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Dive Review of Aldora/Hotel Cozumel and Resort in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Aldora/Hotel Cozumel and Resort, Jan, 2008,

by Nick McGregor, MN, USA ( 2 reports). Report 3839.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I have read reports in Undercurrent on Aldora for years and I finally had the opportunity to dive with them on this recent trip. This was my first trip to Coz in 4 years. Our group had pre-scheduled with a different dive operation, SeaScuba, and wanting to stay with our group I dove with them for 2 days. (I have authored a separate report on SeaScuba) I met with owner/manager Memo at Aldora’s shop on Calle 5, and immediately noted the professionalism and integrity of this outfit. I spoke with Memo for about a half hour, showed my credentials, and got the schedule for the next day’s diving. Aldora 1, a well appointed dive boat that was spotlessly clean and sporting twin Honda 130hp motors arrived at the dock of Hotel Cozumel at precisely 7:40 AM, just as promised. Edgar the DM and Gato the captain introduced themselves and we were off to pick up just 2 more passengers for the morning.I thought it extremely conscientious and safety oriented that the first thing Edgar advised me of is that the boat’s radio operated on Channel 63 in case there was ever any separation from the boat. The two divers we picked up were a very nice couple from Tennessee and together we chose a dive site. Punta Sur got the nod, and 10 minutes before we got to the site, Edgar gave a concise and detailed briefing, with all precautions and safeguards for diving Devil’s Throat. The dive was flawless, and thanks to the steel 120’s filled to 3400 psi, our total bottom time was 52 minutes, even though we had a max depth of 130 ft. A relaxing 2hr.surface interval at Mr Sancho’s beach included a visit from Memo, PR’ing and making sure all was well. I was impressed. A 2nd dive at Paso de Cedral to a depth of 70ft. max yielded a bottom time of 72 minutes, and a lot if critters including 6 or 7 turtles, some rays, many lobster and crabs, beautiful swim throughs.

The next day 7 of my friends that I had started diving with at SeaScuba, bailed from them due to high anxiety from dealing with failing boat motors, and joined me with Aldora. Memo sent 2 DM’s and 2 crew in the 40 ft diesel powered Felicity, a beautiful craft that could easily accommodate 16 divers, but Aldora kept it exclusive to our group. This boat had a head, an enclosed bow and ample room for divers. There are 2 ladders at the stern with platforms making exit via giant stride a short drop to the water, and entry back on to the boat easy. A back roll was also an option. The boat is large and fast. No cattle boat here in any way, a great dive boat.

Once again, the divers chose the site. This group wanted to go to Devils throat since they had not yet been there. With the 2 DM’s, those that wanted to stay on the top of the reef could and the rest could go deep. Aldora’s buddy breathing policy made the dives full for all. The first diver to breathe his/her tank down to 1000 psi then shares air from the DM’s tank; the 2nd diver to 1000 breathes from DM2’s tank, and the 3rd diver to 1000 signals the end of the dive. For saftety purposes, the group decends together and ascends together. This technique makes for the longest possible bottom time for the whole group. We were able to again achieve 51 minutes on the 1st dive going to 130 ft, and 70 minutes on the 2nd. Mr Sancho’s beach was again the stop for the surface interval, and Memo was again there to check on the group. Our second dive was at Santa Rosa, yielding the most critter sightings. A large lobster resembling an alien landing craft was out for a stroll across the sandy bottom for several minutes, giving videographers in the group some great up close and personal shots. A large resting nurse shark was found by the DM under an outcropping of coral. A hawksbill turtle appeared to be playing chicken with one of our group - he had to roll to the side while the turtle passed so that he would not collide with it!

Aldora charges $87 for a 2 tank dive. Many others charge around $60. But when you do the math, the cost per bottom time minute is almost identical. I did 4 dives with SeaScuba, total combined bottom time on the 4 dives was 164 minutes. Four dives with Aldora had a total combined bottom time of 250 minutes. That works out to $.78/ minute with the “cheaper” operator and $.75/minute with Aldora, the more expensive operator. Hmmm. And with Aldora, you get first class service from beginning to end, excellent DM’s, well appointed and maintained boats, rinsing and storage of gear. It is truly an exceptional dive operation.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Keys, multiple Carribean, Cocos, galapagos, Gulf of Thailand, Lake Superior and Michigan wreck sites
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 75-78°F / 24-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions recreational limits - Advanced divers could go deeper if they wanted, but had to be preplaanned with DM - no one did go any deeper than 130 ft
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 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 The boats had rinse tanks on board and ample room for photographers to work with their eqipment.
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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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