could not get his head, or tongue, round that. No doubt we were indeed lying on the loungers and usually downing cocolocos. Roo is my son and Jake is his.

Edited: 05 September 2013, 23:20
hamilton ontario
Level Contributor
384 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Diving and Snorkelling at El Portillo

Drewboy, you think there is still enough to see in the water to keep us busy? Any info on the diving?

Get answers to your questions about Las Terrenas