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Dive Review of Aldora Divers/Residencias Reef in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Aldora Divers/Residencias Reef, Dec, 2009,

by David Dornbusch, California, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 5326.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Red Sea, Fiji, Sipidan, Great Barrier Reef, Roatan, Belize, Turks & Caicos, Tahiti, British Virgins, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Indonesia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 79 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 70 to 90 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No special restrictions
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Aldora is an excellent dive operation. Memo, the owner, gives the operation his constant personal attention and makes a point of being available by cell phone anytime. Aldora fills steel 100 tanks to 3300 to 3400 psi, which always provided more than enough air for two one-hour plus dives. The steel 100's are pretty heavy, requiring only half the weight necessary as when using aluminum tanks. However, Aldora also offers smaller/lighter tanks, which the women preferred, and which provided all the air they needed for the one-hour long dives.

All dives were drift in modest 1-2 knot currents. We were able to cancel dives as late as the afternoon before. And, Aldora charged for only one dive when two in our group were unable to make the second of two tank dives.

Dario was our dive master all days and was superb. He's very knowledgable, congenial, has great eyes, and was very attentive to the least experienced in our group. Frequently pointed out very small critters that we would never have seen on our own.

Aldora picked us up and dropped us at a dock only 50 yards from our rented condo. Kept our regs and BCs, and anything else we wanted to leave, and had it ready to go when they picked us up, always at 8:00 AM sharp. Surface interval always at Mr. Sancho's, a private beach near the reefs, serving decent food, and offering tables and lounge chairs to relax in the shade or sun.

The reefs were much healthier than I expected. Seem to have completely recovered from the hurricane of 2007 (or 2008?). Beautiful hard and soft coral formations, swim-throughs, and reasonably abundant populations of fish, turtles, invertibrates, etc. As good a dive experience as I've had in the Atlantic/Caribbean.

Rented a 3-bedroom, spacious and comfortable condo at Redencias Reef, about 15 km south of town. I recommend staying away from town, and therefore away from the nuisances of the numerous visiting cruise ships, crowds and traffic. However, all good restaurants are in town. Mega is a huge supermarket supplying everything you'd want if you want to cook in.

Small and medium-size rental cars or jeeps are reasonably priced at one-third the cost of a van. You can keep the cost down if your car insurance and/or credit card will cover you and therefore enable you to avoid buying the Mexican car insurance.

Highly recommend Kinto's restaurant! Make a reservation. Pancho's Backyard, Veranda, and Guido's were also very good. Outdoor restaurants on the east side of the island are in beautiful settings and serve decent to very good food.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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