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

October, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Robert White, CO, USA
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 1431
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Tahiti, Hawaii, Indonesia, Galapagos Islands, Washington State, Bonaire,
Aruba, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Utah, Colorado
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
83   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 130    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Usual precautions when drift diving - 1:30 min. surface intervals.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 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):
2 stars
2 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 continues to be a first class dive operator.  We spent a week diving
with them.  I'm a PADI DM, my sister is a PADI AI and my nephew has just a
few dives under his belt since his OW certification.  I felt that Aldora
kept us very happy with a nice variety of dives suitable for our little
group - not too simple and not too difficult, and always nice and long with
100cf tanks.  Be sure to check in advance whether your regulator will work
with the DIN adapters on Aldora's tanks.  Apparently high pressure tank
rules are changing so you will need to check with them beforehand to avoid
disappointment.  Devil's Throat is always a thrill. Mateo is everything a
good divemaster should be - he pays absolute attention to details. We went
diving with him a few years back and he still delivers the highest level of
customer service - weights remembered and tucked into the BC, insightful
briefings, concise instructions, lucid explanations, and excellent
One criticism about surface interval activities: the Aldora folks tend not
to mix with customers during the surface interval, though one of the owners
- Memo - came around several times during the week to chat for a moment to
see how we were doing.  I think Aldora is missing an obvious opportunity to
build relationships with customers. Several customers commented that the
lack of interaction made the customers feel unnecessarily like outsiders.

The crew has their surface interval meals paid for at Playa del Sol and one
other place, so we always return to the same one or two mediocre places for
surface intervals. These on-the-beach facilities offer expensive food. I
suggest seasoned divers make a trip to the island grocery store Chedraui
and bring their own snacks and bottled water or be prepared to spend a
minimum of $12 per person per day for a drink and a snack.  For our group
of three it became a considerable sum, though you are not obligated to
purchase anything.  Still, after a dive everyone was generally hungry and

We stayed at the new Villa Aldora which is promoted on the Aldora web site.
We were upgraded to the owner Dave's suite which consisted of a bed
upstairs and a bed downstairs on two separate floors.  After a brief mixup
where Aldora thought my sister and I were married and would sleep in the
same bed, we were offered an additional room at no extra fee. If you read
Aldora's web site you get the impression that Villa Aldora is centrally
located.  In truth it is located a mile or two north of town near Puerto
Abrigo. It is also right across the street from the airport runways /
jungle - and consequently I experienced dead cockroaches in my room as well
as a constant assault from mosquitos. This is not something I had
experienced before in Cozumel.  The Internet phone and Internet connections
were non-functioning much to our disappointment. We had to bother the
manager to make even the most basic phone calls for us such as for a taxi. 
The management claims they are not empowered by Aldora to solve fairly
simple customer problems such as accommodating guests in an air conditioned
room to catch a late flight out.  Also, conditions at the Villa Aldora dock
sometimes prevented the dive boat from picking us up - supposedly this
happens whenever the north wind blows - common we are told in late fall and
winter.  We were able to save money cooking our own food, but the long and
expensive taxi rides back and forth to the supermarket make this option
more expensive than we had expected it to be based on the web site
description.  Think long and hard before booking the villa over one of the
amazingly cheap hotel deals on Cozumel.  I do believe the experience at the
Villa will improve over time as they work the bugs out, with the Internet
connectivity being a big draw.

Finally, be sure to get careful confirmation of all taxes and charges you
will be assessed by Aldora both for diving and for these accommodations. 
We found errors in the paperwork which Aldora did gladly correct, but left
undiscovered it would have cost us a couple hundred dollars extra.

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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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