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We stayed at the Villa Aldora when we went to Coz. It's about a ten minute walk into town, which we enjoyed, and the place itself is very quiet, which we also liked. It was clean and comfortable, and the managers were wonderful -- they even ran us into town to do grocery shopping, the day we arrived! The boats can pick up at the Villa when water conditions permit, which is very nice, and you can shore dive off the seawall.
I really enjoyed diving with the Aldora folks. They did an excellent job for us, and our guide, Mateo, was delightful. I would definitely book with them again. I believe they are somewhat more expensive than some of the other dive ops, but in our eyes, it was worth it.
The husband and I are planning a trip to Cozumel and it will be our first time staying on the island rather than staying on the mainland and visiting.
I've heard Aldora is a great dive op to go with and on their website, they have some rooms they offer for $85+ a night and has a fridge so we can keep cereal and milk for breakfast.
We are looking for something clean, comfotable, and inexpensive. We also need to be able to walk places for lunch & dinner or is there public transit around?
How does the cost of diving with these guys ($89/2 tanks + $85/night) compare to other more-inclusive places on the island?
If you have other suggestions, please share! Thanks so much for any advice you can give!
I've stayed in the Courtyard Norte, one of the $85 rooms and in Barracuda. If you're ok with a small room with very little storage area and no view, it will probably work for you. It is kept clean but I didn't feel that comfortable in the Courtyard room as I felt somewhat cramped. The other rooms, as you surely noticed, are more expensive but, sometimes you may get an upgrade if they are not full.
I usually grab a bike and pedal into town rather than walk. But, unless you're physically "challenged" It's certainly within walking distance. I'm not sure that tourists can easily use the public transportation. I've seen them making there way around San Miguel, but I have no idea about their routing or schedule. If you need transportation, a cab ride is maybe 50 pesos.
I like Aldora as a dive OP a lot. Now that they have their own fill station & CO monitoring, they are even more appealing. You pay a premium price but, if you pay in cash, you get a 10% discount. One of the things that I appreciate that I don't see mentioned on SB is their shop staff are excellent in how they handle gear issues. They spot faulty equipment while they clean/store your gear and repair or replace it before the next dive.
We have stayed at Aldora each of the last 3 years for progressively longer stays. I love the convenience of Aldora's setup, especially staying at the Villa. The entire operation has the feel of a turnkey operation which is critical when I am on vacation. Wake up-dive-dive-eat-dive-dive-eat-sleep. (An all inclusive would be the same, but we love the food you can find on the island and don't want to be pigeonholed into a buffet) The quarters can be close and I have found the stay quality varies based on who is also staying at the Villa, but I suppose that is the case where ever you stay short of renting a house. (that is both good and bad as we have meet some of our best diving friends at the villa)
I am a huge fan of Aldora Divers. The use of steel tanks and 120s for heavy breathers like me makes the cost work. This is even more true when you consider the rules of diving in Cozumel such as your dive being limited to the fastest two breathers even when you still have half a tank of air remaining. Second is that everyone dives a computer so we can dive individualized profiles. I have been on first dives that are 70 minutes, second dives that are 80-90+ minutes, and we had twilight-night dive last year which was over 2 hours. In the 39 dives we did with them last year, the only dives that were less than an 50 minutes of bottom time were a few lionfish hunts up north (imagine a hard workout) and a single dive in Maracaibo deep.
i always dive with aldora and sometimes stay at the villas when i really need a treat.
my non diving wife is not able to travel anymore but when she went, she loved it there.
always a nice conversation while watching the sunset. decent shore diving. excellent hosts. one dock north of the presidential retreat. (mexico's version of camp david).
because i now travel alone, i feel guilty spending more than minimal needs. when i win the lottery the villas will be an annual stay.
Aldora divers and Villa Aldora was my combo last month. They are a quality experience but IF you want to spend less on lodging, look at the Bahia or Casa Mexicana, etc. Neither of these two places offer the same ambiance as Villa Aldora but you are in town. You would be close to places to eat and the Aldora pier downtown.
Seems like it took me about 20 minutes to walk to the ferry so TSandM must be a fast walker.