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Dive Review of Belize Underwater/Belize Ocean Club in
Belize/Placencia

Belize Underwater/Belize Ocean Club: "Healthy Reefs but few fish in South Belize", Feb, 2018,

by Gareth Richards, OH, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 13 Helpful votes). Report 10130 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments We decided on this trip as a non-hard core diving trip. In other words we wanted to be on the beach with some land based diving. Placencia fit the bill. The Belize Ocean Club is a great resort and has a fabulous 40-meter pool which attracted me because I like to swim laps. It also has a dive shop on site (Belize Underwater) so that was perfect! We booked the trip through Reef and Rainforest who are a dive travel agency, and they took care of booking all internal flights and road transfers. We had 9 days in Placencia at Belize Ocean Club and then 5 days in the interior at Chaa Creek (check their website) to see the jungle/waterfalls/mayan ruins/zoo. Highly recommend the zoo if you are in Belize, it's only about an hour from the airport so you can fit it in on the way to/from. Belize is a small country and the network of puddle jumper flights (Maya Island Air or Tropic Air) is a huge timesaver, and they leave almost every hour.
We are reasonably experienced couple, both Rescue, one of us 350 dives and one of us 120, who have done multiple liveaboards and different destinations. It was apparent that this part of Belize is not a hard core diving destination. We brought all our own gear and the other divers we encountered (very few) were under 30 dives and renting gear. From Placencia the reef and cayes are about a 30-40 minute boat ride, so a 2-tank trip leaves at 0800 and you are back by 1300.
The dive operation was very smooth and their rental gear appeared brand new (we saw it where they were storing our own gear). The shop took care of all our gear after the first day and had it on the boat for us the next day.
The diving was typical caribbean reef diving. Mild current, dives were done as drift dives. Water was 75-77 and we both wore 5-mil and I wore a hood. We knew about this in advance and so came prepared, but other divers were in rented shorties and were frozen. Reefs were in great shape, wonderful coral, sea fans, sponges. However fish density was low. We did see all the usual suspects (parrot, squirrel, grunts, damsel, drum, southern ray, eagle ray, lobster, moray, nurse sharks) but the fish were in quite low numbers. We speculated that this was due to the abundant lion fish that we saw. There was no attempt by the DM to kill any and it seemed to us that this was not the norm like it is in Roatan or other places. On the later days we asked to borrow a spear (Hawaiian sling) so we could hunt the lionfish ourselves. Having seen us dive they were OK to let us try and found us a spear to use, but charged us extra. The DM brought along a catch bag. I had not tried this before but had seen it done. I was able to catch 3 and the DM caught 3 on one dive so we came up with 6. Since we had kevlar gloves and shears (snips) it was pretty easy to cut off the spines safely and filet them! I did this myself (thanks Youtube) and it was really pretty easy. We then took the cleaned filets to a local restaurant (Maya Bistro - 1/2 mile from the resort, excellent) and they prepared them for us.
In summary this is not a hard core diving destination, but if you want to add some easy diving to your trip, this is a pleasant place to do it. I also highly recommend adding a trip to the interior of the country and specifically the zoo.
Websites Belize Underwater   Belize Ocean Club

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Cocos, Philippines, Socorro, GBR, NZ, Bahamas, Mexico Pacific, Cayman, US Keys, Mediterranean (Cyprus, Corsica), Roatan, BVI
Closest Airport PLJ Getting There Fly in to Belize City then transfer to Maya Island Air or Tropic air for 30 min puddle jumper flight (recommended) or 3 hr drive.

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 75-77°F / 24-25°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 40-50 minute dives with guide. DM separated divers by ability. 75 ft max typically. 3200psi in tank, typically finished with 1400 remaining
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera tank on day boat. No shore facilities.
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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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