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

Rafael de la Parra, Jul, 2012,

by Lisa Jabusch and Steve Nieters, TN, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 6611.

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
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
UW Photo 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
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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