Thirty five years ago Aqua Safari pioneered sport diving in Cozumel. Since 1966, Aqua Safari has acquired an impressive fleet of modern dive boats. Owner Bill Horn has developed the operation to include two dive shops, the Safari Inn Hotel and a broad menu of dive trips and services.
Aqua Safari was recently designated a PADI Five Star facility, a testimony to the quality of the operation's facilities and services. Aqua Safari was named a NAUI Dream Resort in 1991.
Aqua Safari boasts one of the largest fleets of modern dive boats in Cozumel. The fleet includes Ocean II and Ocean III, two 38-foot Delta dive boats, and Ocean I, a 35-foot vessel. The Ocean boats are fiberglass V-hulls custom-built in the U.S.A. for the safety and comfort of SCUBA divers. They are spacious and well though out. Divers appreciate large swim platforms with underwater ladders and clean, dry, and comfortable cabins for preparing cameras.
Aqua Safari recently added a new Delta, Belinda, to complement their fast-boat Danielle. The 28-foot, Cat diesel-powered Belinda speeds divers to the reefs. The Belinda and Danielle are models of a new generation of boats for Cozumel. They are wide, stable, safe and fast. Although capable of carrying ten divers in comfort, the Belinda averages six passengers per trip.
Aqua Safari operates two full-service shops for maximum convenience: one on the waterfront downtown; the other, nearby at popular Plaza Las Glorias Resort. Both handsome shops are well stocked with the latest in diving and snorkeling gear and fashionable swim wear.
Safety is Aqua Safari's hallmark. Every aspect of Aqua Safari's operation reflects this primary objective. The equipment aboard the dive vessels reflects the best U.S. Coast Guard standards. Aqua Safari is the only dive operation on Cozumel to equip all boats with 100% oxygen first aid capability. Once a month all divemasters, mates and captains review CPR. Pure air is a vital concern at Aqua Safari. The testimony: Servicios de Seguridad Subacuaticas, the local recompression chamber, draws air from Aqua Safari's enormous banks. And Aqua Safari provides SSS hyperbaric chamber insurance for all guest divers. All divers are offered a free welcome tank for brush-up and check-out dives and buoyancy adjustments.
The Aqua Safari employees are dedicated professionals. Most are veterans of many years with the operation. With Plaza Las Glorias and Safari Inn Hotel, Aqua Safari offers accommodations ranging from luxurious to budget.
Plaza Las Glorias is a premier five-star beach front resort in the southern hotel zone. It's a ten-minute walk from downtown San Miguel. The stylish and spacious property combines traditional and modern architectural themes. Plaza Las Glorias offers a selection of 171 luxuriously furnished junior suites, master suites and duplexes, all air conditioned and all with spectacular ocean views, private terrace, separate living room, satellite TV, hair dryers, telephones and in-room security boxes. The welcome desk area expands into a huge lobby with a tasteful bar and social center. The north wing leads to a selection of shops and the in-house Aqua Safari dive center.
Plaza Las Glorias and Aqua Safari both welcome large groups for conventions and conferences. Plaza Las Glorias features two convention halls. The resort just broke ground on the new Cozumel Convention Center, slated for completion in mid-1995.
The spacious Aqua Safari Dive Center at Plaza Las Glorias is a few steps from the dock. The equipment rental center, wet storage lockers and gear washing station are admirably designed and handy.
Members of Resort Condominiums International (RCI) can trade a week at their "home" resort for a week at Plaza Las Glorias.
Safari Inn is a small, friendly 12-room hotel above the downtown Aqua Safari Dive Shop. Rooms are simple yet modern, clean and comfortable. All have air conditioning and private bath. Eight rooms with king-sized beds are ideal for two guests. Four rooms with two twin beds, two bunk beds and sofa bed accommodate up to five.
Aqua Safari offers a wide menu of day and night dives, including one-, two- and three-tank tours. Boats depart from the private Aqua Safari dock downtown and pick up divers at hotels Plaza Las Glorias, Barracuda, La Ceiba, Sol Caribe, Casa del Mar and El Presidente. For safe advanced dives on reefs like Punta Sur and Maracaibo, Aqua Safari has the Advanced Diving Program. For Cozumel beach diving, consult Aqua Safari's friendly staff. They are happy to point out attractive areas and advise on currents and safety. Unlimited air packages are available from many Aqua Safari representatives in the U.S..
As a PADI 5-Star facility and NAUI Dream Resort, Aqua Safari offers a full range of PADI and NAUI instruction, including introductory, advanced, specialty, referrals and refresher courses.
Aqua Safari offers the ideal Discover SCUBA program. At 12:30 daily, newcomers start their introduction in the shallow waters off Plaza Las Glorias. After training, a boat heads to colorful Paradise Reef for the resort dive at less than forty feet.
Diving and hotel packages for Plaza Las Glorias and Safari Inn are available. Contact your local dive travel specialist for more information, rates and details.
Text by Rob Curran
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