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Dive Review of Pascual's Scuba Center in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

November, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Dean Knudson, MN, US
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 1668
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Austrailia, Bonaire, Bahamas, Midwest United States
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
79   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None. Strongly advised to use a computer.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
 I was tempted to keep everything I know about this man secret, since I now
want him available every time I return to Cozumel, and if the word gets out
hell be booked solid. I havent had this much fun diving in Cozumel since
Flashs dive shop closed down years ago. Pascual Tun
( is a gem, possibly the best, or one of the two
best divemasters of the twenty or so I have used in Cozumel. We discovered
him by accident on the first night of a quickly arranged trip to Cozumel
that was brought on by the last minute cancellation of a Bahamas
live-aboard. Pasqual came highly recommended by Gene Kelly, at Kellys
restaurant, and has his small shop in the same garden terrace area as
Kellys, about four blocks off of the main square in town. He arranged a
daily pick up at a pier near our bed and breakfast, and was always prompt.
His boat, the fat grouperis a bit old and shop-worn, but has a sun
awning, is sturdy, has a reliable set of engines , is perfectly
serviceable, and holds eight comfortably. We never dove with more than six.
The dive briefings were customized to the attention level and needs of the
group, and he blended several of the dives using two dive sites, adjusting
to the number of divers in the area.  He was as good as any Ive seen
finding large and small sea life, including toadfish, and it was spooky
watching him stalk free swimming fish.  His small stature never interfered
with the dive operation, he can haul tanks and toss gear without
difficulty. Possibly because of his small frame, or possibly because of his
25,000 plus dive experience, he uses an astonishingly small quantity of air
on each dive. We noticed he never swapped his own tank between dives, since
he often surfaced with 3/4 of his air left after a 100 foot 60 minute dive.
 If you ask to dive your own profile, that is exactly what hell let you
do, and you must watch your computer carefully. Several times during out
stay three of us came close to receiving deco warnings from our computers
near the end of 60 minute dives. Be sure you are completely competent to
dive your own profile if you request that option. Pasqual never pressured
the group to surface, we could dive as long as we wished, and he would come
up with the last diver, a refreshing change from the schedule driven fleets
on the island. Surface intervals were spent at convenient nearby beaches,
and we were never pressured to do mediocre second dives simply because they
were on the return route and convenient for a dive shop. The downside of
his operation is that hes a one man show, and if he were to develop
problems, he has no back up other than referrals to other small operations
in the area. He maintains good relationships with many of them, as a
support base. 
     Kellys bar ([ link]), about a block
away from the church near the main town square, has evolved into the local
U.S. ex-pat hangout, and serves surprisingly good food in a pleasant
outdoor courtyard and covered bar.    If you need a long term apartment or
home rental, a car rental, a dive master, current restaurant suggestions,
or just the current gossip on the island, hes the guy to get unvarnished
advice from. His website is the only non-email internet link to Pascual, he
will pass on messages to Pascual, who has an office in the same courtyard.
     Our group has picked up some general Cozumel tips.  If you can roll
all your bags 200 feet without difficulty, then dont use the large airport
van taxis just outside the door of the airport when you arrive.  Roll your
bags to the main road entrance of the airport, which takes about 90
seconds. Standard smaller taxis, which are cheaper and much quicker, will
pass by at two minute intervals, and will quickly stop to pick you up. The
larger vans run a defined hotel route, and it can take you an hour to get
to your hotel, if you are the last stop. The smaller taxis charge less, and
will get you to your hotel in five minutes. The larger taxis run about
seven dollars per person, the smaller taxis about five dollars to ten
dollars for an entire group.
     We stayed at Summerplace Inn ([ link]), and once again
Joe, Marta and Henny did a wonderful job. We rented the three bedroom upper
condo for $125 per night, which, divided five ways, was very cheap indeed.
Summerplace is about three blocks from the shore, near the supermarket. We
called Joe directly to negotiate the rate at the last minute. The rates are
higher in the busy season. Henny and Joe typically discourage late night
loud noises, and dont tolerate loud parties, but there are plenty of
nearby bars to satisfy that need. Henny also provides free bikes and a
shopping cart. Her pool is nice, and the complex is walled and private.
There is a rinse tank, but no gear storage lockers. She is attempting to
sell the place, so future quality is an open issue. 
     If you never studied Spanish, its worth your time to obtain the
Language 30" Spanish course on CD, and to memorize the first 30
minutes of it while commuting. Its also worthwhile to buy a small
electronic translator (Berlitz makes a good one) to take care of the rest
of your communication needs outside of the main square. The locals will
smile broadly, and will go out of their way to help you, if they hear even
broken Spanish. Its considered very respectful when tourists try out the
local language. There are several websites (e.g. that
offer free English to Spanish translations which you can cut and paste to a
word processing program. If you have specific travel needs (directions to a
private bed and breakfast, for example), this can be handy.
      Another handy travel tool is the Skype website, and a Skype account
link]).  For about ten dollars, you can purchase a computer headset at
Target or K-Mart. This headset plugs into the microphone (pink) and
headphone (green) mini-jacks of any computer, including laptops. With a
Skype account you can then purchase telephone time in blocks of $20, paid
by VISA, and this allows you to call any telephone in the world for about
two cents a minute. Its handy for calling small operators or lodges
directly in advance, to negotiate prices. Not all small outfits maintain
web sites, but all have telephones.
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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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