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

Dive Paradise/Hotel Cozumel, Dec, 2006,

by Paul Schmieder, TX, United States . Report 3199.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Virgin Islands, Flower Gardens, Little Cayman, Belize, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, New Zealand, Channel Islands and Monterrey in California, Bahama
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 81 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Mainly that at 700 lbs air it was time to ascend for the safety stop at 15-20 feet. Otherwise, dives were guided to depth and followed a pre-defined profile.
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 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 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 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Using Al Bay of Bay Adventures, who has never failed to give excellent, attentive service, we chose Hotel Cozumel because it offered a very good room and dive plan in conjunction with Dive Paradise. Having read past reviews of Hotel Cozumel, however, we opted to forego the all-inclusive meal and drink plan and were instead offered a Euro-plan, which provides breakfasts only. This worked out well since Hotel Cozumel allows an easy walk to town and we enjoy trying different restaurants for the sake of variety. In fact, another diver recommended to us a restaurant we had never tried, Casa Mission, which was outstanding for food and ambiance and is only a short cab ride away.

Topside, the trees took a beating after the October 2005 thrashing by Hurricane Wilma and I noted a submerged palm while doing the check-out dive aside Hotel Cozumels pier but, otherwise, the vegetation is returning and should be as lush as it once was.

Wanting to hone our dive skills and following our arrival check-out dive, we began our week by engaging dive instructor Ramon Flores Guerrero of Dive Paradise for a one-day, two-dive Peak Buoyancy Performance certification. This proved to be a valuable decision, well taught and spent mostly underwater with refinement of breathing and weight balance techniques. After the course I was able to drop 2 pounds of weight and I highly recommend this course for any diver seeking to improve their underwater experience.

With Dive Paradise, our diving experience was generally good even though the weather was a bit unstable with patchy clouds, wind and a few rain squalls that seemed to undermine Cozumels usual high degree of clarity so that we experienced a visibility range of 60 to 80 feet. Unsure what to expect of the diving conditions after the by Hurricane Wilma, we found the dive sites to be in relatively good shape, though perhaps a bit reconfigured. We were told that a chuck of Palancar Caves had fallen over the edge, but I couldnt really tell and this was by 6th trip to Cozumel. In fact, the swim-throughs along Palancar Reef were delightful and the regular dive sites along the main wall remain consistent favorites. The most notable change seemed to be that there was an abundance of sand coating the tops of the reefs and shallower second-dive sites such as Tormentos, Villa Blanca, Yucab and Paradise Reefs. Other than the sand, the fish life appeared healthy and, 14 months after the fact, unaffected by Wilmas onslaught.

There were relatively fewer divers here in mid-December than I had encountered in past trips to Cozumel. Perhaps this was due to the impending holidays or to an insecurity over island recovery from Wilma but, because the dive boats were sparsely filled, our dive masters were forced to group experienced with inexperienced divers. Even so, the DMs did a nice job of sending the heavy breathers to the surface once they reached the minimum, low air reading on their gauges and so allowed those with ample air to continue diving according to the pre-dive briefing profiles. With this consideration, I found that my dive times averaged 50+ minutes. Overall, Hotel Cozumel and Dive Paradise offer a fine package at a good value. So much so that I plan to return in early March.

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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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