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2nd trip top Cozumel - who to dive with

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scoopscallahan

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My wife and are new divers (less than 20). We dove for the first time in Cozumel in May. We stayed at the Iberostar and dove with Dressel. I didn't care much for Iberostar but enjoyed Dressel. Good DM's, big boats (my preference), back to resort between dives. This time we're staying in Palmar and renting a car so I can go to any dive shop I want to. Anything similar to Dressel but more towards the north end of the island? I'm looking to dive 3 afternoon, two tank dives, and a night dive.
 

NDL_Diver

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Most reefs are way down South close to Iberostar. Most dive operators leave 1/2 mile south of Palmar at the Marina Fonatur Cozumel.

Three afternoon dives are unheard of. Leaving Marina Fonatur Cozumel is a long boat ride in a big boat, figure 1+ hours to get to reefs. Most dive ops do 2 morning dives and 2 afternoon dives if they get the minimum diver who want to dive. Most dive ops do 1 or 2 night dives unless they can get enough divers.

You will see a post here next of a spreadsheet of dive from a SB member that outlines dive ops and what they offer. A tradeoff beteween fast 6 pac boats and slow cattle boats. Most experienced Cozumel divers prefer fast 6 Passenger boats to get to the reefs fast (30 min).
 

NDL_Diver

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Johnhall created ghis spreadsheet at post #125


Gives you everthing you need to know.
 
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scoopscallahan

scoopscallahan

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Most reefs are way down South close to Iberostar. Most dive operators leave 1/2 mile south of Palmar at the Marina Fonatur Cozumel.

Three afternoon dives are unheard of. Leaving Marina Fonatur Cozumel is a long boat ride in a big boat, figure 1+ hours to get to reefs. Most dive ops do 2 morning dives and 2 afternoon dives if they get the minimum diver who want to dive. Most dive ops do 1 or 2 night dives unless they can get enough divers.

You will see a post here next of a spreadsheet of dive from a SB member that outlines dive ops and what they offer. A tradeoff beteween fast 6 pac boats and slow cattle boats. Most experienced Cozumel divers prefer fast 6 Passenger boats to get to the reefs fast (30 min).
I meant 3 afternoons of 2 tank dives and 1 night dive. I'm a big fan of the larger boats to reduce sea sickness (I'm delicate). So, should I drive south to a dive op and hop on there?
 

DandyDon

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So, should I drive south to a dive op and hop on there?
I've heard that parking at the southern marina is a nightmare. Many Ops would pick you up at Palmer, but not the big boats I don't think. Go to that link that NDL_Diver posted, look for the big boats you find more comfortable, see where they pickup, and shop from that information. After you work up an acceptable list, you can search this forum for reports. If I had to go to the marina, I'd consider using taxis.
Most dive operators leave 1/2 mile south of Palmar at the Marina Fonatur Cozumel.
Google maps says it's 1.4 miles from Palmar to Fonatur. I wonder if they have the condos at the right location as those things are from user contributions and often wrong, but Street View shows Palmar there. Then they suggest some crazy driving directions that I would ignore as they take you on a 4 mile tour.
 

Rob9876

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Afternoon dives may be a bit tricky -- even most of the small boat dive ops usually want 3 or 4 divers to run afternoon/twilight/night dives, and some of the bigger dive ops only run those on a set schedule. Certainly not impossible, but you may want to discuss that with whichever dive op you go with so you know which dives you're definitely getting and which are subject to being cancelled. For example, Dive with Martin has a good reputation and larger boats, but requires 4 divers minimum for afternoon and night dives.

I believe you'll be very close to Cozumel Marine World, which has bigger boats, but I don't know too much about them. Also, you're going to be close to Tikila, which is popular for shore dives -- we had a great guided night shore dive there with Jungle Divers if you'd like to skip the boat altogether.
 

lionfish-eater

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You can dive with dressel from the iberostar even if you are not staying there.
 

jonhall

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This time we're staying in Palmar

Use the spreadsheet @NDL_Diver referred to. I updated it recently.

Palmar Condos?? Jungle Divers is right there. Very short walks away are Roberta's Scuba Shack and Julio Kin Scuba in one direction and Papa Hog and Scuba Mau the other direction. And then you have the option of being picked up by a different op at one of the piers within a short walking distance.

Anything similar to Dressel but more towards the north end of the island?
NOT like Dressel (small, but very fast boat), but a good op towards the north is Pepe Scuba which is located at the Coral Princess. Fast boat gets you to southern sites - where most every op will take you - as fast, if not faster than boats closer to those sites.

Similar to Dressel but not towards the north would be Pro Dive, located at the Allegro/Occidental - not quite as far south as the Iberostar.

renting a car so I can go to any dive shop I want to.
Research this a little. Some dive shops simply meet at one of the marinas or at a hotel/resort pier where parking may be limited or non-existent.
 

mcohen1021

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1st of all, you'll LOVE Palmar. You'll have Sunset Bar slightly to the north, Casa Del Mar and Santos' happy hour next door to the south 5-6 PM. Ernestos Fajitas across from Casa Del Mar.

As Don mentioned, Google Maps gave us the same weird back road directions, that I agree should be ignored. Fonateur marina is a quick ride, but most ops would pick u up at Del Mar pier or at the pier right across from Park Royal.
 
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