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Dive Review of Dive Paradise/Villa Blanca Hotel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Dive Paradise/Villa Blanca Hotel, Apr, 2008,

by Jon Bunnell, CA, USA ( 2 reports). Report 4138.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Va. Beach, North Carolina, FL Keys, Walkers Cay, Bimini, Grand Bahama, Truk Lagoon, Maui, La Bufadora MX, Southern California
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 40 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Allowed to dive own profile once DM was familiar with you. Asked to say within visual.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my third trip to Cozumel-1st trip in 1997-2nd 2004. I was hesitant after the hurricane, and after reading many reports of sand on the reefs and shallow areas being impacted. I was persuaded when I was again convinced of the cost compared to other dive destinations. You can still get good air and lodging deals to Cozumel. I prefer to stay away from the all inclusives because I prefer to have a say in the dive operater and also prefer the "fast Boats". I also prefer to eat in town and try the different small local restaraunts. My wife and I have a routine of two morning dives every day-this gives us time to explore the rest of the island over our stay. My first two visits I stayed at Plaza Las Glorias which is on the edge of town, unfortunately it has followed the pack and been transformed to an all inclusive. We were able to get an excellent bargain for 10 days and 9 nights with airfare. The Hotel we chose was Villa Blanca- it is just south of town and about a 20-30 minute walk. Hotel is basic and clean with a pool-nothing fancy just basic. Room is spacious but the water pressure for the shower is very poor-barely a stream. The hotel is right across from a pier for the dive operater to pick you up. Before leaving I researched on line and the chapbook for dive operaters. My first trip to Cozumel I used Chico's which no longer exists, my second trip I used Dive Paradise. Both experiences were good. I am amazed at how prompt they are in the morning at the dock behind your hotel! The reviews were not favorable for Dive Paradise. When I arrived I began visiting Dive Shops looking to book fast boats (No More than 6 divers-Faster) for the entire week, for my wife and myself. Next to Villa Blanca is Hog's diving and they could not get me out the following day but looked good for the rest of the week. Dive Paradise had a small office on the beach by my hotel and one more on the way to town,both could not book me on the fast boats for the whole week. I visited two other operaters on the way into town-one at the barracuda the other escapes me. I ended up at the main office for Dive Paradise right on the edge of town. Walked in and was told no problem. At this point I asked to dive Devils Throat on Wednesday and Maracaibo at some point during the week-he said he would make note of it. The diving went without a hitch the fast boats were there daily at 0815 as promised, and with the exception of Devil's Throat/Maracaibo- back to the dock at noon. Had three different dive masters over the week all three were very easy going and non-restrictive. Emilio who has been with them on and off over the last 20 years was absolutely the best. I found the diving to be the same as I remembered-we saw over 30 turtles. The sand on the reefs was not noticeable to me- it was similar to dives I have done throughout the carribean- of course some damage is noticeable from the hurricane, but not enough to stay away from what I consider to be some of the most conveniant and beautiful diving available to us in this hemisphere. As far as Dive Paradise- I found them to once again be an outstanding operation. They have the largest fleet so no worries if a boat breaks down- They have a newer Fast boat- 1-2 years old which is a 28 foot off-shore fishing boat very nice. They did get us to Devils Throat and Maracaibo as promised- Excellent trip/excellent value.
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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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