Bright eyed, bushy tailed and newly certified, I could not wait to get into the warm salty Caribbean water & dive in Mexico. My dive shop back here in Southern California had recommended a handful of good dive shops in Playa del Carmen & Tulum. Unfortunately both locations was a decent (30min+) drive from where we were staying… a tad inconvenient especially considering I was the only person in my family certified, or even interested in diving!
Luckily, I found out about Aquanauts, located within our little Puerto Aventuras community. I dove twice with them, on two separate boat trips. Since I had just been certified they wanted to take me on a regular reef dive to measure my buoyancy before they’d take me out on a Cenote dive. (All dive shops around there do this – can’t have you up & down crashing into stalactites! If you’ve had ~20 dives under your belt, they usually let you go ahead)
The staff & dive masters at Aquanauts are superb! I dove with Nick and Maurizio to Paradise Cove and Isla Escuela, respectively.
They really spoil you diving with them… if you’re renting equipment ($5/piece for 24 hours) they’ll set everything up for you – definitely still double check though! (Bruce Willis & all of that) The boat captains help you slide in & out of your heavy BCDs, load the air tanks, etc. And perhaps the best, they do everything they can to maximize your bottom time – my second dive was a full 64 minutes!!
I took my dingy little waterproof camera to try & document everything we saw. These obviously aren’t great quality photos and after a couple dozen snaps, I put it away & just focused on enjoying the dive. For those who don’t know, wavelengths (aka the colors we see) travel differently underwater. You lose the color red first, orange starts to go away at around 20ft, etc. – which is why these pics are all greens and blues.
So let’s play a game! It’s “Where’s Waldo” Find the Sea Creature edition:
I seriously had such an amazing time diving with them! Conditions were amazing – 77 degree water & 65 ft visibility. And the super knowledgeable divemasters & scaled pricing (the more you dive with them, the cheaper each one is) just added to a great experience.
I “passed” my buoyancy test during our first reef dive but opted not to dive a cenote quite yet. I was SO torn -Cenotes really only exist in this part of Mexico. But I decided to get more comfortable with my buoyancy for now, and besides, I was more than occupied with everything we saw on the reef dives! Don’t worry though, cenotes I’m definitely coming back for you.