Masks Required (updated 13 Jan 2022)
😷 Indoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public indoor spaces 😷 Outdoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public outdoor spaces where you cannot socially distance, or where there are 50 or more people
Busness Closure & Dry Law (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🛒 All businesses that serve the public must remain closed from midnight until 5am. Exceptions to closure include supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, health facilities, hospitals, among others. Restaurants, clubs, bars, etc ARE closed midnight to 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
🍺 Dry Law (no sale nor public consumption of alcohol) is in effect from midnight until 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🍔 ALL CUSTOMERS (2 years old and older) must show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results - In order to be admitted to food establishments you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival at the restaurant, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per executive order EO-2021-081.
👪 The capacity of "any place that serves (and people consume) drinks or prepared food" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to restaurants, bars, theaters, food courts, etc. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Stores, Offices & similar places that serve the public indoors (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🛒 The capacity in all facilities that "serve the public indoors" will be limited to 75%. This applies to stores, malls, offices, etc. Effective 17 Jan 2022 through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2022-002.
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party (5 years old and older) are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older. If you are unvaccinated and staying more than a week, you are required to show new negative test results weekly. Per executive order EO-2021-062 and EO-2021-075.
Tours & Excursions (updated 13 Jan 2022)
⛵ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of less than 250 people at facilities that encourage crowding, indoor or outdoor, must show proof of vaccination OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. This applies to everyone 5 years old and older. Kids under the age of 5 are not permitted to attend these events at all. Effective 22 December 2021, per EO-2021-080, and modified by EO-2022-002
👪 The capacity of "event or activity venues" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to stadiums, coliseums, convention centers, theaters, etc. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 30 Dec 2021)
🚢 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, and must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 20 Dec 2021)
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 27 Dec 2021, per EO-2021-081)
All DOMESTIC travelers (2 years old and older) arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show BOTH
  1. negative COVID test results from test administerd by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in PR AND
  2. either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery.
  • If you do not have your test results upon arrival, you have 48 hours to produce those results, or you will be fined $300 per person.
  • If you are un-vaccinated, you are required to quarantine for 7 days, even if you have negative test results.
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.
📄 ALL TRAVELERS arriving in Puerto Rico are required to submit a travel declaration upon arrival via the PR Government Travel Safe website. This is where you will upload your COVID vaccination card and/or negative COVID test results.

Dive or Snorkel at Desecheo Island

Diving at Desecheo Island

A few years ago, Puerto Rico won a Readers Choice Award from Scuba Diving Magazine for being one of the Top 20 Overall Dive Destinations in the Caribbean region. I have done a number of dives around the island over the past few years and I was looking to encounter another Top 20-type of dive (the wall dive at La Parguera was one).

We were heading "out west" for a couple days and I was hoping to find this WOW diving experience off of the west coast. Desecheo Island is one of the "must do" dive locations out west, so we "did" it and had some great, memorable dives.

Desecheo Island

Diving at Desecheo Island

Desecheo (pronounced day-say-chAy-oh) is a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Puerto Rico — about 12 miles west from Rincon. It’s a small island, only about 0.6 square miles of total land mass.

Currently, the island is managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and is now a wildlife refuge. It was used as a bombing practice site by the US military in the past, so you are not permitted to go onto the island because there may be unexploded military ordinances present. Due to its isolated location, not too many people get to visit the area, and the reefs around the island remain in excellent shape — full of life and color.

How Do I Get There?

I was only able to find one company, Taino Divers, that offered dive trips to Desecheo Island. I guess there are probably other ways to get there — maybe you could charter a private boat or something. Taino Divers was very quick to respond to emails and phone calls.

We went during low season, so they needed at least 2 other divers for them to make the trip. Lucky for us, 3 other divers had reserved for the same day.

The morning of the dive, we met at their dive shop, got gear and paperwork taken care of, and then we walked to the beach. Our Captain and dive master that day was Frank. Another of their dive masters, Izzy, had off that day but wanted to dive so he went with us. One of the divers was working on his Advanced Diver certification, so he had his own dive master, Emily. All of the staff seemed very nice, friendly, and really seemed to enjoy their jobs.

Since the Rincon marina is out of service (actually, non-existent at this time), there is no dock use while loading the boat. They have to load the boat from the beach, so we all got into a line and helped load our tanks and gear onto the boat. Once on-board, we got the boat safety breafing and we settled in for the 45-minute ride to the island.

The boat was nice — it had a sun cover and we all enjoyed the ride. The water was calm, so it was an easy trip. I’m told that’s not often the case, especially the way back! Once we got to our first dive site, we got our gear set-up, listened to the dive briefing and jumped in.

Our Dives

Diving at Desecheo Island

The water was warm and visibility was about 80 feet. Our first dive site was called Candy Land, which is reminiscent of the colorful children’s board game. It was full of rocks & boulders, mounds of coral, loads of colorful sea fans, and a nice variety of fish. The site was alive, colorful and interesting.

It was a nice easy dive, with almost no current at all. Our maximum depth on this dive was about 80 feet. Frank was able to find a number of small sea creatures (like spider starfish and cleaner shrimps). We had one great encounter with a turtle — he was not afraid of us at all. He came almost face to face with each of us individually. Nice!

Izzy found a 50mm shell casing, left over from the military target practice, that he brought up to show us. From where our boat was moored, you could still see the targets the military "added" to the landscape of the island.

Diving at Desecheo Island

During our surface interval, we had a delicious lunch (local sandwiches and pastries) and sodas as we talked about the dive. Water and soda is provided and available throughout the entire trip. After lunch we moved to the second site, just a short distance away.

For this dive, we did parts of two reefs — Ladder Reef and the Caves. Ladder Reef was colorful and full of life. The Caves is a great site for lovers of swim-throughs. Both reefs were really shallow — the swim-throughs were at times only 10 feet in some spots!

The ride back to the "big island" surprised us all by being pretty smooth. After helping unload the boat, we went back to the shop and rinsed our gear. Since we were going to be doing more dives with them, we were able to leave our wet equipment at the shop instead of lugging it home and back. They also have showers at the shop to rinse off after the dive. That is a nice touch.

Other Info

Diving at Desecheo Island

Though we went as all SCUBA divers, Taino Divers also offers the trip for snorkelers. With the very clear waters and shallow areas just off the coast of Desecheo Island, snorkelers can really have a super experience. They go to Desecheo Island daily, weather permitting. If the seas are not cooperating, they can do local, off-shore dive/snorkel trips instead.

Details

The cost to dive is $120/person for 2-tanks. There is an extra charge to rent dive gear. The cost for snorkelers is $95/person, which includes snorkel gear. Obviously, you must present your C-card to dive. NOTE- There is a $20 Marine Park Fee to go to the Island.

If you're happy, let them know it — Don't forget to tip your your bartender, tour guide or trip operator if you enjoyed yourself. Gratuities are appreciated and typically aren't included in the price they charge you.

Taino Divers makes daily trips to Desecheo Island (weather permitting), for snorkeling, SCUBA diving and discover SCUBA diving. They meet at the shop at 7:30am and return to the shop around 2:00pm. There is also an additional $20pp Marine Park fee. Reservations are highly suggested, but if you are a last-minute type of person, you can try to go to the shop in the morning to see if they have room on the boat.

Their maximum capacity is 12 guests.

You can call 787-823-6429 for more information or to make a reservation.

You can visit the Taino Divers web site for more information.

Restrooms are available at the shop and there is a small marine head on the boat.

The Taino Divers shop is located in the Black Eagle Marina in Rincon.

Click on a placename below to view the location on Google Maps ...

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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