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Dive Review of Mazatlán in
Mexico (Western)/Mazatlan

Mazatlán: "Mazatlán and Aqua Sport Center", Mar, 2015,

by R Howard, MB, CA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 8159 has 1 Helpful vote.

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 1 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments February 2015 was my second time vacationing in Mazatlán. In 2010 we did a family vacation with my two sons and their wives. While there, my sons and I did one dive in the small bay between Deer and Wolf Islands. We had a good time but were disappointed in the low visibility and dull reef. This year my wife and I returned with another couple and I thought I would give the diving another try. It was absolutely identical, low visibility, drab featureless reef structure and well hidden marine life.
Standing on the beach looking out at Wolf, Deer and Bird Island there are three main dive sites. Eagles Head on the south end of Wolf Island, the little bay between Wolf and Deer at the south end of Deer Island and one on the north end of Deer Island. Due to steady winds during our stay I only was able to dive the one day. The dive shop even took me out in the boat to assess the conditions before cancelling diving. The wind has the effect of turning poor visibility worse (meaning zero). I have to admit I was very impressed by the shops honesty in saying that diving would be a waste of time and money.
I dove with Aqua Sport Centre beside the El Cid hotel. Very nice shop, but as the name implies primarily focused on surface and above water sports. I brought my own gear, except a BCD and weights, which were included in the dive cost ($80USD). The water temperature was 80 at the surface and there was a definite thermocline at about 30 feet, where it drop to 70ish. My full 5mm wet suit was more than enough and I was quite comfortable throughout the dive. The BCD provided by the shop was new and functioned well, although the tanks and weight belts looked like they had been around for a while. The site was calm with no current or surge. The day we dove the surface was flat and the sun was shineing bright. All diving is done a 10:00am, before the wind picks up and blows out the vis.
The Aqua Sport Centre was a short walk down the beach from my hotel. A 1 tank dive was $80usd and a 2 tank was $120usd. The shop manager recommended that I go for 1 and if I decided to go for the second they would come back and pick up another tank. (One was enough). Cabo San Lucas has a number of recompression chambers but I could not find anything in Mazatlán.
My Divemaster, Tiny, was excellent. He obviously knew the dive site extremely well and was very attentive during the dive. We were down for an hour and returned directly under the boat. During the pre-dive briefing I mentioned that I wanted to go slow and find as much marine life as I could, to photograph. Tiny was very good at finding critters, but handled things a little bit more than I was used to. Due to the low volume of dive traffic in the area this will probably not impact the sites very much, but some divers may be taken aback by it.
During the dive we saw Puffer Fish, Nudibranchs, Sting Rays, Star Fish, Urchins, Clams, Long Nose Skate, and different echinoids. Using a GoPro 3+ to take 1080p video with the low light setting on and a violet filter worked well and I videoed the whole dive (see edited You-Tube posting [ link] ).
So, bottom line, if youíre in Mazatlán and you have a free morning, go for a dive. Take your camera and poke around in the nooks and crannies for whatever you can find. Donít plan on doing more than one dive, because in all likelihood they all will look the same. Donít expect Caribbean visibility or vistas. Next time I go I will probably rent all my equipment as Aqua Sportís stuff was in good condition and having your own is not mandatory.
Websites Mazatlán   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Jibacoa; Cuba, Plymouth; UK, Oban; Scotland, Playa Del Carmen, Cancun, Mazatlan; Mexico, Crosby; USA, Westhawk Lake; Canada
Closest Airport General Rafael Buelna International Airport Getting There Delta Airlines, but flights are limited and expensive

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 70-80°F / 21-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 5-20 Ft/ 2-6 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay very close to the divemaster. If you don't he will quickly be out of sight and impossible to find without surfacing.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments No direct awareness of photography requirements
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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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