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Dive Review of Turtle Inn in
Belize/Placencia

Turtle Inn , May, 2012,

by Charlie Wright, OH, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6563.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Turks and Caicos, Honduras, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Florida, Cabo, Cazumel,
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 83 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions 80 feet on whale shark dives, whale shark area restriction
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 4 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 I am not a photographer however whale shark and bull shark pictures can be very interesting. Not to mention the turtles, eagle rays and reef sharks.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was our third trip to Belize and second trip to whale shark dive at the Turtle Inn. Saw whale sharks both trips, on the surface and at a 110 feet plus in between. First trip was at the full moon in April 2010, second trip full moon May 2012. Recommend arriving at about the full moon and staying at least a week. The resort looks east so you see the full moon rise over the ocean. The beech is protected by the largest reef in the northern latitudes second only to the Great Barrier Reef. The whale shark diving is outside the reef and the reef diving around the reef. There is about a 45 minute ride to the dive area. I have about 200 dives mostly in the Caribbean and if you like the convenience of the area but want to step up the diving blue water whale shark diving plus the bull sharks is the ticket. First trip I watched a hammerhead swim past thirty feet below the surface. There can be waves however the reef protects the reef diving. Additionally we saw loggerhead turtles, some very large.

The Turtle Inn is a five star diving experience. Dee and I found it listed as the Caribbean Dive/Resort Operator in the book Diving in Style. This Francis Coppola resort lived up to all and more as reviewed in the book. You stay in cottages on or around the beach and the new dive boat leaves from the bay side behind the resort. This is not the low budget dive destination however the value is definitely there for the dollars paid. The dive shop manager, Bertram, has been there 10 years. The new dive boat is well laid out with an upper deck plus ample area to get out of the sun. His staff is excellent including dealing with an unexpected diver situation on one of our reef dives. The dive trip has a lunch break between dives either on an island or for whale shark diving on the boat in a snorkeling area inside the reef. For reef diving we really like Bonaire (three trips to Den Laman) however the reef diving in Belize was on par with Bonaire plus you have the blue water diving with its larger pelagic and fish species not to forget the Blue Hole for advanced divers. Also in Belize there is the back country including a second Coppola resort called Blancaneaux Lodge. We have not been there however on our first trip we visited the back country and found it very interesting especially the night hike. The bottom line on the Turtle Inn is the people from Martin, the GM from Holland, through all the other staff areas. Part of why we returned was the friendships made with the servers. This was our first trip since Martin became GM. Unlike most resorts, even top resorts, he spent a lot of his time engaged with the guests including diving on some of our dive trips.
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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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