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#487458 03/05/14 11:34 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 4
OP Offline
Hello all! My wife and I have chose Ambergris Caye as our honeymoon spot after looking over many locations in the Caribbean. We are pumped to visit this beautiful Island.

We had a few questions:
- We have never been scuba diving. I understand there is certification on the island. How long is the certification? Is this a entry level(shallow)? Can you obtain a more advanced in one trip? Any pricing ideas on certification?

- We have done snorkeling and was curious is there a big difference in experience to justify paying for certification?

- Is the Blue Hole a dive only trip? Can you scuba dive at this location without being and "advanced" diver?

- How much money should I plan for each day just doing food and boozin moderately for a day in San Pedro?

- Is there any boat rentals on the island?

- We are staying at the Xtan Ha resort (north side) and found out, after the fact, that we will have to water taxi to the city. Are there any golf carts that can handle the roads that would almost be consider an ATV? The resort mentioned some guest ride bikes on beach to San Pedro, which seemed to me a long haul. We like the resort so we sacrificed the distance, so hopefully was the right move.

Any insight for the new visitors would be very beneficial. We will be visiting from June 6-16 and are from Atlanta Georgia if anybody wants to get together for some beverages!

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,208
Hi ktwillie01. I'll do my best to answer the questions that I can, but there are much more knowledgeable people here who can help you with the diving information. If you decide to certify, you can do the first part of the course locally and that will save you a lot of time and time studying instead of being in the water once you are here. I'm a lapsed diver, who is now quite satisfied snorkeling, but that doesn't mean everyone would be. That said, the snorkeling here is quite spectacular, but there some things and experiences that you can only have as a diver, so it really does depend on what you want. Certainly learning to dive and diving in Belize are absolutely amazing experiences.

I've not been to the Blue Hole myself, but understand that it's a pretty long trip if you're just going to snorkel. I have had one or two people report that they enjoyed the experience thoroughly though.

You can truly spend as much or as little as you like on eating and drinking in San Pedro Town. If you stick with local drinks and local eateries, you could budget for $100usd for two of you, but on holiday sticking to a low budget can be a bummer. Think about how much you'd spend to eat out and drink out say, in Florida, and estimate from there. Always better to over than under budget.

You can hire boats with a captain to take you fishing, snorkeling and exploring. You can't do this legally without a licensed captain/guide as far as I'm aware.

Hope you both have a wonderful time. X'tan Ha is a gorgeous resort!
Belize Wedding Photography

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 68
Just my 2 cents on the diving part of your trip. You may want to do your pool instruction in your hometown and take your open water test when you reach Ambergis. We did it this way before and planned a trip to Grand Cayman for our certification and glad we did.

It would certainly free up a lot of your time on the island without the pressure of class and studying everything that leads up to a certification dive.

Congrats on your upcoming wedding. You are going to love the island and its people.

Last edited by doggirl; 03/06/14 06:53 AM.
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 50
When we did the Blue Hole trip there was a snorkelling Option. It was not, in my humble opinion, worth the length of the trip though. The Blue hole is not a great dive. It is a deep dive but that does not make it a great dive. The dives afterwards are nice but personally speaking, the local diving if you have just certified is more than enough. Diving is a nice slow and relaxing thing to do but boy, does it wipe you out!

On the roads, last time I was there the roads up north were still rough, the water taxi was the best way to go or a long walk on the beach with a few stops at the local hostelries smile

Boat rentals I will leave to a more local person to answer.

Money? It really depends on where you go and what you do. Rent a golf cart and your outgoings will soar. Eat at the more local restaurants and you'll have some great food but if you go to the resorts and 'better' (I may take argument with that definition) places you'll spend a lot more.

Most places have web sites but not all show certification prices, check trip advisor as well. We will probably try Chuck and Robbies this year - we have dropped Amigos del Mar due to very poor front of house service - that's my admittedly biased opinion.

At the risk of sounding like a complete tourist (I am though) we have been to Belize multiple times and still find it tough to beat going into town and sitting in the Reef or Fidos while we plan our next move.

Have fun!

Last edited by apache1048; 03/06/14 09:41 AM.
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,955
I would never discourage anyone from doing what they want to do, but for just a 10 day trip, I would plan less and take it all in as it comes to you. Depending on your personality, planning the steps for a dive cert (even with major portions done stateside) can take away from just experiencing the good life Belize has to offer.

That said, boat rental is a good question. Never hurts to have leads before you arrive. I will leave that to others as I typically do a charter where I can simply sit back, snorkel, and imbibe heavily smile Gone out twice with Oliver -- he is da man!!! Fish, snorkel, beach BBQ with your catch of the day -- bliss!!

Just my opinion, of course. I planned far too much my first trip and wished I had just come to town with an openness to explore as the mood and conversations with locals dictated.

As for daily budget, I echo colly, but it depends a lot on your tastes and what "moderately" means. I typically do one swanky dinner per trip and that $100 is gone right away. For most days, for two of us, I'd say we spent closer to $150 for meals and drinks. You can do it for much less (and we have when we needed to), but that $150 includes a potential desire to catch the Coastal Xpress or a cab to a more remote location for a drink, or buy a round of shots for new friends.

Best advice I ever got is to pack and when we thought we were done, double the cash and get rid of half the clothes. That was amazingly accurate smile


I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 4
OP Offline
I wanted to thank all of you that responded. It help provide the insight that I was looking for.
I think we will pass on the Blue Hole, try some local scuba diving, snorkel a lot, eat and drink a lot (haha), and just plan by the seat of our pants.
I like the suggestion of pack and then take half the clothes and double the cash!!!!
I cannot wait!

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,018
Originally Posted by ktwillie01
I wanted to thank all of you that responded. It help provide the insight that I was looking for.
I think we will pass on the Blue Hole, try some local scuba diving, snorkel a lot, eat and drink a lot (haha), and just plan by the seat of our pants.
I like the suggestion of pack and then take half the clothes and double the cash!!!!
I cannot wait!

Well made will have a blast!!

I'm happier than a pig in s__t...a foot on the sand...and a Belikin in my hand!
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 391
As has been said, unless it's on your Bucket List the Blue Hole trip is a whip. The only way I'd do it again is if there were an amorous Mermaid with low self esteem and Daddy issues at the other end...

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,044
I must have dived the blue hole at least 50 times - and everytime was magical for me. I absolutely love the geological architecture and the thought that this used to all be above water - and the mystery of the deep when you reach the limit and recreational diving depth and see there is a long ways to go down further.

However, I would not recommend diving the blue hole immediately after receiving certification as it can be an arduous journey and for a beginner the shallow diving on the reef is so full of beautiful colour and abundant wildlife to see.

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,888
Take a trip by air out to the Blue Hole. When you are on a boat, you really can't see the awesomeness of it, but from!

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