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Dive Review of Belize Pro Dive Center/Pelican Reef Villas in
Belize/Ambergris Caye

Belize Pro Dive Center/Pelican Reef Villas: "A relaxing week on Ambergris Caye", Apr, 2016,

by Henry Zenzie, MA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 9422.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We spent a relaxing week at Pelican Reef Villas (PRV) with 2 other couples in a 3 bedroom condo. The condo was in excellent condition, spacious, and clean. A delicious breakfast with a variety of hot entree choices was included in our rate. Lunch (but not dinner) was available at extra cost. Michaela was the activities director at PRV, and she did a great job of arranging all of our land and sea activities. Our land-based activities included cave tubing (a must do), zip lining (very nice), and touring the Mayan ruins at Lamanai (impressive).

PRV has partnered with Belize Pro Dive Center (BPDC) to offer diving. We did a total of 4 2-tank dives on reefs within a 10-15 minute boat ride of BPDC's facility. On each diving day, we were picked up promptly at the PRV dock at 8:00 AM and dropped off at the BPDC dive center. Since the reefs are so close to shore, our surface interval was spent back at the BPDC dock munching on snacks put out by the staff. Except for the Hol Chan Marine Preserve dive and snorkel, all the dive profiles were similar: descend to a max depth of 60-80 feet on a spur and groove reef and slowly ascend to the top of the reef in 40-50 feet. The corals have suffered damage due to diver traffic, but nevertheless appeared to be reasonably healthy. I only saw 1 fully bleached coral head. The dive guides were all safety conscious and required each diver to communicate their tank pressure mid-way through the dive by using the fingers on the arm method. All dives were guided, and the bottom time was typically 45 minutes. I was a bit disappointed in the number of tropical fish we saw on the spur and groove reefs; however, my last dive trip was in 1991 and I have read that fish populations on many Caribbean reefs have declined since then, so this issue is likely not confined to Belize. We saw lots of active nurse sharks, which may be due in part to the dive guides spearing lionfish and feeding them to the nurse sharks. On one dive, a nurse shark followed our dive guide like a puppy waiting to be fed. BPDC offered effortless diving: they switched our tanks between dives and allowed us to leave our equipment at the center when we planned to dive the next day. I recommend them without hesitation!

We did 1 dive at Hol Chan Marine Preserve and snorkeled at Shark Ray Alley. The Hol Chan channel, which consists of a cut in the reef 75 yard wide and 30 feet deep, is a very popular diving and snorkeling site. There were many boats at the site when we arrived mid-morning. On our dive, we slowly swam through the channel; I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of marine life and the health of the corals. While there was certainly damaged coral, I have seen much worse coral damage at other popular shallow dive/snorkel sites around the world. I even saw 2 marine animals (very large cubera snapper and beautiful flame scallop) that I had never seen before. I also saw an eagle ray in addition to the more typical critters (lobster, shrimp, barracuda, grouper, moray eels). Even though the dive is shallow and crowded with divers/snorkelers, I would have happily done it again if time had permitted. If you are planning to dive this site, I would recommend visiting at a less crowded time! The dive was followed by a snorkeling trip to Shark Ray Alley where we watched rays and nurse sharks being fed. I am generally not a fan of artificial experiences such as this, but it was fun to watch nonetheless.

All in all, we had a great time in Belize and hope to return someday. The combination of land and sea activities is hard to beat!
Websites Pelican Reef Villas

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Palau, Yap, Bali, Sipadan, Florida, Little Cayman, Bimini, Jamaica, Bonaire, New England
Closest Airport San Pedro Getting There United Airlines Boston to Belize City, Tropic Air to San Pedro.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions All dives were guided.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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