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Dive Review of Pepes Scuba/Hotel Fontan in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

April, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Mark Thorne, NC, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports)
Report Number 4750
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
North Carolina coast, Floride Keys, Grand,Brac, & Little Caymans,
Belize, Bonaire, Grenada, St Lucia, BVI, Grand Turk, Grand Bahamas, Abacos,
and Bimini.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

windy, dry  
calm, choppy, currents  
Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Keep divemaster within sight.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Drift diving in moderate plus currents poses special challenges to any UWP.
Being able to hang still to get that perfect shot is usually out of the
question. Preplanning how you expect to shoot either pics or video in such
current is advised.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
Service and Attitude
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
A group of 7 of us had a wonderful trip to Cozumel.  What made it so good
was a perfect blending of under water beauty/excitement and above water
adventures in food and scenery at a very low cost.  I had not been to
Cozumel in 10 years and I will not let so much time elapse until my next

Perfect Package Deal: Because of the financial uncertainty of these times,
I worked hard to find a great location at a great priceI found it. 
Bottom-line is I was able to get great round trip air and hotel package
(through a popular on-line website) for around $700/pp. Yes, you read it
right, $700 for air & hotel! Additionally, the dive package through
Pepes Scuba for 10 boat dives/5 days was under $300/pp.  The total air,
hotel, and dives for a week were just over $1000.  Now this was a great
deal!  This low price was in part because I found a website with a $200 off
promo code for the  hotel/air package.  By the way, as of April 23, 2009, I
just got on-line and checked the same package for this fallthe total
air/hotel package is now $480 (This is $680 minus the $200 promo code.) 

Perfect Air:  Besides the killer low cost, the best thing I liked about
this package was the great air from Raleigh-Durham Airport to Cozumel.  We
left RDU at 6:15am and arrived in Cozumel via Houston at 10:30am.  We had
the whole days to play.  Our return flight home did not leave until 3:30pm
and arrived home by 10:00pm that night.  Thus we had most of the day in
Cozumel to be lazy instead of the mad dash home.

Accommodations:  If you like a laid-back, small, non-touristy, and quiet
hotel with a dream view of an unobstructed turquoise-painted Caribbean
ocean with every roomthe Hotel Fontan is your place.  I chose Hotel Fontan
because of its location north of town, which is away from those monster
cruise boats and crowds and because of the good reviews of the hotel.
Additionally, this place is inexpensiveour daily room rate was a about $42
per night. Read the reviews for the latest reviews of the

Be advised that this place does require some minor compromisesthe
restaurant only serves breakfast (which is included in the price).  This
means you should probably make a trip to one the American sized grocery
stores to get some snacks and drinks to keep you content between meals. 
Our group decided to eat one big meal a day around 4:00pm. For us this
worked out ideal.  Logistically, this worked out best because we did not
return from diving until about 2:00 or so. After rinsing and hanging gear
then showing, we were not ready for anything until about 3:00pm.

Diving:  For my video of this trip go to "". We
used Pepes Scuba.  Although the name Pepes Scuba may not evoke
confidence to the average American, we found Pepes Scuba, which is
operated by a great ex-pat Texan named Frank, to be an outstanding dive
operation.  The dive boats were the fastest on the waterwe passed everyone
on the way out which is relevant when you realize the dive sites are a
first come/first serve deal.  In this case the early bird gets the best
dive site.  The dive staff was fantastic too.  They seem to have a genuine
interest in meeting our groups needs.  They shared personal stories of
unusual and fascinating events on Cozumel.  We really felt at home. 
Additionally, the boats care O2 and exits and entries could not be more
easy and effortless.

Hotel Fontans Resident Dive Instructor:  I thought it worth mentioning
that there can be a bit of confusion regarding the dive operation when you
first arrive at Hotel Fontan.  Hotel Fontan has a resident on-site dive
instructor/tour promoter named Pepe.  This resident dive instructor
Pepe is a totally separate business entity to Pepes Scuba which is
located next door at the Coral Princess Resort.  Pepes Scuba is a 200 foot
walk from the Hotel Fontan grounds to the dive operation.  

The Hotel Fontan Pepe runs a small dive boutique on the grounds with a
large rinse tank and small-medium drying rack.   You can use dive
instructor Pepes facilities without charge.  However, you must get you
gear back to you hotel room by 5:00pm when Pepe goes home.  Neither Pepes
Scuba next door or Hotel Fontan has lockers to keep your dive gear in for
the night.
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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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