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

Aqua Safaris/Vista del Mar, Jan, 2003,

by Mary K. Wicksten, TX, USA . Report 318.

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

Weather windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 76 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
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.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments 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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