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Dive Review of Dive Palancar/Secrets Aura Hotel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Dive Palancar/Secrets Aura Hotel: "Very good diving, great value, convenient.", Nov, 2015,

by Randall S Preissig, TX, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 30 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 8703.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Raja Amphat, Komodo, Thailand, Sipadan, Tahiti, Palau, Australia, Hawaii,
Fiji, Cocos, Galapagos, Caymans, Bonaire, Cozumel, Belize, Etc.
Closest Airport Cozumel Getting There Direct flights from multiple cities including Atlanta, Houston and Dallas

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 83 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay within sight of the dive master. 100 foot limit, but usually not deeper than 80 feet. 40 minute deep dives and 45-50 minute shallow(usually drift) dives.
Note: The ratings below are for Caribbean, not Pacific, diving.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments Good subject matter, especially wide angle, but only a rinse tank on board. ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments I've been diving in Cozumel for almost 40 years. I've seen what cruise ships (not all bad) and hurricane Wilma have done, and I can honestly say that Cozumel is one of the few places where the OVERALL diving experience has improved over the years--not only more fish, etc., but better dive boats, safety, hotels and more. We rarely saw lion fish due to successful culling efforts. I sa ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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Subscriber's Comments

By Eric Ohde in CA, US at Nov 29, 2015 23:10 EST  
Interesting to read the price of the dives which is very cheap even for Cozumel but I would spend the extra money to actually get longer bottom times. Why subject your vacation to the nitrogen limits of the DMs? If you are looking for nice long bottom times with amazing DMs and a very safe operation dive with Scuba Life Cozumel. For me, I spend a lot of of $$ to get there and bottom time is priceless, so I say spend the extra money and dive with a 1st class operation like Scuba Life Cozumel, you will not regret it.
By Randall S Preissig in TX, US at Nov 30, 2015 10:28 EST  
Thank you. Yes, there are several such operations. I would usually be looking for less "routine" diving, but I now "only" dive once a year(after 25 or so trips there) in Cozumel and it's more of a social event than hardcore diving(note my dive history above). Plus having an "on site" dive operation has many advantages, not the least of which is taking care of your equipment(ie, hauling, cleaning and drying daily) for a modest fee($5/day). The review was meant to be a service to less intense divers. There are plenty of reviews in UnderCurrent identifying dive operators catering to a more intense diver(as I usually am. Please see my prior reviews: search.freefind.com/find.html?pageid=r&id=75830864&query=Preissig&ics=1&fr=0 You can cut and paste this link or search "Preissig" if interested.) Again, thanks for reminding readers of other possibilities.
By Randall S Preissig in TX, US at Nov 30, 2015 10:35 EST  
Omitted from the above report was the hotel: Aura Cozumel: www.secretsresorts.com/aura-cozumel Very nice hotel, excellent food, "top shelf" booze available, very courteous staff.
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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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