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Diving Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Isla Tortugas, Cozumel, Cenotes: 'Brief' Report

Discussion in 'Mexico' started by tecbarrera, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. tecbarrera

    tecbarrera Registered

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Chigasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan, Japan
    15
    1
    Hi everyone! Just thought I'd contribute to the forums a little about the honeymoon my wife and I just got back from in Cancun! Hope this helps any would-be vacation divers who need a little help finding a good dive operator.

    Before our trip, I did some extensive research on and received numerous cut and paste responses from several larger dive operators (I won't mention names, but they have all been mentioned in this forum. One even replied to my email wherein I requested personalized packages with a direct cut and paste of their website... Not a good start at all!). Luckily, thanks to this forum, I came across Alvaro Gonzalez of Alwaysdiving.com. He and his small team were the only ones who actually seemed to have read my email and replied with a highly personalized response, unlike the spam and unwanted mailing list add-ons of the other operators. Good start! So we decided to give Alvaro a try. He did come highly recommended by divers on this forum after all! We also dove with new BCDs. I bought my wife and I Zeagle Express Tech BCs with the Zip-Touch integrated weight system. Totally awesome compared to our old jacket BCDs. Light and modular, it was like wearing a backpack in the water. I highly recommend it if you're in the market for a new BC.

    Let me make this perfectly clear: I CANNOT RECOMMEND ALVARO HIGHLY ENOUGH!!! Extremely personalized service, totally above and beyond just the diving. Initially, due to our budget (we had already splurged a rather hefty amount on our Secrets Maroma Beach Resort suite) we had planned on only doing 2 dives on our honeymoon. After emailing Alvaro, not only did we decide to increase our dives, but we went all the way and decided to dive for 3 days and get our Advanced Open Water certification with him! His pricing was just that good!

    Now for the actual dive report. (Sorry for the 'marketing spiel' above. But I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and Alvaro and his team certainly deserve all the credit I can give!) We started out with Cancun. Beautiful beautiful ocean with water visibility over 20 meters! (This was generally the vis conditions we experienced throughout our stay). Alvaro decided to throw in an extra dive for free, but unfortunately, we got horribly sea-sick so we had to turn back.

    The day after, he took us to Playa Del Carmen and Isla Tortugas (taking into account that we get sea-sick, he took us to areas with calmer water). There was a bit of a current and enjoyed a nice drift dive. LOTS of sea turtles!!! Even got to touch a few! We also saw a stingray and some scorpion fish. I forgot the name... but there was one of those big fish you see hanging out with sharks. Pretty cool! Got up nice and close too! I've been diving for a little over 5 years now, and that was by far the best dive I've ever experienced.

    The next day we went to Cozumel. On route to the dive site, we saw wild dolphins and jumped in for a swim with them. Wife's childhood dream: Accomplished! Got back on the boat and headed out to do our navigation test and wreck dive. Also amazing! Wall diving in Cozumel is breathtaking! Can't count how many times I had to remember to breathe in pure awe. It's a must if you're diving in Mexico!

    So those were our planned dives. Alvaro told us about the Cenotes and that he was diving at Angelita and Chac-Mool cenotes the next day and invited us... So we did! It's really something else! Words can't do it justice, so you'll just have to go and try it for yourselves! After the cenotes, Alvaro took us for some fish and shrimp tacos at Taco Paco. Best tacos ever!

    In case you need visuals, I posted up our diving photos on my Flickr page. Flickr:. Hope this report whets your appetite for a good Mexican dive trip! We'll definitely be heading back!
     
  2. adampax

    adampax Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    42
    7
    Nice write up, sounds like a very cool trip!
     
  3. tecbarrera

    tecbarrera Registered

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Chigasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan, Japan
    15
    1
    Thanks! It was! Best vacation of my life! (But it was my honeymoon, so that was to be expected I guess. Lol!)
     
  4. SCUBA 10

    SCUBA 10 Registered

    34
    1
    Wow, honeymoon, wild dolphins and cenote dives! Sounds like you had a great time. It always makes my heart smile knowing someone has been able to take advantage of the paradise the Riviera Maya has to offer. Very cool!
     
  5. tecbarrera

    tecbarrera Registered

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Chigasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan, Japan
    15
    1
    Best dives I've ever had in my 5 years of diving! Helped a lot that we had the best guides in the water with us. Might head back in December, (work and savings account permitted..:banghead:). Alvaro said that's around the time the bull sharks come out.
     
  6. SCUBA 10

    SCUBA 10 Registered

    34
    1
    Thats right and often they are here earlier depending on the water temperature. Its quite an experience. I recommend coming with a camera that is equiped for deep dives, 27 - 30 meters, to snap photos of the sharks. Your friends and family will think you are fearless when they see the photos of the bull sharks. They are beyond remarkable! We have daily bull shark dives here at Scuba 10 during the bull shark season. We do not feed the sharks which makes for a safer dive experience for everyone.
     
  7. Ann Marie

    Ann Marie be happy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California
    3,491
    22
    Thanks for the post. I'm going to Secrets in July and just sent Alvaro an email. Hopefully, we can work something out. I'd like to get in some much needed diving.
     
  8. tecbarrera

    tecbarrera Registered

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Chigasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan, Japan
    15
    1

    You're gonna love it and never wanna leave! So jealous! Word of caution though... We suffered SEVERE vacation withdrawals when we got home. Lol! Please tell Alvaro Tomoko and Ted said "Hola!".
     

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