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Dive Review of Sand Dollar/Aura Cozumel Resort - Wyndham Grand in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

July, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Pete and Kathy Mykytyn, IL, USA
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 4918
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
26-50 dives
Where else diving
Acapulco, Jamaica, Key Largo
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
83   to 87    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Generally, the 1st dive was restricted to about 80' and the 2nd dive to
about 60'.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
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
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
3 stars    
This was our 2nd visit to Cozumel in two years.  We had booked the Wyndham
Cozumel Resort and Spa, specifically the adults-only Sabor section, but we
were upgraded to the Aura at no additional charge.  The Aura was wonderful,
with an extraordinarily personable staff that took all of our interests
into consideration.  In fact, the staff was probably the best we have
worked with in several different resorts.  Our room opened up to a veranda
which led directly into one of the pools, so that was extremely nice and
easy.  The two restaurants at the Aura were also excellent with varying
dinner menus at one of them.  The main restaurant serves breakfast, lunch,
and dinner with accommodations both inside and outside.  The other
restaurant is more of a grill but with a very extensive menu.  It is open
for lunch and dinner.  We were also able to eat at two other restaurants,
one within the main Wyndham resort (Robertos is Italian and quite good)
and the Mosaique which is located in the adults-only Sabor section and
which is more oriental in nature.  The food at Mosaique is very good, but
to the best of our knowledge, it is not air conditioned.  The one dinner we
had there was quite uncomfortable due to this.  Our accommodations at Aura
included room service as well.  The food was very good and more than
plentiful.  As the Aura is all-inclusive, all food, non-alcoholic and
alcoholic beverages were included, and there are several bars/lounges
throughout Aura.  We chose Sand Dollar because the dive center is located
at Wyndham, and we wanted the convenience of leaving our gear with the dive
center for them to store overnight and have it ready for us in the morning.
 Matias is the person at Sand Dollar I communicated with by email to
arrange everything, and everything occurred as requested.  At the
conclusion of each dive, my wife and I left our gear at the end of the pier
after debarking from the boat, and Angel, one of the Sand Dollar employees,
took care of getting it to the dive shop located within Aura, storing it,
and having it ready for us the next day.  The boat we used each day is the
Sand Dollar Express which can accommodate at least 20 divers.  Most days,
the number of divers was between 12-17 or so. However, the number of divers
in each group never exceeded 8; most of the time the number was less than
that, and each group was headed by a dive master.  The dive masters (Julio
and Genera come to mind) were conscientious, gave detailed briefings, and
were friendly and helpful.  They were quick to point out interesting marine
life, including Nurse sharks, a couple of rays (although I don't know which
breed), 2 Moray eels, several turtles, a couple of barracudas, and other
marine life too numerous to mention.  The corals too were beautiful.  We
went to different sites for each dive.  Surface intervals were spent either
at the main Sand Dollar dive shop, on the boat, or at a beach area that
caters to many dive operations.  Generally, there was at least 45-60
minutes between the two dives.  Cold water was provided on the boat to all
who requested it, but there was no fruit.  Safety stops of 3 minutes were
emphasized and followed.  All divers began with about 3000 psi, and low on
air occurred at either 700 or 800 psi.  Sand Dollar also caters to divers
associated with cruise ships docking at Cozumel city, but no cruise divers
were part of any of our 8 dives.  
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