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Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback

Posted By: Kimmieteachs

Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/14/04 05:26 PM

Hi,
I'm planning my first trip to Belize in December. I'm debating between Playa Blanca (first choice), Banana Beach, or Tradewinds Resorts. Does anyone have any experiences or info they can share? Thanks!! smile

Kim
Posted By: seashell

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/14/04 08:30 PM

Interesting selection. What is your criteria?
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/14/04 10:56 PM

Just to clarify, Tradewinds is actually a part of Paradise Villas -- there are several groups that own condos at this place at the north end of town, including Tradewinds. And there are two Playa Blancas - Gaz Cooper's condo/apartments and also a two-bedroom villa rental. Banana Beach has the original one-bedroom suites and the newer rooms and one- to four-bedroom units in the addition.

All of these can be good choices. It just depends on what you are looking for and where you want to be -- at the north end of town, way up on North Ambergris, or 1 1/2 miles south of town.

--Lan Sluder
www.belizefirst.com
Posted By: Kimmieteachs

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/14/04 11:31 PM

Thanks for both replies. Basically our criteria is:

1) Diving
2) Not a big party resort (but close to town for some fun!)
3) Diving
4) Restaurants within walking distance
5) Diving smile

As an aside, Lan, I subscribed to your magazine today. Looks good! smile

Kim
Posted By: seashell

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/14/04 11:44 PM

Playa Blanca is not what you are looking for, other than Gaz Cooper's place offers lots of great diving with a great DM. Playa Blanca is way north.

You want to be close to town, then your selection of Paradise Villas is good.
Posted By: Kimmieteachs

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/15/04 01:12 AM

I think that the Playa Blanca is Gaz Cooper's place -- they said there's a dive operation on site ... I think we can get water taxis into town, right? We just don't want to be right in the middle of a spring break type thing. Wow - I think I just became my parents!! smile

Kim
Posted By: seashell

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/15/04 10:30 AM

Playa Blanca is an area, but also Gaz' place is called Playa Blanca etc.

For sure, he offers a great place to stay and a great diving experience. As Gaz will tell you, they will make sure that you get to town often enough to enjoy yourselves. And going to town with Andy, is always a treat anyway.

Don't worry about the spring break thing . . not even in the spring.

Oh yeah, and don't worry about becoming your parents. Even your parents wouldn't be like your parents in San Pedro. wink
Posted By: yat

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/15/04 04:31 PM

Well said, Seashell!

(say that 3 times fast)
Posted By: Gaz Cooper

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/15/04 08:43 PM

Just to clarify Playa blanca

Playa Blanca is a large area with several different private homes and residential lots Playa Blanca island Villa is a rental home and my place Playa Blanca Beach Club is the only resort in the Playa Blanca area and has our dive operation onsite.

We are located 10 minutes North of town by boat and water ferry service is provided by siland ferry every 2 hours into town and back we also run our own service for our guests and ensure that any of our guests can make the short 10-15 minute boat ride into town when they wish in addition our boat is on your timing and you can eat dinner party or whatever and come back when YOU want to without being on someone elses schedule.

Staying at Playa Blanca Beach Club we focus primarily on DIVING and operate only 2 diveboats and take only 6-8 divers per boat we dive without time contraints so you get the best sites long bottom times and uncrowded boats and personal dive service.
At PBDBC you also get peace tranquility and you quickly become part of our familly we are small provide personal service did i say peace and tranquility :-) but within easy access to town when you want hell they even rent golf carts up here now.

There are 4 restaurants within walking distance and 2 more that are 1 minute by boat

If your looking to be in town every night partying though North is not for you better choice would be in town.

Gaz
Posted By: Kimmieteachs

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/16/04 02:09 PM

Gaz (and everyone)... thanks so much for your replies. I'm just waiting to hear back from Ultimate Dive, someone was working on the travel plans for me. I appreciate the explanation about Playa Blanca, as I said I've never been to Belize so this is a learning experience. I'm so excited about this trip I don't know how I can wait until December!! smile

Kim
Posted By: dbdoberman

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/22/04 03:40 AM

If you want to have a great diving experience, with a super divemaster, Playa Blanca Beach Resort is an excellent choice. Gaz wasn't kidding when he said you become part of the family. There isn't as much pressure on the dive sites up that way, and those uncrowded dive boats get you alot of personal attention if wanted. Getting into town is easy.
Posted By: Kimmieteachs

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/23/04 01:43 AM

Thanks, dbdoberman! I'm all booked and very excited. My only concern is whether the Blue Hole dive will be out of my league. I'm a new diver, my boyfriend/dive buddy has been diving for probably about 15+ years. I'm very comfortable underwater, but I'm wondering if such a deep dive is a good idea for me.

smile Kim
Posted By: seashell

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/23/04 01:47 AM

Do lots of dives all the week and decide later. You'll have a lot more practice by then, may be feeling quite a bit more comfortable. Then you can decide.
Posted By: Kimmieteachs

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/23/04 02:13 AM

Thanks seashell.... I'm so excited to get underwater. I assume you've done the Blue Hole? Any sharks? I'm dying to tell my students in September that I might see sharks while diving. Fifth graders are hard to impress, but that might do it! smile

Kim
Posted By: seashell

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/23/04 06:35 AM

I've been in the Hole a number of times and have seen sharks on every trip.

My first experience started right after I dropped into the water off of the boat. I was still at the surface, looked down and there was a big one lazily passing beneath me, no more than 15-20' down. It paid me no mind at all.

One of my more recent experiences was quite a bit more exciting. We had just begun our ascent from the stalactites and I spied a beauty out in the water column. I was shining my flashlight up and down the length of him. It turned towards me and began to swim my way. I flicked off my light and started to swim away with the group, but my spidey senses were tingling. I turned, and there it was coming up behind me. I went vertical in the water and watched it approach, with my heart thudding in my chest. It passed ever so slooowly, no more than a foot beneath my fin tips, first its snout, then its eyes, then its dorsal. Then . . .

it was gone. In relief and wonder I turned back to the group, most of whom had been watching the scene unfold as well. As if nothing remarkable had occurred, we carried on with our gradual ascent up the wall.

After the safety stop and upon surfacing, I yelled out "Again, Again!! I want to do it again!!" (BIG GRIN)

My dive buddy told me that he was very jealous and that he wished it had happened to him. Ruefully, I was thinking that I wished it had happened to him too. LOL.

In any event, don't be afraid and even if you don't make it to the Blue Hole, you'll more than likely still be able to tell the kids that you saw sharks. There's plenty of nurse sharks around and they are very cool. They look scary but they aren't. Quite beautiful, quite beautiful.
Posted By: Kimmieteachs

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/23/04 03:17 PM

Wow - as crazy as it sounds, I think I'd drive myself (and everyone else) crazy with regret... I've just go to do it ! smile

Kim
Posted By: seashell

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/23/04 08:21 PM

Just make sure that you do some deeper dives around the local area first, so that you get a feel for being deeper, before you head out to the Hole.

I don't usually like to see new divers in the Blue Hole. I worry. smile But if you've put in plenty of dives locally before you head out, you should be fine.

Where did you initially train? In the cold and dark inland waters?
Posted By: Kimmieteachs

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/24/04 12:00 AM

I should definitely be getting in some deep dives. I figured I'd speak to Gaz about it when I got down there. I'm confident, but I don't want that to cross over to bad judgment!

How many times have you been there?

Kim
Posted By: seashell

Re: Need Playa Blanca Beach Resort feedback - 07/24/04 12:24 AM

In the Blue Hole, I think 6 times.

Gaz and Andy will take care of you and make sure you are prepared.
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