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Dive Review of Aldora Divers/casa del mar] in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Aldora Divers/casa del mar]: "cozemal gems", Aug, 2018,

by kenneth labarbera, CA, US ( 2 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 10404 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The last time I dove Cozumel was in the early 1980’s. At that time lobster, grouper, turtles, sharks and all types of large reef fish filled the waters. Sadly, that has all changed over time. The one thing that has not changed is the water visibility and beautiful reefs.
We stayed at Casa Del Mar Dive Resort. This is, in my opinion, a hidden gem in a crowded tourist town. The resort itself is a few miles south of downtown and large tourist cruise ship docking. Casa Del Mar is very clean and well cared for facility. Its tropical landscaping is a pleasant change from the prevailing, typical local high-rise hotels. Rooms are serviced every day and the entire staff went out of their way to make our stay problem free. We chose the American Meal Plan. The menu was diverse and the food excellent. Any special requests we had were seen to with no problem.
We used Altoro Divers as our go-to dive operation. What a great choice this turned out to be for our group of four. They operate 6-pack, covered dive boats with twin 150HP outboards that got us to the dive sites fast. This was a big plus, with a 7:00am hotel dock pickup, we were on dive sites long before most of the 15-20 people, cattle boats arrived. Owner, Guillermo Mendoza, has been in operation for a long time and really knows the waters, dive sites, times to go, weather and drift conditions. Altoro Divers have two morning dives that are usually over by 1:00pm and back to the dock by 2:00PM. We always had two DM’s in the water with us, they found interesting critters and points of interest for my photo endeavors. They tried very hard to cater to the desires of our group and succeeded, Altoro uses 120 steel tanks and they fill to 3500 plus! These bad boys gave us a good 70 minutes bottom time in 83 degree water at 100ft depths. A real plus for me was that I only needed 6lbs of weight with my rash guard as the tanks are 10lbs extra weight at buoyant. We had two of the best dive masters/guides I have had in 56 years of diving, Mario Vera and Steve Hazard. They were always around, without controlling our every move, yet very conscious of the marine environment. In addition to taking care of our dives they always picked up sea trash. All dives are on the west side reef and dived daily. As a result of this, there is not a lot of easy to find large critters, lobster, and turtles etc.. Late in the morning, the cattle car divers are lined up underwater like soldiers.
Now to the real good part…if DM’s and Guillermo are comfortable with your dive abilities, you can ask for a trip to the north end of the island. The cost is a bit more in that it’s a good 45min boat ride. It is a 3 tank dive at 100ft depths. The water is rougher as is the drift, but its well worth the extra effort. This dive was, beyond a doubt, the highlight of our trip. Virgin waters, lots of marine life (both large and small), lobsters, a few large groupers and yes…lionfish. It gets better…they let us spear fish the lionfish! Seems that these invasive fish are very good eating. The lionfish caught were clipped on the bottom, brought up to the boat, cleaned and fileted. The DM’s then made a lionfish ceviche lunch for our group…have to say, they were delicious
If you want the best dive operation in Cozumel, Altoro is the one to use. We’re going back next year and will definitely be using them.
Websites Aldora Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Calif. coast, Hawaii, Fiji, Soloman
Islands, BWI, Bahamas, Turk/Caicos, Cocos Islands, Truk Lagoon, Guam, Mex. Revillagigedo/Socorro Islands, Sea of Cortez, St. Kitts, Belize, Aruba, Florida Keys, Cancun, Cozumel, Bora Bora, Tahati
Closest Airport coz Getting There sacramento-huston-cozumel

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 100-130 Ft/ 30-40 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions computer profile diving. Watchful and attentive dive masters...great briefings
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments lots of small critters not much in the way of big creatures on west shore...north was a different story with great diversity in both size and marine types.
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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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