Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
Join Undercurrent on Facebook
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Dive House/Fiesta Americana in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

May, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by John Bowden, ga, usa (1 report)
Report Number 4058
Subscribers: Submit Your Reader Report Here
Subscribe Now Questions?
Subscribers can send this reviewer an email directly from here.
Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Caymen Is., Saba, St. Kitts, Statia, Sea of Cortez, Akamel,
Florida Keys & springs, Turks & Caicos Is., BVI, Belize, Bay Is.,
Calif., USVI 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
79   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Because of strong currents we were limited to about 80 feet on the first
dive and 60 on the second, depending on the site selected.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
1 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Small to medium sized carpeted sheves on all boats but not dediceated to
cameras, dedicated on-board rinse bucket.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
4 stars    
This was our seventh trip to Cozumel in the past 25 years but our first
time staying at the Fiesta Americana or diving with Dive House, located on
the premises. The hotel is about a ten minute cab ride from town (15
minutes from the airport) on the main road going south from San Miguel
heading toward most of the islands dive sites. They have a web site so you
can check them out online. We stayed in what are called Tropical Casitas,
deluxe, thatched-roof units clustered behind the main hotel.  We found them
clean, comfortable and nicely decorated and appointed with king-sized beds,
a large bathroom and shower and generous living area. There was a small
fridge but it was totally taken up with mini-bar items leaving no real room
for anything you might want to keep cold. AC worked flawlessly and the only
real criticism we had of the room was the lack of really hot water, a minor
but annoying flaw.

All inclusive meal plans are available here but we opted for twice-daily
cab rides to San Miguel ($8 each way plus the tip for 4 people) for the
variety of good restaurants available there. After ten days of sampling our
dinner favorites became Primas, Pepes Grill and Luigis, an Italian
restaurant we happily returned to 5 times. Out room fee included a buffet
breakfast with a nice variety of fruits, juices, breads, pastries and even
breakfast meats and, for an additional $5 a day, we had eggs and omelets to
order all served at the beach restaurant beginning at 7:00 am. 

Check in at the dive shop was a simple affair of showing credentials,
signing liability releases and paying the marine park fee of $10 a person.
A limited amount of rental gear is available and there are gear lockers in
a small, damp room behind the shop  bring a lock or buy it there for $5.
We each got a locker but several divers complained they didnt and of
having to lug their gear back and forth to their hotel rooms each day.
These lockers were large enough for a single, full gear bag but no space
was provided to hang wetsuits so unless you wanted to crawl into a wet
wetsuit each day you had to carry it back and forth to your room for
drying, the only disadvantage we found to the more remote Casitas. A large
gear cleaning tub with running water is right at the end of the dock.

We were asked to be at the dive shop at 8:30 each day for a 9:00 start and
found that the boats would leave as soon after 8:30 as everyone was aboard;
we were back from the two-tank morning dive about 12:30 each day. Dive
House operates four or five boats from small six-packs with dual outboards
to much larger, 24-passenger diesel inboards. During the week we were
assigned to three different ones and found them all to be reasonably
comfortable for diving with sturdy dive ladders, areas of shade and even
heads on all but the smallest. Weights were handed out each day onboard,
they even had 2-pounders available. Cold bottles of water and some sodas
and juices were provided but no between-dive fruit or snacks. After the
first day we brought our own snacks, wonderful muffins from a great place
just outside of town called the Rock n Java.

Cozumel is known for moderate, alongshore currents; after all, we go there
for the drift diving. Its also been known, on occasional, for very strong
and unpredictable down currents. This was out seventh trip to the island
but the first time weve experienced these. On some sites the currents were
so strong and unpredictable as to be undiveable. One group was pulled from
a safety stop at 15 feet down to 80 feet in a matter of seconds. Some of
these currents are irresistible and take you where they want, often down,
rather than where you might want to go. They also stir up so much sand that
the vis sometimes drops to mere feet and all the critters hide in the
reefs. We experienced these currents on all but two of our ten dives,
frustrating photographers and discouraging some less experienced divers. We
were only able to make it to one of our favorite sites, Palancar Caves,
after two attempts.

Each dive briefing consisted mainly of safety procedures as they related to
currents. The divemaster entered first and we joined him or her at the
surface, descended together and stayed together as much as possible. As
soon as anyone reached 700 psi the divemaster raised a safety sausage on a
line and we ascended to our safety stop pretty much as a group, remaining
near the sausage so the boat could find us all. With the heavy breathing we
were sometimes doing our dives lasted no more than 30 to 40 minutes, even
the shallow ones. 

This was our first trip to Cozumel in about 7 years and we were greatly
disappointed with the continuing over commercialization of San Miguel as it
caters to cruise ship tourists who are now in port six days a week,
sometimes four or five ships at a time. The main town square, in the past a
refuge from all the trinket vendors, is now overrun with small wooden
stalls selling even more tourist junk. Music blares from each shop and you
are accosted at every turn and with every step to buy something. Half
price today only, 99% off, just for you, come in, sit down, look at the
menu, hey senior, how about it. Its never-ending and extremely annoying
after just a few days  they even come after you in restaurants. I was
stationed in San Diego in the early 60 and remember a few trips to Tijuana
 absent the children begging on the streets and the sidewalk hostesses
San Miguel sadly now reminds me of the worst I saw there.
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 779 dive reviews of Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Bookmark and Share

Other dive reports on Dive House

All Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Island Dreams Travel
Island Dreams Travel
Island Dreams specializes in dive travel to Cozumel. We've dived it many times ourselves, and stand ready to customize your Cozumel scuba diving adventure.

Want to assemble your own collection of Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Want to get more articles like these and
other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email?
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get our free monthly Online Update, and a sample issue!

NEW! Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account |
| Travel Index | Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Forums | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues | Login | Join | Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2016 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.