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Any Questions?????????

Posted By: Beach Bum

Any Questions????????? - 11/23/00 06:24 PM

I just got back from 2 weeks in Belize--most spent on AC.

From dive sites to hotels & bar/restaurants /internet cafes to hurricane damage I can answer alot of questions.

I made quite a few local friends &
I rode a bike everywhere early AM every day (before Mrs Bum awoke) and checked out every nook and cranny of the Caye.

So I feel pretty educated 'bout waasup.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/23/00 07:17 PM

No specific questions at this time but I'd sure like to hear an overall view from you on each of the items you mentioned in your post. Thanks, that would be great!
Posted By: Josh

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/23/00 07:23 PM

I second that!
Posted By: TN Diver

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/23/00 07:53 PM

I'm going on Dec 1st and supposed to stay at Ramon's. What is their condition - are they open and ready for guests or should I look for other accomodataions? Also, is there any reason to take my laptop - any easy internet access or are there internet cafe's available? What is the water temp - will a 3m be heavy enough? Thank You
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/23/00 09:43 PM

Okay Diver

Unsure of the water temperature, but a 3mm should be ideal.

Ramon's is still under some construction but must be ready for guests because the kitchen sure smells good.

There are 2 internet cafes. Ditch the laptop, more room in your luggage for souveniers when you come back.

Have a wonderful visit.

Amanda
Posted By: Beach Bum

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/24/00 07:34 AM

TN---

3 mill is fine. The wetsuit wasn't really necess (other then keeping the weights off the skin) in Nov.
83 degree at surface --
79 at 80 ft.
It will change in Dec. - worst case 79 surface 74 deep- but not bad enough to need anything heavy.


Re the Inet cafes--

The one with the full bar on the beach side of Front St. (Coconet?) was quicker then
the other that is 40 ft South and on the West side of the street (free cookies and coffee to bide the time while AOL loads however)


I walked throgh Ramon's. It had some damage.
Those thatched roofs didn't do well anywhere.

They had alot of guys on it. Ramon's re-opened on Thurs Nov 16. One of my diving buddies @the Blue Hole was the 2nd "new" guest. He was happy with the condition.
The only work still being done by late last week was finishing touches on the pool. So enjoy.

Other Q's-- A little vague. I don't want to write a book.




[This message has been edited by Beach Bum (edited 11-24-2000).]
Posted By: dietdew

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/25/00 12:50 AM

We are arriving on December 5th. We are staying at Coconuts. Do you know what kind of shape they are in since the hurricane? Where was the best place you ate? Best place to party on Sat night? Do you have a recommendation for a dive guide or a guide for a trip to Mayan ruins? Thanks for the info.
Posted By: Andy in Sacramento

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/25/00 05:27 AM

Just got back from Coconuts. We took a group of 20 divers. David worked day and night to get it ready for us. If fact they were just finishing the touch up painting as we arrived. It is in perfect condition except for the cable is still out in half the building. You are going to love Coconuts. DAVID IS THE BEST and the bar is a favorite with both locals and tourist. Say hello from all of us in Sacramento.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/25/00 09:06 AM

OK, Beachbum (or anyone that knows):

1) Can I still walk around in my barefeet everywhere or do I have to be more careful than I had to be pre-Keith?

2) I was told that the Dockside blew away but Hustler's website still advertises the bar. Is it being rebuilt and if so, will it be completed in time for my mid-Dec. visit?

3) How are the trees leafing out? Are there many palms being planted?

4) Does the Island Market have all the usual goods and foods or are there still shortages?

Thanks!
Posted By: Beach Bum

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/25/00 11:05 AM

Diet-

Coconuts is 100% OK (other then the barge- but thats another story)
The staff is great and the bar is a great mix of locals & touristas.

If you like hot & spicy "Jam-Bel" Jamacan Jerk right at the town center is terrific.
Sit upstairs on the roof.

Party styles vary. The hot disco is 1/3 mile south of the airstrip. I prefer a touch more mellow, so Fidos in town just a tad north of the center right on the beach is excellent. Always has live music and a good crowd.


[Linked Image]

Re diving-

Short trips to the reef Aquarius on a pier in town but on the north side. Russell
is an excellent guide and it's less $ then some others. For a Blue Hole trip use Amigos del Mar. Book through David at Coconuts. If you are staying there he'll save you 10% or more. If you need any certification contact Thomas Sharp phone 014-8008. David can make the contact as well. Thomas mostly works out of the Tropica 1/2 mile south of Coconuts.
You'll also see him at the Coconuts beach bar.

Re Mayan Ruins- I don't have a clue. I'm sure someone can give you good referrals.

Seashell-

Though some locals are still going barefoot- DON'T. There is alot of debris in certain places & some pieces of broken glass buried in the sand near town.

Hustlers is open - the bar isn't.
Sharks ( a few piers south of Hustlers) at the end of the pier (where Rasta Pasta once upon a time was) where the water taxis are is open. So if you want the end of a pier drink thats where to go.

Alot of palms died. The greenery is returning. If you take a boat over to Caulker, on approach you really see the stark contrast in dead or bare foiliage vs. the new.
Most of the resorts and even mid-level hotels (such as Coconuts) have replanted and pruned.

The stores are mostly all well stocked. Rock's & The Island market didn't have
the fresh meat & produce section fully supplied. But overall anything you need is there (at a price of course).

[This message has been edited by Beach Bum (edited 11-25-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Beach Bum (edited 12-05-2000).]
Posted By: Marty

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/25/00 06:20 PM

Thanks for all your info mr. beach bum...
very helpful...
Posted By: Big Frank

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/25/00 08:53 PM

The Lamainai trip while a bit arduous, was well worth it--$100us.7a to 7p and much of the trip is by boat. I would have liked to stay at the site longer but that would entail an overnight. Daniel Nunez of Tashini [Tanishni?] tours will pick you up at your hotel dock or main dock in town. Saw aManatee, howlers, irubu stork,etc. The boat ride back down the river to the sea on Sr. Antonio's boat was worth the price of admission. The river was like glass and we was haulin ***.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/25/00 09:41 PM

Thanks Beachbum, that was what I was after. :^)
Posted By: dietdew

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/26/00 01:24 AM

Thanks for all the helpful information! Can't wait to put the info to use.
Posted By: Beach Bum

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/26/00 01:32 AM

Your welcome---

I just got back & already I'm envious of you guys who are going down there.
[Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by Beach Bum (edited 12-05-2000).]
Posted By: govikes

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/28/00 08:53 PM

Hey seashell--just got back yesterday--did not wear shoes from the time I stepped off Tropic. Re palm trees--we were at Green Parrot 1 day when they unloaded 200 Costa Rica hybrids to start planting. If you want to go diving, snorkeling, fishing or even better, plan a dive of all of the above--contact Tulu at the Coral Beach Dive Shop--he's the best! Have breakfast at Estel's, panty-rippers at BC's and the Palapa, and make sure you have one at Coconuts too!
Posted By: seashell

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/29/00 03:38 AM

Thanks govikes! That's great news, you were barefoot downtown and all the side streets etc? I'll try to partake of all the panty rippers in all the locations you've mentioned and also, thanks for the heads up on a dive op, but I'm all set there with my usual guys.
Posted By: Beach Bum

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/29/00 10:02 PM

Seashell-
I speak from experiance
I got a slice of a sharp piece of unidentifiable plastic in my foot. it almost prevented me from diving one day (hurt like hell with any pressure on it).
There was also obvious pieces of broken glass that hadn't been cleaned up yet. Maybe in a resort barefoot is OK. Not in town yet.

BTW-
GoVikes
Bucs 41- Vikes 13 [Linked Image] [Linked Image]



[This message has been edited by Beach Bum (edited 11-29-2000).]
Posted By: govikes

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/30/00 12:11 AM

beachbum - I was in town and on the beach barefoot. Must be viking skin is tougher--BTW--who's in 1st place? (sorry Marty!)
Posted By: dawnskers

Re: Any Questions????????? - 11/30/00 07:36 PM

Hi! My husband and I are heading 4 Belize Dec 9..our 1st time! We're really excited...We are staying at the Belize Yacht Club 4 a week, then heading inland to ck out the rainforest for 3 days b4 heading home. We're "vacation" divers; maybe 1 or 2 times a year. If we're only gonna dive a few times, would u recommend taking the trip to the Blue Hole? Does the Yacht Club have good dive tours, or should we book elsewhere? Appreciate any hints u think might help us out! Thanks!
Posted By: Beach Bum

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/01/00 06:12 PM

YES DIVE THE BULE HOLE!!!!

Re the dive of the Blue Hole I'll repeat the same answer to the similar question elsewhere. Very few actual operators actually go to the Blue Hole. It requires a much larger boat then trips to the nearby reef do. So even if you book at your hotel you very well may end up with Amigoes del Mar.
Posted By: Lainie

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/01/00 07:21 PM

Hey, Beach Bum - me again...

I have a question and I'm sure everyone will chuckle, but I'm terrified of small planes. Is there any other way to get to Ambergris Caye from Belize City? I've read about ferry boats, but can't find any schedules and heard they are unreliable. We'll be arriving in Belize City at 12:30pm on a Saturday - did you use the ferry's at all from the mainland?
Posted By: Beach Bum

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/01/00 08:12 PM

There are 2 regular sets of ferries that go Belize-Caulker-San Pedro.
I only went from AC to Caulker and back. The same boat continues to Belize and returns.
The boat I was on was a mostly open deck boat
that was terrific ride. It is operated by "The water taxi association". It seats about 40 people-not much room for alot of luggage. It costs $25 Belize (AC to Belize City-or vice versa)one way. You are inside the reef the whole trip so it is fairly smooth. It's a great way to get your first tan of the trip.
There is another ferry company that is an enclosed boat. I was warned that it is a touch claustrophobic and you can smell gas fumes.
For an hour plus trip that would make me nausious.
Both ferries leave from near "the Swing Bridge" in Belize City center. The last boat leave at around 3PM. Double check-but I know there is certainly a 2PM.

Having said all that-- the first view from the air of AC from the prop plane was awesome. The reef and the waves breaking run for miles and miles. It is so beautiful!!!
Posted By: Lainie

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/01/00 10:40 PM

Beach Bum-

Thanks again for the information - the boat sounds like my kind of travel!
Posted By: denverdan

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/01/00 10:42 PM

Lainie,
We took the water taxi from Belize City the Sunday after Kieth hit. The boat was packed with people and tons, and I mean TONS of supplies, luggage, water, just tons of stuff. It was piled up in the middle of the boat close to our shoulders and we would all kind of work as a team to keep it all in the middle of the boat and from falling on anyone.
The taxi also has a area in the front of the boat for some storage. I would suggest though if you do take the taxi you make your luggage water resistant. We had a squall come over as we arrived at CC, it only lasted about 15 minutes but everything got soaked. We (our clothing) dried out very quickly but we looked like drowned rats! The water taxi was great but if I were you; take some drugs and do the plane.
Hope
Posted By: dawnskers

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/01/00 11:49 PM

Thanks, Beach Bum... does it make more sense to fly over to the Blue Hole? Or does that mess with decompression, even tho it's a puddle jumper flight? How long is the trip to Blue Hole from San Pedro? Cost per diver? Appreciate your input! [Linked Image] Dawn
Posted By: Beach Bum

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/02/00 06:24 AM

You can only go by boat to the Blue Hole---
it's a sink hole in the middle of Coral that barely breaks the water line. The nearest land (Halfmoon Caye)is a couple of miles away. Halfmoon Caye is a national park with a lighthouse, exotic birds, a caretaker and a bathroom- thats it.
It's 1 1/2 hrs from San Pedro (it's actually closer to Belize City). The rack rate price for a day trip is $165 which includes 2 more dives after the Bluehole.
A "rough it" overnight is $200 and includes a total of 5 dives in the 2 days. Even the other dives are far nicer then the reef near San Pedro. Enjoy !!!!!!!! It's some of the best diving in the world.

[This message has been edited by Beach Bum (edited 12-01-2000).]
Posted By: seashell

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/02/00 10:22 PM

Dawnskers: I'm wondering what certification level you guys have and how comfortable you are diving deep. The Blue Hole dive is to at least 130 feet and involves a decompression stop. If you are used to diving once or twice a year to 60'or so in clear warm waters, on your basic OW cert, maybe you shouldn't dive the Blue Hole. There are still some excellent dive days you can do without taking on a more advanced dive. Turneffe, Halfmoon Caye, etc. If you have your heart set on diving the Hole, be sure to do a number of other area dives in the days preceeding, just to ensure you are again comfortable with your skills and your gear etc. Maybe I'll run into you in San Pedro, I arrive on the 14th.
Posted By: Kat in Texas

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/02/00 10:56 PM

Dawnskers,
Even if you decide not to dive the Blue Hole, it's well worth the trip. I only snorkel and am not a very good swimmer. I just threw on a life jacket and told the snorkel guide I wasn't a very good swimmer. I had a fabulous time! The coral reef around the Blue Hole is amazing!

Kat
Posted By: dawnskers

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/03/00 01:23 AM

Appreciate the recommendations...we will probably take the trip out there, and maybe just dive the perimeter of the Hole, if the reef around it is as great as we hear...no reason we HAVE to dive to 130 ft, right? [Linked Image]
Posted By: Beach Bum

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/04/00 08:07 PM

Mrs. Bum wasn't comfy with doing the Blue Hole. So she snorkled while we all were down. Then she did the other 2 beautiful dives
afterward. Amigoes still charged us the full amount (if you snorkel all 3 it's cheaper) but it worked out great.
Posted By: dawnskers

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/05/00 12:05 AM

Thanks for the advice...just got an e mail back from Amigos Del Mar, and they sound like a great operation; will likely book the trip! My husband is a BIG guy- 6'1 or 2", 285 lbs- any chance they'll have a wetsuit big enough to fit him? I asked in my e mail to them, but they didn't answer that question; just quoted us rate for trip and equipment rental.
Posted By: Beach Bum

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/05/00 12:37 AM

I'm 5'11" and 190lb's. I was a large BCD and
an xl in the wetsuit. I could have been in an large but it was real tight. He'll need at least an xxl if not a 3x. The water temp isn't that bad.
The following is a link to a water temp site for this week. It's in celsius (9/5ths + 32 to covert). Right now the water is still 28c
(no real need for a wetsuit. But it will change.

warning this may take a while to load
http://fermi.jhuapl.edu/avhrr/gm/averages/00dec/gm_00dec03_2301_multi.gif


Maybe buy a 3 mill on line before you go for $100 (I have nothing to do with the following link) http://scuba.about.com/recreation/s...te=htt p%3A%2F%2Fwww.DiversDiscount.com

TILOS 3MM TITANIUM SHORTY
T-3 Titanium material
Front Zip Smooth chest panels to
shed water
Glued and Blindstitched throughout

MENS COLORS: Black/Blue
SIZES: Small - 2XLarge
WOMANS COLORS: Black/Purple
SIZES: XSmall - XLarge
Click for Tilos sizing chart
(Add $10 for XLarge Sizes) $89.95






[This message has been edited by Beach Bum (edited 12-04-2000).]
Posted By: dawnskers

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/05/00 03:20 AM

David thinks he may have a friend who can lend him a wetsuit...also checked online with www.performancediver.com. They had some pretty decent prices, if you ever need to recommend to others. Thanks for your help, Beach Bum!
Posted By: Terri

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/20/00 12:28 AM

Hello. Did you see the Tropica Beach Resort? How does it look? Is the bar and restaurant open? Is the pool open? Is there still a beach there? Can you swim in the water off of the beach? Is the dock still there? Do they have a dive shop up and running? Please let me know. Thanks.
Posted By: Escaping the Cold

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/22/00 04:42 AM

First, thanks for offering to answer everyone's questions.. it's been extremely helpful.

We are headed to AC in mid-Feb. and staying at the Mata Chica Beach Resort.
Did you happen to make it north of the cut during your stay? If so, how does it compare to the southern end of the island. Did you stop in at Mata Chica? It looks pretty nice in their literature, how was the "real thing"? And also, have they fully recovered from the hurricane.

One more question, are there any decent beaches north of the cut?

Thanks!
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/22/00 05:24 AM

Mata Chica is the best address on the entire island! Best beaches! Best service! Best everything!You will love it!
Posted By: Escaping the Cold

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/27/00 09:46 PM

Cap'n Jesse

Thanks for info. on Mata Chica. I am now even more exicited to visit! I kept reading the bad rap the beaches on AC were getting, so I'm very relieved by your news. Thanks!
Posted By: lsimonsen

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/28/00 02:05 AM

My husband & I are staying at Ramons. We arrive to AC on Jan 13. We are so excited about our trip!! It is our first time to AC. We are planning on finishing our open water certification while we are there. I know there is a dive shop at Ramons. I would appreciate any info on the Dive shop and restaurants, bars, etc. Our goal in AC is to completely relax while taking in some awesome dives and snorkeling. Thanks for anyone who can provide some info. Plus we can't wait to get out of these subzero temps in Montana!
Posted By: caribbean soul 2

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/28/00 04:04 AM

Thanx for any and all info,....I'll be in A.C. Jan 8th. Have been packing and doing final homework tonite for my visit. Call me a bit Annal. Here's the questions. Is Estel's open? I know they were torn up by Keith but suppose to be rebuilding. Has anyone been to the Mambo Restaurant at Mata Chica? Sounds good,...wondering if the transportation dependable? Where is B.C.'s? I want one of those "Panty Rippers", maybe two,...can't find them on the map I have. Now some questions about snorkel and swimming spots. I know we are planning on a day trip to C.C. and snorkeling Hol Chan, Shark Ray and Mexico rocks,...do you know about Tuffy Canyons? Tres Coco and channel? Also I found a little info on Zaak Ba Ajo Lagoon but not enough to plan a trip there. Have you heard of a place called Mar De Tumbo about a mile south of San Pedro and suppose to be a popular swimming area?
I know these are a lot of questions, I've been watching the boards for a long time planning and now I'm just 12 days away. You said to ASK. Thanx!!!
Hey Isimonsen,...maybe we'll see ya there
Posted By: dawnskers

Re: Any Questions????????? - 12/29/00 08:15 AM

Hi! Just returned from a trip to SP, and I can't answer all your questions, but I do know that Estel's is open for business- we had breakfast there a few days. I highly recommend the Mayan eggs...yummy! Tell Charley that Dawn and David from Englewood said to say "Hello"! Hope your trip is as wonderful as ours was- would love to go back again! By the way, we did dive the Blue Hole-the trip out was a bear; quite rough on my hubby's back. (He's had 3 surgeries already at age 44) But the dive was awesome- went with Amigos Del Mar, and they took excellent care of us. Saw 6-8 bull sharks at around 100 ft- too cool! Also will recommend a trip to Capricorn's- well worth the price and the water taxi. Also enjoyed Jambel Jerk, and the restaurant at Victoria House. We called for a reservation, and they sent a taxi to come pick us up at our resort, and they picked up the tab! Didn't find a wetsuit to fit my husband, so he dove without, but said he was comfortable. I was glad that I wore my shortie- this is a bit disjointed...sorry, but it's getting late! Have a great trip, and enjoy every minute! Dawn
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