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Dive Review of Aquatic Sports-Sergio Sandoval/Villas El Encanto in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Aquatic Sports-Sergio Sandoval/Villas El Encanto, Apr, 2009,

by Mark & Selena Chino, NM, USA ( 1 report). Report 4866.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 90 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Stay with group; try not to damage coral; don't go excessively deeper than divemaster specifies; notify divemaster when down to 700psi.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No tables for UWPs on "Nuria" or "Swordfish"; no divers in group had large camera setups, so was not an issue; boat crew always assisted with cameras when needed. Rinse buckets available for cameras.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Diving with Sergio/Aquatic Sports since 1988. Always professional and concerned with environment above & below the surface. Treat customers as family. Never known them to have any diving accidents over 30+ yrs. of operation. $750US total for wife & I for 5 diving days with our own equipment. Rental equipment & tanks in good condition and always filled to at least 3K. Nitrox can be had. Dove with Sergio,Sr./Sergio,Jr.(owners)and Alberto(divemaster); 2 tanks/day. Lunch, sodas, & water provided. Plenty of surface interval time, some spent docked at the beach for napping, swimming, beachcombing. Allowed divers to pick sites each day; never dove with a group of more than 8. 2 divemasters with group at all times. Divemasters always made an effort to find critters, turtles, etc. Sergio, Jr. will arrange trips to mainland for cenote diving. Lionfish(non-endemic predatory species)are a concern. If a diver spots one, location is noted and government divers will attempt to capture/eradicate. Sergio offers 3 free diving days if diving with Aquatic Sports and you find a Lionfish! Villas El Encanto was great! Owner Ana Ortiz could not have been friendlier, more gracious; her house is on-site. She picked us up at the airport. Her chocolate Lab, "Morocha" will greet you too. Hotel is 2 yrs. old; built in Mexican minimalist style. Located in quiet residential area away from traffic and town noise. About 10 min. walk to Sergio's house. 8 units in 2 buildings with common TV areas with wi-fi; common fully equipped kitchens. Daily maid service; rooms had A/C & ceiling fans & were kept clean. Nice pool for afternoon lounging after diving and before dinner. Outdoor gazebo with table, chairs,& hammocks. Outdoor grill/charcoal available. Ana let us choose our unit as this was low season; we chose the one with its own small attached pool! Outstanding value for $88US+tax/night for 7 nights. Might want to take ear plugs as Ana's pet birds are early risers; not a problem if you have a 9a.m. dive boat, though. Check out her site: villaselencantocozumel.com. Rented economy car from Executive Car Rental for $40US+tax/day. Car was decent;clean. Good food at Ernesto's Fajitas, Pepe's Grill, La Mision, Costa Brava, The Wynston, & Guido's. All cruise ships not allowed to dock the day after we arrived. Were told it was because of so-called swine flu scare. Good & bad: town not crowded as when ships docked; local businesses suffer due to lack of visitors, but better deals can be negotiated. Judging from full flights arriving, nobody worried about coming to the island. Swine flu threat overblown by US media in our opinion. Traveler's checks all but unuseable anywhere; good thing we checked before leaving. Cash, credit card(may have surcharge added),or local ATM is the way to go. All in all, we had a great time at our "second home" of Cozumel.
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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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