Belize Trip Report
I just returned from Ambrigis Caye, Belize. It was my first dive trip to the island, and we had a good time. It was a SingleDivers.com trip http://www.singledivers.com/surfaceinterval/index.php?showtopic=16972 . We stayed at the Tides on the north end of San Pedro. Diving was with the on site dive op, Patojos. http://www.ambergriscaye.com/tides/dive.html. The cost of the trip was actually $80 less than the price quoted on the website and included lunch as well. Additional cost was the flight over from Belize City ($120).
Unfortunately when I arrived in Belize City my checked bag with the BC and Fins didn’t make it. The bag did make it to Belizse City on Sunday and over to the Resort by Monday morning. I also had my toiletries in the bag as well but had carried on the rest of my dive gear as well as my clothes. After making a couple of inquiries, we found a store in town called War Paint that had all of my supplies and was open till 9pm on Saturday.
Sunday was our first day diving. The shop was gracious enough to give me free loaners of a BC & Fins. The first dive was a check out dive at a site called Ismorelda. All week we had a steady 10-20MPH breeze which made things interesting when we crossed over from the protected area out to the reef. 4-6ft swells. So we dropped down on about 7 nurse sharks, where were very common on most of the dive sites. Saw some very large turtles and rays during the week, along with some good size groupers. The overall macro life was good. We had two dives a day in our package and a 3rd dive was offered on most days. Given the windy conditions, I didn’t take advantage of these. I was told this wind was uncharacteristic of Belize for this time of year and many regulars that I talked to said they hadn’t seen those conditions before.
As far as the meals go, the breakfasts were a combo of eggs, beans, tortillas and a variety of meats throughout the week. Fruit was also plentiful. The lunches were very good ranging from burgers to a variety of fish dishes. The meals were served on the dock just behind the dive shop making it very convenient. For dinner we headed to town and ate at a number of resturants including Fidos, Calientes, The reef house, Pedros(pizza) and Limes(fish and chips). We also did a buffet north of town (Captain Morgans) where they picked us up by water taxi. Other than the buffet ($22 US), the other meals ran us about 1/2 of that. Beers on the island seem to run about $2-2.50. Mixed drinks a little more depending on what you ordered. Tides had its own bar and pool which was open every day.
Rooms were very spacious, with good fans and air conditioning which kept it very comfortable. The staff at the Tides and Patojos, from the dive masters to the room staff were fantastic, taking very good care of us.
On Wednesday, we did the trip out the Blue Hole. We did this trip wtih Aqua dives. It was $220 for a 3 tank trip, including lunch. They picked us up at dawn (5:30am) and took us over to the dive shop for a continental breakfast. Boat left the dock at 6am, with a stop to pick up an additional diver in Caye Caulker about 45 minutes. Then it was the trip out to the Lighthouse Atoll, which we arrived about 9:30. The boat was having alternator problems and were in constant communcation were other boats who helped us along the trip, and given the wind, which slowed us down on the way out. The Blue Hole dive itself was pretty neat and worth doing. The two dives afterwards (Half Moon Caye and Aquarium) were awesome. As good as any dive I have down in the caribbean, including Bonaire, Roatan or Cozumel and made the overall trip worthwhile. We did the 2nd surface interval on Half Moon Caye, a very pretty island where lunch was served. The trip back was much quicker (less than 3 hours) with rum punch served on the boat.
The last day of diving we stayed inside the reef and dove the Hol Chan Marine park. A perfect way to end the week with a very shallow dive (I don’t think I got over 20 feet max) with turtles, eels, sharks and lots of fish. After this, we snorkeled over in Shark/Ray Alley, saying farewell to the sharks and rays that we dove with all week.
Overall it was a great trip and all of the people we met were fantastic. I am looking forward to my next chance to go dive down there again, maybe checking out Turneffe, Thatch Kaye or maybe down the Palencia to check out the whale sharks.