People at the shop are honest, work hard and aim to please. I’m sure you’ll enjoy communication with all of them. Marcos O. Mier, always will find the way to satisfy all your “scuba-desires”. Gunther Villa – may look very serious, but he’s fun and knows his business very well. Cristian and Stephanie – great videographers and very efficient divers. Carlos Ortega – this guy, and his happy smile, will make you feel great. Maira Rozado – what a nymph … I meant water-nymph, who’d watch you underwater very close, to make sure you are safe. I’m sure you’ll also appreciate the ways this guys care about the health of the ocean and good state of local reefs, constantly protecting it from flippant moves of an indifferent diver, careless photographers, etc.
There are plenty of sites located right near Haciendas, but the week of our stay weather did not cooperate and due to strong wind and rain, possibility that harbor will be closed became very real. Matt and I did not want to lose a whole day of diving, so we elaborate a backup plan. If harbor-master kept boats at bay, we would dive at Cenotes of the Riviera Maya. Strong wind continued to be persistent and we managed to sign up for cenotes dives with another excellent dive shop. Specializing on cave diving, “Aquatic Tulum” conveniently situated in the town of Tulum and close proximities to all major caves. Owner and explorer – Alejandro Alvarez Enriquez, aka “Alex Alvarez”, welcomed us and gave a brief tour through his place, suggesting, according to his opinion, the best cenotes to visit. We ended up diving at three of them; started at Grand Cenotes, then at First and after Second Eye of Dos Ojos. You can read full report by Matt Wills about that excursion right here. ( Word “here” will be live when Matt complete his task ).
But as for me – my job is to tell you about diving in Playa. Well, as I’ve mentioned before, there are many spots to choose from. The island Cozumel, located just 30 minutes of boat travel from shores of the main land, presented quite a difference in comparison with Playa!
I visited Playa Del Carmen six times. Always wanted, yet never had a chance to do at least one dive at the island. But this year we were determined to get it done. So on thursday, 5.00 in the morning we packed our gear, parked our rental by the pier and at 7.30 successfully stepped on the island. Five minutes and $10 later, we’ve reached marina, where captain Phillipe, dive-master Javier Romero and owner on the “Cozumel Scuba Planet” – Hernan Bacelis, were waiting for us on one of their smallest boat “Embarcación Pescadito”. As this is a review of Playa Del Carmen, I don’t want to mix it up with our Cozumel experience, if interested – the trip to Cozumel on this page. But just would like to mention, the trip to Cozumel – well worth the trouble of waking up at 5 am.
Now back to Playa. As mentioned before, I visited this part of the Mexico a fair amount. Actually my “diving career” begun in 2009 at “Dive Balam”. I am, and always will be, deeply grateful to this place, to the whole team of “Dive Balam” and especially to Aurora Forteza, great diver and my first teacher, for my first, unforgettable encounter with the ocean. So you see, my introduction to the realm of Neptune, which I still vividly remember, was right along the shores of Playa. Therefore, if I say diving in Playa is wonderful, I must admit that my opinion could be a bit … can I say influenced 🙂