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Dive Review of Ecologic Divers/Vanadu Island Resort in
Belize/Ambergris Caye

Ecologic Divers/Vanadu Island Resort, May, 2009,

by Henry & Carol Ziller, CO, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 25 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 4856.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Palau, Mexico, Dominica, Curacao, Pohnpei Micronesia, Indonesia, Hawaii, Cayman Brach, Tobago, Bahamas, Honduras
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth and time limits were given in the dive briefing. Let the divemaster know when you reach 1000 psi, go up at 750 psi.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Camera rinse bucket on boat. Boat captain handed down camera and took it first after diving placed it in the bucket.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We stayed at Xanadu Island Resort about 1.25 miles south of Central Park in downtown San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. The buildings are designed to withstand a Cat V hurricane with rounded roofs. The thatched coverings make them blend in with other resorts. There were eight of us with four divers. We had a two bedroom and a three bedroom unit. These are two story units on the second floor. The kitchen is fully equipped except there is no dishwasher or disposal. Power is 110 just like in the US. Air conditioning worked great and hot water was available at all times. The pool is nice. There are no rinse tanks for diving equipment, but there is an outdoor shower for rinsing. The three bedrooms are about $250/night. Two bedrooms about $220/night. Most of the times when you buy groceries at the local convenience store you pay a premium, but not in San Pedro. We paid about 20% more at the large Island Supermarket just south of the airport. The little store Marinas Market or Hariri Store just outside the Xanadu Resort was less expensive and so much closer. Xanadu offers free bicycles and kayak use. It doesnt take long to bicycle to downtown. Cabs are $5.00 USD. We never found a bad restaurant, but everyones favorite was Wild Mango. For a romantic dining experience with an excellent menu try Sunset Grill. Expect to pay the same amount as you would here in the US in most big cities. Antojitos was inexpensive and is the closest restaurant to Xanadu that is not on the beach. If you need more than a hotel room I would suggest you stay at Xanadu Island Resort.

We used Ecologic Divers and they picked us up on Xanadus pier. Of course all of the tours will pick you up on your resorts pier. Ecologic Divers use 36-feet boats with dual outboard motors. The boats are equipped with all the safety gear, life preservers, oxygen, first aid kit, and a cover for shade. Water is in the pint plastic bags and you are encouraged to keep hydrated. Fresh fruit is provided after the first dive and surface interval is at Ecologics Dock. There is a rinse bucket for cameras. Defogger is passed around freely. Dive briefings are good and groups are kept around 6 per dive master. Dive masters will touch the fish and offer for you to do the same. I believe I saw one feeding the groupers that follow each dive. We saw some turtles and sharks on every dive, groupers up to about three feet, and an eagle ray. We also saw free swimming remora that was a bother to divers without a wet suit covering their legs. I could not tell if it was trying to attach or bite a divers leg. Equipment is available for rent and it appeared to be in good condition. Our granddaughter was completing her open water certification and used the gear without any problems. One day we went without a wet suit for the first time ever and for me it was ok, while my wife loved diving without a wet suit. I did not get cold with water at 80 degrees. The next day I was going without a wet suit and the dive master said it would be best to use one this day and I was offered the use of one of theirs free. I would use Ecologic Divers again even though I did not like the fish handling. Two tank dives are $75.00 no matter who you dive with on Ambergris Caye.

We also spent three nights on the mainland near Cristo Rey, Belize at Crystal Paradise Resort. This is near San Ignacio along the western border near Guatemala. We did the zip line, Mayan ruins, cave tubing, and the Belize Zoo. Three nights in the inland part of Belize is enough to get a good flavor of this part of Belize. We never had any problem with no seeums or mosquitoes, but we did use 30 to 100% deet. Do watch out for scorpions. Our son found one under his mattress. The Tut family (Mama, Papa and ten children) owns the resort and they are a really great family. Carolita cooks up some really good meals served family style. Eric and Everald give really great informative tours. and Victor the father of these ten children gave us a ride into San Elena for Saturdays Market. The lodging is in duplex or single units that are quite large and typical with private bathrooms and plenty of hot water. Ceiling fans cool the rooms, no A/C. Water from a five gallon jug in the office or bar is free, or you can purchase water bottles for $1.50 USD. Sodas and Belikin Beers are $2.50 USD and Wine is $5.00 USD or a bottle is $25.00 USD. All this is on the honor system. The resort has access to the river for swimming or canoeing. Anything you want, just ask them
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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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