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Dive Review of Papa Hogs SCUBA Emporium/Villa Blanca Garden Hotel in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Cozumel

Papa Hogs SCUBA Emporium/Villa Blanca Garden Hotel, Aug, 2013,

by Russ Battisto, MN, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 7086.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments As experienced divers returning to Cozumel for the umpteenth time we enjoy getting into our routine. Off the plane and thru customs, we get gear ready and jump in for a "check-out" dive along Villa Blanca wall. We stay shallow until both diver and equipment check out. Rinse and put the gear away for the night and head to our favorite watering hole, mostly Papa Hogs. Great chips, guacamole and beer to rinse the travel day away. Dinner is usually prepared by Arturo at the Villa Blanca restaurant. Great food, fast service and perfect for tired divers after a long travel day. The rest of the week we enjoy our morning dives (Columbia is still my favorite) and after noon siestas followed by Happy Hour again at Papa Hogs. Mike and Margaret run a tight ship and have all paperwork ready and their fleet of small fast boats with nitrox scheduled and ready for us each morning. We stay at the Villa Blanca Hotel because it is clean, comfortable and next door to our dive shop. Jorge, the manager, makes sure our stay is wonderful each time we visit and greets us several times during our stay to be sure everything is to our satisfaction. Jorge and his staff work hard to keep us comfortable. Very convenient. Papa hogs and Villa Blanca work well together.

The dives this year were mostly wonderful. Although the weather was perfect for us all week, we noticed lots of current several days so dive sites were juggled to compensate. We hit all of our preferred sites but not necessarily on the days we planned. Our divemasters (Arturo, Juan and Erik) kept us on sites that we would enjoy based on conditions. Even advanced divers prefer to enjoy a dive and we accomplished that most days. There were a couple of dives that were cloudy (sand stirred up from heavy currents) and one "fly" dive where the currents made it impossible to use our cameras much but overall this time of year is great for diving in Cozumel. Our highlight, three black-tipped sharks at Punta Tunisch, our second dive of the day. Toward the end of the dive we were headed shallow when the 3 sharks showed up to check us out. I got some good video of them as they loitered near us. Overall a great trip, once again. Can't wait to return!
Websites Papa Hogs SCUBA Emporium   Villa Blanca Garden Hotel

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Mainly Caribbean, Fiji, Hawaii, Africa
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas
Water Temp 80-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80-120 Ft/ 24-37 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Papa Hogs allows you to dive based on your skills and experience. Mike & Margaret try to match you with others in your dive experience. Very nice!
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Boat Captains and Divemasters are very helpful, when needed, for us camera/video nuts. Attention to detail and great care taken with equipment. Divemasters allow for slow-pokes with cameras (like me) when opportunities arise.
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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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