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Dive Review of Carey Diver and Abyss Dive Shops/Villa Vera - Puerto Mujeres in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Isla Mujeres

Carey Diver and Abyss Dive Shops/Villa Vera - Puerto Mujeres, Mar, 2010,

by Jeff n' Nicole Robertson, GA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 5425.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Utila, Puerto Vallarta, Zehuatenejo, Los Cabos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 75 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Allowed to dive computer/air limits SAfety stop at 500-700lbs depending on depth of dive.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No rinse bucket on boats for cameras or masks since all reefs were close to shore. In Playa del Carmen - Abyss Diver Center had rinse tanks at shop for guest for all equipment - separate tanks for cameras, regs, and computers.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We stayed at the Villa Vera property on Isla Mujeres, which had some of the nicest rooms we ever stayed in. Most of the time we were the only people in the pool - except when day trippers from Cancun came over for lunch on catamarans. Getting around the island is easy since you cannot walk more than 100yds before one of the ubiquitous red taxis pull up to take you downtown - about $2.50 each way. You can get some great food in downtown Isla Mujeres and a lot of British and American ex-pats have shops/restaurants there. The food is very economical. I do have to say that the restaurant just 2-doors down from the ferry dock had the best shrimp ceviche I ever ate. Had to be over 1lb of shrimp in spicy lime/pico mix for under $10US - I had my fill over the week!
We dove with Carey Divers on the island. Apparently some of the operations listed were not in business anymore. Carey divers is across the street from the main beach and you walk out to the pangas with your gear. The pangas have step ladders for getting back on the boat which was nice. You hand up your equipment prior to negotiating the ladder. There was a north wind blowing all week so the surface was very choppy. We had to dive the local reefs and couldn't get out to the wrecks. The coral showed some bleaching and tourist damage, but was extensive none-the-less.
We saw nurse sharks, a brown-tip reef shark, rays, lionfish, and the usual Carribbean denizens. Lots of barracuda in this area.
We also took a 2-day drive down to Playa del Carmen to dive with the SSI shop - Abyss Dive Center. Imagine our surprise when we recognized the dive masters from our trip to Utila last year. This is a top-notched operation. Panga diving on local reefs. The Bull sharks were a no-show - bummer! We also dove the Cenote's in Tulum with Abyss. Absolutely beautiful and magical. Nice to dive fresh water on last day so equipment is pre-rinsed! 2 dives in AM with sandwiches provided by center. Very strict on rules for cavern diving. You have to follow DM on layed-out route marked by colored lines throughout the cavern - usually 40-50min on each route. Another side venture is the Tulum Mayan ruins - just 10Km down the road from the Dos Ojos Cenote' so it is good to rent a jeep or car and follow the dive shop down to the Cenote' from PdC and spend the rest of the day touring Tulum.
Anybody traveling to Playa del Carmen - we would recommend Abyss Dive Center very much. They are very safety oriented and professional. It is a good walk to the beach across the street in your gear and it would be very hot in the summer, but all diver centers down are set up the same way. The reefs in PdC are in better shape than up north, but less sea life while we were there.
Another note about Isla Mujeres - very few places - including the dive centers - take credit cards. Be prepared to carry cash. Both dive centers allowed group to dive air or computer limits. None of the dives were below 50' so we had short surface intervals and could dive for almost an hour on all dives. On the north end of Isla Mujeres, the reef has wonderful swim-throughs that had me thinking of Cozumel and lobsters galore - even in the daytime. Barracuda are all around you on every dive. Would have loved to dive the wrecks, but mother nature had other plans : ( Overall a nice dive experience and good for beginners as well since many of the reefs are protected from currents and bad weather - as well as being shallow dives.
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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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