I am finally getting around to posting my trip report from my trip down to Belize earlier this month!!
After a few hiccups and some running around LAX I finally landed in Belize City at 6am. From there it was about a 20min cab ride to the water taxi terminal which would take me out to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye about an hour and a half boat ride off the mainland.
Upon arrival in San Pedro i was able to make my way over to Ramon's Dive Village (who i would spend the rest of the week diving with). What is super cool about diving on the Belize Barrier reef is that it's about 1/2 mile off shore and is super super easy to get to. So easy in fact that the dive boats come back to the dock for your surface interval. They run a 9am, 11:30am, 2pm and a night dive (when enough people sign up). Ambergris Caye is super cool, everyone drives golf carts, they seem to outnumber cars 10 to 1.
After landing at 6am I was able to make the 11:30 dive! Whoohoo!!
Andddd I was not disappointed!! Warm 85 degree clear water (80ft viz) teeming with reef life like I had never seen before. Beautiful corals all over the place! On my first dive alone we saw nurse sharks, reef sharks, sea turtle, moral eels, lobsters, sting rays etc. Quite the show! Throughout the week some highlight moments include: an overly friendly loggerhead actually taking a nip at a divers mask and the DM having to shoo away the darn thing. Diving with dolphins. Eagle rays, flamingo tongue's, more sharks, barracuda, hawksbill turtles, jaw fish, basket stars at night, and much more that I am currently forgetting.
I spent the remainder of the week diving as often as possible with Ramon's. I would highly recommend them as a dive op- no hand holding. Grab your kit, set it up, grab your weights, hop on the boat, into the water and meet up on the bottom. Dives were typically limited to about 1hr.
After a week diving the barrier reef in San Pedro I met up with my dad, brother and some cousins and headed out to the Turneffe Atoll for 3 days at a bad-ass crazy nice resort on a private island. 10/10 would recommend Turneffe Island Resort to anyone. Absolutely incredible food, hospitality, and diving. And again, the reef was no more than a 5min boat ride away. Saw much of the same as off Ambergris caye but far fewer nurse sharks and perhaps a little more reef life. Saw a handful of dolphins while at our safety stops which was AWESOME. Especially since one of the cousins who came along was a former dolphin trainer. From the Turnefffe Atoll the trip out to the Great Blue Hole was only about an hour and a half which out us there well ahead of the other dive boats.
The Blue Hole was pretty neat, saw a handful of sharks on our way down. I maxed out at 140ft after exploring around the stalactites. Its a pretty short dive but was still pretty cool and would recommend to anyone who is interested in history or just to see something really unique. After the Blue Hole we did a surface interval and lunch on Half-Moon Caye which is a natural monument and is home to nesting populations of Red-footed boobies (very cool birds). The island was pretty busy with other dive boats from all over the area. The second dive amazinggg!!! maybe my favorite dive of the whole trip. We got followed around by a handful of reef sharks and a very curious grouper. Third dive of the day and final dive of my trip was sadly pretty awful... hardly any life, hardly any coral, lots of silt and sand. Almost like a landslide had just covered over the reef.
All in all I had a spectacular trip and if anyone is interested in Belize, DO IT! I'm sure as i remember more details of the trip i will add and update this post.