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

October, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Peter J, FL, USA
Report Number 836
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Bonaire, Dominica, Fiji, Florida, Guanaja, Little Cayman, St.
Lucia, St. Vincent
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
84   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No Deco, long suggested safety stops  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Must ask for camera rinse bucket. Good care taken by crew in handling
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
Another hearty recommendation for Aldora Divers. From pre-trip emails to
end-of-trip settling up, a first class operation. As mentioned often
before, the steel 120 cubic foot tanks and two-hour-plus surface intervals
allow for extraordinary bottom time and relatively deep second dives. I was
picked up at the Brisas dock in one of Aldora's speedy outboards at 7:40 am
which got us out to the most popular dive sites well before the lumbering
cattle boats made their appearances. Never dove with more than 4 other
divers, often with only 2. All gear, save wetsuits, was handled and rinsed
by Aldora's crew throughout the week, affording me the indulgence of some
smugness as I walked down the dock with only my wetsuit in hand, watching
as the larger ops packed 10 to 20 divers in their boats, all of whom had to
rinse and store their own gear. 
   Divemasters Memo, Bill and owner, Dave (who was pulling some extra duty
to accomodate an unexpected number of clients) did everything in their
power to accomodate my wishes and needs. Bill, especially, has a kind of
Zen way of leading a dive without leading: he's always looking for --and
often finding-- the exotica of undersea Cozumel, but never herds his
divers, nor rushes them. I, being the only photographer with Aldora that
week, was often some distance behind, framing a shot. I was always able to
keep the group within my field of vision and never felt pushed to keep up.
While I dove with divers of varying skills and experience, I never felt
hindered by any (except for one dive with a bottom-kicker who was quickly
segregated from most other divers on subsequent trips). One reason for this
is the long-hosed alternates carried by the DM's, providing extra air for
those who ran low. 
   The boats are smallish, maybe 28 footers, with tanks secured one in
front of the other with bungies. Water always provided and encouraged,
camera rinse bucket provided upon request. Backroll entries following DM's
reconnoitering of site and current. 
   Morning dives were the typical 100-foot-deep or more Coz wall dives with
swim-throughs and reef-top finales. (most profiles are very nicely shaped,
with gradual ascents built into the topography) Surface interval at
pleasant beach recreation area, )Playa del Sol,  with large, shaded dining
area and very decent, inexpensive and generously portioned Mexican food.
Scrupulously cleaned restrooms. Lots of beach activities available, though
divers, of course, will want to just chill and offgas. Afternoons still
provided some deepish dives, but with more time spent in liesurely search
and examination of critters at lesser depths. 
    Brisas is a perfect dive hotel. Large, vaulted-ceiling rooms, fully
tiled, with nice balconies equipped with good-sized drying pegs mounted on
the wall, as well as plastic stack chairs and table for additional drying.
Good size interior table for laptop or camera work, TV with lots of Cable
channels, many in English with Spanish subtitles. A short tunnel leads from
the hotel lobby to the "beach" and the dive dock where all the
ops will stop for passengers. The famously large pool, with multiple depths
including a 6-foot wide, 4-inch-deep shelf which runs inside the perimeter,
is an apres dive afternoon gathering place. 
     Food is adequate, though it's certainly worthwhile to take the
pleasant, 15-minute stroll into town to sample some of the better
restaurants like La Choza or Prima or take a cab ride to El Morro. There's
a huge department store/grocery store on the way, just a 5-minute walk from
Brisas, where you can stock up on bottled water (a must, though the first
bottle's on the house from Brisas), bananas, batteries or a refrigerator,
if you're so inclined! The town, San Miguel, is best sampled on Sunday
night when the cruise ships are absent. When they're in port (and you'll
see as many as seven on any given day!) the area near the waterfront is
awash with (literally and figuratively) ugly Americans. 
   Look for incredibly healthy reefs, excellent vis, really fun
swim-throughs, lots of medium to small fish, with Filefish and Angels
surprisingly numerous and, yes, some current, but nothing to be overly
concerned about, at least in my experience. Aldora's worth every extra
penny I paid for the quality and quantity of my dive minutes. 
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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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