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

Aqua Safari/Amigo's B&B, Suites Bahia, Jun, 2006,

by Francis & Deb Bollag, NY, USA . Report 2966.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Yucatan mainland, Dominica, Grand Cayman, BVI, St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 70 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None for experienced divers
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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 rate.}
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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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