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

Amigos del Mar/Mayan Princess, Jul, 2009,

by Michael J Millet, CA, USA (Top Contributor Top Contributor 64 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 5054.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Solomon Islands, Yap, Palau, Kosrae, Truk, GBR, Fiji, and all over the Caribbean.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Stay with dive guide; 1 hour dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments The day boat from Amigos del Mar (ADM) had a camera rinse bucket. The local reefs have minimal smaller reef fish, shrimp or crabs.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments Ambergris Caye has become quite developed and the local reefs reflect this growth. This was my 4th dive trip to AC; my first was about 10 years ago. The marine life on the local reefs has noticeably diminished. There are very few shrimp or crab; fish usually seen in larger numbers such as chromis and butterflyfish are minimal. There were several angelfish especially rock beauties.

The local reefs do have a decent quantity of larger fish -- groupers, nurse sharks, green morays. These critters are used to being fed by the local dive operators and will respond to the arrival of the dive boat, greeting you as you enter the water. Without such baiting, it is questionable how many of these larger fish would be around since the reefs are lacking their natural prey -- other live fish.

If you have a problem with dive guides handing fish, then do not dive with ADM. Our dive guide, Tony, routinely will manhandle nurse sharks and black groupers giving them to divers to hold. The fish don't seem to mind it; but it does seem a bit unnatural.

The eagle rays are the highlight of the diving. Eagle Ray Canyon always has a few. This dive site is inside the marine park so there is a $10/day fee to dive here. It is worth the $.

ADM does run a nice, large, comfortable boat out the outer reefs. I did a 3 tank trip to Turneffe Reef. The diving is much better on the outer reefs -- hardly any development.
This trip takes all day departing at 6:30 am and returning about 5:00 pm.

2 years ago I did the Belize Aggressor that spends a week on the outer reefs. This is a better to do these reefs.

I stayed at the Mayan Princess, which is in the middle of San Pedro and just a few steps from ADM. It is modest but very comfortable with friendly staff.

The bottom line is it will be a long while before I return to AC. The only real attraction are the eagle rays. I would again do a live-aboard to the outer reefs.
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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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