This was my second visit to Costa Maya while cruising the Caribbean. Last October I dived with the cruise line's excursion. It was enjoyable, but I was ambivalent about returning. This time, however, I met a fellow passenger who was going with Doctor Dive, an independent operator. It turned out to be well worth the effort to cancel my ship excursion in favour of Doctor Dive.
My new friend and I took a 10-minute taxi ride south of the cruise port to the DD shop, which looks out on cozy Yaya Beach. Our guide, Juan, set up our gear. With just two other divers there was plenty of room in their small boat. Juan, a 30-year-old from Spain, took us first to Steps, which is a nice site; not spectacular, but enjoyable nonetheless. Later, he revealed this was, in a sense, a check out dive. We must have passed the test, as the next site, the Old Lighthouse, was really nice.
Visibility was good at both sites. Water temps were around 78 or 79F. Fish life was decent and varied; corals seemed to be in good shape. Surface intervals are at the shop where water and snacks are provided. Making last-minute arrangements was easy through email.
My second visit to Costa Maya and diving with Juan and Doctor Dive was a much better experience than my first with the cruise line's operator. I look forward to returning soon.