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

Aldora Divers/El Cozumeleno, Oct, 2003,

by Brett Mook, IL, USA . Report 827.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving All over.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas currents
Water Temp 80 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80 to 90 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits watched carefully on deep dives for deco due to 130 foot sites visited. Long safety stops. Computers a must and provided for those needing one. Long surface intervals.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

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 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 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 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Aldora is a great operation for experienced divers that want to dive the deeper and more challenging sites and indeed they lived up to this reputation and more. My dive partner on this trip was new to diving (10 or so dives so far) and a bit nervous and Aldora really took the time and care to select fun yet skill appropriate sites and keep an eye out to make this trip enjoyable for her too. She came away more skilled and confident and glowing about seeing her first nurse shark.

Aldora's large capacity tanks provided nearly double the bottom time you get from the aluminum 80's that are used by most operators. Dive Masters treat divers like adults and allow you the freedom to explore sites without being constantly herded. Dives averaged over an hour each including safety stops even for the divers on our boat that were heavy breathers. Aldora ran multiple boats daily taking care to match divers skill levels with the rest of their group and selecting sites that are skill friendly and enjoyable. Dive groups are no bigger than 6 per boat and night dives are available on Wednesday and Saturday nights no matter how small the group and on other nights if there are enough divers to fill a boat. The boats were fast enough to get us out to the dive sites before the cattle boats began to arrive and scare away the bigger critters. Plenty of bottled water and warm post dive parka's were available on the boats. Surface intervals were taken at Playa Sol, a very nice beach club offering good food and a fresh water pool to relax in between dives.

The best dive of the trip was to a site on Columbia Deep referred to as "Dave's Throat". In my opinion it is a far more interesting and enjoyable site than Punta Sur (Devil's Throat) which many folks consider the marquis dive on Cozumel. The swim throughs are more extensive and when you ascend you get to drift over and explore a healthy reef system making it like two dives in one rather than drifting over sand flats as you do when you ascend from Punta Sur.

The El Cozumeleno is an all inclusive resort located north of downtown and is a short $5 cab ride into town. It would be a bit far to walk for most folks. The atmosphere is lively but not for those seeking a Cancun style Spring Break type atmosphere. There are plenty of activities for families with children as well as all adult groups. The main pool is very big with a swim up bar and nearby pool side grill (great for that post dive cheezeburger in paradise). There is a second quieter pool that is also very nice. Snorkeling is good and shore diving is available through the on site dive shop for those interested. The food was very good with buffet style meals and a sit down menu dining room option available nightly. The staff here is super and really provided the friendly and easy going service that will bring us back. Being up north, most dive operators will not pick you up at the hotel dock so divers should plan for an early morning trip south to meet their dive boats at another resort or pier and a cab ride home after their day of diving.
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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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