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Dive Review of Aqua Safaris/Vista del Mar in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

January, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Mary K. Wicksten, TX, USA
Report Number 318
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
California, Baja, Galapagos, Hawaii, Palau, Yap, Australia, Bonaire, Turks
& Caicos, Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Florida, Flower Gardens
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
76   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dvie master recommendced timee and depth, asked for 3-5 minute safety stop
at 15 feet, please stay with group on coming up.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 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
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Boat had camera bucket, but had to watch out for other divers using it to
rinse masks.  No camera table, no photo facilities at shop or aaboard boat.
Film developing avaailable in town or at photo shop in other hotel.  

Much diving is drift diving.  Tough to compose a still photo while being
swept along--might be easier to use a video camera.   
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
 This was a budget trip, so I didn't expect the best. Vista del Mar
overlooks the harbor, has no beach. Rooms renovated and rather cute, but
small. Swimming pool is within a shopping plaza.  No elevator!  Continental
breakfast now included, many decent restaurants within walking distance,
also close to shopping and Carlos and Charlies. Decent accomodations for
the price.

Used boat from pier across street. Boat has shade, also head (but not
always functional). Water and small snack included. Dive guides Miguel and
Ivan very careful.  Ivan found toadfish, lobsters, scorpionfish and other
critters. Got very rough for first part of trip, dead flat calm on last
day. Current running at some sites.  Not many big fish--dim view of eagle
ray in distance, few nurse sharks and groupers. Lots of smaller fish.  Dive
at "Devil's Throat" cost extra, had to be scheduled in advance
but well worth it.  Dive through twisting cave system in reef--enter at 80
feet, exit at 120 and return through swim-through to 80 feet.  Colorful
sponges, black corals, feather stars; blackcap basslets, sweepers and
cardinalfish in cave.

Took ferry over to mainland and bus to Dos Ojos Caverns.  Rustic buggy
takes you to sinkhole.  Climb down ladder, guides use winch to lower gear
to you.  Cool water, so wear wet suit.  Beautiful rock formations, clear
water, max. depth to 30 feet.  Watch your bouyancy.

Reef fauna of Cozumel remains in good shape despite huge mass of visitors.
I counted 30 dive boats in view at once!  Easy to get mixed up with another
dive group while underwater. Town jammed with visitors from up to 10 cruise
ships at once.  If you want peace and quiet away from the beaten track,
Cozumel is not for you.        
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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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