Designed with beginner scuba divers in mind, view underwater gardens of coral and visit with schools of unique marine life while venturing off in Costa Maya's waters.
The Scuba Experience is aimed at non-certified divers, and an introductory experience. While the tour operators are knowledgable,and no doubt know what they are doing with regards to certified divers, this program is too rushed ... There is very little preparation, and equipment was not necessarily verified prior to going out to open waters. Seas are very choppy and are quite unsettling for a novice experience.
This was the only Costco excursion that didn't meet expectations. My boyfriend went diving on his own. His instructions said to jump in a taxi at the port, but it turns out there are never taxis there. He eventually found a trolley. He showed up at the dive shop and not one person spoke english. In addition, he was supposed to dive at 11:00am, but when he arrived at 10:30 they tried to tell him he had to come back in a couple hours. The diving was good, but the process of dealing with the people at the dive shop was unexpected.
The price for the ship excursion was crazy - $169 per person. I booked this for $85 each. We walked off the ship about 8:15 to get to a 9 a.m. dive, wandered through the way too big shopping area, trying to find the quickest way out. There is no such thing. They want you to go by every shop they offer in the Costa Maya port. Then when you finally get out, the first thing you see is the Tram service, which will take you to Mahahual, for $3 each with set stops. If you keep walking and exit the port gate, there are taxis outside which will take you directly where you want to go for about $2 each. We hopped on the tram, because it was there and we were tired of lugging our stuff at that point, and it was a nice leisurely ride (about 10 minutes). We were the only ones on a tram that probably seats 30 people. Gypsea Divers is located at the Nacionale Beach Club. They have a small hut where they keep the equipment. You walk to the beach and get your feet wet to hop on the boat. Our dive had 7 divers, and two dive guides. The boat is small, can only hold one tank for each diver. The owner Catherine had borrowed the requested 100 cf tanks for me, but the air shop wouldn't fill them as they were older and did not have a flat bottom. You do a 10 minute boat ride out past the reef which protects this stretch of beach and head either north or south to the outer reef for diving. It was probably 4-5 foot seas when we were out, which you really noticed in the small boat. They said they had just had 10 days of no diving due to high seas. This was a nice dive, good guides, not as good of visibility due to the recent high seas. The shop is easy to work with, and you do your interval on shore, sipping tea that Catherine made and eating pastries they provide, and you can grab a beach chair and enjoy the scenery. Then back on the boat (with fresh tanks!) and out to another section of reef. Taxis are available right outside the Beach Club to get you back to port.
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