Riviera Maya

This isn’t Muck Diving!  True, but that doesn’t mean those in the Midwest cannot treat themselves to some of the more exotic diving experiences.  Because the traditional Muck Diver doesn’t dive in paradise everyday information on dive ops, hotels, what should I do and not do become essential when planning a trip to paradise.  Because of all these questions, we thought we would give everybody a one-stop place to go to learn about these places and hopefully help with planning your next trip.  Once again, the success of this relies upon those that have taken the journey.  So, please help out and tell us about your trips and what worked and what did not work.

7 Responses to “Riviera Maya”

  1. snagel says:

    Riviera Maya, Mexico – Nov 2006

    My wife, son, mother, and me traveled to Mexico for our first trip – I was the only diver in the group. We booked an all-inclusive called the Grand Sirenis located about an hour south of Cancun. We fell in love with this resort and one of the reasons we booked this resort was because they had a dive shop located on the beach – Aqua Inn. The resort is a full package; although, not many rooms you can call “ocean side”. Several restaurants are located on the site and part of the resort. All had very good food, but you had to make reservations. Something you want to do when you first check in. The restaurants varied from a Steak House, French, Mexican, Mediterranean, and my favorite the Bazillion among others. The rooms were clean and each had a balcony. Some people are a little taken back about the bathrooms because they are open to the room. The shower and toilet do have a frosted glass door, but maybe not the best if sharing the room with “non-family”. There are several pools and bars located throughout the resort with a nice private beach on the ocean. My son (10 at the time and I guess me also) was a little taken back with the European way of the ladies going topless. Actually, this wasn’t that big of a deal after the initial shock, it became very ordinary. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t like it was everywhere, but you would occasionally run into it. At night there is a theater located on the resort where some very entertaining shows are provided. At first, I didn’t want to do this, but my wife insisted and it was a great time.

    As I said, at that time I was very new to diving – maybe having only about 15 dives under my belt. I checked out the dive shop (Aqua Inn) and they took care of me. Everything was new – resort and dive shop. The deal they had was a boat went out every morning at 10 a.m. If you wanted to dive you could be there in the morning for a 2-tank dive or you could book a boat. The morning dives worked out great – I would do a couple dives and be back for lunch. The family would then spend the afternoon doing the tourist things. I really enjoyed the diving – it was my first ocean dives. The ocean floor on the Riviera Maya side is not the same as in Coz. They don’t have the spectacular reef, but they do have many swim throughs and the floor resembled small canyons. Many of the locals apologized for the viz due to the recent hurricane (Wilma), but I found it to be fabulous. Cost at that time was $30 for a 2-tank dive. (This has changed to $65) I found the owners of Aqua Inn to be great; although, several have commented that they are very rude. You just have to get past the attitude that they are there to make a buck. They are not shy about it. In addition to the diving they offer pretty much anything – snorkeling, jet skis, ocean fishing, parasailing, and many tours.

    During the “family time” we did several day tours. One day my son and I did the “Rip Cord” and jungle excursion. It was fun, but not much rip cording. If you haven’t flown through the trees on a cable you are missing out. Another trip was to Chitzinitza. This is a great trip taking in the culture of Mayans. Be warned this is an all day trip, but well worth it. On the way back we stopped for lunch at a great sink hole for some swimming. One day we traveled to Playa Del Carmen for some shopping. There is a street called “5th Avenue” where all the street vendors are. Some great deals are here. One tip is to have the bell staff at the resort get you a van and driver instead of a taxi. The van cost was about $40 (although this has went up) and they waited on you to bring you back to the resort. We were told getting a taxi to bring you back might be difficult. Another tip is to pay for a private shuttle from the airport in Cancun to the resort. If you take the bus it is about a 4 hour dive because the bus stops at all the resorts. By shuttle the trip was about 1 hour and only cost about $15 per person.

    We found this deal for about $1200 per person including flight for this trip through Apple Vacations. We flew out of St. Louis, MO.

    I would recommend this resort to all. We liked it so much we went back in 2008. Check out my photos under the Photo Links – Snagels Pics.


  2. snagel says:

    Riviera Maya, Mexico – November 2007

    Once again we returned to the Grand Sirenis Resort (information on the resort can be found on my previous post). Traveling again was my wife, son, mother and me, but this time my brother and sister-in-law went with us (both divers). The resort was fabulous.

    This year we got in more diving with Aqua Inn (dive shop located on the beach). (As a side note, my wife does not dive and maybe I got a little carried away with diving – she really missed doing more of the family thing like we did the previous year. So big tip here, non-diving wives do not enjoy dive trip vacations) Anyway, we got a pretty good deal through the dive shop for $300 per person – 2 ocean dives, 2 cozumel dives, and 2 cenote dives. The ocean dives were boat dives right out from the beach. Very nice and easy. First ocean dive was somewhat odd because in our dive party was a father and son who had just completed a Discover Scuba course. The son was 10 years old. Aqua Inn asked if we were okay with them tagging along and of course we didn’t mind. To my shock the first dive was to a depth of 80’. The father and son team did very well, but it amazed me that they took this team especially the boy to this depth on their very first ocean dive without any type of certification. I missed my first shark sighting because I was very concerned about watching the father and son team while the others sighted a nurse shark resting under a ledge.

    Our next dives where in Cozomel. Aqua Inn set up a trip to Coz as part of our package. We shuttled to Playa Del Carmen and met up with a very nice (and attractive) French girl (her name escapes me). She acted as our guide for the trip. The way I understand it she works for a different company that coordinates dive trips with the various resorts. She was absolutely fabulous as our guide and took great care of us. We took the ferry over to Coz and made our way to the Black Shark Dive Shop. I have to tell you our first impressions were not very good. The shop was in a back alley and didn’t really resemble more than a cluttered mess. In our dive group were us 3 and about 6 other divers. We taxied over to the marina and boarded the boat. I have to tell you the boat was very basic and visions of Captain Ron came to mind. At first, the starter on the motor would not work so they resorted to starting the engine with a pull rope. As we taxied out of the marina to our first dive stop I think we all were wondering exactly what we got ourselves into. Our first dive was the Santa Rosa Wall. We received the dive briefing and jumped in. Oh my god…..this was probably one of the most fascinating dives I had every been on. If you ever get a chance to dive the Santa Rosa Wall do it. The reef was absolutely fabulous – the closest I’ve been to heaven. As we floated in the current along the wall at about 100’ a huge turtle took landing in front of me on the reef. Apparently, it was lunch time for him. I scrambled to float next to him getting within a few feet of him as he dined on a freshly caught fish. As I hovered over him I quickly realized that if he decides to take off he is going to take me out; so, I floated by. After about a 45 minute dive we ascended and moved to our next dive. I’m really not sure the name of this dive but it was more of a sandy bottom resembling more of an underwater desert. The current was fairly strong so basically you floated in space over the bottom in a very relaxing dive. Following this dive, we were taken to an ocean side resort for lunch (all part of the package). We enjoyed lunch and really got to know our fellow dive buddies. Following lunch we returned to the ferry and made our way back to Playa Del Carmen and ultimately the Grand Sirenis. A great day of diving. I must follow-up on the Black Shark Dive Operation. Although my first impression was not good, they took very good care of us and did a great job. They were very professional and catered to our very needs. We had a larger group and they did a great job of ensuring everybody’s safety. In the end we were very pleased and I would recommend them.

    Our next dives were the Cenote dives. Again, I cannot remember the name of the cenotes, but they were absolutely fabulous. The water was crystal clear and colder than the ocean – we had to wear thicker suits for this dive. Our divemaster was young kid who appeared to well qualified. I guess this is a good place to say this – in Mexico cenote diving means cave diving. You don’t need any type of cave certification, but at least for us this was a cave dive. Sure you could see glimmers of light of the surface in many areas, but in more areas you were basically in an underwater cave. Maybe this wasn’t the smartest thing we ever did, but we wanted to experience the cenote diving. I remember thinking to myself, what the hell am I doing and hoping that nothing happened to our dive master for we would never find our way out. At one point we surfaced in an underwater cavern. At first my brother in law and I were a little amazed and concerned about the air quality in the cavern (we actually kept our regs in our mouths until our dive master removed his and started talking). Once we new the air was breathable we took ours out. Our divemaster explained that there was a shaft leading to the cavern that provided good air. We eventually made our way out and returned back to the Grand Sirenis. Great time and I would recommend doing a cenote dive at least once.

    On one of our days, my wife and son wanted to do parasailing. Aqua Inn offered this for them. I’m not sure if I should post this, but they did not charge me for them doing the parasailing because we had did so many dives with them (actual cost I believe was $70 for two people). My family loved this. They got on the boat at the beach and floated over the ocean and over the resort. Aqua Inn did a great job and my family experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity. In 2008, I read that there was a fatal accident at Aqua Inn. Two people were killed while parasailing when the rope broke and they slammed into the rough rocks on the shore. This really hit home with us and we actually did not tell our son until recently of this. We made a family commitment that we would not do anything like parasailing again unless it was with an outfit that specialized strictly to this activity.

    Now a couple tips:

    The Grand Sirenis is a great resort to balance the needs of diving and non-diving. On this trip, I should have paid a little more attention to my non-diving family and will not make this mistake again.

    Diving in Mexico can be a little expensive so look for the package deals. We didn’t really have any opportunity for shore diving; so, we had to rely upon scheduling boat dives.

    We dove in November and the water temps were in the upper 70’s. I dove a 2mm shorty and was perfectly fine. We brought our own equipment (minus tanks and weights). Many who dove with us used rental equipment. Everybody seemed to be okay with the equipment, but I was glad I had my own equipment and would recommend carrying your own.

    We booked our trip through Worry-Free Vacations this year and flew out of St. Louis, MO. We were able to get this package for about $1250 per person (including flight). We spent about another $500 in diving per person. A little on the expensive side, but it was at an all inclusive resort. I’m not sure what to say about Worry Free. On our departure date we were confused on when they would pick us up. We had an 11:00 a.m. flight and were waiting to be picked up at 6:00 a.m. They didn’t arrive until closer to 8:00 a.m. This might have been our fault. When you arrive you are suppose to meet with one of their reps to set all this up. We didn’t because we wanted to get something to eat. We checked several times throughout the week at their desk, but nobody was there. The previous year we were with Apple and they had a rep at the desk all the time. Anyway, we were getting a little concerned when we departed and they didn’t pick us up when we thought they would. Since we couldn’t meet up with somebody from Worry-Free, the bell staff told us to be waiting at 6:00 a.m. We did have a backup plan. The bell staff told us that they would get us a taxi and charge it to Worry Free, but ultimately somebody did show up.

    We took advantage of the private shuttle again from the Cancun Airport. I highly recommend avoiding the buses because it takes too long to get to your destination.

    You can view pictures of our trip in the Photo Links under Snagel and Clubbs Pics.


  3. admin says:

    Original Post by AquaTrax on 4/30/09 – ScubaToys

    Another trip to Playa and 2 excursions with Jason at Fantaseadive.

    First day: We head out about 9:00am, quick boat ride over to Barracuda and Sabalos Reefs. The water is 80 degrees, perfect for the 3/2 suit and the current is light, We descend to 40 fsw, and nice sized turtle comes gliding by. We drift slowly along the edge the the reef, beautiful coral formations and schools of fish everywhere. Jason points out a very small Seahorse (very cool), would never have spotted that on my own! Jason also spotted an octopus hiding in a conch shell and couple of huge green eels. Fantastic way to ease back into the blue water. Tons of color and very little current, definitely “no stress” dives.

    Second day is a little more zesty. Time to finish up my AOW so we have Deep, Wreck and Navigation dives on the menu for today. We take off to a reef Jason calls his “Secret Spot”. Time or the Deep dive, a backwards roll and a free descent to 97 fsw, very exciting! While on the bottom doing my math test and observing the effects of pressure, I was waiting to notice some sign of narcosis, If there were any symptoms, I could not tell. After several minutes, we ascend to 60/70 fsw and go sailing over a reef full of brain coral and barrel sponges. Beautiful! We are hanging out at our safety stop when a couple of Marlin come cruising by, good sized ones too!

    After a 60 minute s.i, we head over to the Mama Vina wreck. She sits in about 95 fsw and the visibility is 100+ so as soon as we started our drifting descent (due to the current strength) the ship is visible. We spot a southern ray as soon a we arrive at the ship just off the bow. The ship has a lot of coral growth and is an extremely cool beginner wreck. Once we made it to the bow at the upper level, we spot roughly 200 board side jacks coming up behind us, good sized fish. We finish up with exploring the wreck and finish of the tanks by sailing over the nearby reef. Awesome dive.

    Another 1 hour s.i. and we are off the Jardines reef for the navigation dives. It’s a shallow reef with light current. Compass work was not difficult as I usually dive in a green quarry with 6ft vis, every dive is a nav dive there! We averaged 30 fsw on this one so we stretched it to around an hour. Saw another sea horse and another ray.

    What a fantastic 2 days of diving.

    The wife and I stay at a resort in Playacar that has a large dive operator on site but I will continue to use Jason for all my dive trips in PDC. That personal service goes a long way with me.

    Now I’m back home with some great memories and no symptoms of swine flu or monkey pox.

  4. snagel says:

    Mayan Riviera Cenote dive report

    Original Post by Scuba007 on ScubaToys (7/24/09)


    My wife and I have been diving for 2 years; did our classroom lessons in Calgary and the certification dives with the Bahia Principe dive centre, Mayan Riviera. The Canadian waters are a little too cold for us. Everybody at the dive centre was happy to see our family again and treated us really well. Our children ages 26 and 27 (rescue and ice divers) were eager to try something different, just as my wife and I. The cenotes are about 30 minutes drive from the dive centre, and on route our dive master Matthew briefed us on each of the dives. My wife and I looked at each other with the same thought, ‘what ever did we get ourselves into’? It was all good and made for a great adventure. Important signals, spacing between divers, do’s and don’ts during the dives including keeping a slight negative buoyancy to navigate the passageways.
    The flash on our camera wasn’t quite powerful enough so our photos were quite dark. I would recommend having a peek at these three websites which I googled: dos ojos cenote (a 4min utube video clip), cenote “el eden” aka ponderosa (an 11 min utube video clip) and Tajmahal cenote dive by ben (15 min video).
    El Eden (formerly known as Ponderosa) is a like a large swimming pool in the middle of the jungle. Takes about 45 – 60 minutes. The coolest thing about this dive was the Halocline (fresh water meets salt water) which stretches through the cenote at 33ft; ordinarily you’d expect to get colder the deeper you go, but it gets warmer. Kind of neat doing a 46 min decompression dive as average depth was 15 ft!
    Tajma Ha cenote also has a Halocline. Sunlight always penetrates the water through holes in the ceiling creating laser beams. Maintain good buoyancy control to avoid bumping into the stalactites and stalagmites decorated throughout cenote. Small tetras and occasional catfish were seen in each cenote.
    Dos Ojos (straight translation: two eyes) refers to two circular shaped cenotes which are located very close to one another. This cenote’s ‘first eye’ (415 m) series of underwater passages gives you plenty of bottom time. Crystal clear water and lots of daylight. The Bat Cave (320 m) is the darker of the two dives. A series of rooms and passages underneath an air filled bat cave, where very little daylight enters. It was neat to see bats hiding between the stalactites as we ascended into this cave. Again good buoyancy control is required.
    It was an incredible adventure, we’d recommend to anyone. Hope you’ll have a great time on your dive.

  5. admin says:

    Mayan Riviera Trip Report
    Original Post by DawnVip on ScubaToys (11/29/09)


    Well, after much humming and hawwing over where to stay and where to dive, my husband and I ended up flying direct to Cancun from Vancouver on Transat and stayed at the Grand Palladium White Sands AI for 1 week. Used Airmiles for the whole trip so it only cost us the taxes and diving.

    The resort was HUGE! Actually 4 resorts linked together under the Palladium name so there was definitely a good variety of restaurants (10 a la carte), pools (5 that we found) and bars (at least a dozen). Very clean, nice rooms and great people. No complaints other than getting lost on a couple of occasions because it was soooo big.

    We e-mailed and reserved spots with Dive Aventuras for the diving, even though there was a Scuba Caribe operation on site at the resort. Dive Aventuras had a shuttle pick us up every morning around 8 am and we were in the water by 9. They kept all of our equipment each night, and had lockers for stuff while we were on the dives. Nice set-up for sure!

    Boats were fine, max 8 people with 2 DMs but there were several dives we did where it was only the hubby, myself and the DM. Back roll entry and small ladder to get back on board afterwards. Carlos was our DM for most dives and he was great, taking his time and careful to show us stuff of interest. The dive sites are all very close to the marina so the boat goes back after every dive to give everyone some interval time, change tanks, etc.

    Day 1 arrived in Mexico, 1.5 hour bus ride south to the resort from Cancun. Checked in, found some dinner, the bar and started to unwind!

    Day 2, first dive: Sandos Reef max 70 feet, down for 45 min. Saw a great Scrawled Cowfish right away. Nice healthy reef, lots of fish, 2 big lobsters, triggerfish and 2 spotted Drumfish. This was also my first dive with the newly purchased Zeagle Flathead 6 reg. What a treat! Nice and dry and very easy to breathe.

    Second dive: Paradise Reef max 50 feet for 55 min. Big schools of Jacks, grey Angelfish and nice big Barracuda came by to check us out. DM Carlos caught a small lionfish as part of the cull.

    Next day, first dive was Chanyuyum reef max 70 feet for 51 min. Excellent dive site for variety of coral and fish. Again big barracuda, triggerfish, trunkfish, caught a lionfish too.

    Second dive was Veroz reef garden max depth 45 feet for 59 min. Very easy dive site, saw a huge trumpetfish, tiny longnose pufferfish and a small stingray, trunkfish, pyramidfish, porcupinefish.

    Day 4 we decided to do afternoon/night dives so first dive was back to Paradise reef, deeper section though, 70′ max for 53 min. Saw big lobsters, huge crab, spotted moray, nudibranchs, arrowcrabs.

    Second dive was Cedam caves max depth 49′ for 55 min. Neat swim-throughs and canyons with lots of overhangs to peek under for the fishies. We saw a huge (6′ at least) green moray under one overhang, not tucked in at all! Also saw a green turtle and still more lobsters.

    Third dive was the night dive, max depth 45′ for 65 min! Lots of those little worms attracted to our lights but it was neat to bring the light close to the corals and watch it snatch up all the worms. Saw a nice size octopus who tried to give us the slip by puffing out his mantle and pretending to be a rock. Also saw squid, lobster, crab and moray all out hunting.

    Skipped a day of diving on day 5 and went to Tulum for the ruins and then over to Xel-Ha, a nice but pricey eco-park. They have dolphins, manatees, parrots, etc and a nice lagoon for snorkelling in.

    Day 6 back to the diving… First dive was Canyon reef, max depth 75′ for 55 min. Caught a big 13 cm lionfish. Saw barracuda yet again, turtle, green moray, jack-knifefish as well as all the usual suspects.

    Second dive Xtalack reef max depth 55 feet but only 34 min. Started out great with a hawksbill turtle who was not shy at all. Caught a lionfish and then saw my swivel elbow to the second stage of my brand new Zeagle was leaking air quite a lot. Swapped to my octo and handed the reg to hubby to fix. Apparently cannot be done under water?!? Went along for a bit longer on the octo, but called the dive. Ah well.

    Day 7 we spent sunning ourselves at the beach and then afternoon at the spa. Fabulous!

    Day 8, spent the morning at the beach, caught the bus at noon and was back home by 8pm. I have to say it was an awesome trip!

  6. Snagel says:

    Puerto Aventuras Mexico Trip Report
    Original Post by Straegen on ScubaToys
    October 2010

    Posted this onto Undercurrent as well but here is our overview of Dive Aventuras and the Grand Palladium resort.

    We really enjoyed Dive Adventuras and especially our DM Carlos who was exceptional. The boat rides to sites are a very short trip usually around 5 to 10 minutes so divers don’t really need to take anything except for what is needed on a single trip. The walk from the dive shop to the boat at the dock takes about 5 minutes and is easy enough. The gear is loaded into crates and carried down by crew to the boats which made for some pretty lazy dive days. They also hook up the gear for divers. Most of the time it was without incident but I had my air shut off at least once and they routinely missed a detail or two but it was quickly sorted by a simple gear check before each dive. Surface intervals between dives are spent back at the dive shop which was different but nice. They do have onsite lockable small lockers for free but the key must be left with the shop and it is stored in the open. Worked for us but I could see some people being uncomfortable with that arrangement. They also rinse dive gear and will store it for free overnight locked up between dive days. We opted for this service as we didn’t want to lug our gear to and from our resort. Another couple did the same and we had no incidents with missing or damaged gear. The dive shop also offers free transportation to and from many resorts. Normally dive cost isn’t a big consideration for us but Dive Adventuras offers VIP diving for a budget. We did a total of 14 dives with Nitrox including a wetsuit rental for my wife all for under $50 per dive. Had we skipped Nitrox we probably would have been around $35 per dive.

    The diving itself was what I would call Florida Atlantic Coast light. The reefs were similar but not as healthy. Fish populations were similar and in some cases seemingly larger. Scores of lionfish have infested the area but didn’t seem to have a large effect yet. We saw virtually zero large life with a handful of turtles and barracuda being the largest we found. There are some eels but none of these were on par with Florida’s West Palm area. There was current but very little most of the time so some light swimming is involved to move across a reef. At the end of the dive the DMs shoot a marker to the surface and the boat picks divers up. Divers take their BCs and fins off in the water while hanging onto a line while deck hands pull the gear on board. Very easy and a wonderful service.

    I can highly recommend doing two morning dives skipping the mid afternoon dive and do their final dive of the day. By skipping the third dive of the day divers can warm up, get some good food and decompress a bit to avoid limits.

    We would go back even though we were not blown away by the reefs. The dives were easy, the crew wonderful and the reef has enough to keep most beginner and intermediate divers enjoying the scenery. I doubt there is anything experienced divers would find impressive aside from the service.

    We will not go back to the resort however. We stayed in the Royal section which is the adults only higher end portion of the resort, but it isn’t anything special aside from access to the royal section restaurant. The food is a notch below cruise ship buffet food. We found ourselves routinely ordering something or picking something up from the buffet only to leave it on the plate because it was pretty awful and we are by no means picky. By the third day, I was ready for a McDonalds as it would have been a huge step up in food quality and I am not a fan of fast food generally speaking. The only significant exception to this was the lobster at the royal section restaurant which was good. Pretty much all other dishes bordered between horrible and edible. Thankfully dive days allowed us to eat away from the resort finding Bamboo and Gringo Daves in Puerto Aventuras being very good and only a short walk from the dive shop. The room was fine except for a small ant problem. The people are very nice and service was fine but room service got it wrong more often than right and do not expect anything warm that should be warm or cold that should be cold. Drinks were plentiful and with some small well placed tips plenty strong. The beach and the amenities at the resort are fine but not exceptional.

    Lastly, we used Cancun Valet for transport to and from the airport as well as hiring them to drive us for a day of fun away from the resort. They were excellent and made getting around a chore free experience for our small group.

  7. snagel says:

    Isla Mujeres July 2014

    We had the opportunity to make the trip to Isla Mujeres this year, after many trips up and down the Yucatan coast over the years we had never taken the time to visit the island. The primary reason for this trip was to take advantage of seeing and swimming with the Whale Sharks, much over due and a missed opportunity from years past.

    On this trip we wanted to stay on the island and get a chance to explore a little, check out the diving and have easy access to the WS. We booked 7 nights at Hotel Posada Del Mar ($75/nt.) right across from the beach and just North of the ferry dock, two days diving with Carey Dive shop, two days Whale Sharks with Captain Tony and left the other days open for exploring and laying by the pool. Transportation on the island is mostly by golf cart, can be rented by day or week, vendors are everywhere. The hotel Posada Del Mar is located just North of the main part of town with easy walking to shops and restaurants plus Carey Dive Center is located on the next street into town so a quick walk get you there as well.

    Good food is easy to find and there are plenty of options to fit almost any budget, I will call out a place called The Soggy Peso, this is south of town and will need either a golf cart or a quick cab ride ($3) but I believe it is worth it (the Sunday special is what I suggest).

    The diving off Isla Mujeres is not anything like Cozumel, most dives are shallow (30-40ft.), no walls or drop off and without the extensive reef systems found off some parts of the mainland. Fish can be abundant in places but none of the larger players, mostly grunts, chubs and such. They have a Underwater Sculpture Park that is interesting but it’s kinda a one time deal. By far the best dive (no camera on this day) was Punta Sur, just inside of the South Eastern tip of the island, this is because at the time that we were there (July) it was mating season for Green Sea Turtles. Nothing to see as far as reef but Turtles were abundant and very busy taking care of business (sometimes in groups of 3 or 4).

    Carey Dive Center did a good job, all shops are small on the island but Carey ran a good op. The compressor for fills was clean and appeared to be in great shape, they have plenty of storage for gear if you choose to leave at the shop and not take back to room.

    Captain Tony was who we used for our Whale Shark days. We had some people meeting up with us on the island and they used Tony on prior trips. He is a real character, apparently his father was the light house keeper growing up, he knows what he is doing. The deal is that there are Whale Shark operators everywhere, you can hardly walk half a block without someone offering Whale Sharks and Cuban Cigars. We saw many operators out on the water, some looked like they did a good job and some were really terrible. On the first day out we counted over 70 boats at the Whale Sharks, many are from Cancun but still plenty out of Isla Mujeres as well.

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