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Dive Review of Aldora Divers/Villa Aldora in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Aldora Divers/Villa Aldora, Aug, 2005,

by David Sifre, ny, us . Report 1876.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 26-50 dives
Where else diving Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 95 to 120 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Were asked to keep the divemaster in site.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Unfortunately, at this time the boat was too small to accommodate a dunk tank for the camera. The captain and/or divemaster were good enough to hand the camera after a backward roll entry, and the divemaster was eager and able to point out macro critters to be photographed.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Aldora Divers is one of the most expensive operators on Cozumel. The philosophy appears to be to keep the prices high, and the number of divers low. I was never on a boat with more than 4 other divers, including my buddy. In other words, 5 divers, one dive master. Unlike any of the other operations I have dived with, there is no food included. Just bottled water. However, the surface interval is done on land, at a "resort" type place where food can be purchased. There is also a swimming pool to relax in as well. This beats sitting on the boat for the surface interval, and may account for some of the cost (the resort costs $15.00 for tourists to get into, but is included in the price of the dive). The boats are small, without a marine head.

Most importantly, you don't have to set up your own gear. Its set up when you get on the boat, they switch tanks between dives, and they keep your gear as long as you are diving with them. They also include the din adapter for your regulator. Bottom times are extraordinarily long -- 1 hour 20 minutes not that uncommon. This makes it particularly important to watch the decompression limits of your dive computer but otherwise, the drift dive is a long leisurely drift -- sometimes you can drift through several dive sites, and more often than not, you are diving much longer than with other dive operators -- another reason why it is worth more to dive with these guys. Divemasters were very friendly and knowledgeable, as well as protective of the reefs.

The Villa Aldora is very nice. You must go into town for all meals except breakfast, which costs $5.00. Town is a $3.00 cab ride (3 minute drive/15 minute HOT HOT HOT walk). They are very friendly and accommodating. FREE internet access (high speed wireless, so bring the laptop); free telephone calls to the US, and a NYC area code complements of an internet phone in the room); and free snorkel gear is provided on request so that you can snorkel out front of the Villa Aldora without having to take your dive gear off the boat.

No swimming pool, and exit from the ocean is by way of ladder, so handicapped or mobility challenged folks can't really get wet here.

I will dive with these folks again, and I will stay at the Villa Aldora as well. Boat picks you up right outside your door, at 7:30 am, unless breakfast is late, in which case they wait for you to eat. :)

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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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