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Dive Review of Scuba Playa/Royal Haciendas in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Playa Del Carmen

September, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Nancy Collins, NM, USA
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 5101
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire; Hawaii; Guanaja, Honduras; Bimini, San Salvador, Andros, Exuma,
Bahamas; Salt Cay, Turks & Caicos; Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
82   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Bottom time only limited by depth and air availability.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
No special setup for cameras on dive boat.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
Dove 6 dives with Scuba Playa, my boyfriend dove 7 dives as he was pursuing
his advanced open water certification.  Scuba Playa is a high class
operation, with a very nice shop just off the main street in Playa Del
Carmen.  They have a small selection of dive gear for sale, but have a
large selection of rental gear, a rinse tank in the shop, shelves with
small safety deposit boxes for valuables and a place for divers to leave
their gear overnight if they are diving multiple days with Scuba Playa. 
Scuba Playa has the absolute friendliest and most knowledgeable staff I
have encountered in a long time, giving advice on everything from diving,
to snorkeling with the whale sharks (an unbelievable experience!), to
restaurant choices, to recommending topside options.  Every person on their
staff speaks English and have a genuine desire to make every diver happy.

The diving in Playa Del Carmen is all drift diving.  There is a pretty cool
wreck dive called the Mama Vina in 90 feet of water, and the reefs consist
of mostly soft corals and sea fans, but have large schools of fish like
snappers and grunts (when I say large schools, I'm talking hundreds of
fish).  Drift diving is great when you are traveling with the current, but
not much fun when you are battling the current to get over the edge of the
reefs to the protected parts.  On one dive, the instructor estimated that
the current was about 3 knots, and we had drifted over a mile before our
air consumption ended the dive.  Although the dive instructors seemed
disappointed with the visibility and told us it was between 40 and 50 feet,
we were plenty happy with it. 

We dove two dives in Chikin Ha Cenote, which was a different experience in
a fresh water spring.  There weren't a lot of fish in the cenote but the
limestone rock formations were neat, and seeing the natural light coming in
through the spring openings was surreal.

I highly recommend Playa Del Carmen as a dive destination, and Scuba Playa
as a dive operation.  They went out of their way to accommodate us with
whatever we wanted.  A truly professional group of people, and they made
our trip immensely enjoyable.
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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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