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Diving in BelizeAuthor: Kathy R.
Date of Trip: August 2006
Fly into Belize City (from Miami, Dallas or Houston), then puddle jumper to Dangriga, where we were met by the resort owner, Eddie Usher, who split our group into two and took us on a fast (they had once been cocaine smuggling boats) hour boat ride to his small island on Glover's Reef. This small island, owned by the Usher family, was discretely developed into Isla Marisol Resort, when the coconut plantation on the island was destroyed by disease.
Our group took over all 11 cabanas, each with 2 double beds, plenty of room for two with dive and camera equipment. There was 110V electricity in each room (provided by an on island generator), ceiling fan, standing fan and a portable air conditioning unit. The showers provided beautifully warm water at all times. The screened in cabanas prevented the no-see-ums from getting into our rooms, but without the preparation of insect repellent with deet, they got us sitting out on our porch or just hanging in our hammock. There were never any insects at the bar/social area built over the ocean where the breeze always blew. Arnold, the bartender, was always carefully taking care of us, supplying us with locally brewed Belekin beers, and my favorite, Arnold's pina colada.
Eddie's family took care of our eating needs, providing nibbles and coffee round the clock. Breakfast and lunch were always served buffet style and often included local Belizian dishes, such as beans and rice. Fresh fruits and fruits juices were served right off the fruit trees on Eddies farm. He's in the process of replanting the coconut trees that had been destroyed. I've never seen or tasted such exotic and beautifully colored fruit juices. I miss the freshness now back home. Dinner was either buffet style or plated and always included locally caught fish. We got lots of shrimp and lobster several times during our stay. There was also plenty of meat for the carnivores in the bunch.
Our dive group included 7 newly certified divers, one snorkeller and the rest experienced divers. We were taken out daily in two groups. There was always a dive instructor and a dive master with each group. Our gear was taken care of and always ready for our day's dive. We always had three dives a day on offer. Either two boat dives, or a two tank boat dive in the morning. Then an afternoon or night dive. Each group had the opportunity for two night dives during our stay.
In addition to our excellent care by the dive staff, there was another member of staff dedicated to taking out our lone snorkeller. She was very well looked after and had other snorkellers join her when they decided to take a break from the diving.
Our stay at Isla Marisol Resort was delightful. Though we missed whale shark season by two months, we often saw many large beasties on Glover's Reef. There were daily sightings of spotted eagle rays, hawksbill turtles and nurse sharks. The reefs were healthy and full of fish. There were several sites we referred to as The Aquarium because of the numbers of schools of fish around.
It was nice to feel like "family" at this family owned resort, and nice to know that all the money we were spending would be staying in Belize and going to the Belizian people, rather than foreign investors. We will be going back and highly recommend Isla Marisol Resort at Glover's Reef.
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