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

Turneffe Flats Lodge, Lamani Outpost Lodge, May, 2006,

by Lynn Morton, CA, United States . Report 2913.

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
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
UW Photo 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
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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