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Dive Review of Dive Palancar/Occidental Grand in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

November, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Randall S. Preissig, TX, United States
Sr. Contributor   (27 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 3729
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Red Sea, Palau, PNG, Sipadan, Truk, Hawaii, Bonaire, Belize, Caymans,
Tahiti, etc.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
74   to 77    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 120    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
we always dove as a group, always 40 min. on the first deep dive and 45
min. on the second shallow dive. Punta Sur was the exception.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Not geared for photographers, but I have done many times with very good
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
As everyone knows, Cozumel was "skinned" by hurricane Wilma.  The
Occidental Grande has recovered very well, but is now only excellent rather
than "one of the best ever" all inclusive resorts.  It's minutes
from all the great dive sites, and dive Palancar services its quests well. 
"Hard core" divers can request Punta Sur and other challenging
dives and night dives are scheduled three times a week.  Other dive
operations routinely pick up divers on the pier, so you're not locked in.
The shallower dive sites were scalped by Wilma, and many of the deeper
dives have lots of sand on them.  However, the fish life is little
changed--giant grouper and giant parrotfish, nurse sharks, turtles on most
dives, occasional schools of jacks,parrotfish or barracuda, toadfish,
dolphins seen behind the boat, green and spotted morays, tons of all types
of angelfish, octopi(eight on one night dive), etc.  You won't be
disappointed in the fish life by Caribean standards.
The cruise ships have brought prosperity to Cozumel and the overall quality
of lodging, dive operations, eating, etc. has risen.  Cozumel is no longer
a dangerous place to dive (as it was 25 years ago).  But avoid town and the
cruise ship areas, unless you like that sort of stuff.
It is impossible to beat Cozumel on the combination of ease of getting to,
quality of diving and price.  I've been 20 times and have seen a lot of
changes--mostly for the better.
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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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