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Dive Review of Rafael de la Parra in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Isla Mujeres

July, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Lisa Jabusch and Steve Nieters, TN, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6611
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Australia (Barrier Reef), Tahiti (Rangiroa), Cayman Islands, Cozumel,
Belize, Venezuela (Los Rocas), Hawaii
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
  to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
30   to 50    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
?  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
This was snorkeling with whale sharks - no diving allowed.  Wetsuit or life
jacket required.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Turtles
None 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  N/A
Tropical Fish
N/A  
Small Critters
  N/A
Large Fish
N/A  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
N/A
Food
N/A
Service and Attitude
N/A
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
N/A  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
5 stars  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
We chose to go out with Rafael de la Parra (grampusr@hotmail.com) based on
a report we read here on Undercurrent, and we were extremely glad we did.
He is affiliated with a research group working on ID'ing the separate
sharks, as well as being a tireless promoter of maintaining the ecological
zone to keep them protected.  He has repeatedly been interviewed by CNN and
the BBC, and appears to be one of the most knowledgeable captains out
there.  His charge is $150 US p/p and he only takes out 6 people on his
boat at one time.  He goes out early and stays late, thus maximizing your
time in the water.  We were very impressed that he didn't cancel on us,
after the only other couple who had been signed up to go out with us
cancelled.  He went ahead and took just the 2 of us out!  He is based in
Cancun, but picked us up at the dock on Isla Mujeres at 0730.  He provides
drinks, fruit and sandwiches, and there is shade over half the boat.  He
also has a large freshwater tank for cameras.  The whale shark season is
June to Sept., but the peak months are definitely July and August.  We went
on 7/12/12 and he estimated there were at least 150 animals in the water. 
Just 2 weeks before he said they only saw 5 or 6 total.  At one point,
there were 5 of these gorgeous animals swimming within touching distance of
us!  In 25 years of diving, this was literally the best experience of our
lives.
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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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