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Dive Review of Isla Marisol in
Belize

March, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Karen Moore, MI, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 4692
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Florida, Bonaire, Caymans
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
choppy, surge, no currents  
Water Temp
78   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Start to ascend at 700 PSI.  3 min safety stop at 15 feet.   
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
Schools 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
Fresh water tank on board for cameras.  Crew good with camera handling.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
My husband and I have just returned from paradise!  Eddie Usher, the
manager, made sure we had an amazing dive trip at Isla Marisol.  Saw almost
every tropical fish on the Belize fish chart, with many in schools.  Eddie
was our divemaster the whole week, and usually found something interesting
each of our 3 daily dives.  We saw turtles, a nurse shark, a bull shark,
rays (both Southern and spotted eagles), spotted drums, many lobster and
crabs (especially on the night dive), eels (both a large green moray, and
several spotteds), a scorpion fish, porcupine fish (several), several
cowfish, and many queen and french angels, grouper, barracuda.  The only
thing we missed, was a whale shark.  Did go to Gladden Spit for one
afternoon, without success (March is early for whale shark season).  Now we
have a reason to return!  Coral is in good shape.  Even saw some staghorn
coral.  At one site, there were tons of gorgonians.  We were the only 2
divers for the first 3 1/2 days.  Not once did we hear a complaint about
taking only 2 of us out.  Most dive sites are 5-10 minutes from the resort.
 We usually just stuck with Eddie, because he found the good stuff,
however, this was not mandatory.  Because all were drift dives, later in
the week, the group tried to stay somewhat together.  The norm was about 60
feet for 40+ min per dive, altho this varied considerably.  The one rule
was that at 700 psi, you should start to ascend with your buddy, and do a 3
min safety stop.  Other divers with more air stayed down longer.  Ishmael,
our boat captain, was incredible at keeping an eye on all of us when we
surfaced.  He got the boat to us immediately without a problem.  
This resort is just what we wanted, but is not for everyone.  The cabanas
(ours was right at the water's edge) are rustic, but clean and adequate. 
There is no phone or TV (to our joy), altho there is a TV in the bar hooked
up to a videocam on the reef.  Wireless internet is available in the dining
room and bar  The island is very small, and the drill was eat, dive,
rest/read, repeat until nighttime.  Surface intervals are at the resort,
except when we went to another island, or to Gladden Spit.  Before dinner,
we usually hit the bar which is charming, on stilts over the water, with
wonderful sunset views.
The staff is very friendly, and eager to please.  Jenice, our cook for the
week, made yummy Belizean food for every meal.  She will accomodate food
allergies and preferences if needed.  There were fresh juices at each meal.
 Barbara, the kitchen assistant, served and cleaned up.
Now, about the no-see-ums.  They were only a problem only at the boat
dock/dive shop.  Those little buggers wait until you come back from your
dives, when the DEET is washed off, to attack.  Just beware, keep covered
up, or repply DEET immediately after dives.  
The trip is definitely worth the effort.  Our connections on flights on the
way down were flawless, but we factored in adequate layovers.  The boatride
out from Dangriga is part of the adventure.
Isla Marisol is a gem, and we will definitely return.  
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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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