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Dive Review of Amigos Del Mar/Mayan Princess in
Belize/Ambergris Caye

June, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Dick Sziede, VA, USA
Report Number 969
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Most of Carribean
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
79   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Guided Dives  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
No camera tank on boats
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
Ambergris Caye: ten years after.  When I was a new diver, me bride and I
spent a romantic week on Ambergris Caye.  I feared returning after such an
interval would be a disappointment: that our romantic getaway would have
been paved over with development.  Instead we were delighted.

Yes there is development.  The south end, where Harrison Ford filmed
"The Mosquito Coast," is now filled with McMansions.  There are
more cars.  But San Pedro retains its charm, and traffic is still mostly
golf carts.  And the diving is much better!

Barb's Belize made flawless travel arrangements.   Tropic Air ran on time,
didn't lose our luggage, and to show progress from ten years ago, we never
heard the stall warning alarm once on landing!  The Mayan Princess rooms
are all beachfront. There is always a breeze.  We never turned on the AC. 
Our 3rd floor room had a kitchenette.  The center of San Pedro is a little
noisy, but if they had sidewalks they'd roll them up at 10:00.  No trouble
sleeping.  The week before Lent is Carnival, but San Pedro is not quite
Rio!

Elvie's is arguably the best resturant.  Fish a la Elvie is still as good
as I remember.  Stella is still slinging hash at Stella's.  Stella's wasn't
open for supper when we were there, but a great breakfast!  As a British
colony, Belize didn't attract the many Germans that used the rest of Latin
America to put distance between themselves and British hit squads after
WWII.  As a consequence Belizian beer and the bread are nothing to write
home about.  But fresh fish abounds, veggies are cooked al-dente, and Marie
Sharp's habenero sauce will put the right level of ty-yi-ti in any dish.

Me bride kept a strict regimen of no raw stuff, bottled water and such.  I
didn't.   Neither of us brought home any intestinal "souvenirs."

Amigos Del Mar is right in front of the Mayan Princess.  Two-tank dives are
two-trip dives.  Dive sites are within fifteen minutes of the dock.  So my
surface interval was spent on the porch with my non-diving bride.  Amigos
Del Mar boats lack wind and sun protection, but have more horsepower than
my sports car.  Runs to and from the dive sites were at speeds that would
do a cigarette boat proud.  Cool weather made me glad for my Gore-Tex for
the upwind leg.  All dives were guided.  Back roll in.  Undress in the
water, handing gear to the crew before essaying the ladder.  No dive
platform, so climbing in with gear not possible.

Dives are on healthy-looking coral fingers, depth 50-70 feet.  Water
temperature was 79 F, visibility 80-100 feet.  Top of the coral is about 50
feet, so there were no shallows to loiter in at the end of the dive.  Air
or bottom time held most dives to 50 minutes.  

There were plenty of small critters, including streams of Creole Wrasses al
la Bonaire.  A half-dozen semi-tame Nurse Sharks lurked about the coral
fingers.  The dive-master brought them a gallon jar of chum.  Fifteen
minutes later I had the best footage I've ever videoed.  The sharks held a
brief melee to dismantle the chum jar.  Calm after the chum was consumed,
they consented to petting by the divers.  One raised his chin like a kitten
being scratched.  I swear I heard him purr!  A loggerhead turtle and a
flotilla of groupers, also seemingly accustomed to divers hang about.  We
saw a few large 'cuda, but they didn't approach divers.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.


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