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Dive Review of Turneffe Island Resort in
Belize/Offshore island

Turneffe Island Resort: "Belize Barrier Reef Island", May, 2016,

by Jeffrey D Hubbard MD, NY, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 32 reports with 17 Helpful votes). Report 8985 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 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Turneffe Island is a small resort (perhaps 20 rooms) on a private island about 35 miles off Belize City. Most guests are divers or fisherpeople. We arrived in Belize early and the resort had their driver meet us @ airport and take us to a hotel at which we stayed two nights until leaving for resort. Boat usually runs Sat. & Wed. Other days & helicopter available at extra cost.
The accommodations are luxurious, spacious and air-conditioned. The big outside shower is fully screened - no bites! Also an indoor shower, if you like. NO phone, NO TV, but good wi-fi. Screened porch also has a screened floor.
Most of the diving is on small boats with racks for 12 tanks and about 8 divers, though we never had more than 6. There is no sun cover, no head, and no shower, but the runs to the dive sites are short, usually less than 15 minutes. Surface intervals are usually long and always back on the island. Blue Hole day is on a bigger boat with cover, head, and plenty of room. All day on the boat, except for lunch on Halfmoon Cay; a dive on Halfmoon Cay wall and another excellent sand chute-wall dive, so the trip is well worth it, even if you donít fancy the Hole. After the first dayís tank set-up by each diver, the staff handles all the gear for the rest of the stay. We are much accustomed (1800 dives) to handling our own gear, but rapidly came to like the excellent service. Gear is rinsed and hung in the shed each night, and there is a thorough terminal rinsing at tripís end. There is no dive shop, though simple repairs might be possible.
Although most divers here have computers, are pretty experienced and tanks are filled past 3000 psi, dives are limited without apparent reason. On several dives, limits of 50 Ė 60 feet make it difficult to explore beyond the tops of the Belize barrier reef walls, which are available on some dives. The tops of the walls, though, are excellent diving. The single night dive of the entire week is limited to 50 feet, 35 minutes! No reason. We didnít push the requested limits, because we usually donít, but they do limit the excellent diving unnecessarily. I didnít see actual enforcement, though the staff does log max depth & bottom time for all dives. Whether on computer or tables, you will never approach no-decompression limits. We dove nitrox 32 (US$149/week/diver = $10/dive) except in the Hole, but it isnít really necessary because dives are short and surface intervals long. Average bottom time was 52 minutes.
The night dive offered the unusual benefit of seeing the Big Dipper, Polaris, and Southern Cross after the dive.
The food is excellent and the staff made an effort to accommodate requests and idiosyncrasies, though a vegan (=eats no animal products) did challenge them, I think because of limited preparation of staff and understanding. The food isnít very spicy, though a large collection of Belizean hot sauces is available on every table (be careful.) Alcohol is à la carte or pay US$300/week for all you can drink.
The setting is lovely and the organization is superb, so one isnít aware of how much work goes into making the place so special. Weíll be back next year.
Websites Turneffe Island Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Bahamas, Fernando de Noronha, Australia, Fiji, PNG, Micronesia, Hawai'i
Closest Airport Belize Getting There Through ATL or IAH. MIA if you're desperate.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 81-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 25-50 Ft/ 8-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Arbitrary depth & time limits. Within those, dive your own profile.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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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