April 2012 Cozumel Trip Report
Nancy & David took another diving trip to Cozumel, Mexico in April 2012. We decided to try a different resort then we normally go to. This trip we went to the Occidental Grand Resort near the South end of the island. The resort is an AI (all inclusive) meaning everything, except diving, is included. The food, the room, the entertainment and all the alcoholic drinks are all included. The resort is huge and absolutely beautiful! We had so much fun and enjoyed ourselves so much we are planning a return trip.
The resort is laid out just perfect. The main buildings for sleeping surround an open air pavilion. The pavilion is surrounded by 4 shallow pools with fountains. Each night the resort had entertainment in the pavilion. One night was Caribbean dancers, one was fire dancers, one night was Casino night, one night was dance lessons and one night was local venders selling jewelry and other knick knacks. There was no reason the leave the resort and we did not.
The resort has two main swimming pools. One was a tranquility pool and the other was the main activity pool. Both pools were clean however, they were just a bit chilly for us. While laying out in the sun at the tranquility pool, we spent some time feeding the local lizards (iguanas). As you will see from the pictures or video below they can get to be quite large.
The dive shop and the main swimming pool were right off the beach. The beach was very large and long with beautiful soft white sand. The resort had several hundred lounge chairs for the guests to use. The resort also gave each guest a beach towel to use. Everyday you could exchange your used towel for a new clean towel at no cost. Remember, this is an AI resort. Everything is included, except the diving.
The designers of the resort created the resort right in the middle of the jungle. The designers used the jungle as a visual block between buildings. The sidewalks and paths were extremely well kept and the grounds were well decorated with many painted pottery planters. Some were in the shapes of frogs, turtles, basic planted pots and several large working fountains.
We took our diving gear with us and we decided to dive only 1 dive per day with the local dive operator, Dive Palancar. They were extremely professional and a great dive operation to dive with. They had several boat trips 4 times a day that you could go out on. While it may have looked like they were un-organized and confused it was actually the opposite. I found out later that the week we were there was one of the busiest weeks they have had in a long time. We experienced 2 of their 5 dive boats. The captain, the deck hand and each of the Dive Masters were more than helpful and very knowledgeable. We met many new people from all around the world.
Dive Palancar had 4 planned dives per day. A deep dive at 9 am, a shallow dive at 10:30 am, a deep dive at 2 pm and a shallow dive at 3:30 pm. We dove all our dives at the 3:30 pm time. Each dive was less than 70 feet deep and lasted between 45 minutes to an hour. Because of bad weather our first day there, we could not dive -- the harbor master closed the port. There were 4 to 6 foot waves breaking onto the beach. This is way to rough waters to try to get into or out of the dive boat. However, we did dive the afternoon dives for the next 4 days. Unfortunately we also had a camera malfunction on our 2nd dive. So we do not have as many dive pictures as I would have hoped for. But that did not ruin the diving! We still had great dives. The water temperatures was 78 degrees with visibility over 100 feet.
We did not see any sharks this trip, but we did see a lot of wildlife. We saw 2 huge turtles and several small ones. The huge turtles were at least 6 foot across. There were more turtles due to mating season. We saw many lobsters that would have made two meals, they were that large. Schools of Jacks, schools of Damsel fish and schools of Sweetlips fish are just a few of the fish we witnessed. Many, many more fish were seen, but just not recorded.
Enjoy the pictures and movies!!
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Below, are the videos we took. Most are less than 30 seconds.
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|Caribbean dancers||Close encounter||drifting||feeding lizards||fire dancers|
|fountain||jumping lizard||pier||small turtle|
Again, the week we spent in Cozumel at the Occidental Grand was just fantastic. The resort, the dive shop and the Cozumel reefs are as close to perfect as one can get. We will continue coming back to this little Paradise!!
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