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Dive Review of Turneffe Flats in
Belize/Turneffe Atoll

October, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Susan Titus, VA, US
Sr. Reviewer   (8 reports)
Report Number 6376
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Dominica, Honduras, Cozumel, Belize, St. Vincent,
Bequia, Oahu, Tobago, Roatan, Utila...
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy, rainy  
Seas
choppy  
Water Temp
76   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Group time limit stated for dive - varied by location and conditions  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
no 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  N/A
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
On the small boat (6-7 divers or less go out in a smaller boat) there is
not a good set-up for cameras. On the large boat, there is a large
freshwater tank and a table..and lots of space.
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
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
Beginners
3 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
We went to Turneffe Flats to scuba dive the atoll (no fishing).  From some
reviews we read, we didn't have high expectations for the resort itself.  I
can say that TF was quite a wonderful surprise. Our 3BR villa was very
comfortable, the food was excellent, and the staff were very accommodating
and social.  The grounds are perfectly kept, there is a great deal of
privacy in the lodging, and the 'great room' for dining, internet, etc. is
the hub that connects all the guests and the staff.  The owners were
off-site during our stay - the managing couple ran the operation
flawlessly.

Our villa had a lot of space in the bedrooms and great little storage
touches such as shelves in the bathroom and closet, hanging hooks and
dressers.  The shower took a little finessing at times to hold a constant
temperature - remember that water is barreled rainwater and the power is
from generators.  Given this, the shower was always ideal!  Coffee is
set-up daily in your suite so it's ready to brew each morning.  We opted to
have our morning coffee over at the lodge with our breakfast - for those
that need a faster caffeine hit, the in-room set up is perfect.

The food really surpassed our expectations - quite the variety, excellent
quality, and enough to satisfy everyone at every meal.  Each guest picks
their lunch in the evening, and it is sent off with the boats in the
morning.  Snacks and drinks are packed as well - it's a great system. 
During our stay, everyone 'swapped' seats at the shared tables several
evenings so we could enjoy the diverse company of fishers and divers.  Many
staff members dine with the guests, so your daily adventures can continue
over a great meal.

We had the misfortune to have tropical storm/pending hurricane Rene affect
the visibility, wind, waves and accessibility of the usual dive sites for
the bulk or our week- including one whole day spent hunkered down with all
the fishing guests in the great room.  Even with these adverse conditions,
we still found great sites to dive every day we hit the water. The fish
were not as plentiful as expected - also could have been due to water
conditions.  A day dive at Lighthouse Reef and the Blue Hole was a real
adventure trip with big wind and waves  - more fish were at this reef.

Lionfish have arrived in force; a portion of each dive time is spent by the
dive guides eradicating these invasive fish. They are quite tough and seem
to survive even severe injuries. (We were fortunate enough to bag a good
number of larger specimens which were cooked up as an appetizer.  They were
simply delicious!)  The sheer number of lionfish may also be affecting the
counts of smaller fish on the reefs.  There were some wonderful large
schools of chromis and creole wrasse that enveloped us on a few sites. 
It's hard to really rate the diving from our trip - the conditions were
really less than ideal.  We give kudos to our guides for getting us to
sites each day that offered about the best conditions we could hope for.

It is best to have 6 (7?) or more divers at the resort, in order to support
the use of the larger dive boat.  The smaller boat is less sheltered and a
bit tighter on space. We totaled 5 divers with another set of guests, and
opted to pay a bit extra to cover the fuel to use the larger boat (due to
the wind, waves, etc, it was far more comfortable).  The dive staff took
care of rinsing dive gear, set-up and changing tanks between dives - they
did a perfect job and were careful with diver's gear.

What did we wish we knew before we went?  Bring a few layers, a light
jacket, or a T with long-sleeves.  Even without the storm, the wind can be
high and it gets chilly.  If you can shop for wine in Belize City before
catching the transfer boat, it can save you a few dollars if you drink
quickly.  Great wine is available at the lodge; not unreasonable prices but
higher than packing your own.  Bring a warmer wetsuit layer than you
normally use in the Caribbean   the water can get very cool from
currents!
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Other dive reports on Turneffe Flats

All Belize Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Belize
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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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