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Dive Review of Dive Aventuras/Aventura Spa Palace in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Riviera Maya

May, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Carol A Thompson, FL, US
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports)
Report Number 6046
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
Water Temp
80   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limits, return to boat with 700 psi.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
1 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
1 stars  
Shore Facilities  
No camera table on board, no salt water bucket for storage in between
dives. Not suitable for UW photography.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
3 stars    
We went, not expecting much. We've been to Cozumel 10 times, but thought
we'd check out Puerto Aventuras diving, about which we had heard next to
nothing. Surprise, surprise! Corals are healthy and vibrant. Lots of small
stuff, including a rare nudibranch. Lots of the usual tropical suspects, a
few schools. Many cleaner stations. A few huge turtles. No sharks, no
dolphins, one ray. A few big barracuda, always single. Dive Aventuras is
quite the well-run operation. They work hard to make sure you have a great
time, and that they exceed your expectations, at every turn. They have a
bus that will pick you up and drop you back at your hotel, a major,
appreciated convenience. We would catch it at 8:15 each morning and be back
by (usually) 1 PM. Andres and Javier at the front desk are always helpful
and pleasant, speak excellent English, and see that everything runs smooth
as silk. I speak Spanish fluently, and overheard them discussing whom to
put on what boat, citing experience level. As 21-year divers, we really
appreciated their grouping divers homogeneously so we were never on with
your typical once-every-5-year-vacation  divers. All our companions the
whole week were experienced and needed no baby-sitting. No cattle boats
here, despite the last day being very busy. The boats are pretty bare
bones, though - no marine head, no camera facilities, no dry storage (you
store crucial stuff in a locker at the shop,) and no platform. However,
fear not, you of the bogus knees! The ladder is extremely stable. They have
you doff your BC and tank, then fins, while holding onto a rope along the
side. You move forward on the rope, and climb the ladder, and although
these old knees aren't the best, I had absolutely no trouble negotiating it
easily. There is abundant shade.   Boat returns to the dock in between
dives to load up more tanks and for you to spend your surface interval on
terra firma, next to a dolphin pen which provides a mini-floor show while
you wait! Dive masters all watch the group well and find critters for you.
We dove with Carlos, Martin, Alex, and Mario (who was our guide for the
cenote dives.) All were awesome. Do not miss diving the Cenotes! We live in
FL and have dove sink holes here. They were absolutely nothing compared to
these cenotes. Mario drove us in his rattle-trap truck to the site, the
central of 3 cenotes, called Pequeno Hermano. The first dive was to the
right, and the second to the left. The stalagtites and stalagmites were
breathtaking! You'll encounter fresh water (cold,) salt water (warm,) and
brackish. The halocline area cuts vis to nothing, but then poof! You come
out of it in a second, and you get great vis. The highlight was on the
second dive when we surfaced in an air-filled chamber, took off our masks
and listened while Mario told us something of the geological history, all
with little fruit bats flitting about. While on the dive, there were
several points open to the sky, making for a stunning vista, so even if
you're mildly claustrophobic, no problem. You can see right through the
crystalline water to the trees and flora above you on land. We saw several
complete fossils of trilobites. For an unexpected little delight on our
last day, Karen, who is an owner, had cooked up a huge pile of lionfish
"Veracruz" style with tomatoes and capers. I had always wanted to
taste those obnoxious, destructive little critters, and I'm happy to report
they were delicious! Delicate in flavor, and Karen's prep enhanced this.
Although we started with low expectations, Dive Aventuras turned us into
rabid devotees, already planning our next trip. Packages are available for
those who want to do a couple of cenote tanks and multiple reef dives.
Clearly, an excellent operation that is safety conscious, solicitous of its
customers' needs, and well-run, you are pretty much guaranteed a stellar
experience. Additionally, if you need a place to stay, you will never do
better than the Aventure Spa Palace. Beautiful rooms, clean as can be,
friendly, attentive staff, plenty to do, great shows, top shelf liquors,
and food to die for - one delight after another. All in all, one of our
very best vacations in 25 years, if not THE best.
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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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