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Dive Review of Pepe Dive Center/local hotels in
Cozumel and the Mexican Yucatan/Mahahual, Quintana Roo

Pepe Dive Center/local hotels: "Mahahual-Banco Chinchurros", Jul, 2021,

by Harvey Monroe, NM, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 11788.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The Chinchurro Banks are the best diving for marine life, coral health and variety that I have seen in the Mexican Caribbean. It takes a while to get there 4-5 hr drive from Cancun or 3 hrs from Tulum, on a moslty 4 lane highway. Mahahual is the closest land location with a modest size town with about a dozen dive operations.

There is diving right off the coast on the Meso barrier reef.

The diving is average with coral health not too good with maybe 10-20 % still alive. Fish life is good with occasional siting's of Manatees on the reef. One dive the DM feed a moray some lion fish which was spectacular site and the 2nd group did spot a Manatee on the shallower side of the reef.

Note the sargasso seaweed covers most of the beaches up and down the coast unless the resort cleans the area which there are one or two that do in Mahahual.

Chinchurro is about 1 1/2 ride to the east with 3 islands and surrounding reefs. Several operators visit there on a regular basis. We went for the fast boat.

Our first dive on the central island, western bank, named La Gata (Spanish literally Cat (Shark), English Nurse Shark) was well visited and noted for friendly nurse sharks due to being fed lion fish which at this site were few. I've have not seen so many and friendly nurse sharks anywhere else. A special Dive.

Our shore interval was spent on the central island which has a fisherman's village. A Musuem of the wrecks that surround the area which there are many, and a lagoon with American Salt Water Crocodiles.

Another operator offers snorkeling in the open water with the croc's. We just looked at them from the pier and they stared back. They have been known to attack the fishermen at night if they wander out of their huts that are on stilts after too many beers.

Our second site was to the south near Cayo Lobo and was noted for its plentiful sponge life. No sharks but above average tropical fish.

I have dived different sites on the banks over the years. There appears to many more sharks than 20 years ago.

There are few Americans that make it this far south, many Mexicans and Europeans were on our boats. Many operators do speak English but having Spanish opens up a wholly different experience.
Websites Pepe Dive Center   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Most of Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida, California, north to south, Baja, Sea of Cortez, Panama, Brazil, Argentina, Easter Island, French Polynesia, Hawaii...
Closest Airport Cancun Getting There Rental car bus service is available

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 82-°F / 28-°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay with group
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available?

What I Saw

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