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Dive Review of Chinchorro Divers/Maya Ha in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Chinchorro Banks

Chinchorro Divers/Maya Ha, Feb, 2004,

by Patrick, CO, US . Report 1011.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, St. Lucia, Florida, Lake Michigan
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 79 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
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 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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 [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Dear Readers,

After reading the other reviews on Maya Ha, I was really looking forward to the trip. Unfortunately, our trip was not comparable to any of the previous reviews. The resort itself was immaculate. The beachfront villa that my wife and I stayed in looked brand new and was very comfortable. The staff was always extremely friendly and helpful. The on site manager, Ray, greeted us by name every morning. The dive staff was wonderful. They carried our equipment to and from the boat and took excellent care of us while on board. The boat was in excellent condition, though the lack of a light in the head made for an interesting time of it. We were only able to dive on the first two days of our stay, due to windy conditions on the other days. The first day we dove two dives on the local reefs. Visibility was ok but we did not see much in the way of fish. We did see a couple of barracudas, an eagle ray and a sea turtle. Notable, the turtle did not seem to be spooked by our group. The second day, after a rough two-hour ride, we made it to Chinchorro. I have to say that the diving was spectacular! The first dive was at a site called Aquarium. It was aptly named because that was the first thought that crossed my mind when I entered the water; that I was diving in an aquarium. Visibility was 100+ feet with large schools of small reef fish hovering around the coral heads. The other sites were equally awesome, with large schools of blue tangs and jacks, fields of garden eels, and lots of rays that seemed indifferent to our presence. The quantity, diversity and size of the sponges and corals exceeded anything we had ever seen.

On the down side, everything at the resort was not as advertised on their web site. The web site shows a very nice lunch/dinner menu. While breakfast was made to order (fresh squeezed juices, fruit, and wonderful French toast), that was the only opportunity during the day for selection of meals. Lunch and dinner menus were determined by the cook and meals were placed before us shortly after we sat down. We never did see an appetizer. Quality was average (some meals were very good, and a couple were very bad) and the portions tended to be small. The fresh squeezed juices served with every meal were excellent! The gift shop was a locked, vacant room with a sign outside of it. The first two days of being grounded due to weather, we were unable to find any way to get on a shore excursion. Finally, we had prepaid for five days of diving and were only able to dive on two days due to weather. Both the on site manager and the dive shop management told us to contact the resort owner in Texas, for a refund for the three days of diving that we did not get. My phone calls and e-mails have never been returned and I have yet to receive a refund. (I have been emailing and calling for over two months) I should note that prior to the trip, someone always answered the phone, and e-mails were always returned within 24 hours. One other disconcerting item was that four of the villas were fenced off and one of the villas had graffiti on it that said that Maya Ha was in foreclosure and that guests would be evicted without notice.

In summary, the diving on the Chinchorro Banks was spectacular and the dive operation was very well run. However, the apparent lack of ethics and integrity displayed by the resort ownership leave much to be desired. We would like to dive the Chinchorro Banks again, but we would only stay at the Maya Ha resort if it were under different management.
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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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