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Belize, Cozumel, or Thailand

Discussion in 'Belize' started by Pomerenke, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. katzgar

    katzgar Nassau Grouper

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    The Yucatan is cenote and reef diving. Belize is for reef and atoll diving which is fantabulous. Look at things on gmaps and youtube. The blue hole is hit and miss, some like it and some dont, look at it on youtube. Roatan is the same reef but closer to shore. There isnt a single all inclusive in all of Belize, there is a lot of inland stuff to explore.
     
  2. Pomerenke

    Pomerenke Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego, CA
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    First of all, thank you for all of your responses. I highly value the opinions of other divers and is why I ask. I know everyone has a different opinion but together they all matter. I have done quite a bit of research, too much in fact, and considering that the prices of airfare have gone up and my wife's opinion, we have chosen Belize this time. We really wanted to go to Thailand, however, the price of airfare has gone up and we want to be able to plan it a bit sooner. Airfare to Belize is very cheap. Regardless, however, the prices overall for both places are the same essentially, but the wife chose Belize to my surprise and so we will go there.

    Now I am left with another decision that maybe you all could help me on. We can either stay at Huracan Diving or at Itza Lodge, both on Long Caye at Lighthouse Reef Atoll. All the diving would be done at around the Lighthouse Atoll, but the only issue is that they don't have nitrox available yet. They are halfway done with installing it and the gentlemen I am in contact with says there is a 95% chance it will be done. It is an all inclusive resort so it includes room, meals and 18 dives around Lighthouse.

    The other option is staying in Hopkins at a resort I found there, which is really nice, and diving with Belize Underwater dive shop. We would conduct 6 dives at South Water Caye, 6 dives at Glover's Atoll, 3 dives at Turneffe Atoll and 3 dives at Blue Hole/Lighthouse Atoll for a total of 18 dives. They too are installing their Nitrox but she said they will have it done for sure when we arrive. For the room and 18 dives there, it is cheaper by about $400 but will be $800 cheaper once I include nitrox at the Lighthouse option. So, its cheaper, but it doesnt include meals, but I like this too because then we can experience the culture and choose our own meals.

    My question is obvious, I think, which of these 2 options is a better idea? Is the diving at Lighthouse Atoll so amazing that it is a no-brainer decision? Or, is the diving amongst south water caye, glovers atoll and the other two atolls a better experience overall? Research suggests that Lighthouse is the decision hands down with Glovers and Turneffe trading places for 2nd and 3rd depending on who you talk to. Sorry for the long post but this is where we are at right now. Thanks everyone!
     
  3. Downing

    Downing Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Portland, Oregon
    1,880
    611
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    Oh gosh, that's a question that's hard to answer.

    Our first two trips to Belize, we stayed at Turneffe Island Lodge (now Turneffe Island Resort), which is out on the atoll. Loved it, but really didn't see much of Belize besides the airport.

    The last six? seven? eight? times we've gone, we head for Placenica, which is just down the water or highway from Hopkins. Love it more because we've done the island thing already. Had we never stayed on a caye, then I think I would probably do that soon. There are just so many options on the mainland that you don't have on a caye, but that doesn't mean staying on a caye is bad because it's pretty great. The first few times we stayed in Placencia but ventured out on day trips. Now we stay in Placencia but venture out on week long trips. Last time, we even ventured into Guatamala to see Tikal.

    There, does that help? Lol.

    To me, it sounds like you guys are on the younger side, having just gotten married, and so have plenty of time. Go where your heart is calling, then go somewhere else the next time. I don't know that I would let the availability of nitrox be any kind of a factor, frankly (yes, I'm EAN certified and certainly use it when it's available).

    Stoo has stayed with Huracan a couple of times and really enjoyed it.

    Hopkins is an interesting Garifuna village. Lots of good little places to eat but not that many on the sand. There's a famous chef, I forget his name, Chef Rob?, at one of the hotels. Be prepared for a standard of living there that is decidedly lower than ours. I remember someone posted something about the poverty there, which I found amusing because Hopkins is doing a lot better than many other places in the country. It's all relative.
     
    chillyinCanada and Pomerenke like this.
  4. jake11

    jake11 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location:
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    It seems like you already decided on Belize but I thought I might throw some other options in as well. We have been to all 3 places and to Cozumel numerous times. The viz in Belize is great but we thought the diving was just okay. Cozumel is always great but it is so easy to get to, I would save it for a quick hop dive trip. Have you considered Costa Rica? The land based stuff in Belize was so so , but after having been to Costa Rica there is no comparison.
    We have been 4x to Costa Rica. You can stay at Ocotal Beach Resort (Playa Ocotal) for diving and then move and do a TON of land based activities. We have been to Manuel Antonio National Park and stayed there at the Hotel Si Como No which was awesome. You can visit Arenal and do all sorts of activities like zip lining, kayak, waterfall rappelling, ATV riding, volcano watching, etc. You can also go to the cloud forest in Monte Verde and bird watch which is unbelievable and Monte Verde has the best zip line that we have ever been on!!!! You can go to the Tortuguero side and also to Corcovado. The wild life in all of these places is stellar! You will not regret a trip here. We plan on going back again as it is so awesome there. We went to Belize after we had already been to CR and we were disappointed. We have also been to Thailand and we thought the diving was just average. I remember one dive in the Similans where there was a huge line at 90 feet to take a picture of one little frog fish. We thought it was way too crowded there. I think someone suggested Bali as an option. The diving in Indonesia can not be beat ( we have been there 11x)! There is lots to do on land there as well. Check out Costa Rica before you book Belize and don't give up on Cozumel. I love it there! P.S.- Jan/Feb is a perfect time for Costa Rica! Have fun!
     
  5. Pomerenke

    Pomerenke Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego, CA
    6
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    Jake11, in my research I discovered that Costa Rica is bad in January/February...

    ---------- Post added December 18th, 2015 at 01:51 PM ----------

    Downing, thank you for so much information. We definitely are doing land based things as well. We are diving for a week and then staying a 2nd week for all land based items. So if we did the lighthouse atoll then we would still get our land adventures after. Would these make it easier to answer now knowing we are still doing another week after the diving?
     
  6. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

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    Yes if the dive week is all about the diving and nothing else, do enjoy your time out at the Atolls! It's the best diving in Belize!
     
    Pomerenke likes this.
  7. ChrisM

    ChrisM Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
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    As above I'd strike Coz off the list if you would like a week on land (and I do love Coz)

    Thailand - I've never dove there, but have dived Malaysia near where lots of people go diving. This was also over a decade ago.

    Belize I've done twice once as you intend and once on the old Rorqual boat (i think it was) and then a few days on land
    B

    Both times we spent time at Caves Branch which I highly recommend.
    We also stayed a night or two in San Ignacio and did the temple/ruins tours from there
    Stayed a few nights at Lamanai Outpost, a very close second to Caves Branch, Took the boat in and the flight from the dirt airstrip out. Catching crocs at night for research... great trip
     
    Pomerenke likes this.
  8. jake11

    jake11 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location:
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    Just an FYI... It is the dry season and the most popular season to visit Costa Rica. One of these days plan a visit there! See below:

    The best time to visit Costa Rica is from mid-December to April (the dry season). This peak tourist season boasts plenty of sunshine making it an ideal time for exploring rainforests and lounging on beaches. That said, the dry season is the most popular (and expensive) time to visit. Luckily the U.S. dollar goes a long way in Costa Rica no matter the season. You'll have to book your room and tour reservations three months in advance to secure a spot. If you don't mind getting a little wet, visit between May and November when prices are at their lowest. During June and July, rain showers pause briefly, and Costa Rica's forests burst with green foliage.







     
  9. katzgar

    katzgar Nassau Grouper

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    I suppose I am splitting hairs but there are no all inclusives in Belize some properties have meal plans account of isolation but that is a different kettle of fish.
     
  10. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

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    Reef CI is all inclusive, but only Mon to Fri.
     

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