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

July, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Jill Rain, WA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (8 reports, with 4 Helpful votes)
Report Number 2583
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, PNG, Australia, Hawaii, Caribbean, Baja
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
85   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 120    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):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 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):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
Fourth return visit to Cozumel. Went Aldora: not cheap but good value.
First stay at Villa Aldora, a mile and half north of town center (cab, or
walk half hour). Villa has 9 units, on the water, quiet, homey, sunsets and
lounging, easy pick-up by Aldora boats and dealing with dive logistics. All
units have cooking facilities, AC, good plumbing, and free phone/wireless
internet access. Management gracious and helpful, very friendly atmosphere.
Bring cash/traveler's checks - can't pay with credit card. Good snorkeling
out front. Repairs from hurricane damage almost complete - fully
Town: fully up and running, but pretty empty except for cruisies during the
day (ships anchor offshore now, docks sunk); good deals at restaurants.
Aldora dive operation: still consistently good (3rd time with them). Fast
boats, early departure, 6 divers per boat max, usually less. Rarely saw
other divers underwater. Aldora has scratched certain sites off their list
since hurricane Wilma due to damage on shallower reefs.
Palancar/Columbia/Punta Sur still excellent, second dives often at Santa
Rosa/San Francisco also in great shape. Fragile corals and sponges thrashed
and littering the bottom, lots of new sand drifts - but that's most of the
damage.  Some fish dependent on those have declined (like trumpetfish),
others have proliferated (algae/coral munchers).  Far more juveniles than
usual of many species (esp. angelfish, drum, trunkfish, damselfish).  MANY
more turtles. Some sharks and eagle rays. Diversity and numbers of fish
overall is about the same, surprisingly. Still the largest at depth. Signs
of recovery everywhere (inch high purple sea fans, etc). I've drifted
Cozumel reefs for 10 years now and it was fascinating to see the dynamics
of disaster natural sucession at work. And these reefs still have the most
dramatic and intricate deep formations anywhere. 
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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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