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Dive Review of Costa de Cocos in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Costa Maya/Xcalak

Costa de Cocos: "Costa de Cocos Dive Center", Oct, 2016,

by Emmette Murkett, AL, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 9242.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 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 I have stayed at Costa de Cocos many times and have been diving in the area for almost 20 years. For the last 8 years at least, the only dive shop in the area has been XTC Dive Center ([xtcdivecenter.com link]). Costa de Cocos had a great dive shop on the end of their pier for years, but after being destroyed during an early hurricane in June, rebuilt and then destroyed again during a late November hurricane several years ago, they have been out of the dive center business. They have maintained their reputation as a world-class fly-fishing resort, but they now are back in the dive center business and my week in October was the best diving I have experienced in Xcalak.

XTC is a PADI 5 star Training Center and, at least off-season, makes most of its dives training dive master and instructor candidates. Solo divers and small groups at XTC are at the mercy of over-zealous DM trainees and regardless of experience are herded about like sheep. Requests for specific sites (or usually requests just to go somewhere different) are usually ignored. Larger groups with enough clout to fill a dive boat would fair much better there. They do offer 32% EAN for $10/tank, but mine were usually 185-195 BAR (less than 3000 PSI) by the time that they cooled down.

At Costa de Cocos, guide/instructor/manager Jasmine arranges the itinerary based on the desires and experience of the divers. When I asked for a trip to Nob Ha, the farthest site north, and one I have never been close to with XTC, we went there. This site has some beautiful black coral at about 30 meters. When I asked to do two dives before lunch and one after, we did that. When I wanted one dive somewhere new before lunch and another after lunch, we did that. Jasmine is vigilant in the water without being overbearing. Only air is offered, but my tanks usually were 208-212 BAR, cold.

Jasmine and her staff takes much better care of their guests gear, including a rinse in a freshly filled barrel. I came home with a bad staph infection after my last two trips with XTC. I also had a three-inch long scorpion in my BC once with XTC and many times my gear bag had sand and small crabs in it when I got on the boat. XTC staff shies away from their rinse tank, electing to take a dip in the pool, which looked pretty nasty.

Costa de Cocos has lots of space that is well maintained and each cabaña has a ceiling fan, many screened and louvered windows and a nice tile bath with its own water heater. The restaurant and bar have great food, drinks and service. They serve local (legal and sustainable) seafood, steaks, awesome chili rellenos (on Wednesday). They also deliver pizza to most of the coast. Owners Ilana and Dave Randall brew handcrafted beer and produce moonshine, vodka and whiskey in their still. They have a good assortment of wine, beer and liquor as well. An all inclusive plan that includes alcohol is available. While you can drink and fish to your heart's content, diving is over after the first drink of the day. Transportation can be arranged with the package.
Websites Costa de Cocos   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caymans, Cozumel, Bimini, Southern Bahamas, Red Sea, Gulf of Mexico, US rivers and springs, Florida Keys, Belize
Closest Airport Chetumal Getting There Most economical is fly to Cancun and drive like hell for 4-5 hours south to Xcalak.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 28-29°C / 82-84°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-30 M / 66-98 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions start safety stop at 45 BAR
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Due to the shallow waters between the shore and the reef, diving is limited to small, shallow draft pangas, so there are no facilities for working on or rinsing a camera on board nor is there any dry storage. The resort is usually only a 15-20 minute ride back and a freshly filled barrel is available for rinsing. Power is supplied by a large bank of solar panels, two windmills and a natural gas generator. There are no telephones or cell phones within about 45km. A local wireless Internet provider hauls a signal across Chetumal Bay and Costa de Cocos provides free WiFi in the restaurant and bar area. Most residents use VHF marine radio or whatsapp when WiFi is available.
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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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