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Dive Review of Carey Diver and Abyss Dive Shops/Villa Vera - Puerto Mujeres in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Isla Mujeres

March, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Jeff n' Nicole Robertson, GA, US
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 5425
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Utila, Puerto Vallarta, Zehuatenejo, Los Cabos
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
75   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Allowed to dive computer/air limits  SAfety stop at 500-700lbs depending on
depth of dive.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
No rinse bucket on boats for cameras or masks since all reefs were close to
shore.  In Playa del Carmen - Abyss Diver Center had rinse tanks at shop
for guest for all equipment - separate tanks for cameras, regs, and
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
We stayed at the Villa Vera property on Isla Mujeres, which had some of the
nicest rooms we ever stayed in.  Most of the time we were the only people
in the pool - except when day trippers from Cancun came over for lunch on
catamarans.  Getting around the island is easy since you cannot walk more
than 100yds before one of the ubiquitous red taxis pull up to take you
downtown - about $2.50 each way.  You can get some great food in downtown
Isla Mujeres and a lot of British and American ex-pats have
shops/restaurants there.  The food is very economical.  I do have to say
that the restaurant just 2-doors down from the ferry dock had the best
shrimp ceviche I ever ate.  Had to be over 1lb of shrimp in spicy lime/pico
mix for under $10US - I had my fill over the week!
We dove with Carey Divers on the island.  Apparently some of the operations
listed were not in business anymore.  Carey divers is across the street
from the main beach and you walk out to the pangas with your gear.  The
pangas have step ladders for getting back on the boat which was nice.  You
hand up your equipment prior to negotiating the ladder.  There was a north
wind blowing all week so the surface was very choppy.  We had to dive the
local reefs and couldn't get out to the wrecks.  The coral showed some
bleaching and tourist damage, but was extensive none-the-less.
We saw nurse sharks, a brown-tip reef shark, rays, lionfish, and the usual
Carribbean denizens.  Lots of barracuda in this area.
We also took a 2-day drive down to Playa del Carmen to dive with the SSI
shop - Abyss Dive Center.  Imagine our surprise when we recognized the dive
masters from our trip to Utila last year.  This is a top-notched operation.
 Panga diving on local reefs.  The Bull sharks were a no-show - bummer!  We
also dove the Cenote's in Tulum with Abyss.  Absolutely beautiful and
magical.  Nice to dive fresh water on last day so equipment is pre-rinsed! 
2 dives in AM with sandwiches provided by center.  Very strict on rules for
cavern diving.  You have to follow DM on layed-out route marked by colored
lines throughout the cavern - usually 40-50min on each route.  Another side
venture is the Tulum Mayan ruins - just 10Km down the road from the Dos
Ojos Cenote' so it is good to rent a jeep or car and follow the dive shop
down to the Cenote' from PdC and spend the rest of the day touring Tulum.
Anybody traveling to Playa del Carmen - we would recommend Abyss Dive
Center very much.  They are very safety oriented and professional.  It is a
good walk to the beach across the street in your gear and it would be very
hot in the summer, but all diver centers down are set up the same way.  The
reefs in PdC are in better shape than up north, but less sea life while we
were there.
Another note about Isla Mujeres - very few places - including the dive
centers - take credit cards.  Be prepared to carry cash.  Both dive centers
allowed group to dive air or computer limits.  None of the dives were below
50' so we had short surface intervals and could dive for almost an hour on
all dives.  On the north end of Isla Mujeres, the reef has wonderful
swim-throughs that had me thinking of Cozumel and lobsters galore - even in
the daytime.  Barracuda are all around you on every dive.  Would have loved
to dive the wrecks, but mother nature had other plans : (  Overall a nice
dive experience and good for beginners as well since many of the reefs are
protected from currents and bad weather - as well as being shallow dives.
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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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