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Beginning diver what NOT to miss on our trip #99280
03/18/05 05:33 PM
03/18/05 05:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 23
1goldstar444 Offline OP
1goldstar444  Offline OP
We have 8 days & I cannot seem to narrow down the ABSOLUTELY must do events. I just got certified and I have never been diving anywhere but WA, so I do not want to go too far out of my comfort zone as far as depth. Is the Blue Hole only for advanced divers? Turneffe Isl, South Elbow, North Wall, Hol Chan?? I want to see marine life large & small esp..sharks... what diving should I not miss if I want to squeeze in the Mayan Ruins, Cave tubing & bird sanctuary? HELP buddies...ALSO what tour guide can you suggest to do all this with?

Re: Beginning diver what NOT to miss on our trip #99281
03/18/05 07:27 PM
03/18/05 07:27 PM

Skip the BH - it's almost 150'. If you can find a trip to Lighthouse that doesn't go to the BH do go, as the wall dives are superb. Hustler Tours may run such a trip. Amigos run excellent trips but the first dive is always the BH.

You'll like The Elbow at south Turneffe Atoll. Many people reckon this the best dive site in Belize, though my limited experience doesn't support that.

Cave tubing is often combined with a visit to the zoo. Not like any zoo you've ever been to - go there.

For ruins within a day trip I'd recommend Lamanai.

Lots of dive centers for local diving. For Lighthouse without BH try Hustler. For Turneffe take Hustler, Amigos, Ambergris or Bottom Time. For inland tours Searious, Seaduced and Tanisha all get good write-ups.

Shame I can't promote my own business here, although I can certainly help with local dives. In any case, you don't need to shop around to all these places - your hotel or chosen dive center can book everything for you. Where will you be staying?

Re: Beginning diver what NOT to miss on our trip #99282
03/18/05 09:14 PM
03/18/05 09:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 3,677
Maple Grove, MN USA
Bobber Offline
Bobber  Offline
Recently certified, never dove the Carribean, boy, have you got a treat in store for you. I would suggest doing Hol Chan. Easy, shallow, lots of critters to see. Shark ray alley to snorkel. The BH is probably too advanced, Turneffe would be good, but ties up a full day. There are some sites just outside the reef that are pretty fair (considering your experience).

Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt
Re: Beginning diver what NOT to miss on our trip #99283
03/19/05 12:38 AM
03/19/05 12:38 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
Even Turneffe, you should be careful. I've seen lots of new divers go too deep on the wall. Make sure you have control of your descent.

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

Re: Beginning diver what NOT to miss on our trip #99284
03/19/05 08:55 AM
03/19/05 08:55 AM

Yes, but at Turneffe and on other wall dives you don't HAVE TO go deep. At the BH it's the whole purpose of the dive. If you aren't sufficiently aware, attentive and skilful to keep to a reasonable depth limit then you certainly shouldn't go to any of the walls yet - get yourself some good instruction first.

Re: Beginning diver what NOT to miss on our trip #99285
03/19/05 10:28 AM
03/19/05 10:28 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 105
San Francisco
Sam Scuba Offline
Sam Scuba  Offline
There are so many great dives right off shore, that it isn't really necessary to take a day trip to see what you want to see. I would recommend that you spend this trip diving the local dives and getting your skills honed. Early in my diving experience I spent a week at Lighthouse Reef. Now looking back, I realize that I wasn't ready for some of those dives and would have been better off doing some easier ones to build my confidence and develop my buoyancy control. In Dec. 04 my husband and I dove the Elbow at Turneffe. The current was incredibly strong that day, making it a difficult dive. I loved it as an experienced diver but would have been freaked as a newbie. I think building skill and confidence are very important to the diving experience. Whatever you decide, you will be thrilled with all there is to see. Enjoy.

Re: Beginning diver what NOT to miss on our trip #99286
03/19/05 07:42 PM
03/19/05 07:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,542
Birdland - 1 mile north
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
The above advice is all excellent. I would suggest you connect with a dive shop and arrange to do multiple days of diving with them. The first day they will probably take you to Hol Chan to assess your skill level. Then trust them to take you to appropriate sites. Personally I dive with Hustler and they know the great sites. They will see to it that you get to dive with lots of nurse sharks what a thrill. One of my favorite sites is Cypress Tunnels where the most beautiful Queen Triggerfish hangs out. After a couple days of going south of the pier you might ask them to take you north Christ of the Abyss is good and one just off of my place that they say they are going to call "Miss Harriette's." I've seen an enormous Loggerhead turtle out there.
Yes, the wall dives at the atolls are fabulous but save it for another trip. Enjoy Ambergris Caye on this one.

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
Re: Beginning diver what NOT to miss on our trip #99287
03/23/05 02:29 PM
03/23/05 02:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 700
J DOG Offline
J DOG  Offline
The local diving is great,the nite dive at hol Chan is awesome! I would do the B.H. trip,you don't have to dive it,the last 3 times i did it I snorkeled it so i could spend more time on the two wall dives at Half Moon caye which are world class dives.
Plus as Bobber says the stop at Half Moon is worth the price of the trip.
a short day trip to Caye Caulker is a must do trip also, It's only a 25 min. water taxi ride inside the reef.

Re: Beginning diver what NOT to miss on our trip #99288
03/23/05 09:10 PM
03/23/05 09:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,479
SimonB Offline

SimonB  Offline
September of the year before last I went on the Blue Hole trip for my first dive in 20+ years. I spent my time around the edge of the hole and went down to about 40' to get "refreshed" but not down into the 150' depths. By the time everyone came up I was a lot more confident in my abilities.

The next stop was the Aquarium off Half Moon Caye and it totally blew my mind. I was lucky enough to have a DM keeping a close eye on me to make me feel more comfortable and it was worth every second.

If you can find someone who will "hold your hand" the Blue Hole trip could be worth it. I agree that a Hol Chan assessment is a great idea first though. My second dive (after the Blue Hole trip) was the Christ of the Abyss and that was a treat as well, did that one with Chuck and Robbie.

Get yourself hooked up with one of the top operators and they will make sure you're well taken care of whichever route you choose.

Re: Beginning diver what NOT to miss on our trip #99289
03/24/05 02:28 AM
03/24/05 02:28 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
Skip the Blue Hole this trip. Wait until you have more experience and confidence. It's not the kind of dive that you should be doing if someone has to hold your hand. JMNSHO.

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

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