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dive questions and any other tips - placencia

Discussion in 'Belize' started by pa diver, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. pa diver

    pa diver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
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    We will be staying in Placencia for two weeks in April, actually staying about 8 miles north of the village with four couples, all divers. First time here so any info is appreciated

    Only managed to find two operators so far, Seahorse and Splash.............. recommendation between the two or are there others worth checking?

    Do any have smaller boats? Would prefer to avoid cattle boats.

    Are the closer reefs worthwhile or should we count on the 45 - 60 min ride to outer reef for all dives.

    Any other tips, diving , fishing, sightseeing, groceries, etc.....?

    Thank you............. Mike
     
  2. katzgar

    katzgar Nassau Grouper

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    not aware of what you call closer reefs, the reef is 20 miles offshore. deep sea fishing, flats fishing, visiting ruins and cave tubing are all popular.
     
  3. ScubaJill

    ScubaJill Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chesapeake Bay
    361
    146
    43
    I was in Placencia a few months ago. I initially signed up with Seahorse because their shop was closest to my hotel, but they cancelled the trip the morning of the dive (first because of the wind, then because the snorkelers didn't want to go out in the choppy water and canceled). I called Splash and their dive boat swung by the dock near my hotel and picked me up. They dispatched an employee with paperwork for me to sign while I waited for the boat. It was about 25-30 minutes between when I called and when they picked me up. For that alone, I would go with Splash.

    The ride out to the dive sites is on the longer side (1 hour plus) and it is a long day out and back.
     
    Ralph Capeling likes this.
  4. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Great story about Splash but even without it, Splash is the dive op you want for diving from this area. Yes, the dives are a bit of a journey but worth it. Nice way to spend some days.

    Splash can even help you with land activities, mayan ruins, tubing, cave and jungle adventures.

    Have a great time.
     
    Ralph Capeling likes this.
  5. dlofting

    dlofting DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    The boat rides are a bit long, but the cayes where you spend your SI are beautiful and you get a full, hot lunch. Splash has large and medium size boats, so it depends on the number going diving and snorkeling. Regardless of the number on the boat you'll be diving with a group that is at most 6-8 people with two divemasters. You may even have days where your "group" is just the four of you.

    There are some nice restaurants in Placencia, but make sure you visit the gelato shop at least once.

    The best way to get around the peninsula is by bicycle or golf cart, both of which can be rented.

    Have fun.
     
    Ralph Capeling likes this.
  6. Downing

    Downing Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Portland, Oregon
    1,887
    624
    113
    That gelato shop is like that old Lay's Potato Chips commercial. Nobody can eat just one, lol.

    Another vote for Splash. More boats means more choices, although I almost always go wherever "the big boat" is going. The dive groups are always small and as dlofting said you may very well be the only divers in your group on the boat. Even with a group of four you may have two dive guides as that's just the way Splash likes to do it. You can count on 45 to 60 minute boat rides each way.

    Sounds like you'll be staying in Maya Beach, which has one of the better grocery stores. The Maya Beach Bistro is probably the best restaurant on the peninsula so be sure to check it out. And I really like Mangos, which is up that way. My favorite lunch spot, when I'm not diving, is at the very tip of the peninsula, The Shak. Great salads, sandwiches and smoothies in an open air setting.

    As far as sightseeing, theres a ton of stuff to do and see. Cockscomb Basin, a jaguar preserve, is just up the peninsula. Lots of hiking trails plus river tubing. There are several Mayan ruins sites nearby. And if you're insane, there's zip lining. Monkey River is a boat ride away. If you want to make a full day of it, you could cruise up the Hummingbird Highway and go cave tubing and/or see the Belize Zoo or turn the other way and go to ATM or Barton Falls or the crazy fun that is San Ignacio. Since it's your first time, I'd recommend leaving the driving to a guide. That way you can sit back and relax and let the guide fill you in on the beautiful country that is Belize.

    April can be a busy time at the shop, especially if the Whale Sharks are in, so you may want to contact Patty at Splash well ahead of time to reserve your spots. She can also arrange the tours for you, too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  7. rydog

    rydog Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Placencia, Belize
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    Splash has more and larger boats but come with a higher price. We always dive with Seahorse however. All diving is out at the reef and takes about an hour. If you are ok on boats, you can go a little further to Glovers Reef for some fantastic diving. Its a long day though. April will be busy but as others have said, its not going to be a cattle boat with either. 8 miles is a little far for a golf car, it gets done but its a long ride. You may want to get a car to see other sites off the peninsula as well.
     
  8. Mark Mathews

    Mark Mathews Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hurst, Texas
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    3
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    What kind of prices are we talking about for these day trips?
     
  9. Downing

    Downing Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Portland, Oregon
    1,887
    624
    113
    Honestly, I have no idea. I typically spend three weeks annually in Belize, diving with Splash the first and third weeks and checking out the jungle during the middle week. At the end, we sit down, go over the dives by crosschecking their records with my dive log, and settle up usually somewhere around $1,000 I think. The reason I say "I think" is because after air fare, lodging, meals, car rental, gas (no matter which car I rent it always costs at least $100 to fill it), souvenirs, fees, memberships, books etc the tab for diving comes off as one of the least of my financial expenditures. I know from hearing other divers talk about it that some dives cost more than others, probably Whale Sharks and Glovers because they're further out and they charge park fees.

    And then there's that whole BZ dollar vs the US dollar thing. After a while my head hurts too much to try to keep track of it all.

    RALPH, DON'T READ THIS:

    Besides, whatever it is, it's worth it and I'd gladly pay double (but don't tell Ralph and Pattie, lol).
     
    Ralph Capeling likes this.
  10. ScubaJill

    ScubaJill Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chesapeake Bay
    361
    146
    43
    Two tank trip with Splash to Pumpkin reef area (I think that's what the locals called it) was about $140. Included lunch.
     

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