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Dive Review of Isla Marisol in
Belize/Glovers Reef Atoll

Isla Marisol, Apr, 2008,

by Duane Kromm, CA, United States (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 4047.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Panama, Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Sea of Cortez, California
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 75 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 30 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Up at 700psi, letting divemaster know. Stay with small group, but since many dives were on the edge of walls one could drop down for quite a while.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments I only use a simple digital, so not a big deal.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We found Isla Marisol on Undercurrent reviews, and are we thankful. It was simply the best diving that I have ever done.

Very healthy reef, coral and fish. Turtles were on virtually every dive, plenty of nurse sharks, rays, and eels - mostly but not exclusively Morays. An abundance of fish and lots of varieties. More filefish, cowfish, spotted drum and angels than I expected. Remoras periodically hung out with us to see about a free ride I think.

Did two night dives, saw octopus on both plus scorpionfish, sleeping turtle, many lobsters and crabs, a shortnose batfish, and what two us thought was a lime green lizardfish. One octopus put on a show for us, spent several minutes moving across the reef alternately spreading out and then gathering itself to move short distances to another patch of coral; quite a show.

The normal schedule was three dives a day, 8:30, back to the lodge for a break, 10:30-11, back to the lodge for lunch, and then 3-4pm or a night dive. Twice we went further around the atoll and did our morning break at another small resort or on a small island.

All dives were drift dives. The current was usually quite manageable, only periodically was it difficult to maintain position. We usually dove on the edge of the wall so some could dive the top of the wall and others could work the sides. Typical first dive depth was 75' followed by max of 60' on subsequent dives.

Nobody with a computer had any problems with our profiles, we always did 3 minutes at 15'-20'. The dive boat was always right there when we came up, no matter how broken up our initial group might be by the end.

The normal group was 4-6 divers with a skilled, knowledgeable divemaster. A few times there were as many as 8 divers. The boats were comfortable and fast, with tops, side racks for tanks, all backroll entries and a good ladder for coming up. A big plus; we were always the only boat in the ocean on our dives.

Glovers Reef is very healthy, appears to be well protected and was a delight. Isla Marisol is a very well run remote resort. A very popular bar, really good restaurant with regular fresh fish (although fried a bit too often for our tastes), tasty fresh squeezed juices, plentiful food at all meals. There was always fresh fruit, juice, water, coffee, or tea at all meals and for snacks between dives. The cooks were constantly working, always incredibly cheerful, and had no problem making me some toast with peanut butter as my morning between dives snack, or I could have had a choice of some of he previous day's desserts.

We are fond of remote places with communal dining, and this was no exception. Fun, entertaining, energetic fellow guests; the crew loved to hang out in the bar with us after dinner. Folks from other resorts and big boats regularly stopped by the bar and occassionally for dinner. The owner Eddie Usher appears to be a well liked and respected person in the region.

Be sure to carefully plan your arrival as the boat only runs Sat and Weds. Don't cut it too close in case a flight into Belize gets delayed somewhere along the line. Sand fleas were a non-issue, they are spraying something very effective. But bring DEET just in case.

We booked two kinds of packages as my wife dives less than I do. At the end of the trip it was simply what is cheapest, and paying by dive was cheapest - $35 each plus $15 a day for BCD and regulator rental. The diving cost us slightly over $1,000 for a week, our bar bill was $150 and we tipped the staff about $450. Look at rates, add airfare, a night in Dangriga, plus these costs and you get your total. No tip pressure, ho hussle to sell anything else.

I cannot recommend Isla Marisol enough.
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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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