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

June, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Shawn McDermott, FL, US
Sr. Reviewer   (10 reports)
Report Number 5552
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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

sunny, rainy  
calm, choppy, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
81   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 200    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Time and depth--90 ft max for max 35-40 mins total bottom time or 700 psi.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
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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