3/14/98 – 3/21/98
This one was not really planned as a Dive Vacation .. more like a relaxation-trip with occasional diving. I was at an all inclusive Mexican mega hotel resort, with entertainment every evening, (bad) booze included, and pretty far from the boat docks.
If you intend to go to Puerto Vallarta, make sure what the distance and the transportation from your hotel to your boat is … or you can easily add another 20 $ cab fare to your dive! Taking the bus is possible, but no big fun, long, and not available after night dives.
After checking the Internet and several reports from the discussion groups (and comparing the prices) I finally decided to dive with Twin Dolphin Divers , and I was very satisfied with their service. I heard (and later saw) that other shops really do cattle-boats, while we were 6 divers max. in one boat. We saw another diveshop doing a snorkel tour, 50 (inexperienced and slightly tipsy) snorklers, with masks and vests, but no fins! We had to “rescue” some of them.
As to the diving… not for the viz and fish spoiled people … This side of Mexico is pretty rocky and sandy … but it still can be lots of fun. The boat we had was pretty small, but we were usually around 6 divers only. The staff was great, we had a fun time. The first dive at El Morro took us to a nice dive-thru cave which started at 90 ft , makes a turn, then goes upward, and you get out at about 60. Pretty strong current, so you can call it a drift dive (like most of the dives this week ended up)
The nice thing about Majahuita is, that you can spend the surface interval on a nearby beach. Besides that the bottom is rocky and not that much to see … but at least you are submerged.
Los Archos offers several nice dive sites, our two nightdives were here, one of them pretty deep (80ft) .. for the first time I saw Lobster diving around freely (and not crawling around) I had no Idea that they dive backwards !!!
One of the biggest encounter was there too, a 15 ft Ray, diving just 10 ft under us … wow… and later he even showed us a flip flop on the surface.
Summery: Don’t plan a dive vacation there … but If you go there, and you feel like diving, you can have some nice diving fun. It is not really cheap either! When deciding on your weights, take into account that the salinity is obviously higher and the temp a little lower than the Caribbean at the same time of year. And : STAY AWAY FROM THE TAB WATER !!!