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Dive Review of Paradise Divers/Marina Paraiso in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Isla Mujeres

Paradise Divers/Marina Paraiso, Jul, 2014,

by Leigh Vinzant, CO, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 7715.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The resortís website boasted having an on-site dive operation, which is why we chose to stay and dive here. A couple of months before our arrival, the management changed hands and the dive shop became a bakery. The dive operation was run by Ivan with the help of Captain Enrique. They had a small boat and a little gear, but no shop and no tanks. Each day Ivan had to pick up filled tanks from another shop. We had requested five days of 3-tank diving. The new schedule did not do single afternoon dives, but would go out for two dives. On our first day of diving, my buddy and I loaded onto the 20-foot panga, along with five other divers and our crew of two. The boat was designed to comfortably hold dive gear and about four divers, so we were very tightly crammed in. The 45-minute ride out was rough and most guests were on the verge of seasicknesses before Ivan and Enrique helped us gear up and back-roll in. The dive was on a nice sunken gunboat, but was a little on the short side. The second dive was my favorite of the week. We did an exciting drift dive in a ripping current at Punta Sur, the southern most point of Isla Mujeres. It happened to be loggerhead mating season and the huge turtles were breeding all around us. My buddy and I were the only divers doing the afternoon dives. Ivan took us to a couple of his favorite spots. The next day, a large group of photographers from England arrived. Ivan rented a larger boat with a captain, dive master, and deck hand. My buddy and I had to join their group for the morning dives. Captain Enrique also happened to be a dive master, so he led the two of us, while Ivan and the hired crew worked with the large group of Brits. Each afternoon, we would move our gear back over to the panga for our private afternoon dives. We ended up doing 16 dives over four days. The reefs of Isla Mujeres were small patch reefs with algae-covered sand between them. The coral was not very impressive, but the fish life was amazing! I had never seen such huge schools of grunts and snappers. In addition, we saw turtles on nearly every dive. There were nurse sharks, eels, rays, and huge puffers, as well. Besides reefs, we dove two wrecks and the underwater museum. The resort had small, but clean and comfortable rooms. We had an upstairs room with a balcony and pool view. The plumbing needed some work. We had very little water pressure and it took forever for hot water to reach us. The a/c was cold and the bed was soft. Barlito was the on-site restaurant and bakery. Our package included breakfast and one other meal daily, so we ate most meals there. A lot of delicious options were available. The wait staff were friendly, but service was very slow. All seating for the restaurant was outdoors and we wondered what they did when it rained. It did rain one afternoon that we were there. Since all the chairs were wet, we ate dinner at the palapa bar. It was really nice because fans kept the mosquitoes away. On the days that we were not diving with Paradise Divers, we had other activities planned. One day we went to the mainland for three awesome cenote dives with Deep Life Divers out of Cancun. They picked us up at the ferry terminal and provided transportation to the cenotes south of Playa del Carmen. Our driver and guide were very helpful and safety-minded. We are already planning a return trip to Cancun to do more cenote diving with them. Another day was spent exploring the island. Other than taxis, there were very few cars on the island. Scooters and golf carts were the main modes of transportation. We rented a gas-powered golf cart for the day and drove all over the island. We visited the turtle farm and Punta Surís sculpture park. We found the best Cuban restaurant and then spent the afternoon walking around downtown. Our last day was reserved for snorkeling with the whale sharks. We had read about this and expected a crazy, free-for-all, but were pleasantly surprised with the professionalism we witnessed. We were picked up at our hotelís dock and taken over to northern Cancun to pick up a few more guests. The boat ride to where the whale sharks congregated took over an hour. When we arrived, there were about 30 boats already there. The whale sharks were everywhere, so we all had plenty to choose from. The Mexican government had rules for interacting with the sharks allowing just two guests and one guide from each boat in the water at one time. My buddy and I sat on the side of the boat with our masks and snorkels in place. Our fins were just out of the water. When we approached a whale shark, the captain pulled just ahead of it and we slipped into the water. The shark swam right to us, gave us a smile, and slowly turned away. It was incredible! We exited the water, so the next pair could have a go. We cycled through the guests three times, so we all had plenty of opportunities for an encounter. Other boats were always on the lookout for people in the water and I never felt like I was in any danger. Instead of returning to Cancun, we went to North Beach at Isla Mujeres. The boat pulled into the shallows and we had a chance to walk around in the warm, clear water with a soft sand bottom. Our crew prepared some fish ceviche and fresh guacamole and served them with homemade tortilla chips and cold beer. It was a wonderful way to end an exciting day. Overall, the resort had a few bugs to work out, but was a nice place to stay, with a small, intimate setting. Ivan with Paradise Divers did a great job accommodating everyone the best he could. The diving was fun, but in 16 dives we saw all that there was to see and then some.
Websites Paradise Divers   Marina Paraiso

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Micronesia, Bonaire, Caymans, Belize, Roatan, Florida
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions All dives were led by a guide; depth and time were determine by the guide.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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]
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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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