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Dive Review of Mantaraya Divers/Fiesta Americana in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

November, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Wade Smith, CO, usa (2 reports)
Report Number 3908
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
I have also dived in the Bahamas, Bonaire, and Jamaica.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Fernando had no restrictions on depth or dive time, even though there were
four beginner divers in our group, and some of the dives had very strong
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
The visibility while we were there was not very good to get wide shots. The
currents are so strong where most of the fish are located that it is
difficult to slow down long enough to get a good picture. It makes it even
more challenging if you are with a group that has non-photographers because
they tend to fly away in the current while you are trying to get a picture.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
The Island of Cozumel was wonderful.  The people were very pleasant and the
food around town was very good. It is a short plane ride from Denver. The
Fiesta American was a very nice place to stay and the AI was worth the
extra money. The diving was good overall. The reefs in less than 40 ft are
still in poor shape, it will probably take several years for them to
recover. In the deeper water the reefs are healthy and there are a lot of
fish and turtles at all depths. I will definately go back and stay at the
Fiesta.  I will never use the same dive company.
  WARNING: DO NOT DIVE WITH MANTARAYA DIVERS (This is different from Manta
Ray Divers). Fernando Aldana, the owner and divemaster, is very lazy and
does not care about his customers. His dive equipment that we rented from
him was in very poor condition.  He never helped us on or off the boat.  We
had three young divers (11 to 16 years old)and he never offered to help
them. He would just lie back in his captain's chair and act annoyed that it
was taking so long to get ready. He took one of our adult divers, who had
very little experience, on two back-to-back 55 minute dives down to 80+
feet. This is way beyond safe diving limits. When she surfaced with him,
she complained of a sharp pain in her neck and head. He told her it must be
her sinuses and "Don't worry about it". That evening we were at
his dive shop and she again told him that she was not feeling well and he
again said that it was "nothing". We took her to the hospital
anyway, and they immediately diagnosed her as having an embolism. She spent
the next five days on and off in a compression chamber. 
  Cozumel is a great place to dive, just be careful who you dive with.
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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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