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Dive Review of Dive Aventuras/Aventura Spa Palace in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Riviera Maya

Dive Aventuras/Aventura Spa Palace, May, 2011,

by Carol A Thompson, FL, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports). Report 6046.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments We went, not expecting much. We've been to Cozumel 10 times, but thought we'd check out Puerto Aventuras diving, about which we had heard next to nothing. Surprise, surprise! Corals are healthy and vibrant. Lots of small stuff, including a rare nudibranch. Lots of the usual tropical suspects, a few schools. Many cleaner stations. A few huge turtles. No sharks, no dolphins, one ray. A few big barracuda, always single. Dive Aventuras is quite the well-run operation. They work hard to make sure you have a great time, and that they exceed your expectations, at every turn. They have a bus that will pick you up and drop you back at your hotel, a major, appreciated convenience. We would catch it at 8:15 each morning and be back by (usually) 1 PM. Andres and Javier at the front desk are always helpful and pleasant, speak excellent English, and see that everything runs smooth as silk. I speak Spanish fluently, and overheard them discussing whom to put on what boat, citing experience level. As 21-year divers, we really appreciated their grouping divers homogeneously so we were never on with your typical once-every-5-year-vacation divers. All our companions the whole week were experienced and needed no baby-sitting. No cattle boats here, despite the last day being very busy. The boats are pretty bare bones, though - no marine head, no camera facilities, no dry storage (you store crucial stuff in a locker at the shop,) and no platform. However, fear not, you of the bogus knees! The ladder is extremely stable. They have you doff your BC and tank, then fins, while holding onto a rope along the side. You move forward on the rope, and climb the ladder, and although these old knees aren't the best, I had absolutely no trouble negotiating it easily. There is abundant shade. Boat returns to the dock in between dives to load up more tanks and for you to spend your surface interval on terra firma, next to a dolphin pen which provides a mini-floor show while you wait! Dive masters all watch the group well and find critters for you. We dove with Carlos, Martin, Alex, and Mario (who was our guide for the cenote dives.) All were awesome. Do not miss diving the Cenotes! We live in FL and have dove sink holes here. They were absolutely nothing compared to these cenotes. Mario drove us in his rattle-trap truck to the site, the central of 3 cenotes, called Pequeno Hermano. The first dive was to the right, and the second to the left. The stalagtites and stalagmites were breathtaking! You'll encounter fresh water (cold,) salt water (warm,) and brackish. The halocline area cuts vis to nothing, but then poof! You come out of it in a second, and you get great vis. The highlight was on the second dive when we surfaced in an air-filled chamber, took off our masks and listened while Mario told us something of the geological history, all with little fruit bats flitting about. While on the dive, there were several points open to the sky, making for a stunning vista, so even if you're mildly claustrophobic, no problem. You can see right through the crystalline water to the trees and flora above you on land. We saw several complete fossils of trilobites. For an unexpected little delight on our last day, Karen, who is an owner, had cooked up a huge pile of lionfish "Veracruz" style with tomatoes and capers. I had always wanted to taste those obnoxious, destructive little critters, and I'm happy to report they were delicious! Delicate in flavor, and Karen's prep enhanced this. Although we started with low expectations, Dive Aventuras turned us into rabid devotees, already planning our next trip. Packages are available for those who want to do a couple of cenote tanks and multiple reef dives. Clearly, an excellent operation that is safety conscious, solicitous of its customers' needs, and well-run, you are pretty much guaranteed a stellar experience. Additionally, if you need a place to stay, you will never do better than the Aventure Spa Palace. Beautiful rooms, clean as can be, friendly, attentive staff, plenty to do, great shows, top shelf liquors, and food to die for - one delight after another. All in all, one of our very best vacations in 25 years, if not THE best.
Websites Dive Aventuras   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-60 Ft/ 12-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits, return to boat with 700 psi.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 1 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No camera table on board, no salt water bucket for storage in between dives. Not suitable for UW photography.
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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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