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Dive Review of Dive Paradise/Hotel Cozumel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Dive Paradise/Hotel Cozumel, Apr, 2013,

by Pat Wikstrom, NC, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 7036 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Needing a cheap and easy dive trip on short notice I spent an afternoon on the internet and headed to Cozumel. For old times’ sake I booked at the Hotel Cozumel and dove with my initial Cozumel dive op the venerable Dive Paradise. I’d first dove with them in 1994 when the original owner Tom Hartdgen was still around. I still had a copy of the old “Insider’s Guide to Cozumel” 1994 spring edition which I brought with me and gave to Rene’ (Apple) Applegate who’s been the owner since Tom died. Once word spread that I knew the owner from the old days I was given a little special treatment. For me the hotel and D.P. felt comfortable; something like a well worn shoe.

The plan was to check in and do a shore dive and then book a couple of days of two tank morning slow boat trips followed by the more expensive Experienced Diver Program (EDP) fast boats to the walls down south. All their big old classic wooden boats were reserved by various groups for the next few days so I ended up on the Renegadeo with an old time dive master, Victor, who’d been there 15 years before. He had added some pounds to his original Adonis body but was just as wonderfully personable and cocky as he had been. Since the modern big boats didn’t have that “lay on the roof for the ride” nostalgia I switched to fast boats for the rest of my week of diving.

I’d not been back to Coz since 2006 and I’ve got to admit I wasn’t expecting much; they’d had hurricane damage, reported coral bleaching, and a lionfish invasion but I was pleasantly surprised. I found fresh new staghorn coral growth in the shallows and the big wall dives of Columbia and all over Palancar were just as impressive as they had been. Shallow favorites were Delilah and La Francesca.

Dive Paradise has always been about volume. They’ve got the most boats, the most dive shops, and probably the most divers slipping in and out each year. Some folks are devoted regulars who wouldn’t consider diving with anyone else; others chafe against their somewhat rigid rules on depth, time, site selections, and “follow the leader” dive plan. Some of the dive masters I encountered were interested, found cool stuff, and earned their tips. Others seemed bored and swam on without looking or finding anything and nary a look back at their charges for many minutes at a time. I didn’t care, knowing ahead of time what to expect and as I said it was sort of a nostalgia tour for me.

The Hotel Cozumel while certainly not the fanciest place on the island is definitely a perfectly adequate and wonderfully cost effective home base. It has a pretty good location within walking distance to town but not right there with all the hustle and bustle when there are five cruise ships on Fridays. I’ve stayed here a couple of times in the past, it used to be the Fiesta, and they continue to slap on a fresh coat of paint and keep the place remarkably clean and updated. Known for the largest pool on the island the water isn’t too chloriney, there were always enough comfortable lounge chairs, palm trees provided shade for those that wanted it, and the waiters prowled the patrons regularly delivering drinks from the poolside bar. Most folks purchase the all-inclusive option which provides good booze choices and nothing spectacular “all inclusive buffets”. My third floor oceanview room came at ROH pricing.

All in all I loved my stay. The hotel had friendly staff, great facilities, a big clean comfortable room where all utilities worked great; what’s not to like. The diving was classic Cozumel drifts with sightings of splendid toadfish, green, spotted, and golden morays, juvenile spotted drum, scorpionfish, huge french, gray, and queen angelfish, hawksbilled turtles, and schools of blue chromis, tangs, and creole wrasse maurading through the reefs. We even had a couple dive masters who speared the lionfish and fed them to the morays, grouper, and nurse sharks. I came to dive & relax and this was the perfect combination of hotel & dive op. I would go back in a heartbeat.
Websites Dive Paradise   Hotel Cozumel

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas; Belize; Bikini Atoll; Bonaire; California; Cancun; Cayman Brac; Little Cayman; Cocos Isl; Costa Rica; Cozumel; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Florida- (springs, west coast, keys); Galapagos; Indonesia; Massachusetts; NC; Palau; Puerto Rico; Red Sea; Roatan; Saba; Socorro; South Africa; St. Kitts; Thailand; Truk; Turks & Caicos; TVA lakes; Yap; Yucatan Caves;
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions dive your own profile with purchase of EDP trips otherwise follow the leader, depth, dive time, psi, etc
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 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 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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