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Dive Review of Playa de Santiago in
Mexico (Western)/Manzanillo Bay, Colima Playa de Santiago, Nov, 2009,

by Karen Elaine, ca, USA ( 1 report). Report 5284.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I did a really thorough search before heading to the water as I was on a non-dive business trip to Guadalajara which is a 4-1/2 hour bus trip away, and I had a total of one day to play in the water. The research started with UC Chapbooks and former issues, but I got no help for either altitude diving around Guadalajara or suggestions on ocean sites. Facebook was my next resort, and I got suggestions from fellow divers on shark cage diving (which I am against), and a tech oriented shop in downtown Guadalajara. I sent an e-mail to the Guadalajara shop, but after two weeks of silence I responded to a new FB friend, Dianne Johnson (, who exclaimed 'Come dive Manzanillo!' Dianne has a PADI Divemaster rating and is personal friends with the owner/operator of SCUBA SHACK, Susan Dearing. Dianne picked me up from my very charming hotel (Hotel Playa de Santiago, balcony and two double beds with ocean waves gently lapping 20-yards away for USD$40.00 per night), whisked me off to breakfast at Juanito's Restaurante (100-yards east of the dive shop, meal for two including tip came to USD$10.00), and then we picked up tanks from the shop (KM 15 Miguel de la Madrid Blvd., tanks rent for 7-pesos/USD$5.60 each). Dive #1 at Manzanillo Bay Club de Yates, depth 50-feet, rocky reef & pinnacles, hundreds of SCHOOLING porcupine puffers, giant coronet fish, turtle, Seargeant Major damselfish guarding nests, guineafowl puffers in mating colors, angelfish galore- best part was on our return, two 1-inch long golden trevally fish took turns swimming in our hair! Dive #2 at Santiago Bay's Playa la Boquita de Miramar, entering at Ramada Marildo's exquisite palapa restaurante where we parked, placed our order for barbequed fish (it is an hour-long prep & WELL worth it!), then walked about 20-yards to the water entry. 150-yard swim wearing doubles was easy for me in this sheltered part of the bay, but for those not interested in the swim there are plenty of small boats ready for hire right there. A giant, colorful grouper greeted us as we made our first entry into this freight vessel, nudibranchs on outside ridge, spotted tiger eel snake feeding in sand, not-shy school of large surgeonfish nibbling at algae on wreck, Titon trigger and another giant coronet fish Darwin around, beautiful shapes and shadows created by sunlight and mostly intact ship structure. I can't wait to come back with my camera!!!

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 0-25 dives
Where else diving 16-logged dives in Maldivas/South Georgia/Argentian Antactic; dozens of dives around Vancouver Island, British Columbia; hundreds of dives in Southern California & Channel Islands; also dives in Fiji, Bonaire, Papua New Guinea, Yucatan, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 85-85°F / 29-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No limits except for computer and air supply.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments My UWP friends are going to LOVE this place! Highlight of the two dives I had was crusing in and around 1959 'Jose San Luciano) shipwreck (bottom depth 21-feet!). Wreck filled with corals, seafans, large grouper, hundreds of fish INCLUDING seahorses. Easy beach entry, I dove it wearing double AL 80's, swimming into engine room.
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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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