Ocean Conditions

Assessing Conditions: Whether your experience is good or bad is often determined before you even enter the water.

Weather is the most important consideration in evaluating diving conditions because it impacts conditions both above and below the water. In fact, few other leisure activities are as much at the mercy of the weather as diving. But to properly evaluate weather conditions and their suitability for diving, you must first have at least a rudimentary knowledge of how the atmosphere behaves.

Currents & Wind

• Most of the dive sites are well protected against oceanic currents, wind and rough seas.
• Mild to moderate currents are common in the Underwater Reserve during effect of the moon, but very strong in the Pacific Ocean, please listen and follow your guides instructions to avoid engaging in the areas where currents are common.
• Marietas Islands, Chimo, El Morro, Los Anegados, Las Iglesias and La Corbeteña may present strong currents and winds, the dive master will consider the weather conditions at all times and may detour to next dive site available if necessary, safety comes first and this issue is not open for discussions.
• The dive master will decide on the optional dive site, Chico's Dive Shop does not keep a weather warranty and the customer agrees on these safety procedures and any changes in the itinerary.
• Drift diving is available to advanced divers only.
• Weather conditions are unpredictable and weather reports are not accurate enough; Chico's Dive Shop offers no warranty and no refunds if weather conditions delay, interrupt, detour or prolong the tour in any way.

• The rain season in Vallarta is the best time of the year for us… it feels refreshing to walk under the rain, we do not hide or run away from the rain in Vallarta, locals go for walks with the sole purpose to enjoy getting wet under the rain. The tropical jungle comes alive with different shades of greens and something happens while you are diving or snorkeling under the rain… it is different and unique!

• From June 15th to October 15th we experience our rain season.
• Most of the rain fall occurs during the late afternoons and/or over night, sometimes the rain will last until next morning and most of the times the sun will break trough the clouds around 9.30am.
• The rain will not stop us from going diving and/or snorkeling.
• Odd enough the rain season in Vallarta brings the best conditions for diving, the water is warm and visibility is best.
• Rain over the ocean does not affect visibility.
• Rain 15 miles inland will cause the rivers to discharge directly in the ocean and will affect visibility.
• We have several rivers flowing into the bay and they are located in different zones of the bay.
• The Ameca River will affect the Marietas islands
• The Cuale River does not affect any of the dive sites
• The Mismaloya River will affect Los Arcos
• The Tomatlan (Boca) River will affect Caletas
• The Quimixto River will affect Caletas
• The Yelapa River does not affect any of the dive sites
• Chico's Dive Shop will use its best judging criteria to modify extent or shorten the dive/snorkel tour due to rainfall conditions. • Chico's Dive Shop offers no warranty and no refunds if weather conditions delay, interrupt, detour or prolong the tour in any way.
• In the unlikely case of a tropical storm involving heavy rain and/or lightning keeps us from starting the tour, Chico's Dive Shop will postpone the diving and/or snorkeling to a future day. In any case the customer is unavailable to reschedule, 75 % refund will apply every time.

Jelly Fish

• Shifting currents carry a number of jelly fish species during the 2 weeks between May and June and the 2 weeks between November and December. • Most of the times we are able to find specific sites to avoid the jelly fish but sometimes we have no choice but to share the reef with these misunderstood sea creatures.
• We consider ourselves lucky enough because the species of jelly fish that visit our bay have mild toxin cells, some people will result on a light itch while others will cause minor rash on the skin… We carry vinegar on board to reduce some of the symptoms.
• Jelly fish are carried by oceanic currents; this may vary in strength and direction at any given moment.
• Jelly fish are slow swimmers and we just happen to swim in their path.
• Swim slowly and check your surroundings (2 to 3 feet ahead of you) the palm of your hand will not feel the stinging cells of the jelly fish, you may safely push them apart with the palm of your hand as you swim. Wearing a t-shirt is recommended in all cases.
• Chico's Dive Shop is not responsible for the presence of jelly fish we may encounter in the snorkeling and diving designated area(s).
• Jelly fish is part of the wildlife and are found in all the oceans and seas of the world… our insurance company does not cover jelly fish medic treatment or any other wild life misadventures.

Divers Protect the Ocean!

Take Only Photos - Leave Only Bubbles

Nearly everything natural found underwater is alive or will be used by a living creature. If you take a coral, shell or animal, you can disturb the delicate balance.

Protect Underwater Life

Choose not to touch, feed, handle, chase or ride anything underwater. Your actions may stress the animal, interrupt feeding and mating behavior.

Be a Buoyancy Expert

Underwater plants and animals are more fragile than they appear.

Become a Debris Activist

Don't let your dives go to waste. Remove and report what doesn't belong underwater every time you dive.