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Dive Review of Dive Palancar/Allegro Cozumel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Dive Palancar/Allegro Cozumel, Jun, 2010,

by Shawn McDermott, FL, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports). Report 5552.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Florida (West Palm to Keys), Jamaica, Cayman, San Salvador, Grand Bahama, Dominican Republic, St. Vincent, Bonaire, Curacao
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 81 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 80 to 200 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Time and depth--90 ft max for max 35-40 mins total bottom time or 700 psi.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Saltwater rinse/holding plastic cans on the boat for cameras. Some people demanded fresh water, sheesh, it's going back in the briny for dive 2, so why waste the fresh water? Cameras handed up and down by boat crew.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my longest stay at the Allegro (20 nights), and I did 30 tanks of Nitrox, all as morning dives. Dive Palancar was replaced by another operation at the Allegro in May 2010, but they still operate out of the Occidental Grand. I made arrangements for an 8:30 pickup at the Allegro dock, and I was dropped back after two dives at 12:30. Dive Palancar has been there for years and these guys know the dive sites. Columbia Deep, Quivones, Bricks--fabulous deep reef dives, Palancar Gardens/Caves more colorful than ever. Turtles on all dives. One dive, now dubbed "Jorge's Diner" is in a narrow swimthrough filled with what seemed to be millions of sardines, all glittering in sunlit silver clouds that opened as you swam up and through. Big groupers and jacks and snappers also know that spot and ate their sushi breakfast while we looked on. It's only this time of year, and by the end of my stay the minnows had thinned out and moved to different places. On one dive off Cedral Wall we were hanging out at 15 feet over the deep blue abyss for the required 3 minute safety stop when two black marlins zipped by within 10 feet of the group. Awesome! Saw the oldest turtle, probably 90 years old, barnacles all over his shell, big as a VW beetle, another probably 70 years old, sharks on most of the "shallow" dives, lionfish, angels, drums, huge lobsters, giant parrotfish, giant groupers, trumpetfish, many many turtles, as many as 8 on some dives. Despite doing probably 100 dives a year there, I did my first Columbia shallows dive--60 minutes at 35 ft, and was really impressed by the incredible variety of coral there, and small critters everywhere. On some of the deeper reef dives, the water looked like you were looking through air. I try to thank the Mayan Dive Gods for every dive day in Cozumel...going back for 28 nights in September! If staying at the Allegro, arrange diving through Dive Palancar at the Grand. The new dive operation at the Allegro is very slick but doesn't offer the experience and local divemasters--all their divemasters are fresh out of PADI college instructors from all over the world who apparently rotate in and out every 6 months. I think I'd rather dive with Jorge and Gustavo and Sergio, and I'd rather visit the cantinas with those guys too!
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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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