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

Aldora Divers/Villa Aldora, Sep, 2010,

by John E. Keith, UT, US (Contributor Contributor 19 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 5707.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Saba, Bonaire, Turks and Caicos, Caymans, Baja Mexico, California, Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas currents
Water Temp 27 to 29 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 25 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Group stays together including ascending. Safety stop required. However, the DMs suggested that we could stay above or below the group as we wanted as long as he could account for us.
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 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments The fast boats did not have a bucket for cameras, but the large boat did.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Aldora Divers is a top notch dive shop. Mimo and the rest of the staff are helpful and they try very hard to meet your requests. September is a "low" time, and my wife and I dove twice alone - no cancellations - (with our dive master, of course), once with another couple and once with 5 other folks. Our dive masters (David, Raoul, Javier, and Edgar) were excellent. We asked for dives that were slow so we could view and photograph. That's exactly what we got, with great help in seeing critters from the DMs, even with the larger group. Aldora uses larger steel tanks, so our dives averaged about 60 or so minutes. Because they want the group to stay together for safety reasons - including decomp with these longer dives - Aldora fits the tanks to the diver's characteristics to make sure that everyone gets good bottom time. We did have one couple who ascended before the group on one dive due to low air, and the dive master took care to see that they were met by the boat. Adora also tries to time dives to avoid the masses from the cruisers. We had plenty of time to view and observe and each of the DMs were able to help us find lots to see. Saw many turtles and a couple of sharks as well as the usual critters and fish. We had a depression (Karl) come through and even with its affects on the visibility, the diving was good.

For the first time, we stayed at Villa Aldora (usually we do an RCI exchange). It was wonderful. Our host, Steve, was so helpful and fun to chat with. Fresh water rinces and hangers were provided, and if you wanted (we didn't), tanks were available so you could dive from the hotel dock. We did snorkle a couple of times - saw squid, eels, and lots of fish. The rooms were excellent - well kept and well furnished (including the ability to "cook in"). We chose to go out and ate at some traditional favories (El Moro, la Tortuga, la Perlita) and some new ones (Kinta, la Veranda, and la Cocay) and had great meals. La Kinta was especially good. Being picked up at the hotel's dock with our gear already on board was a treat. We're headed back in October. Check out Aldora's October special on ScubaBoard (search on Dave Dillehay - free hotel in October). We recommend both the dive shop and the Villa with no reservations.
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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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