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Dive Review of Amigos Del Mar/Mayan Princess in
Belize/Ambergris Caye

Amigos Del Mar/Mayan Princess, Jun, 2003,

by Dick Sziede, VA, USA . Report 969.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Ambergris Caye: ten years after. When I was a new diver, me bride and I spent a romantic week on Ambergris Caye. I feared returning after such an interval would be a disappointment: that our romantic getaway would have been paved over with development. Instead we were delighted.

Yes there is development. The south end, where Harrison Ford filmed "The Mosquito Coast," is now filled with McMansions. There are more cars. But San Pedro retains its charm, and traffic is still mostly golf carts. And the diving is much better!

Barb's Belize made flawless travel arrangements. Tropic Air ran on time, didn't lose our luggage, and to show progress from ten years ago, we never heard the stall warning alarm once on landing! The Mayan Princess rooms are all beachfront. There is always a breeze. We never turned on the AC. Our 3rd floor room had a kitchenette. The center of San Pedro is a little noisy, but if they had sidewalks they'd roll them up at 10:00. No trouble sleeping. The week before Lent is Carnival, but San Pedro is not quite Rio!

Elvie's is arguably the best resturant. Fish a la Elvie is still as good as I remember. Stella is still slinging hash at Stella's. Stella's wasn't open for supper when we were there, but a great breakfast! As a British colony, Belize didn't attract the many Germans that used the rest of Latin America to put distance between themselves and British hit squads after WWII. As a consequence Belizian beer and the bread are nothing to write home about. But fresh fish abounds, veggies are cooked al-dente, and Marie Sharp's habenero sauce will put the right level of ty-yi-ti in any dish.

Me bride kept a strict regimen of no raw stuff, bottled water and such. I didn't. Neither of us brought home any intestinal "souvenirs."

Amigos Del Mar is right in front of the Mayan Princess. Two-tank dives are two-trip dives. Dive sites are within fifteen minutes of the dock. So my surface interval was spent on the porch with my non-diving bride. Amigos Del Mar boats lack wind and sun protection, but have more horsepower than my sports car. Runs to and from the dive sites were at speeds that would do a cigarette boat proud. Cool weather made me glad for my Gore-Tex for the upwind leg. All dives were guided. Back roll in. Undress in the water, handing gear to the crew before essaying the ladder. No dive platform, so climbing in with gear not possible.

Dives are on healthy-looking coral fingers, depth 50-70 feet. Water temperature was 79 F, visibility 80-100 feet. Top of the coral is about 50 feet, so there were no shallows to loiter in at the end of the dive. Air or bottom time held most dives to 50 minutes.

There were plenty of small critters, including streams of Creole Wrasses al la Bonaire. A half-dozen semi-tame Nurse Sharks lurked about the coral fingers. The dive-master brought them a gallon jar of chum. Fifteen minutes later I had the best footage I've ever videoed. The sharks held a brief melee to dismantle the chum jar. Calm after the chum was consumed, they consented to petting by the divers. One raised his chin like a kitten being scratched. I swear I heard him purr! A loggerhead turtle and a flotilla of groupers, also seemingly accustomed to divers hang about. We saw a few large 'cuda, but they didn't approach divers.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Most of Carribean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 79-79°F / 26-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 80-100 Ft/ 24-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Guided Dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No camera tank on boats
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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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