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Trip report: Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Discussion in 'Mexico' started by shark_tamer, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. shark_tamer

    shark_tamer Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Hey everybody,

    I’m just back from an amazing dive vacation in Mexico from July 10th to July 17th 2010. I was staying at the Iberostar Paraiso Beach Resort in Puerto Morelos, which is situated roughly 25 kilometers north of Playa del Carmen, and I had the pleasure to dive with Dressel Divers dive center.

    I chose this particular destination because I wanted to dive the world famous cenotes, and this resort had a dive center on site.

    High praises to Dressel Divers for their whole operation

    Paul ( who is in charge at the center ) and his army of employees responded in a very professional matter to every question everybody had. Every detail from dive time departure being on time, dive boat quality, kindness from every employee, to air tank quality made this vacation one to remember.

    They have recently bought 2 new dive boats with plenty of room, even with 15 divers and snorkelers on board. Each boat is equipped with 2 powerful 4 stroke Honda 200 engines which makes getting to the dive site a snap.

    I personally travel with my own gear, and rental gear over there looked almost brand new and in very good working condition.

    Cenote excursion

    Diving the cenotes was very impressive. If you think diving between stalactites, stalagmites and columns is pretty boring, you are very wrong. An experience not to be missed.

    We dove the cenote named ¨ Dos Ojos ¨ which is the most difficult cenote to dive since our group only had advanced divers.

    Because the cenotes are this region’s main source of fresh water, you are not allowed to wear sunscreen or bug repellent before diving, even if the cenotes are situated in the Mayan jungle. Gloves and knives are also prohibited when diving the cenotes. Obsolete accessories such as surface signals and reels are left with the transport bus, and for safety purposes, only 3 divers per DM/instructor.

    During the extensive briefing, our DM/instructor Sebastian went thru every safety procedure for cenote diving and before entering the cenote, he personally verified each diver’s gear for proper placement, proper weights and buoyancy control. Safety is a priority.

    Cozumel excursion

    This was the most ¨disappointing¨ part of this trip.

    Our destination was Iberostar Cozumel which is situates at the southern tip of Coz. So we left our resort at 8h30 in the morning for Playa del Carmen where we boarded the 10h00 ferry to Coz, and then proceeded to Iberostar Cozumel by boat. We arrived there at 11h30, and since getting on the dive boat was only scheduled for 13h00 we had plenty of time to eat diner, check our gear, and register for free Nitrox. All this in 35oC in the shade temperature … life is hard !!! :cool2:

    Then came time to dive … I have read and heard so much about diving in Coz that I was expecting above average diving. Viz was an average 25 meters, corals and aquatic life is identical to anywhere in the Caribbean !!!

    … and then another 3 hours to get back to the resort. By the time I arrived to Iberostar in Puerto Morelos, it was 22h30.

    This is why I would say this excursion was disappointing for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this was a bad excursion, but 6 hours of traveling for 2 average dives, was a bit disappointing !!

    My next trip in Mexico will definitely be at Iberostar Cozumel.

    Reef diving

    Reef diving from the center was above average. Viz averaged between 20 meters on worst day and 35 meter on better days. Water temperature was at a constant 29oC the whole week. Corals are in very good health and aquatic life is abundant, mainly turtles … and large ones may I say.

    I did 7 reef dives during that week. On 3 occasions current was pretty strong, almost non existent on the other 4.

    Deep dives were not that deep. Average deep dives depth was 25-30 meters and second dives averaged 15-20 meters with 45 minute surface intervals between them.

    Dive sites I did

    - Punta Maroma, 14,3 msw
    - Tortugas, 28,1 msw
    - Moc-Che, 13,4 msw
    - Arcos, 29,4 msw
    - Manchones, 15,2 msw
    - Mama Vina ( wreck ), 27,0 msw
    - Barracuda, 14,5 msw.
    - Colombia Bricks, 24,9 msw ( Cozumel )
    - Palancar Gardens, 27,9 msw ( Cozumel )
    - Barbie Line, 8,1 mfw ( Dos Ojos cenote )
    - Bat Cave, 9,7 mfw ( Dos Ojos cenote )

    And good news, the oil spill had not reached this part of the Caribbean yet !!!

    In conclusion, I would rate this the second best dive destination I have been to, right behind Roatan, Honduras.

    Questions are always welcome.

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