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Dive Review of Aldora/Hotel Vista del Mar in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

April, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Joseph Blakely, ca, USA (1 report)
Report Number 4771
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Fiji, Honduras
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm, currents  
Water Temp
76   to 77    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
  to    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
?  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
[Unspecified]  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  N/A
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 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  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
N/A
Service and Attitude
N/A
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
Beginners
2 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
Aldora is a very professionally run dive operation.  Their boats start at
their pier in town and may stop to pick up clients at resort piers as they
head south.  The boats seemed to be the fastest around. The crews were
respectful and helpful.  Virtually every day we went to dive sites at the
far southern tip of the island.  I've heard that some other dive operations
save on gas by only going to closer-in sites.  

Aldora uses super sized steel tanks that allowed lots of bottom time.  Our
longest dive was 81 minutes.  With all that air and the depths of some of
the underwater attractions, expect to get some practice with decompression
stops.  The dive masters were good at navigating so the the stops were on
shelves or other in interesting areas, minimizing time just hanging in the
blue.  

I liked that the surface interval was spent at a pleasant beach resort
where coffee or sandwiches could be had.  Some other Cozumel operators
spend the interval on the boats.  Not nearly as comfortable.  Memo, the
manager (owner?), was at the beach club during the surface interval, asking
clients if they were enjoying their dives, sorting out any problems and
asking if they had requests for particular dive sites.  A classy touch.

Their windproof, fleece-lined, hooded robes sure were luxurious after a
dive when they cranked their twin outboards up to full speed as they headed
back to town.

Having dived extensively in the Pacific and southeast Asia, the amount of
marine life in the Caribbean will never compare.  Neither did the coral off
Cozumel.  That said, the underwater formations with lots of swim-throughs,
ledges and walls when coupled with the really great viz made the unique
drift diving of Cozumel worth the trip.

We were more than happy with the basic but charming Hotel Vista del Mar
which was only a three minute walk from Aldora pier.  Very friendly staff
and hooks on the balcony for your wet suits.  
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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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