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#56696 - 09/06/02 10:40 PM Ac in Jan/ scuba/ Ramon's
kakkue Offline
My son and I are planning our first trip to Ac in Jan to celebrate his 18th Bday. I've looked back through this BB 60 days, and have gotten SOOO much helpful info, but have a bunch of questions. Any help would be MUCH appreciated:
-What is the weather like in Jan? From info I've read in our scuba magazines, it is rainy season from Dec thru March,and that there are 3-4 days rainstorms called "Norther's" that occur.
-Are bugs a problem and is bugspray needed?
-From what I've read, Ramon's sems like a pretty good bet for accommodations for this first trip. For those of you who mentioned it, what is the advantage of staying in one of the 2nd story suites? Are the rooms larger, are there minifridges? Separate bedroom? Is it difficult to haul, scuba stuff to the rooms. *ie- is Ramon's pretty
diver-friendly?
- We are looking for moderate/advanced diving (Bryce is rescue cert, I am a DM)The diver operator that keeps popping up as the favorite is Amigos del Mar. Do they operate out of Ramon's or are they contacted somewhere else?
-The diving we're used to is drift diving in Cozumel. There, we take the early morning "fast" boats with a max of 6 divers of similar ability and choose the site based on the group's interest and ability. Is this similar in Belize?
_We would very much like to see sharks, but from what I've read, the sharks in the "alley" are all nurse sharks. Is there another site nearby where we can find reef or other sharks? Ive read that the site The Elbow at Turneffe Islands has them- is this a long haul from AC?
-How long is the boatride to the Blue hole? Is it choppy (a dramamine ride ?
-sorry this is sooo long but lastly- has anyone heard of any good airfares from Denver? My next "stop" is to the airfare sites you have all listed, but I don't know what would be considered a "good" fare since this is a first.
Thank you soooo much!

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#56697 - 09/06/02 10:57 PM Re: Ac in Jan/ scuba/ Ramon's
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
My shilling's worth:

No, the rainy season in Belize is generally June through October or November. January is usually pretty good weather, with little rain. Think South Florida. Storm fronts can blow down from the north and bring cool (60s and 70s) weather for a few days.

You will have surprisingly few bug problems in January, or anytime for that matter, on the island as long as you are on or near the water. Away from the water or in more remote areas south and north you may find some mozzies.

Ramon's is a good place, if a bit pricey, but there are many good places on the island. With an 18-year-old son, you might look at one of the condotels or suites hotels which offer more space. You might look at The Palms, Banana Beach, Blue Tang Inn, Paradise Villas, Mayan Princess, among others.

No, the diving around Ambergris Caye is considerably different than on Coz. You can read about it in detail on the Web sites of dive shops here. Amigos del Mar does have a good reputation, but there are a number of good dive shops. In most cases you can work with any of them, regardless of where you are staying.

The trip to the Blue Hole can be quite rough, and dramamine is a good idea if you're susceptible to seasickness. Turneffe is also a pretty good ride away. It's on as windy in January, however, as in the spring.

Airfares to Belize are all over the board. Often they get cheaper the closer you get to the departure date, the opposite of we used to think about airfares.

--Lan Sluder www.belizefirst.com
_________________________
Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com

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#56698 - 09/07/02 03:37 AM Re: Ac in Jan/ scuba/ Ramon's
seashell Offline
I'm going to answer as many of your questions as I can and to the best of my ability.

*-What is the weather like in Jan? From info I've read in our scuba magazines, it is rainy season from Dec thru March,and that there are 3-4 days rainstorms called "Norther's" that occur.

The official rainy season ends around November but true there can be Northers come down. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
January is a good month for Belize.

-Are bugs a problem and is bugspray needed?

I don't find the mosquitos all that bothersome when I'm near the oceanside but away from there they can be terrible. I always take Deep Woods Off with me (100% Deet) I don't use it all the time but often cover my feet, ankles and lower legs with it to avoid the sandflea bites when out for the evening. Better to take some with you than wish you'd had done so.

-From what I've read, Ramon's sems like a pretty good bet for accommodations for this first trip.

Depends on your tastes. Sure the grounds are very nice but for my money, I'd stay eslewhere. Like Lan said, with an 18 year old, I'd definitely be going for a condotel. That way, you get a kitchenette, a lounging area and usually separate sleeping areas. A one bedroom unit in most all of the condotels has a pullout couch.

I particularly like a kitchenette because I can fix my own brekkie on dive days and not be at the mercy of a restaurant. Some days, timing is everything. It's also nice to be able to get your own beer or whatever while you kick back on your own patio or veranda.

. *ie- is Ramon's pretty
diver-friendly?

They have their own shop, so I'd say yes. And if Robbie is still working at the shop, he's a great guy, you'd enjoy diving with him I'm sure.

- We are looking for moderate/advanced diving (Bryce is rescue cert, I am a DM)The diver operator that keeps popping up as the favorite is Amigos del Mar. Do they operate out of Ramon's or are they contacted somewhere else?

Amigo's are down the beach from Ramon's but will come and pick you up at the Ramon's dock or anywhere that you stay.

-The diving we're used to is drift diving in Cozumel. There, we take the early morning "fast" boats with a max of 6 divers of similar ability and choose the site based on the group's interest and ability. Is this similar in Belize?

That has not been my experience. It certainly works if you go with a large group and have your own boat dedicated to you for the time of your trip. However, when there is only one or two of you, you get put on with whoever. At Amigo's, they know me and what I like so they do often put me with more experienced divers but it's kind of a catch as catch can thing. Sometimes you bite the bear, sometimes the bear bites you. What I will say though, is that my dives have never been curtailed due to divers' of lesser experience. All you have to do is have a chat with your DM, explain your credentials and let them see you guys dive (of course) and you'll be able to do pretty much whatever you like. I'm generally first in, last out. Divers are sent to the surface for pickup as they run out of air or desire, leaving behind the others to finish out their dives.

If you are willing to go with a smaller operator, more of a boutique outfit, you can probably get exactly what you want. The larger shops do have to cater to all of their customer base, right? Check out Ched Cabral.

_We would very much like to see sharks, but from what I've read, the sharks in the "alley" are all nurse sharks. Is there another site nearby where we can find reef or other sharks?

While sharks other than nurse sharks have been sighted close in, the best way to catch them is out at the Blue Hole.

_Ive read that the site The Elbow at Turneffe Islands has them- is this a long haul from AC?

Yes, about an hour to hour and 1/2. Well worth the trip. That said, I've never spied a shark out there. Doesn't mean they aren't there, just that I myself have never seen a shark at the Elbow or Turneffe. I always see lots and lots of sharks at the Blue Hole. There is a reason for that.


-How long is the boatride to the Blue hole?

One and 1/2 to 2 hours. Well worth the trip.

-Is it choppy (a dramamine ride ?

That all depends. I've never been sick on the ride even when they used the smaller boat. Amigo's has a beautiful 48' with a great head, mattresses for napping on the way out, the whole shebang. Beautiful boat. Beautiful way to spend a day.

If you are inclined to seasickness then I can't say for sure what will happen. The seas are different sometimes even from day to day.

-
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#56699 - 09/07/02 04:58 PM Re: Ac in Jan/ scuba/ Ramon's
Einer Offline
Ramon's Village is one of the few FULL SERVICE RESORTS on the Island. The minisuits are upstairs units, some with direct beachfront views and others with partial views. The minisuites have a king bed, microwave oven, coffemaker, small refrigirator and a private balcony. All of the rooms have telephones but no television. Room service is also available. The guest suites are adjacent to the minisuits but do not have the kitchenette amenities like the minsuite, they do have a connecting door to the minisuite and a bath tub.
Ramon's Village Dive Shop is a GOLD PALM 5 STAR PADI RESORT CENTER. The Dive Shop is equiped with dive lockers for guests that are using our Dive Operation. For more information you can email ramons@btl.net

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#56700 - 09/10/02 08:14 PM Re: Ac in Jan/ scuba/ Ramon's
ScubaLdy Offline
The question not answered was regarding “dragging dive gear”
I’m getting ready to come down to A/C for my 7th visits. Get it? I love the place.
I’ve dove with Hustler’s, Amigos and Ched Cabral. Before I discovered Belize I made two trips to Cozumel. Big difference! I will not say anything negative about Coz, just tell you what I think are the positives differences for Belize.
1) You take your gear to the boat once.
2) The Rinse tanks are right on the dock
3) You (sometimes they) hang your stuff up to dry
4) It is warm and ready the next morning
5) The day you are ready to leave you lug it to your room. (Ched has always brought mine to my room for me.)
6) Except at Hol Chan I have seldom have had another boat tie up to the mooring where we are diving. IN fact, if we get close to a dive site and someone is there ahead of us, we go someplace else. Therefore I seldom see a diver that is not a part of my small group.
7) Amigos tends to try to keep their divers together. I think that may be because they get a lot of novice divers. With Billy (Hustler’s) and Ched, once they know someone’s skill level they leave you pretty much to your own devices – if you want that.
8) Seldom much current and I can stop and take pictures without having to “hang onto” the reef.

Whatever you decide will be fine - you will love it.
Harriette
_________________________
Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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#56701 - 09/10/02 08:54 PM Re: Ac in Jan/ scuba/ Ramon's
seashell Offline
Amigos pretty much lets me dive how I like and doesn't keep me herded together. And they didn't with others that showed their abilities either.

Sure they get lots of beginner divers. They've got the biggest shop with the most boats and one of the best reputations. That's what's going to happen.

Go in and talk to the shops you are interested in. Explain yourself, your diving style and preferences, get a feel and then decide.
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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