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Dive Review of Aqua Adventures/Avalon Reef Club in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Isla de Mujeres

Aqua Adventures/Avalon Reef Club, Jul, 2006,

by Gustavo Valero, TX, USA . Report 2598.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Cancun, Cozumel, Grand Cayman East end, Dominican Republic, Puerto Morelos (Mexico).
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 75 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Small boat with no camera area/rinse accomodations.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The hotel can arrange your transportation from the Cancun airport to the 15-20 min ferry ride to the hotel and back. The hotel is all inclusive with good food variety and beer on tap. The beach is espectacular. Hidalgo street (the heart of the Island) is a few blocks away were restaurants, cafes, bars and shops are. You can easily find authentic Mexican sea food and even Italian cuisine. Nice and safe atmosphere.
Things have changed since the last chapbook report on 2006. First, aqua adventures is no longer on site, so you have to walk about 4-5 blocks to their shop and another 3-4 blocks to the pier (new on site operation is called Mundaca divers). Second, aqua adventures staffing has changed. One new divemaster was not very familiar with the dive sites (missed a couple of entries) and does not seem to have the best judgement to select the dives based on group's experience level (swimming against strong current dives were done with freshly certified divers). Third, service is not as good as reported before since sometimes we did not know what the plan was for the following day and I had a hard time to be taken to a dive site I selected. Also, they usually don't dive on Sundays (which seems to be the norm for all dive operations on the island.
The diving is great, manchones reefs at about 30 feet deep where the cruz de la bahia (were mass dives have been celebrated honoring Jacques Cousteau and Ramon Bravo) you can see the regular shallow reef life and we were lucky enough for an encounter with a bottlenose dolfin (a rare sighting). Cañoneros B-58 wreck at 80 feet with abundant life such as very large barracuda, groupers, parrot fish, sting rays and lobster. Punta negra with numerous small fish schools (grunt, snapper and goat fish), groupers 3-4 feet long, large angel fish, a 5-foot nurse shark under a ledge, a permit and a turtle were seen as well. Punta sur 35 feet drift dive were a large anchor is, 2 hawksbill turtles but no dolphins showed up (advertized as a dolphin sightings dive). My favorite, Grampin at 55 feet were we saw schools of yellow jacks, permits and large groupers; not forgetting the stars of our dive, 2 free swimming large nurse sharks (6-7 footers) that kept coming back even when we started to surface. Bandera at 40 feet with a very strong current to swim against followed by drifting were schooling small barracuda, 2 hawksbill turles and a monster size snapper were seen. The boat was small, no camera facilities, plataform or backroll entries. Exits were at the plataform (no ladder)handing over equipment first.
Overall a very good diving destination (I'm coming back most likely with different dive operation). Other interesting dive sites are available including the cave of the sleeping sharks (I was not taken despite my request)and an advertized daily sightings of one to many whale sharks snorkeling 90-minute boat trip each way during June thru August beyond Contoy island (not as far as Hol Box). This could be your Sunday activity but make sure you book this with ample time. Also check if the boat is comfortable and has a restroom since the trip might last 6-7 hours (ride plus finding and swimming with the sharks).
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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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