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

March, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by James Castanino, DC, US
Reviewer   (6 reports)
Report Number 6083
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Utila, Bonaire, Belize, Cozumel, Yucatan, St. Lucia, BVI, Bermuda, US
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
We spent 5 days with Aldora during our recent visit to Cozumel, which was
the second visit in the past 12 months (last time I went with Palancar
Divers out of the Occidental). I am an experienced diver but this was my
girlfriend's first dive trip; she did her check-out dives with Aldora and
then we dove together for a day. Overall I think Aldora runs a good
operation, with experienced, safety conscious staff, friendly management
and emphasis on spending time underwater. They charge a premium but in the
end it is worth it if you want to visit the best sites and get the bottom

I spent a lot of time researching dive operators before this trip and
decided on Aldora primarily due to their good reputation and emphasis on
bottom time (this had been a real disappointment with Palancar, dives
averaged 45 mins and DM's seemed in a rush). Overall I was not disappointed
and would dive with Aldora again.

Best aspects of the operation:
-Bottom time. We were never rushed and every dive last more than an hour.
Aldora uses massive tanks which negated the need to wear any weight (I usu
wear 8 pounds with a 3 mil).
-DMs were generally excellent. Good attitude, friendly and safety-oriented.
I had three different DMs and they were all excellent.
-Small groups. Average group was 4-6. Boats were fast and generally
-Good service. We left our gear on the boat every day and it arrived ready
to go the next morning.
-Dive sites. I had requested dives on the southern tip of the island before
arriving in Cozumel and Aldora made it happen. Most operators don't like to
go there because of the fuel costs, time, etc. but these guys had no
problem going there and the dives were great.

We had two logistics issues with Aldora: First, which was more annoying
than the second, was a scheduling issue. The instructor told my girlfriend
that the boat would pick her up at the dock on day 2 and they never showed
up (I was on a different boat with experienced divers). She missed a day of
diving as a result of this. On another day, one of the Aldora boats broke
down and they arrived 90 mins late. In this second instance (unlike the
first) the dive shop called us ahead of time to let us know. Boats break
down and they had another boat there fairly quickly so we didn't miss

Management was apologetic about both of these issues and gave us two free
golf shirts at the end of our visit. Not as good as a discount, but a nice

One thing to keep in mind; Aldora surface intervals are done at a beach
club near the reef. This was nice (instead of sitting on the boat) and
allowed you to order food or a cold drink. However, I though the surface
intervals were longer than necessary and had the impression that the
primary reason was so the captains and DMs could eat lunch. We were there
for almost 90 minutes on a couple days, which is a certainly a good safety
margin but in my view not the best use of time. 

Aldora does charge more than just about anyone else, but in my opinion it
is generally worth the extra cost. I would dive with them again.
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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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