By erik

Difference Between Scuba Diving BCDs

I am often asked by students and other divers why I choose to use a backplate and wing rather than a jacket or even a back inflate BCD.  So I figured I would address the differences by writing a blog post.

 

As you may or may not know, the BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) is an integral part of your scuba diving equipment. Not only does it hold your tank firmly on your back while you dive, but it helps you control your buoyancy by adding small bursts of air into it when you are at depths and releasing the air as you become more buoyant (changes in depth, buoyancy characteristics of the tank, etc), and it helps you float on the surface (all things covered during an open water scuba diver course).

If you’re looking at purchasing your first BCD, all the different kinds might be a bit overwhelming.   There are jacket style, back inflate, back plate/wing setups. Enough to make you just pick the first thing the salesperson tells you is the latest and the greatest.  Well, hopefully with this blog post, you will understand a bit more about the different kinds.

Let’s begin.

 

Jacket Style BCDs

Jacket style BCDs are the most commonly found type of BCD in dive center rental stocks.  They are somewhat big and bulky, but when the diver adds air to them, since the bladder basically wraps around the diver, there will be air in the front, sides and back. This makes it extremely comfortable for a lot of people, and it is very comfortable when floating on the surface.  Also, since the air is basically all around the diver, it is quite easy to deflate these types of BCDs, Plus the generally have big pockets to put an extra mask, slates, or other stuff that might come in handy (remember, never take anything while diving – except for trash).

However, as they are usually bulkier, they tend to create more drag, and since they have more padding, they require more weight to sink due to their inherent buoyancy.  Also, if it is isn’t fitted properly, these types of BCD will alter a diver’s body position underwater, putting them in a slightly feet down, head up position (due to the air traveling to the highest point), which can sometimes make it more difficult to achieve that perfect trim that divers want.

So make sure that if you are using a jacket style BCD, it is fitted properly (not too big and not too small!).

jacket bcd

Back Inflate BCDs

On a back inflation BCD, the bladder is only behind the diver, there is nothing wrapping around the diver.   These type of BCDs are inspired on the back plate and wing setups, but they’ve been made more “user friendly” if you will.  So as I said, the air bladder is behind the diver, then you have your shoulder straps coming out from it, on the waist you have a cummerbund which may or may not have integrated weight pockets, and utility pockets.

The benefits of these type of BDCs is that since the air bladder doesn’t wrap around the diver, there isn’t that feeling of being squeezed like there may be on jacked style BCDs.  Also, they are generally more streamlined, which allows the diver easier movement in the water.  Usually, back inflate BCDs have trim weight pockets which allow the diver to put some of the weight (non-ditchable) behind them, and that will in many (not all) cases help the diver obtain a better, horizontal trim.

Some folks claim that back inflate BCDs will throw you on your face on the surface when inflated.  While that may be true to some extent, it only really happens if you over-inflate your BCD. The reason for this is that all of the air is on your back rather than around you like in a jacket BCD. However, if only enough air is put into it to keep you on the surface comfortably, then no issue should be had.  Since these are still fully recreational BCDs, you should expect lots of padding, which makes the inherent buoyancy on them while not as radical as on a jacket style BCD, still  pretty noticeable.

 

Back Plate and Wing Setups

 

For years people thought of these setups as “tech only” setups.  And while yes, any technical dive who is diving in backmount will be diving one of these setups (although with a larger wing), for many years we have been using them for recreational diving as well.

These setups are minimalist by design.  My personal favorite is the Hogarthian design.  Without getting too deep into the details, it is a design by Bill Hogarth Maine, who in the 1980’s came up with a minimalist approach to cave diving.  Wait!?! Cave diving, you say?   Remember what I said before…   For many years this setup has been adapted into recreational, single tank diving as well.

Anyways, this setup is made up of a stainless steel or aluminum back plate, the harness is a single piece of 2″ nylon webbing (same as the weight belts) that is woven through the back plate, 1 d-ring on each shoulder, and 1 d-ring on the left waist band, a crotch strap, a back mounted air bladder (wing  – 20 to 30 lbs lift max) and that’s it.  No pockets (though utility pockets can be added), no padding, nothing else.

Ok, so what’s so great about this? It sounds horrible!  Well, it is actually super comfortable.  Plus, the fact that this type of setup is completely negatively buoyant, means that you need to carry around less weight on a weight belt.  You can add weight pockets to these setups, but me personally, I don’t need any weight in salt water with my setup, so it is perfect. Since all the weight is on your back  (a steel plate weighs around 6lbs, and an aluminum 4lbs), and the air bladder is also on your back, it helps you maintain that perfectly horizontal trim (obviously, it is not a magic bullet. Practice is required!).  There are some other harnesses that are adjustable and have some padding, but I personally like the minimalist style.  Also, if/when the harness wears out,  I just buy a length of webbing (super cheap), and make a new harness.

The cons of this type of setup is that to set it up, it does require some some assembly since they are modular systems, and may require some help to set up properly.  But once you’ve done it once, if you ever need to do it again, you can probably do it yourself with just the help of a mirror.  Also, some people may not like that there are no pockets on these systems. Me personally, I have a leg mounted utility pocket that works wonderfully to carry my extra mask, slates and other safety items I carry.

 

I hope I was able to clear up some of the differences between the most common types of BCDs out there.  Remember, you should always seek proper training prior to attempting to use any scuba diving equipment, and if you buy used equipment, have the gear inspected and serviced by an experienced, certified and qualified service person prior to using it. After that, schedule some time in the pool to test it out and get used to it. Never try out brand new gear on your diving vacation. That is a recipe for disaster, and we will cover that in another blog.

Swimthrough at Moc Che Shallow in Playa del Carmen
By erik

Scuba Discovery/Discover Scuba Diving… What is it?

What is the “Scuba Discovery” class?  Well, let’s say you’re on vacation.  You’ve always wanted to go scuba diving, but you’re not sure it’s something you want to invest the time or the money for a full certification course.  You want to “try before you buy”.  So you sign up for the Scuba Discovery  (also known as Discover Scuba Diving, Try Scuba Diving, Tandem Diving, etc.) class.

During this program, you get a taste of what diving is like.  You should always have a theory session, during which your instructor will go over the basics of the SCUBA equipment, important rules of diving, what to do, what not to do, communication and signals, as well as a briefing on what skills you will be working on when you go into the pool.

Then you go into the pool.  Different instructors have different ways of teaching, but there are standards that every instructor must follow in terms of what skills are to be taught.  Personally, I like to make sure my students are comfortable with breathing underwater before we even start with any of the skills.  We repeat the skills over and over again until both the students and I are confident that the skill has not only been mastered, but will be remembered and applied should the need arise.

We then practice swimming underwater with the equipment, maintaining neutral buoyancy and learning how to do proper kicks and maintain a proper body position in the water (trim).

 

Then we move on to the pièce de résistance. The open water dives!  In our case, we always offer 2 dives with our Scuba Discovery program.  Why 2 dives? Well, simple..  On the 1st dive, a lot of people tend to be very apprehensive, nervous,  don’t really know what to expect,  and so once that dive is done, you know what to expect, you can relax more on the the 2nd dive, and enjoy it a whole lot more (not to say that the 1st dive is not enjoyable… it is. Very much so).  You’ll get to experience and discover a whole new world. One that you only had seen in movies and TV is now not only directly in front of you, but you are a part of it.  You are weightless, breathing beneath the sea, swimming with the fish, eels, and all the other critters that live in, on and around the coral reefs.  Do me a favor. Close your eyes, and try to picture yourself there… Pretty cool, right?

 

 

Everything is done under the direct supervision of one of our highly qualified, extremely experienced instructors.

 

Now you’ve tried it, you’ve loved it, and you want to keep doing it. Well, if you have time, you can sign up and complete your Open Water Scuba Diver Certification Course with us, or, when you go home, you can sign up with your local dive center and do it with them. Then, when you come back to Playa del Carmen (or anywhere else) on your next vacation,  you are ready to go diving!

 

 

So there you have it! If you’ve never been diving before and want to try it, get in touch with us before your next vacation in Playa del Carmen and set up you Scuba Discovery adventure, and get ready for the first day of the rest of your life!

cave diving warning sign
By erik

How to Choose a Cave or Technical Diving Instructor

Cave and technical diving are quite different from recreational diving, and as such, so are the instructors that teach these highly advanced scuba diving courses.

There are several things you should always consider before you choose your instructor, and this guide will hopefully help you choose wisely.

  • Is your instructor an active diver?

    • This is probably a bit of an odd question. If he/she is an instructor, obviously they are active divers, I mean, they are diving all the time, right?  Well, not really. A lot of instructors pretty much only dive when/while they are in course.  You could say that they’ve lost the passion for it.  Maybe they are churning out one course after another, and the last thing in their mind is to go diving on their day off. SO be sure that you ask about their actual experience diving.  Are they involved in any exploration projects? Conservation efforts?  What kind of dives or which sites really get their engines going?  If they won’t answer or you get an answer that is too vague or ambiguous well, I suggest you turn away.
  •  How many courses do they do every year?

    • Ideally, you want an instructor that is actively teaching courses at the level you want to train in. With TDI, all instructors are required to actively teach at their highest level on a regular basis, otherwise, we lose that level.  Again, an instructor who is teaching [for example] 3 full cave courses per month might have a lot of experience teaching, however, there is no time in there for him/her to conducts dives of their own and actually go out and expand their skills, explore, and have fun.
  •  What is their failure rate?

    • Nobody wants to fail a course, and I assure you no instructor likes failing a student, but it does happen, and it should happen. Technical and cave diving are both highly demanding activities that require a lot -both physically and mentally-, and as such, not everybody is built for them.  An instructor that has a really high failure rate is most likely doing a few things wrong him/herself.  A very high failure rate either means that this instructor is not properly screening their students, or is not adequately teaching them, and expects them to be perfect with minimum effort on his/her part. On the other hand, a 100% passing rate means that the instructor is probably just handing out cards.  We are educators, not magicians or miracle workers.  And like I said before, not everybody is meant for this type of diving.
    • Me personally, I have a failure rate of around 5-10%.  However, keep in mind that even though someone might fail a course, it doesn’t mean I wash my hands of them.  No. I will try to do everything I can to make sure the student is able to get over whatever is keeping him/her from passing.  However, there is an issue with attitude.  If you don’t have the right attitude for cave or technical diving, even if you have the highest developed skills ever known in the diving world, you will not pass until you get your ego and/or attitude in check.
  •  How long have they been diving at this level?

    • Here you should ask how long they have been diving. Not how long they have been teaching.  Let me expand.
    • A lot of instructors become instructors with very little actual diving experience. I am talking maybe a year or 2 after certification and a mere 100 logged dives.  This is a trend (commonly known as “zero to hero”) that is unfortunately even invading the technical and cave diving world.   We’ve seen instructors who have been diving at a full cave level for less than 2 years, and somehow managed to become cave instructors at some level (be it cavern, intro or even full cave!).  Regardless of how many dives one can log in a 1 or 2 year period, it is my opinion that they still lack actual real-world experience.  They’ve never had what I like to refer to as an “Oh, Sh-t!” moment.  So how can they teach you if they themselves just passed the same course you are planning on taking such a short time ago?
    • I think that an individual should have no less than 5 years of experience and several hundreds (if not more) of dives at the level they are planning on teaching before even considering the possibility of becoming an instructor.  Otherwise, it just seems like they are trying to enlarge their ego, and are jumping from one certification to the next.  Again, this is my opinion, and yours could differ, but I do believe you deserve better than to get “trained” by someone who doesn’t have enough experience yet.
  • Is the price too cheap?

    • Technical and cave diving are expensive activities.  All the equipment you need to do the dives you will train for will come with a price tag in the thousands (if not tens of thousands).  While the majority of instructors love what we do for a living, we still have bills to pay, mortgages/rents, taxes, food, equipment repairs, etc., so a good course comes at a price.
    • When a course is really cheap (and for technical and cave diving, anything less than $200-$250/day is really cheap), you have to ask yourself where those savings are coming from? Are corners being cut? Are you getting maybe just some really short dives just to meet standards so that the day ends early and the instructor can be home early and kick back? Are they properly servicing the equipment they are using or the equipment you are renting?
    • A good instructor values their time, training and experience, and obviously, that is reflected in the price of a course.
  • Do you “click” with your instructor?

    • Interview your instructor. After all, when you first make contact, your instructor is also interviewing you.
    • Every instructor has a different style, some are really laid back, some are tougher, with a no-nonsense approach to things, and some have a bit of a combination of both styles.  Most instructors are able to switch styles depending on the needs and personality of the students.  Some students require a bit more laid back approach to things, while some others need a bit of tough love.  Regardless of teaching style, we all, at some point have to get tough to get a point across.  This does not mean that we are trying to be jerks, quite the opposite. We have to get tough because when you are on your own, planning and conducting your dives with your cave or tech diving buddies, the environment you will be diving in will be a lot less forgiving of mistakes.
scuba diving in playa del carmen
By erik

Being the only diver on a family vacation…

It happens very often. You plan a great vacation with your family to a tropical destination like Playa del Carmen, but you are the only scuba diver in the family.  This puts you in quite the predicament, doesn’t it?

How do I spend as much of the vacation time I have with my family, yet still manage to get a whole bunch of awesome dives in during that time?!

Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to get you in the water, get you diving and still keep your family happy with you.

  • You can arrange for the non divers in your family to participate in the Discover Scuba program. This way, they can take the theory and pool session in the morning (maybe while you get 2 dives in), and then in the afternoon you can join them for another 2 amazing shallow dives.  This is a great way to introduce your family to the wonderful world of scuba diving, and they will get to experience first hand all of the great things that diving in Playa del Carmen can teach them!
  • If they are interested, they can do their Open Water Scuba Diver course, and you can join them during the open water dives of the course!  How great would it be to have a bunch of certified divers in your family? Imagine being able to plan every vacation you take together as a dive vacation!
  • They don’t have to do the entire course here though.   They can start their course back home at a dive centre in your home town, and then they can finish their courses as a referral course in Playa del Carmen.
  • If all of that fails, then there is always the option of bribery… A round of golf or a day at the spa while you get your dive on sometimes does the trick. After all, we get that not everybody is interested in diving, and no matter how many youtube videos, photos, or amazing diving stories we share with them, their minds are not going to change.

One of the great things of diving in Playa del Carmen is that when we do ocean dives, the reefs are quite close to the coast, so on our morning trips we are usually back by (or before) noon, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the day with the family.

Diving in Cozumel and in the Cenotes is a bit more time consuming, but we are usually also back by around 1:30-2:00 PM, so you are not away from them all day.

Being a small dive center with small groups does give you (and us) options that some of the bigger resort operations don’t have.   That is why we have morning and afternoon trips for local ocean diving, and we can customize the trips to suit your schedule (of course it all depends on our other guests as well).

 

It is important to remember that family vacations are exactly that. They are for spending quality time with the people you love the most.

 

 

By erik

10 Reasons Why You Should Become A Diver

We are often asked by our non-diving friends and relatives to explain to them why we scuba dive… what drives this passion that all divers have about the sport.

Well, instead of telling you the reasons why I dive, and why I have been diving for over 25 years, let me give you a list of reasons why YOU should learn to dive and become a certified scuba diver.

Why should I learn to dive?

  • The World is over 70% water. This means that there are more places in the world where diving is possible than those where it isn’t.  What does that mean to the average diver? Well, it means that no matter where you live, or where you travel for vacation, you will never be more than a few hours away from great diving – yes, even lakes and quarries offer fabulous diving… just make sure it is allowed.

earth is covered in water

  • You will make tons of diver friends.  Seriously! I would say that about 70% of my friends are divers.  Not just here in Playa del Carmen, but also in every other place where I have lived, diving has always helped me make some great friends.  Of course, not every diver you will meet will become an instant best friend, but ask any active and serious diver how many of his/her friends share their love for the sport, and you will be pleasantly surprised. This also means that you will always have someone you enjoy being with willing to go out for a dive over the weekend, or to take a diving vacation (don’t you just love the word “Vacation”?).

 

Scuba Diving friends

 

  • The whole family can take up diving together! Yes, that’s right! As long as everybody is over 10 years of age, in good health (Of course, as with any activity, your family doctor should be consulted first), everybody can swim (and you don’t have to be an Olympic level swimmer. Just be competent in the water and comfortable), you and every member of your family can take up the wonderful sport of scuba diving. Which will in turn make vacation planning so much easier!  Just go to a nice tropical destination and be sure you book your dives beforehand!Family Diving together

 

  • It is easier, cheaper and safer than what you may think.  The sport of scuba diving has evolved much over the past 30 years. While it used to be considered almost like an extreme sport, today, diving is one of the safest activities you can do as long as all the rules are followed and it is done properly.  Diving doesn’t care about age, gender or body shape. Underwater, we are all the same!  When you do a training course, you don’t have to buy every piece of equipment at once. Most dive centers will have rental equipment for you to use when you book dives with them, so don’t worry about having to spend thousands of dollars in gear just to get started.

Diving is Fun and Safe

 

  • When you are under water, you will see things that the majority of the people of the world never get to see in real life!  You will see the most beautiful colors you never thought existed, some of the most beautiful animals that you always dreamed about being face to face with, and you will see that sharks are not man-eaters. They are misrepresented, and they should be respected, admired and protected, not feared.  It doesn’t matter where you dive. Be it a tropical reef like those we have here in Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, a cold lake in the North or a cold water reef like in the Pacific North West (USA & Canada) or UK, you will find the most amazing things ever (not just fish and coral.. think historical wrecks as well).

Colorful tropical coral reef

  • Feel what astronauts feel when they are in outer space. When we dive, and we are properly weighed and neutrally buoyant, it is as if we are floating in space.  We feel as though we were in real zero gravity.  We can say that the weight of the world comes off of our shoulders!  Even better, when we do a drift dive, we feel like we are flying across a whole new planet filled with new and interesting creatures!

Learn to dive. Become an astronaut

 

  • You will become Aquaman! Well, not really, but you will get to breather under water! Even though we don’t get to talk to ocean creatures with telepathic superpowers, we get breathe underwater! Imagine! How cool is that?! So basically, if you become a scuba diver, you essentially become almost like a superhero!

Scuba Diving turns you into Aquaman

  • You will become an Ocean Ambassador.  What does this mean? Well, you will be a part of an elite group of people across the world who do everything in their power to make sure that all waterways – be it the ocean, lakes, rivers, swamps, etc. are protected and that the creatures that inhabit these areas are protected as well.  We need clean waterways, and we need healthy coral reefs if we want to protect our species as well! Not to mention we want to keep having beautiful places where we can dive.

 

  • You never stop learning.  Even after you become a certified diver, there are still dozens of courses which you can take that will keep expanding your knowledge and skills.  Courses like nitrox, advanced open water, rescue diver, deep diver, even – with sufficient experience- cave diving!

  • Once you become a diver, the world is really your playground!

There are some caveats. Don’t be fooled by the super cheap courses offered at many dive shops.  Get your training with a reputable instructor, at a reputable dive center, and don’t be afraid to ask your instructor about his/her experience as a diver and as an instructor.

 

Enjoy diving, and see you under the water!

playa del carmen dive center
By erik

How to Choose the Right Dive Center in Playa del Carmen

When you do a google search for “scuba diving in Playa del Carmen”, dive centers in Playa del Carmen” or “dive shops” or any other scuba diving related querie, you get hundreds, if not thousands of hits.  Obviously, you are not going to contact every single website that you come across, because, well, you have better things to do!  However, it is very important that when you are planning your vacation to Playa del Carmen, the Riviera Maya as well as any other destination where you plan on doing some (or a lot) of diving, you do some research.

What do I mean by research? Very simple.  There are some questions you should always ask any potential dive operator.

  • Do you have a physical dive shop?
  • Are you/your guide/instructor a Mexican citizen, and if not, are you legally allowed to work in Mexico?
  • How many years have you been in business?
  • What are your group sizes, diver:instructor ratio?
  • What is the experience of the instructors/divemasters that work for you?

You are probably scratching your head at some of these questions.  There are good reasons why you should know the answer to these questions.

  • If the operator does not have an actual shop, and is just some person selling trips/courses from his/her computer, then what guarantees do you have that your reservation will be honored, deposits will be safe, and that you will have a safe place where your equipment can be stored if you will be diving for several days? An established dive center will give you all those and more.

 

  • If the operator is not a Mexican citizen and is not allowed to work legally in Mexico opens you up to all kinds of trouble.  Imagine you are heading off to the Cenotes with this great person who has a beautiful website, talks a big game about his/her thousands of dives, charges very little in comparison to others,  and then you get pulled over.  Well, it turns out your guide has no permits to be transporting you, has no permits to be working in Mexico, and now, the vehicle you’re in as well as everything in it (including your personal equipment) will be subject to seizure by the authorities.  Also, there is the issue with liability and insurance.

 

  • We all started our business at one point.  So a new shop does not necessarily mean that the shop will not be just as good, or even better than one that has been around for decades.  However, a shop that has been around for a few years probably has a better track record than a new shop.

 

  • Some dive shops are all about maximizing profits and minimizing expenses, and this is not always better for you, the customer. This holds true both in Playa del Carmen as well as the rest of the world. It is not uncommon to see an Open Water Diver class with 8 or more students and just one instructor.   Or a combined group with several open water diver students, a couple of advanced open water diver and perhaps a rescue student and one instructor (and maybe a dive master assisting).   This is unacceptable even in the best of conditions.  An instructor should never have more than 4 students at once, and they should all be doing the same level of training.  The same goes for leading dives.  Groups should not be larger than 4 divers per instructor or dive master, and they should all be of similar experience and training levels.  Mixing groups is just not acceptable.

 

  • Again, we all started as instructors or dive masters at one point. With little experience, and fortunately, someone cut us a break.  Some of us were certified divers for a long time, and even worked as dive masters for many years before we decided to become instructors, however, the world has changed a lot in the past 10-15 years. We live in a world of “instant gratification”, and unfortunately this has also transferred onto the diving industry.  One of the bigger agencies allows many of their larger affiliated centers to conduct what have been commonly become known as “zero-to-hero” programs.  In these programs, they basically take you from being a non-diver (or one with little experience) all the way to open water scuba instructor level in a year or less.  You probably ask yourselves what the problem is with this… well, the main problem is the lack of experience.  You see, most recreational scuba diving training agencies require that to become an instructor, one has to have a minimum of 100 logged dives.  100 logged dives may seem like a lot, but in reality, it isn’t. Especially for someone who is an instructor.  When you choose an instructor, you want to make sure that your instructor has lots of experience in as many different environments as possible (be it tropical reefs, cold lakes and quarries, caves, wrecks, cold water reefs, etc).

These are just some of the things you should be asking before booking dives or scuba diving courses not just in Playa del Carmen, but all over the world.   This information will not guarantee that your vacation will be flawless, but I can promise you that if you know all of this beforehand, you will save yourself a whole lot of headaches and heartache.

 

warning
By erik

A Warning Regarding Wanderable

Greetings fellow divers and lovers of the underwater world!  Today we task ourselves with bringing you news of a potential serious red flag. This one goes out to all of our potential guests who are planning their weddings and honeymoon in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.

A couple of years ago, we signed up with an online company that goes by the name of Wanderable (not going to give them the benefit of a link).  This company is an online wedding registry where couples choose activities the want to do during their honeymoon and their friends and family can purchase said activities for them.

Seems like a pretty cool thing, right?  Well, there are many other sites like that one (honeyfund, honeymoonwishes, travelersjoy, among others).  We were invited to be a part of this wonderable site when it first launched about 3 years or so ago.

At first, things were very smooth with them.  People would list a gift certificate for whichever activity (we had Discover Scuba Diving, Cozumel Direct Trip and Cenote trip), their loved ones would buy it for them, and we would get an email to tell us “John Doe and Jane Smith were gifted X, Y or Z activity – gift certificate code blah blah bah), then the couple would get in touch with us, we would confirm dates with the couple, and we would get paid by wonderable.

Suddenly this all changed. Folks would get girft certificates, and we would not be informed by the company, nor would their certificates sometimes appear on our “sales orders”.  Then the payments stopped coming.  A couple of times we honored the reservations, and had to wait weeks to get paid, they wouldn’t reply to emails or answer phone calls,  so eventually, we stopped honoring the gift certificates bought through this company, and we asked them to take Beyond Diving – Riviera Maya off their website and off their vendor list.

Fast forward several months….  We receive an email from a nice gentleman who has unfortunately fallen prey to these unscrupulous people. Him and his future wife were gifted  a local Playa del Carmen 2 tank dive trip, which we told them that we could not honor, but would still love to have them as our guests.  Fortunately, they decided they still wish to dive with us, and all is good.

However, they will have to fight it out with wanderable to try to get their money back.

I was just checking out wanderable’s facebook page, and it hasn’t even been updated since July 2015, so that alone should raise all sorts of red flags.  Not to mention the comments left by couples who cannot get in touch with them.

Wanderable Facebook Wanderable

I have emailed wanderable yet again demanding that our company be taken off their site, so we will see how that plays out.  Since Beyond Diving – Riviera Maya is a registered trademark, any unauthorized use of our name constitutes a violation of international trademark laws.

So our suggestion to anybody thinking of using wanderable, is to not use it.  I am sure that our company is not the only one that has stopped honoring their gift certificates, so  I would recommend that you contact the companies directly from which you want to purchase an activity and do so directly.  That way you can be assured that your reservations will be honored and you will save yourselves the hassle of a potentially cancelled reservation due to non-payment.