Höhlentauchen / Cave Diving Riviera Maya
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Miscellaneous

All-inclusive Resorts in the Riviera Maya

Hotel- Resorts in the Riviera Maya

Due to recent events I outline here the reasons why I generally do not recommend to book (and spend) a vacation in Mexico in resort facilities.

Of course, all of the facilities are big employers in the region. The jobs that are assigned among locals are more these jobs which do not require long-term training or they receive their training in the course of the employment relationship (training on the job). These are serving staff, cleaning staff, garden assistants. Many of the positions in the higher income classes are either occupied by Mexicans who have been transfered within the hotel chain and an above average percentage of the higher management are foreigners.

Now, let’s imagine, there would be many small hotels that would have the same number of beds and capacity. Would the structure still be like thatß I think, from the economic point of view, tourism can be promoted and at the same time the region with its inhabitants, if we do not rely on international groups, but support small and family businesses.

Presentation of food as buffets and the all-inclusive strategy with all beverages for free convey the impression that food and drinks are in abundance and can be wasted. With buffets more food is thrown away than through a normal ordering service, since the cooling chain must be strictly adhered to in our tropical climate in order to prevent food poisenings.

The premises are all very nicely designed and resemble a huge tropical garden. This is deceptive of the fact that they are artificial gardens and that true nature is banned. For many hotel facilities, mangrove and wetlands were dried out, sand was shifted on the beaches and cenotes were covered, wildlife animal on the property are often poisened.

However, the biggest reason I reject to recommend to book a holiday at one of the resort, as many of them have a dolfinarium, a swim with dolphins program on their property. A study of Delfines in Libertad in 2015 estimates that the number of facilities with dolphin in captivity in Mexico is 29, and 20 of them are in Quintana Roo alone. Since 2008, 11 new facilities have been added (in all of Mexico) and this is of course because the tourists create the needs. If you have not already known before, I would like to point out the connection between dolphins and capturing wild dolphins (Taji or Faroe Islands and Solomon Islands) and the catastrophic conditions in which the dolphins are kept (too small pools, water with chlorines, no shadows and too shallow pools). Dolphins swim in freedom up to 150 km and are highly social beings. I uploaded the complete study here (in English).

(c) Delfines en Libertad
http://tinyurl.com/y7596phq

 

These hotels have dolphin installations and are on my black list (as of June 2017)

Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa
Dreams Playa Mujeres Resort & Spa, Isla Mujeres
Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun (near Playa del Carmen)
Hotel Grand Sirenis, Akumal
Hotel Occidental at Xcaret Park
Hotel El Cid Puerto Morelos
Hotel Hyatt Ziva Cancun
Hotel Barcelo Maya Beach, Playa del Carmen (south of Puerto Aventuras)
Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal

For the sake of completeness, I mention here that I do not want to support any of the dolphin activities that are not affiliated with any hotel nor any of the dolphin parks such as Xcaret, Xel-ha, Dolphin Discovery, Delphinos or Dolphinaris.

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FAQ 1

Frequently Asked Questions

(c) David Jones

Where do I find your dive shop?

Diving Caves is located in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We do not need a facility for our diving activities as we can teach anywhere, from cenote Ponderosa to a cool cafe in town.

How do I check in with you when I have arrived here?

My divers do not have to check in with me in persona upon their arrival. We do use all modern medias for our convenience like phone, whatsapp, Facebook or email. It is however very important that I get a feedback upon arrival or at least 24 hours before the first excursion that everyhing is in order and the schedule can be followed as planned. I normally also need at that point the room number of your hotel room to facilitate the pick-up without any problems.

Can I cancel without any costs?

Every confirmed reservation can be cancelled without any costs that day before until 5:00pm (except the first diving day) and the excursion will be postponed to a later date. If for health reasons we are unable to reschedule the excursion, we will refund fully the deposit. Courses will be rescheduled, but I am unable to refund for a deposit for a course if rescheduling is not possible. We will credit for any future booking with us though.

Why do I have to pay a deposit?

Diving Caves is not an anonymous dive shop that assigns just any dive instructor or guide to you. Our service is personal and in order to be able to guarantee that, I need a reservation confirmation along with a deposit so that your personal guide will be reserved for you.

I am a new customer and am afraid that I loose my deposit if anything goes wrong and I do not have a physical address to turn to.

Of course, I understand that no one wants to just send money to a nobody. But within our email contact I should have sent you all information and contact details necessary and I hope that I do not look like an anonymous contact anymore. Your booking is secured even if your designated guide is getting sick short notice as this is our job  to get an adequate back-up. Upon request, I am able to send letters of recommendations from other businesses about us. In the very unlikely case, we cannot fulfill the committment with you and rescheduling is not possible, I of course refund 100% of the deposit for that excursion.

How can I pay?

Payments can be sent to my bank account in Germany or Mexico or you can pay via Paypal (I have some other possibilities for international payments, so please ask me which countries apply) If you did a desposit, the remainder of the bill has to be paid in cash on spot. (our ATMs accept credit cards, I don’t) I prefer US dollars in cash, but do of course also accept Mexican Pesos or Euros (or Canadian Dollars) based on the mid range exhange rate of the day. Course fees are due in the beginning, packages are to be paid in the end in full including all discounts.

What do I have to bring and what is better to leave in the hotel?

Must bring:

  • your diving gear of course (if you need rental equipment let me know well before)
  • Your certification card on the first day of your dive vacation.
  • Fit for diving certificate if you need to have an approval of a physician to dive (I ask for your diving fitness, so if any of the questions are answered yes, you need a fit for diving certificate). Ask me for the format by email.
  • Some small money for tips or to buy a T-shirt
  • A small towal (to sit on in the car as seats get hot during the day)
  • Clothes to change to after the dive

Leave in your room:

  • Credit cards
  • Handy
  • Travel documents (in short, do not bring anything, you will not feel confortable leaving unattended in the car, I do lock the passenger cabin and for the last 6 years working as an independent guide nothing has been stolen from a dive site, but this may be also because I do not want to creat any opportunities).
  • Sun creme (you won’t need it in the ocean nor in the cenotes) You do not need to apply another layer, if you get out with me and honestly, the best is to not use any sun cream at all, but to look for the shadow or get a lycra shirt on.
  • Moscito repellent: no matter what you bought, it probably kills everything and is a highly active posison, that you immediatly wash of when you enter the water. During our ocean dives, you will not have any mosquitos at all and in the cenotes I do have biodegradable products with me (and if you stay longer here and would like to use them also during your stay in your hotel, I will explain where the best places are to buy them).
  • Drinking water; especially, if it is the small water bottles that the resort supplies for excursions. The only way we need to go to reduce the amount of plastic (recycling is a very new concept in Playa del Carmen and we all know since our German Green Point tat this does not solve the problem) so we need to reduce, and you can do that by just not taking those bottles. I bring fresh water in BPA free, reusable drinking bottles every day for each diver. I also work on finding ways to avoid one-way plastic packages for juices or our lunch packages.

What happpens with my diving equipment after the dives?

Equipment like BCD and suits can be stored with me in a secured and ventilated room in my house (my 7 dogs are my security) and of course also the rest. I recommend to take dive computers, lights and cameras to your room as you need to recharge batteries, download data etc.

Having more FAQ’s? Let me know and I add them to the list.

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Cave Diving Flashmob

Cave Diving Flashmob

16 divers from 11 nations came together because HP and Steve from Go Sidemount had that great and funny idea. And I was part of it (it’s me on the thumbnail bottom right – sidemount in black with two lights). Look what came out and enjoy.

Riviera Maya Association of Dive and Watersport Operators

Riviera Maya Association of Dive and Watersport Operators

Anyone that has been diving with me before knows that one of my big priorities besides safety is conservation. The step was therefore quite logical to apply for a membership with the local dive and watersport association called APSA. This organisation has set the official regulations on how safely conduct cavern dives and promoted it in the area. Signs put up at the cenotes help the cavern guides with their briefing.

As APSA Member I am also affiliated with the Hyperbaric Chamber in Playa del Carmen for any dive related injury or any other medical emergency.

APSA members are business professionals dedicated and committed to ensuring our divers safety, providing quality service, and preserving our precious environment.. They are also involved with several projects for conservation with regard to the lionfish or the bullsharks. If you would like to check their website out, please follow this link to APSA (only on Facebook).

 

Thank You

Thank You

There are many people I want to thank that helped me arrive to where I am today, that shaped me because of their friendship, their advise, their critique, their support.

For the cave diving and diving-caves.com, you were most important in that process.

Dai Jones; cave buddy and my intro-to-cave instructor. Yes, you were the one that hooked me to the world of caves.
HP Hartmann: cave buddy and friend. Thanks for all those cool pictures and that you are taking up with me.
Steve Bogaerts: my sidemount instructor; I am happy to be your hobbit.

Thank you also for those that gave pictures that I use on this page.

 

 

diving-caves.com

diving-caves.com

Diving Caves is the invitation I would like to extend. Come diving caves with me. You will find this webpage new and still growing and you also will see that cave diving is a growing market with many guides nowadays offering their services. I am not new in this business, I have been working as a guide and instructor for recreational and technical diving for several years in the area and have a good knowledge of the caves.
The Riviera Maya is the paradise for those that want to go diving caves. Come and get hooked as so many others.

Dear Visitor

Dear Visitor

This webpage is in progress and I have put it online so that people searching for cavetraining and guided diving in the Riviera Maya will be able to find me. I am not new in this business, just the webpage. Many posts in English will be put online shortly, if you have more questions, please do not hesitate in contacting me.
Thank you
Christine Loew
Christine at marenostrum.ws