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Dive Review of Aqua Safari/Amigo's B&B, Suites Bahia in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

June, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Francis & Deb Bollag, NY, USA
Report Number 2966
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Yucatan mainland, Dominica, Grand Cayman, BVI, St. Vincent & The
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
70   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None for experienced divers  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 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
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
Aqua Safari has recently put much effort into delivering better dives for
experienced customers who have computers. Bottom times are long, even on
the big boats (12-16 divers max.) In two weeks of diving, we had only one
dive that was under an hour. As long as we follow the plan and buddy
system, monitor profiles (it's easy to go into deco, especially on second
tanks -- nitrox is an available option,) and remain reasonably close behind
the group, the DM's are quite willing to let us relax, spread out and dive
our own dives. They hang out at 15 feet until we drift up to them for our
safety stops. 

If you like long dives, learn to drift slower than the main group. DM's
don't enjoy chasing swimmers. 

We've been Aqua Safari customers since we first visited Cozumel seven years
ago. While we've also gone out with other operators, Aqua Safari is the one
we unconditionally recommend. They are professional in every respect:
Everyone is experienced and skilled in his or her job, every detail is seen
to, boats and equipment are well maintained, communication is constant and
the operation zings. One thing we really appreciate is that they don't
shorten their surface intervals to make the schedule. If the boat stays out
longer, that's OK. Most mornings, the owner goes to each pick-up pier to
greet his divers and help them board. And the shop can supply or help with
whatever you need: Equipment service, accessories, instruction or advice.

We took the REEF Fish ID course, which was a lot of fun. A.S. is a PADI IDC
and offers a full range of courses. Classes are very small and personalized
and they work them around (or into) your dive schedule.

We went out on both the big boats & the fast boat. Big boats are rarely
filled to capacity and there's plenty of roaming room on each. These boats
are great if you want to enjoy a leisurely trip and get to know your fellow
divers. Plus they have sun decks as well as protected, interior seating
& marine heads. There are two divemasters on each boat which allows
groups to split apart into fast & slow drifters and spread out along
the reef. There's no "big-group" feel to the trips except for the
initial water entry and descent since they want everyone to descend, check
bouyancy, solve any problems and approach the reef together.

Belinda, the fast boat, is an inboard diesel that holds 8 divers, one DM
and her captain. She's much more comfortable than an open panga and has a
swim platform and ladder. The premium for a two-tank trip is only $5. Trips
start 1/2 hour earlier and take about an hour less than those on the big
boats. The diving is similar to the big boats. Belinda makes two 2-tank
trips each day. If you want Belinda, it's best to reserve in advance of
your trip.

Aqua Safari's afternoon 3rd tank is the bargain of the century. It's only
$9 in addition to a morning 2-tank trip. The DMs will ask for sign ups
after the second morning dive.

We found Amigo's site while web surfing and it looked interesting, so we
booked a week's stay. What a great, budget alternative to a hotel! Located
in a residential area of El Centro, it's within walking distance of
everything. There's a large garden & very nice, swimmable pool. The
property is quiet and private and lovely. Its three guest rooms are located
in two buildings at the back of the property. Each room has a private
entrance with sitting porch and hammock. Rooms are bright and clean with
private baths, fully-equipped kitchenettes, air conditioning and ceiling
fans. There's a community palapa living/dining area with TV, DVD player,
games, books plus a large kitchen. Beds are comfortable. Plenty of hot
water & good showers. Continental breakfast, 6 days of maid service and
free wifi internet access (with your computer) included in rate.

After Amigo's, returning to our usual haunt, Suites Bahia, was a letdown.
Yes, the central, waterfront location can't be beat and the rates are low,
but it felt confining -- as might any downtown hotel. Four-story, elevator
building. Ours was a balcony room: Two queen beds, air conditioning, cable
TV, kitchenette. The fridge and AC are new since Wilma. Continental
breakfast, maid service and unlimited use of hotel computer included in
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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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