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Dive Review of Turneffe Island Resort in
Belize/Turneffe Islands

Turneffe Island Resort, May, 2012,

by Peter Rae, CT, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6551.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Baja California, Bonaire, Caymans, Croatia, Florida, Indonesia, New England, North Carolina, Roatan, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 77 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60 to 120 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions The depth limit was usually about 70-80 feet, and about 130 feet in the Blue Hole. The divers (a group of about eight) generally stayed with or near the divemaster.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments No tank for cameras on the boat, and a smallish rinse tank on the dock. The boat captain and the divemaster were thoughtful and careful in handling my camera on board and on land, and promptly transferred the camera to/from me at the beginning and end of dives. There were some nice photo opportunities, e.g., loggerhead and hawksbill turtles, eagle rays and southern stingrays, green and spotted moray eels, Nassau and black groupers, horse-eyed jacks, permits, jawfish, drums, hamlets, soapfish, scorpion fish, sea cucumbers, lobsters, crabs and shrimp and other critters, etc. I used a macro lens for about half the dives.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments As others have reported, Turneffe Island Resort is a fabulous place. Located on a very small, private, island in the Turneffe Atoll, which is about 35 miles from Belize City, the resort is beautifully managed by Alain and Maya: the accomodations are deluxe; the meals, which are served family-style, are excellent; the grounds are very well cared for; and the staff are - to a person - terrific. In particular, Jorje (aka George), the bartender, is very attentive and is a lot of fun, besides.

Turning to the water part of the trip, the separate diving and snorkeling operations were quite good. The diving was very much valet diving.

I (the diver) was much impressed by the divemaster, Bart, and by the captain, Marcel. There were two or three dives each day to various fore reef and reef crest dive sites, where Bart provided informative pre-dive briefings and pointed out various creatures during underwater tours, and gave good attention to safety. The seas outside the reef were often choppy, but easily managed; the dives were usually done as drift dives, and most of the drifts were gentle. Most dives are at sites around the southern end of the Turneffe Atoll, but one day is spent doing three dives at Lighthouse Reef, which is about thirty miles east of Turneffe, and is where the Belize Blue Hole is located. My only disappointment of the week was the Blue Hole; while it was interesting due to the stalactite structures appearing at around 120 feet, and to the half-dozen or so bull sharks that cruised by, the visibility was poor the day we dived it. On the other hand, the walls of Half Moon Caye and Long Caye, also part of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, were pretty nice. There are plenty of lionfish in the Belize area, but the divemasters are doing what they can to bring the numbers down, and we had excellent lionfish ceviche one night.

My wife (the snorkeler) much enjoyed the two-a-day boat trips with Carlos, the captain/guide, to various sites within the atoll. They also snorkeled the rim of the Blue Hole, and another couple of sites in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.

It was hard to leave.

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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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