Where and who to dive with in Playa del Carmen (1)

Diving in its different forms is one of the main activities in Playa del Carmen that we have talked about during all these months that our blog has been created. So here are some reliable companies with whom you can dive in Playa del Carmen and its surroundings.

Maybe the most accessible activity to the majority of people is snorkeling (we have already talked about it), and Mayan Adventure is a specialized company, located in Playa del Carmen. They offer seven-hour diving tours in caverns and cenotes, which start from the time they pick you up at the airport in a van till they drop you back. Apart from transport, these tours include snorkeling, specialized guides, lunch. Noteworthy is the determination of this company to practise an ecotourism really respectful with the environment in which they work. They also offer another extreme tour that includes the visitor to the Mayan ruins of Tulum. Their Website does not have the price list.

Hidden Worlds Cenotes Park is a park specialized in water activities related to the cenotes. It is located half an hour from Playa del Carmen and offer several types of guided visits with snorkeling and scuba diving. The Website is in English only, but they have a good photo gallery that makes you green with envy (the photo of the head of this post is taken from their Website).

There are also many companies specialized in diving activities which are certified by international diving institutions. And, although they mainly give services to expert divers, they also offer diving courses, initiation tours and snorkeling. Among these companies are Scuba Playa (Español, English, Français), which offers a wide range of places where to dive or snorkel: from the most famous and beautiful cenotes like the Gran Cenote or the one of Nohoch Nachich, to several spots of the marvelous coral barrier that runs along the coast of the Riviera Maya. The site includes some videos which are a good reference of the places where you can practise immersions.

Dressel Divers International is a company also certified by international diving organizations based in Spain and in America which has two branches in Playa del Carmen. They offer certified courses and activities for experienced divers, but they also offer tours for amateurs and novice divers as well as several snorkeling routes in open sea, reefs (in the photo) and cenotes. The company was created by one of the greatest diving experts worldwide, Javier Ibrán Pardo, a Spaniard who is the current president. Their specific diving program for children is quite interesting.

Phocea Riviera Maya (Español, English, and Français) is more than a diving center because they also help you to prepare your own routes within the Yucatan Peninsula in order to travel independently but with information. As for diving, they have a French-Mexican team, highly specialized and offer immersions for experts as well as courses for amateurs and novice divers. Their head office is located in Playa del Carmen. The most interesting specialty of this company is diving with whale sharks on Holbox Island.

This post falls too short for all the information on the many other companies devoted to diving and snorkeling in Playa del Carmen or its surroundings, so we will continue writing on this topic.

Francisco Cenamor.

The Spanish Food and Safety Inspection Services have detected several mistakes in some of the websites that offer flights and holidays

The truth is t this is a bad news, but on one hand it can be help us concentrate our searches on the Internet while we are looking for flight and holidays and learn a bit more on things to be taken into account when looking for flights.

On September 27th, the Food and Safety Inspection Services, in collaboration with the official consumption services of the other European countries, did a search on the Internet in order to check if the final prices adjust to the ones offered on the websites and if the conditions are met. They also evaluated if the terms of contract comply with the European norms on consumers rights.

What are noteworthy in this report are the cases of deceptive advertisement and the failure to comply with the law when selling these services. One of the tricks of some of these websites is the offer of free air tickets without mentioning that they are subject to airport taxes; this refers to the sites of Vueling and Ryanair.

Some of the legal requirements theses websites fail to comply with, is clarity in the conditions or, for example, in the case of Ryanair, Transavia and Tuy-Fly, the information on the flights is offered in Spanish language but the schedule of general conditions which every traveler must accept is in English, something quite strange, considering that the sites are meant for Spanish consumers. They have also found out that in the advertisement these companies put on other websites or in the media, they offer trips at incredible low costs that are never found on their official websites.

All in all, the Instituto Nacional de Consumo (the Spanish Food and Safety Inspection Services) has failed seven websites out of the eleven most visited by Spanish travelers: eDreams, Ryanair, Iberia, Spanair, Transavia, Tuy-Fly and Vueling. The Institute is going to inform the Dirección General de la Aviación Civil ( the Spanish Civil Aviation Authority) which will have to take the necessary measures.

The good news is that four companies: Easyjet, Atrápalo.com, Rumbo and Air Berlin, came through the investigation unscathed.

On the other hand, the report also includes travel clubs that offer their services on the Net, where they have also detected deceitful advertisement. For example, the story of fabulous trips made by celebrities who have never been to the places they claim to have been to. It is also common to say that they belong to prestigious associations and institutions or to include the anagram of renowned organisations which did not grant them the right to do so.

For all these reasons, apart from getting thorough information on the trip (especially in the case of long distance and expensive trips), it is also important to visit some sites specialised in consumption to check if the process is legal. For example, the site of the Instituto Nacional de Consumo, the Spanish Food and Safety Inspection Services.

Francisco Cenamor