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Dive Review of Turneffe Flats in
Belize/Turneffe Flats

Turneffe Flats: "Great Diving With The Added Bonus of Fishing", Jul, 2014,

by David Walton, CA, US ( 2 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 7939.

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 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments A relatively easy flight from the San Francisco Bay Area. Direct flight to Houston with a direct connection to Belize City. The van from Turneffe Flats was late to pick us up at the airport but once he got there it was a relatively short ride from the airport to the boat. Turneffe has a large boat for the hour plus ride from Belize City to Turneffe atoll. The ride was pretty smooth and interesting as you go through a couple of atolls to get to Turneffe. Turneffe Flats resort is small and composed of duplex type raised cabanas. The rooms were clean and comfortable, nothing fancy but well maintained. Food was served at the central dining room/club house and was quite good. There was a set menu each day which was composed of local dishes of fish and chicken and some American style dishes like pasta. My wife liked the food so much that she bought the Turneffe Flats cookbook. The diving was very easy and comfortable. Since most of the diving is just outside of the atoll lagoon on the reef, the ride to dive sites inside the lagoon was smooth and sometimes interesting. There was only one day when we had any current to speak of and all 5 days of diving had 75 feet plus visibility. We had a 6-pack style boat with a full shade cover and fast outboard motors. We had our own group of 6 divers so we had the boat to ourselves. We saw some dolphins on one trip through the lagoon and they played around the boat for awhile. I was pleased at the good condition of the reefs around Turneffe. Very large, colorful and healthy sponges and coral. A decent amount of typical caribbean reef fish. Our divemaster was very good. When he saw that I had a nice camera he went out of his way to point out a lot of good macro and other photo ops. We did the obligatory trip to the Blue Hole on their big boat. The good - the big boat was nice in the blue water out to the Blue Hole. The bad - Turneffe had families with small kids and some tourists in for the day on the boat for Blue Hole snorkeling so the boat was noisy and crowded. Lots of people have commented on the Blue Hole. I will just say I have been there and done that. The best part of the Blue Hole trip was the 2 dives that we did on the way back on Lighthouse Reef. Really a nice reef and a lot of fun. The divemasters have been spearing lion fish down there for a few years and feeding them to the moray eels, barracuda and reef sharks in hopes that these fish would develop a taste for the lion fish and learn to hunt them for themselves. Well, these fish have developed a taste for lion fish but expect the divers to hunt for them. On many dives, once we got in the water Pavlov's eels and barracudas would follow us around for the whole dive hoping to be fed a lion fish. It was fun having a big moray swim around us but it probably isn't the best thing for them to expect to be fed. Saturdays at Turneffe is their "turnover day". The big boat leaves Friday night with many of the staff who visit with their families in Belize City Friday night and return Saturday afternoon. Since we did a Wednesday to Wednesday itinerary, we were told ahead of time that there would not be sufficient staff to take us diving on Saturday. I asked if I could go fishing on Saturday and they said they would try and set something set up up for me if they had enough staff (note, Turneffe is first and foremost a fishing resort). They had a private fishing group come in for Saturday fishing so they had staff available to take me and my wife out on our own boat. Our fishing guide was outstanding and I caught a 35 lb Tarpon on an 8 wt fly rod. The guide even taught my wife how to cast a fly rod and she caught a couple of bonefish. Note, if you plan on fishing, be aware that there is no shade on the fishing boats and that the sun is blazing out there. Bring a long sleeved shirt (I wore my rash guard) and a big brimmed hat (I had one of those caps with the snap on shade scarf that covered my ears and back of my head). One bad thing about Turneffe Flats is the bugs. They have "doctor flies" that are extremely aggressive and attack you the minute you go outdoors. They also have no see-ums. Bring bug spray. When we were outside we were either in the pool or heading to our room or the clubhouse. No sitting around on the deck. Turneffe Flats is a really nice place and is a lot of fun. There is another resort on the other side of the atoll but it is a long ways away and you feel like you are alone at the resort. It is a bit pricey.
Websites Turneffe Flats   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean, Berumda, Costa Rica, Palau, Yap, Fiji, Hawaii
Closest Airport Belize City Getting There Direct flights from Houston

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 75-100 Ft/ 23-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Just general recreational limits. If someone in the group was low on air, the divemaster would help them get up to the boat but the rest of us could continue diving.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Standard rinse bucket on the 6 pack. The big boat to the Blue Hole had a rinse bucket but it was not large enough for all of the cameras and gopros.
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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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