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Dive Review of Aldora/Hotel Cozumel and Resort in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

January, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Nick McGregor, MN, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 3839
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Keys, multiple Carribean, Cocos, galapagos, Gulf of Thailand, Lake Superior
and Michigan wreck sites
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy  
Water Temp
75   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
recreational limits - Advanced divers could go deeper if they wanted, but
had to be preplaanned with DM - no one did go any deeper than 130 ft  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The boats had rinse tanks on board and ample room for photographers to work
with their eqipment.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
I have read reports in Undercurrent on Aldora for years and  I finally had
the opportunity  to dive with them on this recent trip. This was my first
trip to Coz in 4 years. Our group had pre-scheduled with a different dive
operation, SeaScuba, and wanting to stay with our group I dove with them
for 2 days. (I have authored a separate report on SeaScuba)  I met with
owner/manager Memo at Aldoras shop on Calle 5, and  immediately noted the 
professionalism and integrity of this outfit. I spoke with Memo for about a
half hour, showed my credentials, and got the schedule for the next days
diving. Aldora 1, a well appointed dive boat that was spotlessly clean and
sporting twin Honda 130hp motors arrived at the dock of Hotel Cozumel at
precisely 7:40 AM, just as promised. Edgar the DM and Gato the captain
introduced themselves and we were off to pick up just 2 more passengers for
the morning.I thought it extremely conscientious and safety oriented that
the first thing Edgar advised me of is that the boats radio operated on
Channel 63 in case there was ever any separation from the boat. The two
divers we picked up were a very nice couple from Tennessee and together we
chose a dive site. Punta Sur got the nod, and 10 minutes before we got to
the site, Edgar gave a concise and detailed briefing, with all precautions
and safeguards for diving Devils Throat. The dive was flawless, and thanks
to the steel 120s filled to 3400 psi, our total bottom time was 52
minutes, even though we had a max depth of 130 ft. A relaxing 2hr.surface
interval at Mr Sanchos beach included a visit from Memo, PRing and making
sure all was well. I was impressed. A 2nd dive at  Paso de Cedral to a
depth of 70ft. max yielded a bottom time of 72 minutes, and a lot if
critters including 6 or 7 turtles, some rays, many lobster and crabs,
beautiful swim throughs.

The next day 7 of my friends that I had started diving with at SeaScuba,
bailed from them due to high anxiety from dealing with failing boat motors,
and joined me with Aldora. Memo sent 2 DMs and 2 crew in the 40 ft diesel
powered Felicity, a beautiful craft that could easily accommodate 16
divers, but Aldora kept it exclusive to our group. This boat had a head, an
enclosed bow and ample room for divers. There are 2 ladders at the stern
with platforms making exit via giant stride a short drop to the water, and
entry back on to the boat easy. A back roll was also an option. The boat is
large and fast. No cattle boat here in any way, a great dive boat.

Once again, the divers chose the site. This group wanted to go to Devils
throat since they had not yet been there. With the 2 DMs, those that
wanted to stay on the top of the reef could and the rest could go deep.
Aldoras buddy breathing policy made the dives full for all. The first
diver to breathe his/her tank down to 1000 psi then shares air from the
DMs tank; the 2nd diver to 1000 breathes from DM2s tank, and the 3rd
diver to 1000 signals the end of the dive. For saftety purposes, the group
decends together and ascends together. This technique makes for the longest
possible bottom time for the whole group. We were able to again achieve 51
minutes on the 1st dive going to 130 ft,  and 70 minutes  on the 2nd.   Mr
Sanchos beach was again the stop for the surface interval, and Memo was
again there to check on the group. Our second dive was at Santa Rosa,
yielding the most critter sightings. A large lobster resembling an alien
landing craft was out for a stroll across the sandy bottom for several
minutes, giving videographers in the group some great up close and personal
shots. A large resting nurse shark was found by the DM under an outcropping
of coral. A hawksbill turtle appeared to be playing chicken with one of our
group - he had to roll to the side while the turtle passed so that he would
not collide with it!

Aldora charges $87 for a 2 tank dive. Many others charge around $60. But
when you do the math, the cost per bottom time minute is almost identical.
I did 4 dives with SeaScuba, total combined bottom time on the 4 dives was
164 minutes. Four dives with Aldora had a  total combined bottom time of
250 minutes. That works out to $.78/ minute with the cheaper operator and
$.75/minute with Aldora, the more expensive operator. Hmmm. And with
Aldora, you get first class service from beginning to end, excellent DMs,
well appointed and maintained boats, rinsing and storage of gear. It is
truly an exceptional dive operation.
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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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