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

October, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Brett Mook, IL, USA
Report Number 827
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
All over.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 90    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
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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