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Dive Review of Amigos Del Mar/La Esperanza in
Mexico (Western)/Baja California

August, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Samantha Deutch, NY, USA
Report Number 160
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
26-50 dives
Where else diving
British Virgin Island, Gorda with Dive BVI in Leverick Bay.
Ambergris Cey, various dive shops, we stayed with Victoria House.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
60   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
10   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
The only dive restriction we were given was at Gorda Banks where we were
told to not go deeper than 110'.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
There weren't any accommodatios to speak of -- fresh water buckets were not
provided on the boat for the cameras after diving.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
3 stars    
Overall, based on our two previous dive trips the experience was fair. 
What really made our trip tolerable was that we stayed at the impeccable
Esperanza Resort and Spa (Cabo San Lucas).
The marine life that made our trip worth taking were the following:
Manta rays, a friendly sea lion that swam with us, a few sea turtles,
plethora of spotted, zebra, and pacific green moray eels, tons of sea
cucumbers and puffer fish, other tropical fish and the beautiful buttercup
From all accounts from fellow divers, diving in Laretto and La Paz are far
superior to Cabo San Lucas  this is what we wished we knew in advance. 
What little reef we observed was in poor condition and the pelagics are
over fished.  We even encountered a barbaric fishing outfit that proudly
displayed a juvenile silky shark they caught on the dock, need I say more

We made our trip arrangements six months in advance based on the urgency to
do so by the dive operation, Amigos Del Mar.  They were hosting a dive
festival and we needed to reserve a space as they were expecting droves of
divers, the implication was we would have difficulty finding a dive
operation to dive with if we hadn't -- we also had to pay for the entire
trip 5 mo. in advance (payable by check through US operation).   We were
told that all of our diving instructions would be waiting for us at our
hotel upon our arrival and what we found was a half explained diving
itinerary and after several phone calls we were told that we would get our
complete itinerary the following day at the dive shop.

Our first dive was fairly uneventful; the second local dive of the day
produced a friendly and playful sea lion that showed off for us as he took
a liking to our group.  Our second day we had difficulties with our dive
master, this was never resolved as a result the comfort ability of our
experience was compromised.  Because of our early complication with the
dive master he refused to assist us with our equipment or answer any of our
questions that day.  This guide ignored one diver when he informed him that
he was low and air and in turn the diver had to buddy breath to the
surface.  These mishaps continued the 7 days of diving.  

From copious amounts of complaining by the staff of the insurmountable work
they had for the festival, I was left with the belief they were
understaffed for such an undertaking. I told my husband that if we wanted
to be abused and pay for it we should have stayed in NYC. We are aware and
grateful that weve been lucky to have good and informed dive operations on
past trips.  My suggestion to any diver who encounters a similar experience
is to get your money back and dive with another dive shop
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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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