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Dive Review of Mantaraya Divers/Fiesta Americana in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Mantaraya Divers/Fiesta Americana, Nov, 2007,

by Wade Smith, CO, usa ( 2 reports). Report 3908.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving I have also dived in the Bahamas, Bonaire, and Jamaica.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Fernando had no restrictions on depth or dive time, even though there were four beginner divers in our group, and some of the dives had very strong currents.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments The visibility while we were there was not very good to get wide shots. The currents are so strong where most of the fish are located that it is difficult to slow down long enough to get a good picture. It makes it even more challenging if you are with a group that has non-photographers because they tend to fly away in the current while you are trying to get a picture.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments The Island of Cozumel was wonderful. The people were very pleasant and the food around town was very good. It is a short plane ride from Denver. The Fiesta American was a very nice place to stay and the AI was worth the extra money. The diving was good overall. The reefs in less than 40 ft are still in poor shape, it will probably take several years for them to recover. In the deeper water the reefs are healthy and there are a lot of fish and turtles at all depths. I will definately go back and stay at the Fiesta. I will never use the same dive company.
WARNING: DO NOT DIVE WITH MANTARAYA DIVERS (This is different from Manta Ray Divers). Fernando Aldana, the owner and divemaster, is very lazy and does not care about his customers. His dive equipment that we rented from him was in very poor condition. He never helped us on or off the boat. We had three young divers (11 to 16 years old)and he never offered to help them. He would just lie back in his captain's chair and act annoyed that it was taking so long to get ready. He took one of our adult divers, who had very little experience, on two back-to-back 55 minute dives down to 80+ feet. This is way beyond safe diving limits. When she surfaced with him, she complained of a sharp pain in her neck and head. He told her it must be her sinuses and "Don't worry about it". That evening we were at his dive shop and she again told him that she was not feeling well and he again said that it was "nothing". We took her to the hospital anyway, and they immediately diagnosed her as having an embolism. She spent the next five days on and off in a compression chamber.
Cozumel is a great place to dive, just be careful who you dive with.
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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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