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Dive Review of Turneffe Flats in
Belize/Turneffe Atoll

Turneffe Flats: "The perfect destination for great diving and fly-fishing", Mar, 2018,

by Marty Shubert, MD, US ( 1 report). Report 10741.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments For my wife and I, return customers to the Flats, this is a perfect combination of great accomodations, superb service, and world class diving and flyfishing.

The diving on the Elbow, at the end of the atoll was excellent with plenty of schools of Jack and other fish but was definitely predicated on weather availability. Even on windy days the excellent dive staff found places for good diving. The visibility here is predicated on tidal outflow from the mangrove lagoons in combination with the prevailing winds so it is an art to find great visibility (80+ ft)on every dive but the staff routinely pulls it off. The standard day consists of 3 dives with plenty of good food and drink provided on the boat between dives. One day incorporates a deep dive to 150 ft as prep for the blue hole the next day. Not a fan of the Blue Hole with the parking lot of boats, but the Flats team does get you there early before the masses arrive so visibility is not too bad. The dives on Lighthouse reef after that are outstanding with the better chance of seeing pelagics than at Turneffe sites.

The Atoll adventure eco-tour program that the Flats has is definitely worth the effort. Even though you are a scuba diver, take the time to go snorkeling with Abel. You will learn a heap and may see a manatee.

Craig and Karen, the owners and operators of the resort are amazing people, with Craig being the last remaining original owner of a lodge on Turneffe. He also runs the Turneffe Atoll Trust that is striking a great balance between the recreational and commercial operations on Turneffe. They run a tight ship with respect to environmental concerns, while still taking great care of their staff and providing exceptional service to their guests.

Accommodations are absolutely excellent considering the remoteness of the place. Water and electric were always available, air conditioning in every bungalow worked fine, and equipment and boats were in great shape. Food was very good also. I am amazed they keep this place running at this level with all that they do. In talking to many guests and staff, this is the preferred resort on Turneffe. The small size makes it a great place to make the acquaintance of all of the guests during your stay and make it an extremely unique experience. Watching the moon rise over the reef while sipping a rum punch after a great day of diving and a great dinner with new found friends; that's the Flats experience. There are plenty of other places that my wife and I want to dive, but returning to Turneffe Flats is on our vacation planner. Oh, and if you are also a flyfisherman, this place is paradise.
Websites Turneffe Flats   Turneffe Flats

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Dominica, Cozumel, Sea of Cortez, Bahamas, Statia, Saba, Roatan, Florida Keys, Puerto Rico
Closest Airport Belize City Getting There Since you have to take a boat out to the Atoll, an early morning flight to Belize works best. For us on the East coast, staying the night in Charlotte NC is the best option and catching the flight out in the morning is nice an unrushed. Charlotte is a nice overnight.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-85°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Divemaster guided so if you are doing photo work it is a bit rushed. Some latitude at the end of the dive for Macro work in the shallower water.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available?

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Small rinse bucket on board dive boat so if you have a lot of camera equipment coordinate for an additional bucket. Tables on the dive boat are workable for gear storage and the staff is used to accommodating photographers. Toward the end of the dive trip the guides were more comfortable with me straying from the flock with my camera.
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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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