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Dive Review of Dive Palancar/Occidental Grand in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan

Dive Palancar/Occidental Grand: "Dive Palancar lives on!", Oct, 2014,

by Shawn McDermott, FL, US (Contributor Contributor 16 reports with 12 Helpful votes). Report 7954.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 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 This was my 4th trip to Cozumel this year, and I continue to dive with Dive Palancar, despite their being replaced at both the Allegro and the Grand by a European operator that rotates new instructors in every 6 months from all over the world. I'd rather dive with guys who have dived these reefs thousands of times, so I book my diving in advance with Dive Palancar by email. I prefer to stay at the Allegro, but had to stay at the Grand these last two trips because of a fire that took out the Allegro's lobby, restaurant, and entertainment center along with 8 of the villas (I was there when it happened, nobody hurt, no guest property lost). The Grand is really not set up as a dive hotel, it's a long walk to the pier and a long walk to the front lobby and restaurants. If you do stay there, request a room on the second or third floor facing south, ground floor rooms are just about under water and the veranda is literally in the jungle. Every morning Dive Palancar picked me up right on time, I just leave my gear with them and it's set up for me when I get on the boat. There was some rain and overcast mornings, and when the sun finally came out, the reefs were just great! Turtles and sharks on almost all dives, and 9 years after Wilma, the corals and sponges have made a pretty darn spectacular comeback. The spotted eagle rays were starting to come back, a couple monsters with 8-9' wingspans. Visibility after the rains was not the greatest with runoff from the lagoon, but it increased toward the end of my trip. I did 130 dives with DP here in 2014, and have already booked February and May-June of 2015. KILLER video from my Sony Alpha NEX6 and Nauticam housing. Now if there were just SOME way to keep the GoPro amateurs out of my wide-angle frame... See ya down there, tell them Chichibé sent you!
Websites Dive Palancar   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Florida, Jamaica, Grand Bahama, Abaco, San Salvador, Turks/Caicos, Bonaire, Curacao, Belize, Grand Cayman, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic
Closest Airport San Miguel de Cozumel Getting There Through Miami, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, seasonal from Chicago and other gateways

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 81-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 25-100 Ft/ 8-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 80-90' first dive, 30-60' second dive, 3 minute hang time, start ascent with 700psi. Bottom times 45-60 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools 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 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Rinse bucket reserved for cameras only (I have them put mine in a soft-sided cooler)
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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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