Dive Belize! January 4-11, 2014

Hey all! The second warm water trip for our Meetup group is dialed in – we are all set for a week on Ambergris Caye in Belize! I have a block of rooms at Ramon’s Village (http://ramons.com/index.cfm), which is just south of San Pedro town on Ambergris. This is less than a mile from the center of town, so it should be good balance of having some isolation but still accessible to bars, restaurants, etc. The resort is one of the most established on Ambergris and has its own on-site PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Center dive shop. Please note that the info below includes a daytrip to the Blue Hole which is quite a deep dive and not recommended for inexperienced divers. Anyone who is not comfortable with the Blue Hole can opt out of that and plan other dives that day.

What is included in the quoted price:
7 nights housing in “Seaside” class rooms (double occupancy)
12 local boat dives (4 days of 3-tank, or can be spread out to a 5th day depending on your departure flight times)
1-tank boat night dive (usually done in the Hol Chan reserve)
Day trip to the Blue Hole (3-tanks) including the park fee
Tanks and weights
Breakfast each day
Airport transfers

What is NOT included:
Airfare
Transportation from Belize City to Ambergris Caye
Rental gear if needed
Additional meals/booze
Gratuities to the staff
Travel and/or dive insurance (recommended)

Cost and payment info:
The total cost of the trip is $[masked] per person. After you RSVP, email me and I will confirm availability on a first come/first served basis and provide you with payment info. Please note that just an RSVP to this Meetup does NOT guarantee your slot on the trip. You will have 1 week after contacting me to put down a $100 deposit to secure your slot. Full payment of the remaining $1318 will be due by not later than November 15, 2013.

Room info:
The reservation is based on double occupancy.  Let me know if you are signing up for the trip with someone with whom you like to share a room. If you are signing up as a solo diver (which is welcome!) you will be matched up with a roommate.

Getting there:
You will need to book your own international flight to Belize City (BZE). I will follow up withe group about regional transportation. The regional flight from Belize City to Ambergris Caye is $134.50 roundtrip (TropicAir) and takes about 15 minutes. Alternatively, it is a 75 minute water taxi ride for $20 round trip (plus ~$5 per person for the 20 minutes cab ride from the airport to the water taxi dock). I will work with the group to help coordinate this.

Cancellation policy:
There will be no refunds if you cancel within 30 days of departure. Refunds prior to that will only be available upon confirming another fully paid diver to take your slot.

DISCLAIMER
By participating in the activities of the San Francisco Scuba Diving Meetup, each participant affirms that he/she has read the following statement and accepts its terms without reservation or qualification:

The San Francisco Scuba Diving Meetup is solely intended to facilitate meeting other scuba divers. Each participant is responsible for his/her own actions and represents and confirms that he/she has a current scuba diving certification from a certifying organization (e.g., PADI, NAUI, SSI). The participants understand and agree that the San Francisco Scuba Diving Meetup Organizers (1) bear no responsibility for injury which might result at an activity advertised or publicized on this Meetup site and (2) have no responsibility or liability to any participant in any such activity.

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  • Anita P.

    Does anyone have pics or video of the dolphins?

    January 13, 2014

    • Kevin W.

      Sorry I don't - my camera battery was tapped out by then. Jaden and Marcus were both trying to shoot the dolphins so maybe one of them had some turn out.

      January 14, 2014

    • Jaden

      Tough luck. It was too late by the time I got my video mode settings. Maybe Marcus?

      January 14, 2014

  • Anita P.

    Awesome group of people! Kevin is a great organizer. Will definitely do it again!

    2 · January 11, 2014

    • Kevin W.

      Thanks Anita - glad you were able to come!

      January 14, 2014

  • Kevin W.

    Great time with great people! The weather and conditions could have been better, but all around a great trip.

    3 · January 13, 2014

  • Mary S.

    Lots of good laughs too!

    1 · January 12, 2014

  • Jaden

    One of my best dive trips!

    3 · January 12, 2014

  • Mary S.

    Wonderful trip and great group of people. Thanks Kevin!

    2 · January 12, 2014

  • Mary S.

    I'm in! Very excited to be joining you all in Belize!!

    1 · November 25, 2013

  • David S

    I am All In....Just sent in my payment. I'm so excited.

    November 17, 2013

    • Kevin W.

      Great David - glad you can make it!

      November 17, 2013

  • Navid K.

    I just got back from a Belize trip last week and it was lovely. I thought the Blue Hole was magnificent (the sharks there only make it that much better.. so so many)

    November 15, 2013

    • Navid K.

      Belizean Shores Resort on San Pedro. Dove every day there on the reefs with a night dive at Hol Chan and the Blue Hole. Majority of reef dive sites there are[masked] ft.

      Highly suggest going Carry-On only if you're flying through Houston. Custom's on the way back is a nightmare and there is a good chance you can miss your flight if you have less than a 1.5 to 2-hour lay-over. Travelers with Carry-on only can go to the "trusted traveler" lane there and it cuts out the massive line that everyone else goes through.

      1 · November 15, 2013

    • Kevin W.

      thanks for the input about travel Navid. At least for me, carry on with a full set of gear is not possible. I'll just have to cross my fingers and pray to the security checkpoint gods!

      November 17, 2013

  • David S

    ok. So Ready to go on this trip....

    1 · November 16, 2013

  • David S

    Wow, this sounds like a much more awesome trip than what I was planning in January (key largo). If I get my vacation approved, in the next couple of days, I'm seriously considering this trip.

    November 15, 2013

  • David

    I went here a few years ago. Here are a few things people might find helpful.
    * I found the blue hole to be an 'ok' dive. We went down about 200 feet. There was almost no life at all. Mostly just rock formations. The dive master was awesome and made the ascent very smooth. It's nice to be able to say 'I dove the blue hole' but if I were to go back I wouldn't do it again. Others in the group loved it so your mileage will vary.

    October 15, 2013

    • David

      People aren't allowed to ride turtles either but I witnessed a number of people going for rides in Mexico.

      October 16, 2013

    • Navid K.

      I just got back from Belize last week. Our boat took us to 130+/- feet.

      November 15, 2013

  • David

    I rented a car and drove everywhere except tubing. There's only 1 main road in and out of Belize City so it's pretty difficult to get lost.
    During the day you're free to walk around and explore the city all you like. When the sun goes down, plan to be back on the island. Belize City isn't as friendly at night but the Cayes are always friendly and safe.

    One last tip. There's a restaurant I *think* called "Sunrise Cafe". It's close to downtown on the Caye. The food is good but the real attraction is the pier it's on. For a couple $$ they sell you a bag of sardines. You stand on the pier and hold the sardine up, as high as you want and giant carp will leap out of the water and grab the fish from your hand. One of the carp snuck up on me and swallowed my fingers. I'm so glad they don't have teeth!

    October 15, 2013

  • David

    * Xunantunich is a ruin and well worth a visit. It's a massive pyramid and you can still climb up it. When I was there we were lucky enough to pretty much be the only people around except for a couple getting married at the top of the pyramid. Awesome views and impressive architecture all around.

    * Belize Zoo - This is a very small zoo but they do have a good range of animals including some I've never heard of before. They do have jaguars but they tend to hide out in the bushes. I was lucky to see a tail.
    I enjoyed this place because it's obviously there to help the animals and not just make a profit. After seeing the whole zoo I donated extra funds to help them out. I also got to hold a 12' boa.

    October 15, 2013

  • David

    * Besides diving, all excursions are on the mainland. If I remember right it's about an hour by water taxi.

    * There an area to go tubing which I highly recommend. When the taxi driver took us out there it seemed really sketch. A bunch of dudes hanging out next to a bus stop rushed us when the taxi came to a stop. They wanted to be our guide. I honestly felt like I might not ever get out of the jungle. But after talking to the would be guide we decided to give it a go. I AM SO GLAD WE DID! We entered an official park, Jaguar Paw Nature Reserve and geared up. We walked a couple miles up stream while the guide told us about the local vegetation and wildlife. Then we jumped in the water. We hung onto each other's tube as the guide took us down stream. We went through several caves. One of them opened up to a huge chamber and we found ourselves surrounded by a 360 degree waterfall. Amazing!

    October 15, 2013

  • Meryl

    Leaving tonight for Belize for a week on SunDancer II. Excited!

    4 · September 5, 2013

    • Kevin W.

      Nice Meryl - have a great time! Look forward to hearing about it.

      1 · September 5, 2013

    • Meryl

      Absolutely fabulous diving on Turneffe and Lighthouse reefs. And SunDancer is a wonderful liveaboard. Would do it again in a heartbeat!

      October 11, 2013

  • Phil S.

    I stayed at Ramon's in 1987 and still remember how clear the water was. A terrific night dive, with lemon sharks and many free-swimming eels. The Blue Hole is a very long boat ride and you may want to trade it for another day in Hol Chan. San Pedro town was a kick. Have a great trip.

    1 · October 11, 2013

  • B. L.

    I went diving here New Years Day last year....amazing!! The Blue Hole is a breath-taking experience. Our last (15th) dive of the week, a pod of ~40 dolphins showed up to play with us and in the wake of our boat.

    1 · September 5, 2013

    • Meryl

      Wow! Hope this week is equally as memorable

      September 5, 2013

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