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Dive Review of Carey Dive Center aka Buceo Carey/Los Arcos Cabanas in
Mexico (Western)/La Paz

November, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Peter Belden, CA, USA
Report Number 292
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Curacao, Grand Turk, Monterey CA, Moorea, Ixtapa, Coronados Island,
Cozumel, Belize, Maui, Little Cayman, Channel Islands, Vancouver BC
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
75   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
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):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
We dove in La Paz Thanksgiving weekend and were told that Nov 27 is a bit
late for the whale sharks.  We'd previously been told that the last week of
August is too early, so according to the Dive Masters at Carey Dive Center
the Whale shark season in La Paz is Sept/Oct.  This allegedly is also the
season for the giant mantas and the Hammerheads, although we saw
hammerheads on our previous trip the last week of August.  Sept/Oct is also
supposed to be insanely busy with divers.  The mantas we saw on this trip
were small 2-3 foot mobula mantas that we observed jumping from the skiff
but did not see while diving.  As always the very playful sea lions at Los
Islotes were a highlight of the trip and the would nip at divers fins and
even allow petting and even stroking their teeth, although I believe it is
best to look and not touch.  

Carey Dive center has an office conveniently located right in town and
their boat is only a 3 minutes drive away in the van which they use to pick
you up right at your hotel.  The small skiffs Carey used were faster than
the larger boat used by Baja Diving and Service.  Lunch is on an isolated
beach and we had the boat to ourselves.  Bring a hood for diving and a wool
hat for the boat in November because it's a bit cold.  This is our second
enjoyable dive trip with Carey Dive Center.  

We also dove one day with Baja Diving and Service and would recommend Carey
Dive Center over Baja Diving and Service.  First Baja Diving and Service is
about a 30 minute drive out of La Paz.  They come and pick you up but the
drive is a pain and a time sink.  Then when we arrived at the boat they
told us we'd have to wait an hour for them to set up the boat before it
departs.  Then they told us we were going to El Bajo even when I had
specifically pre-arranged in writing in advance that we would not go to El
Bajo because we wanted to try some new dive spots.  This argument continued
for about 30 mintues but then it because clear that the waves wouldn't let
us make it to El Bajo anyway.  

Los Arcos Cabanas was a nice place to stay, conveniently located in town
but not too noisy.  They appear to have almost no king/queen beds at all
and there is very little difference among the types of rooms within the
cabanas.  Breakfast is not included and the pool closes at 10pm.  I would
return to Los Arcos again.  

La Paz is a nice quiet destination with very low cost hotels and food.  The
dive sites are generally a 1 hour ride each way.  Go and enjoy La Paz now
beforee increased cruise ship traffic and general growth and development
ruin this nice out of the way spot.  
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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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