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

July, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Michael J Millet, CA, USA
Top Contributor   (63 reports, with 8 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5054
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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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