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Dive Review of Turneffe Flats Lodge, Lamani Outpost Lodge in
Belize/Caribbean

May, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Lynn Morton, CA, United States
Report Number 2913
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
No. & S. California, Hawaii, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Indonesia
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
85   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
5
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limits and time limits were set at first, but once they saw our skill
level, those were relaxed.  We were requested to stay together with the
guide, but that was flexible in most ways.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Comments
There were camera tables on the day boat and fresh water soak tanks on the
boat and on shore.  We did all camera work in our room, which was huge with
lots of plugs and space.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
This was a family trip with my husband (both of us experienced divers), my
sister (recently certfied), her husband (completed certification in
Belize), and my 93 yr. old father.  My dad wasn't diving, but he was
saltwater, catch & release, fly fishing.  Our first week was at
Turneffe Flats Lodge.
My husband & I had spent a not-great week on the Sun Dancer, then my
family joined us on route to Turneffe Flats.  TFL began as a fly fishing
resort and added diving a few years ago.  We chose this resort because it
offers enough different activities to keep anyone happy, with world class
fly fishing, diving, snorkeling, nature treks, Mayan treks.
The lodging was in duplexes and triplexes and had big rooms with all the
amenities.  The main hall was beautiful and was where all meals were
served.  The food was delicious and way too plentiful.
We did 3 dives a day with 2 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon.  The
dive boat was roomy, fast and comfortable.  My brother-in-law finished his
open water work and was very happy with Jerome, his instructor.  Jerome was
also the practical joker on the boat and was full of tricks.  We got him
back in spades later.  Danielle, the other dive master, was excellent at
finding the tiny & the unusual.
Diving was interesting.  We saw several of the endemic spotted toadfish
that seem to prefer Turneffe Atoll.  We dove the Blue Hole and the reserve
at Half Moon Caye, the Elbow, and our favorite, the Aquarium.  Fish life
was plentiful everywhere with the ubiquitous creole wrasses, groupers,
French and Queen angelfish, and, at the Elbow, huge schools of horse-eyed
jacks, permits, and barracudas.  The guides started off with restrictions
on depth and length of dive, but proved very flexible.  The only problem
seemed to be that the boat doesn't anchor, but follows the divers.  That
pretty much means that you all need to remain at least nominally together
and that can be hard on photographers.  Our fellow diving friends use us as
landmarks for where the boat is because we rarely move very much.  We felt
we had to move a bit more than we would like because of this.  Perhaps the
resort will consider this problem for diving photographers and come up with
an alternative.
Beyond everything else though, I can't praise TFR enough for their
boundless aid and care when my dad fell and broke his hip.  The resort
owner, Craig, stayed up with me all night arranging the evacuation and I
couldn't have done it without him.  Wonderful for us, Craig is a doctor and
he knew just what had happened and was able to make my dad comfortable.  He
took him into Belize City at first light for his long trip to Houston and
continued to call me weeks later to check on my dad's condition.  Pop's
back to playing 18 holes and owes a lot of that to Craig and the folks at
Turneffe Flats.
If you ever go, ask Jerome about peanut butter and Aquarium.
Despite everything, about all we could do was go ahead and we finished our
trip inland at Lamanai Outpost Lodge.  This resort is on a beautiful lagoon
of the New River and about a 10 minute walk from the Mayan ruins at
Lamanai.  Lodging includes daily activities such as birding on the river or
in the jungle(both fantastic), finding howler monkeys, touring the ruins
with a guide, fishing on the river, dawn canoe tours, Mayan medicine trail,
watching and participating in crocodile surveys, or as decadent as
breakfast or happy hour on a barge floating on the river, complete with
chairs, bar, and gazebo.  You can also explore the ruins or area on your
own.  A great place for the inland Belizean adventure.
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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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