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Dive Review of Bottom Time Dive Shop/Villas @ Banyan Bay, Grand Colonies in
Belize/San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

August, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by M. Dal, NY, United States
Report Number 2654
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
26-50 dives
Where else diving
Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Dominican Republic, New York, Pennsylvania
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, surge, noCurrents  
Water Temp
70   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Common Sense Depth & PSI Limits  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Rinse tanks are sometimes - not always - found on the small boats, but that
doesn't matter much since they are always found at the surface interval
dive shop, which is a 5 - 10 minute boat ride.  Also, camera tables are not
always on the small boats either, but as stated above, it's a quick ride. 
Not sure about the processing capabilities on shore, as I did not use any,
but with more & more people using digital cameras, I don't think it's a
much of a concern as it used to be?  

The subject matter is out of this world, tho, and well worth a camera,
especially one with video!
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
I can't say enough good things about the diving in Belize - it's just
absolutely wonderful.  Both of the guides hired by Bottom Time - their own
Divemaster Rudy, as well as the Amigos del Mar guides - were great.  I've
dived with Rudy before, and he's professional, knowledgeable, and cares
enough about the reef to clean any sand off of it that he finds as you go. 
Twice I dove with newly certified people, and twice they ran low on air
(only about halfway thru the dive), and he was quick to share his with
them, having enough PSI to still last the whole regular dive time, so no
one missed out on bottom time.

We stayed at The Grand Colonies, the sister resort of Banyan Bay, located
right next door to it.  The accommodations were unreal, one of the most
luxurious places we've ever stayed, with gorgeous granite countertops and
amazing views (especially Oceanside) and private in-room jacuzzis and
marble bathrooms and a beautiful pool and an incredible kitchen and a
dining room and a tv in each bedroom and a huge flatscreen in the
livingroom and the nicest beachfront property on the island, located very
close to town; about a 5 minute drive with the golf carts.  The Staff is
warm and friendly, just like everyone on the Island that we've met, and we
highly recommend it as the best place to stay in all of Ambergris Caye,
after having toured the island for a month now over the past couple of
years.  The golf cart rentals there can be expensive, tho, people found
much better deals in town, so that's something to consider.  The Island now
sprays for mosquitoes, which we found to be a hundred times better than
last year, when we got eaten alive even with bug spray.  Just a few bites
this year, and that was without using any bug spray at all.  

The diveshop is located right at Banyan Bay, a 5 minute walk away, and they
will pick you up right at the Grand Colony dock if you prefer.

The diving this time was just as great as it was last year, with a lot of
healthy reefs and life - I saw a giant sea turtle and a Spotted Eagle Ray
and a Jack & Moray Eel hunting in tandem, and tons of Nurse Sharks that
seemed like they almost enjoyed being pet, and Barracudas and huge Groupers
and tiny Brittle Stars and Conch and Lobsters and Cleaner Shrimp and of
course all the common fish that normally occupy the Caribbean reefs, with
lots of channels and a swimthru...and this was just on ONE DIVE at

The daytime snorkeling/diving, and especially the night dive, at Hol Chan
is not to be missed; Octopus and sleeping fish everywhere and 2 different
species of Lobster and Moray Eels and Stingrays and...get this:  Spawning
Coral.  Yep, was lucky enough to see the Coral Spawning on the night of
8/16/06, what a treat.  When you surface, be sure to look up, and if the
sky is clear, you'll see the most amazing stars ever.  A touching end to
the dive.

Some people wore wetsuits, but I just wore a t-shirt and was totally
comfortable.  There was a thermocline this time, and it was pretty cool to
see the visual effects of the warmer/cooler water meeting.  The cooler
water was still comfortable, tho.

The food everywhere is amazing, we have not had a single bad meal both
times we have visited the island.  The nightlife during the slow season
(summer) is not exactly abundant, but there's always something going on
each night - the staff can give you a list of the bars that have live
bands, karaoke, etc. and on what night.

We didn't do any trips to the mainland this time, but for anyone interested
we give those 2 thumbs up - just be sure to bring lots of strong bug

Construction is definitely on an upswing, and many areas are being
developed.  But it's still a pretty quiet place in the summer.

We definitely plan on going back, possibly even next year.  My one big
regret is that I didn't lug my video equipment back this time since I
figured I'd done that already last year.  BIG mistake!  Check out this
website to see video of our vacation & diving there last year:
[ link]
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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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