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Dive Review of aqua dives/sunbreeze hotel in
Belize/ambergris caye

aqua dives/sunbreeze hotel, Oct, 2003,

by glen kitchens, nm, usa (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 826.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving florida, numerous carribean locations, mexico, fiji, papua new guinea, australia, micronesia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 86 to 88 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 75 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions All dives are guided by divemaster, start @ one point & end at another. Only restriction was depth.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Aqua Dive boats are large & roomy w/ fresh water containers for camera equipment. Divemasters always prompted new divers not to use the camera tanks for mask rinse, etc. As a photog, I appreciated the accomodations.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 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 My photographer friend & I had been here nine years earlier. The town of San Pedro (right next door to the hotel)has changed little in that time. Estel's Dine by the Sea still makes the best conch fritters in the Carribean, & there is still a talented wood carver on every corner. Sunbreeze Hotel is very good setup for divers w/ tile floors & lots of room to spread gear. Hotel has a restaurant, pool & bar on-site. We did not do the hotel meal package because there are lots of good restaurants in San Pedro (esp. Estel's).

The Belize dollar is fixed at 2:1 to US dollar & prices on everything from Belikin beer to fine wood carvings are quite reasonable.

Aqua Dive is located on the grounds of the Hotel. Their operation is much improved over nine years earlier, w/ several large well-accomodated boats & very well-trained divemasters, esp. Carlos & Donovan - these guys are very professional. All boats carry oxygen, first aid & cell phones & divemasters give good briefings.

When here before, the day trip to the Blue Hole was just that - boat ride over, one dive & boat ride back. Now the package is much-improved w/ 130' Blue Hole dive, lunch on Half Moon Caye where you can observe nesting Booby birds from an observation tower, & two very pristine wall dives - Half Moon & Eagle Ray walls. Cost for this day trip is $185 US. When winds & waves are not bad, boat ride is 2.5 hrs. each way. On a rough day, it can be an hour longer each way.

The Blue Hole is an unforgettable dive - stalagmites / stalagtites @ 130' w/ numerous reef sharks & even bull sharks constantly circling in the open water. This is the most sharks I've seen outside of Palau. One of our divers became somewhat narc'd on this deep dive & credits an excellent pre-dive briefing w/ not freaking out @ depth.

The only negative comment I can make on the whole operation is the fact that dive management will allow any paying diver to dive the Blue Hole. On our boat, we had 4 inexperienced divers that should not have been allowed to do the dive, in my opinion. Over Belikin beer later, the divemaster Donovan agreed w/ this, as it's his ass on the line if a diver doesn't stop @ 130' & he indicated he's chased more than one into the depths & dragged them back to reality.

Overall, I would go back to Belize tomorrow.
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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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