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Dive Review of Turtle Inn in
Belize/Placencia

May, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Charlie Wright, OH, US
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 6563
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Turks and Caicos, Honduras, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Florida, Cabo,
Cazumel, 
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
83   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
2
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
?  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
80 feet on whale shark dives, whale shark area restriction  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
no 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
Schools 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
I am not a photographer however whale shark and bull shark pictures can be
very interesting.  Not to mention the turtles, eagle rays and reef sharks. 
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
This was our third trip to Belize and second trip to whale shark dive at
the Turtle Inn.  Saw whale sharks both trips, on the surface and at a 110
feet plus in between.  First trip was at the full moon in April 2010,
second trip full moon May 2012.  Recommend arriving at about the full moon
and staying at least a week.  The resort looks east so you see the full
moon rise over the ocean.  The beech is protected by the largest reef in
the northern latitudes second only to the Great Barrier Reef.  The whale
shark diving is outside the reef and the reef diving around the reef. 
There is about a 45 minute ride to the dive area.  I have about 200 dives
mostly in the Caribbean and if you like the convenience of the area but
want to step up the diving blue water whale shark diving plus the bull
sharks is the ticket.  First trip I watched a hammerhead swim past thirty
feet below the surface.  There can be waves however the reef protects the
reef diving.  Additionally we saw loggerhead turtles, some very large.  

The Turtle Inn is a five star diving experience.  Dee and I found it listed
as the Caribbean Dive/Resort Operator in the book Diving in Style.  This
Francis Coppola resort lived up to all and more as reviewed in the book. 
You stay in cottages on or around the beach and the new dive boat leaves
from the bay side behind the resort. This is not the low budget dive
destination however the value is definitely there for the dollars paid. 
The dive shop manager, Bertram, has been there 10 years.  The new dive boat
is well laid out with an upper deck plus ample area to get out of the sun. 
His staff is excellent including dealing with an unexpected diver situation
on one of our reef dives.  The dive trip has a lunch break between dives
either on an island or for whale shark diving on the boat in a snorkeling
area inside the reef.  For reef diving we really like Bonaire (three trips
to Den Laman) however the reef diving in Belize was on par with Bonaire
plus you have the blue water diving with its larger pelagic and fish
species not to forget the Blue Hole for advanced divers.  Also in Belize
there is the back country including a second Coppola resort called
Blancaneaux Lodge.  We have not been there however on our first trip we
visited the back country and found it very interesting especially the night
hike.  The bottom line on the Turtle Inn is the people from Martin, the GM
from Holland, through all the other staff areas.  Part of why we returned
was the friendships made with the servers.  This was our first trip since
Martin became GM.  Unlike most resorts, even top resorts, he spent a lot of
his time engaged with the guests including diving on some of our dive
trips.  
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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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