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

May, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Henry & Carol Ziller, CO, USA
Sr. Contributor   (23 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 4856
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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

sunny, dry  
calm, no currents  
Water Temp
80   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
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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