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Scuba diving is something not to be missed, and the underwater beauty of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef will make this experience an unforgettable one!
Costa Maya, in the village of Mahahual just 5 minutes free taxi druve from cruise ship dock, Diving school and shop Bucanera del Caribe. Owners and senior divers are Jorge and Arturo Barbabosa Jorge, the more senior one is also a unversity teacher, They are highly professional, very serious, responsible, patient and nice men, divers and trainers. They also speak good English.
Be aware that a dive can take many hours, especially if you are beginner as they insists, whilst still in the shop, on a meticulous process of instruction, selelcting and trying each piece of equipment and training you in their use as well as sign language/communication in the water. After that, for beginners, an hour long instruction and practice of breathing etc in chest high water. Jorge will also test if you are able and willing to carry out everything to safe standards and retains the right to refuse to take you out on the actual dive if he feels that inattentiveness, impatience or lack of discipline may endanger you or others. Safety and security is written large in their book :
After practice/instruction in the water comes a trip in a small power boat to the dive site and an hour or so long actual diving then the return trip with the boat, shedding of equipment, showering, changing. Our trip was to start at 9:30, we chatted in the shop then around 10am started the above process. My husband, who went diving, as a first-timer and being 70 years old, had long and very careful instructions and practice, finished at 2:30 pm. Of course, if you are experienced, in this timescale you can have 2 dives.
During the dive itself one employee stayed with the boat while two customers and two instructors went into the water descending on a bouyed rope slowly, in my husband's case to 41 feet. During the descent Arturo continuously watched my husband's reactions, eyes, breathing and reminded him to keep equalising the pressure in his ears by blowing out etc. He made my husband feel very safe constantly taking care of my husband individually watching, asking, helping with equipment, checking, pointing out beautiful things, almost touching my husband most of the time, giving him much reassurance and a feeling of safety also ensuring that nobody touched the coral or any creature. The other instructor went with the other more experienced diver at his own pace. They all had a fantastic dive, beautiful experience. The other customer-diver was an advanced, certified diver he has returned to the Bucanero shop many times and has always been very happy with them.
The ascent was so slow as to be imperceptible, all the way looking at gorgeous creatures. My husband never noticed that they were ascending until they saw the surface. When up, the instructor sent up a yellow ballon type marker that called the boat to them. The instructors helped the customers to take off the bottles, weights, flippers and stow them in the boat. There was a swimming ladder to board the boat.
The sea happened to be extremely lumpy high winds and waves, which also meant an uncomfortable boat ride, take your Sea-Bands if you tend to get seasick which made the water a little less clear than normal but they could still see everything very clearly. The dive site is an extremely clean and clear area, called 'aquarium'. Gorgeous corals and creatures of all kinds, colours, sizes and types.
This is the experience of a lifetime, very good value for the money, and we are very grateful to Jorge and Arturo for their kindness, professionalism, patience and for the whole wonderful time there.
We can highly recommend them for both novices and experienced divers.
I was on a cruise vacation and decided to go scuba diving with Bucaneros instead of the shore excursions offered by the cruise line. We had a great experience and enjoyed it very much. Our instructor, Neto, was very patient and friendly. He also took our pictures underwater and made sure we were always safe. Highly recommended!
Highly recommended if you want to experience scuba diving in Costa Maya. The dive shop owner is Otto and he was very helpful and friendly and made the experience memorable. His instructor was very patient and made sure we were well instructed for our scuba experience. After the dive on the reef we enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Karlita's Café which is also owned by the owner of the Scuba Diving Facility. Just make sure you know how to get to the dive shop location, we missed some communication so almost got lost.
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