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Good Dive Resorts for Non-Divers

Discussion in 'Mexico' started by Scuba_Noob, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Scuba_Noob

    Scuba_Noob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Victoria, BC
    1,000
    195
    0
    Hi,

    A bunch of my friends and I are planning to go to Mexico sometime in 2013. However, I'm the only diver there, and I want to dive for a few days (out of the week we'll be staying there). I also want them to have fun. They don't care which spot in Mexico, so I get to make the choice based on diving.

    So I'm looking for:

    1. Good dive resort for an experienced diver
    - with great diving around (interesting dive sites with lots of animals)
    - if this isn't available, a good dive company that can pick-up from a good resort can suffice
    - not too pricey
    2. Good resort for non-divers
    - friends are looking to relax and party
    3. All-inclusive

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. bigbluemarble

    bigbluemarble Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Mexico
    60
    10
    8
    You might want to consider Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula. Easy to get to from Cancun airport, lots of all-inclusives ranging from smaller, isolated & quiet resorts to larger party places located in the Playacar section of Playa del Carmen. Many resorts (large and small) have on-site dive centers so you can basically roll out of bed and get on the boat.

    I think Playa is a good place for non-divers because there is a large amount of nightlife if that is of interest and a wide range of non-diving activities - relaxing on the beach, daytrips to Tulum or other smaller towns, checking out Mayan ruins, nature exploration, etc. For divers, it's a good base to go diving in Playa, dive the cenotes (one of the most incredible dive experiences you may ever have) and visit Cozumel as well if you like. Playa has some pretty good diving and there are lots of things to see. Turtles year-round, bullsharks and spotted eaglerays in the winter, tarpon in summer. On my dives yesterday, had about 10 turtles on Tortugas Reef plus stingrays and eels; and then squid, baby turtles, and lots of fish on my shallow dive. Today, had a 2.5-3 meter nurse shark as well as another group of squid, more turtles and a 2 meter green moray eel. Good dive days!

    Best of luck in choosing your destination. I'm sure you and your friends will have a great trip as Mexico is a wonderful country to visit
     
  3. Scuba_Noob

    Scuba_Noob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Victoria, BC
    1,000
    195
    0
    I kind of already picked out Cozumel in my head, but depending on how my non-dive friends feel about the cost comparisons, Playa del Carmen might be a great alternative. It's always good to have a backup plan -i.e., redundancy :wink:!

    I know any place around there will have a ton of life, and I love that. I do want to see sharks, though, and I know Cozumel has a lot of nurse sharks (I'm thinking of staying with Iberostar - diving with Dressel). Bull sharks and 'cooler-looking' sharks would be cool. Whale sharks would be the most awesome thing!

    Thanks
     
  4. Sasha_RI

    Sasha_RI Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Providence, RI
    12
    5
    3
    I have always the same problem: great diving spot with excellent beach for my non-diving girl.
    Cozumel: take any all-inclusive south of the city: Fiesta Americana, Sabor (or Aura if you can afford), Allegro, Occidental. There is also Iberostar, but they have not the best beach for snorkeling/swimming. Dive operators for experienced diver would be: Dive with Martin and maybe Opal’s Dream (which was Scuba Mau before their tragic accident last September). Aldora and few more have good reputation but I’ve personally never used them. My number 1 choice would be: Sabor (building 10, second floor J) with Dive with Martin (you can book them in advance or through expedia rep in the lobby).
    ********************
    Riviera Maya: Good choice for ruins/diving/beach combination as well. Signature diving in the area are cenotes, but ocean diving is less spectacular than at Cozumel (much less). A lot of great all-inclusives. I was in Puerto Aventures before, next time planning Akumal: close to cenotes and great snorkeling with turtles in afternoon with your non-divers friends. Akumal beach is the cheapest all-inclusive in the area with great location on the best beach. If you can afford a little bit more: tons of options.
     
  5. bigbluemarble

    bigbluemarble Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Mexico
    60
    10
    8
    The whalesharks ARE awesome. The whaleshark season is officially from June 15 - Sept. 15 with July and August being the peak. There are no diving trips with the whalesharks, only snorkelling. However, if you are diving in Playa during the whaleshark season and you are very lucky, you might see one as it migrates. Either way, it is an incredible experience to see one!

    Re your non-diver friends, if they are looking for a place with nightlife, Cozumel is pretty quiet, Playa del Carmen very active/diverse, Tulum has some nice bars on the beach and a few in town.
     
  6. LizSpinks

    LizSpinks Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Hungerford, UK
    55
    12
    8
    Hi,
    I agree that Cozumel is great for diving, but will be pretty quiet for your friends. We stayed at Occidental Grand which is near good diving but far from the town. If your friends are partying with themselves its nice (particularly Royal Club area), but if they want nightlife, it won't work. We did our OWCert with Buena Ventura Diving and can't recommend them highly enough. Small numbers on boat (it was just us one day), they pick you up at your resort's dock and take you to sites that aren't busy. Fresh fruit and water and warm towels (yep!) between dives.

    If your friends want nightlife, I agree Playa del Carmen is a good idea, with good diving nearby too.

    I have not been there, but have you investigated Cabo San Lucas? I hear its a party town, but also has great diving in the Sea of Cortez. We have an upcoming trip with friends in the planning stages and are thinking Cabo might fit everyone's needs (diving and nightlife). Apparently June - Nov. is the best scuba months there. Whereas Dec - May are better in Mayan Riviera.

    Good Luck with your search.
     
  7. Beyond_Diving

    Beyond_Diving Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Playa del Carmen, QROO Mexico
    474
    96
    28
    I don't think Cozumel would be much fun for your non-diving friends... while it is a beautiful island, not much to do other than diving there... Playa is a great option. Cabo San Lucas is another really good option, but I like Playa better... we have cenotes here :)
     
  8. islanddream

    islanddream ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hobe Sound, Florida
    835
    537
    93
    I agree, PDC is a better place for non-divers. We go there every couple of years....about 16 of us...and only two of us dive. There's so much to do in and around PDC although the diving isn't nearly as spectacular as Coz.. Tank-Ha in Playa will take you on their dive boat to Cozumel so you don't have to take the ferry. They'll also take you diving in and around PDC.

    An upscale all-inclusive in PDC that we've stayed at is The Royal. We stay there because the family wants to and no kids are allowed. If it were up to us, we'd stay and dive with The Blue Angel in Coz and spend all the money we saved by not staying at a 5-star resort! Diving or luxury, diving or luxury....DIVING!
     

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