17 independent reviews for Marine conservation in Belize

Reviews for Marine conservation in Belize

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review 22 Jul 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

I loved the beach clean up on a nearby island.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you take reef friendly sun screen.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes this trip supported local people, and raised awareness about the impacts of climate change on our coral reefs. I did think that they could have given some ideas about what we could all do to reduce our own impacts however.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Really great, especially for younger divers.

review 31 Mar 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Diving in a downpour. Not scary, just interesting.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Enjoy the time away from your phone.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, plus I learned to be a better steward of the planet.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent

review 30 May 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

All of it was pretty amazing. I didn't realize how small the island was and I loved it. Being able to dive 3 times a day and get to know the local marine life, while learning about it was my favorite.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Come prepared to relax and learn. Pack minimally as you basically will be living in your dive gear, and lounging around the island (which was perfect!). Bring a book or two.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yep! I'm sure the money went to help with the instruments and maintenance which is definitely doing good for the environment. It also helped raise awareness in our group for the work that is being done. We got to participate in some of the work that they were doing as well.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Perfect, The tour operator did an amazing job of combining vacation with conservation and learning.

review 9 Jun 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Being on the tropical island, 28miles from the land, with only 25 people, immersed i nature and conservation project. Didn't miss civilization at all.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Definitely check for a special dietary needs. Though they advertise that their chef is taking care of everything, my vegan diet, main meals were not balanced in terms of nutrients. Two main meals made of two vegetables are not sufficient vegan meal. Bring some extra energy bars or snacks as there is NOTHING on the island but three set meals a day. Very limited internet use for only brief messages.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I feel that it was more about learning for me. The date and we gathered and activities themselves were more symbolical part of the project and very small contribution to the data they are gathering. Local people who taught scuba diving and provided service on the island could have been paid more.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

This was a great experience, beautiful location, escape from civilization, if the organizers work on some improvements, it would have been ideal type of eco vacation.

review 15 Apr 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The diving was fabulous. The instructors are brilliant, very patient and informative!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Plan the weekends , especially if you are traveling alone.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes to all.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent!

review 3 Apr 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Diving with like minded staff and guests who love and appreciate the ocean and contributing to research and conservation.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Stay a day or two on each end of your week for local sites. The Hicketee Cottages and the Coral House were lovely places to stay. Heard Howler monkeys every morning. The island is small, but doesnt feel cramped. Be open to new people and appreciate the beauty and remoteness of it and the waters around it.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, to all. Very much so.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent opportunity and experience.

review 26 Mar 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Tom Owens Caye was a magic location for a chilled week diving in Belize. Polly, Patty and the team were generous hosts. The food was delicious with the lionfish and banana pancakes particular highlights! Diving was excellent. Still feeling good about the lobster survey!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Book for at least two weeks! I was only able to come for one week, but left wanting more. Southern Belize is a very chilled and relaxed place, be prepared to live the motto 'go slow'.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The team are passionate about conservation and the value of the reef in supporting sustainable development. Our focus was on fish, coral and lobster surveys etc to enhance our understanding of the state of the marine environment over time, and the effectiveness of marine park conservation and management. The project supports local people through direct employment and investment in teaching diving skills to those locals that are interested, as well as through bringing people into Punta Gorda that would not otherwise be there.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was excellent. Met and exceeded my expectations and I definitely hope to return later in the year for a longer stint!

review 2 Jan 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Excellent diving with a lot of attention for safety. Fantastic reef diving. Great care and knowledge of reef.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Relax and Enjoy

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, both people and animals

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

The staff makes it great vacation for everyone. They should start a Reef I cook-book, all the made from scratch was delicious. Their dive training is one of the best I have experienced

review 29 Mar 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Difficult to figure out which was the most exciting part since I thought the whole vacation was a new and exciting learning experience for me. Learning how to scuba dive and diving in a beautiful area with eagle and sting rays was definitely at the top and watching the dolphins play with our boat......

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Pack rain gear for the trip to the island.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes I did.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

I stayed for 4 weeks and I really enjoyed and I could have easily stayed longer, loved it.

review 23 Mar 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing a five foot barracuda while snorkelling.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared to get wet on the transfer to the island!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was almost as expected but would have liked more research involvement. A very professional team provided excellent service to the guests.

review 2 Sep 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Of course the diving was the best. Not only because of the wonderful reef, but also the very professional attitude from the team. Being instructed by Polly and making fun dives and surveys with Laura and Chris made me a better and more confident diver. It was incredible that only after a week of the unfortunate robbery, everything was rearranged without the guests (such as me) having any inconvenience of it at all. The base location from the island is beautiful and right on the reef! Also in the weekends you can stay in the house but you can arrange also some great trips into the jungle, to Maya grounds or easy going villages.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Try to plan your trip including a full moon so you can experience the string of pearls. You will feel like Tinkerbell in the water with all the stars in the sky and all the lights in the water. Ask for travel advice from the team and the places you will stay in Belize. They will have the best tips for places to stay, ways of traveling and sightseeing. In addition for example Polly and Ian (from Hickatee Cottages, PG) will help you arrange trips and get you much better deals with guides. And overall.....Try everything! I never expected to go caving anywhere in the world, but caving at Blue Creek Cave was one of the most exciting things I ever did.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

As important it is for the reef and local environment, the volunteering we did by lion fish spearing and conch survey was a lot of fun and I did not considered as "work". I learned a lot of the reef environment and became more aware of my environment while diving. The dive operatorís concept of vacations and doing some conservation in the water was a unique experience as this dive operator really gives you the feeling of a luxurious stay while doing some volunteering.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Belize for me was opening up new horizons. Both as a traveler as well as a diver I enjoined it tremendously. I felt welcome and a great click with the dive team and considered them as friends by the time I left. I rate this trip definitely one of the most beautiful and exiting vacations I have ever been on.

review 16 Aug 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We spent a week on Tom Owens Caye off the coast of Belize. Run by Polly, the operator is a small group of divers/conservationists who are great fun and really passionate about what they do. The Caye itself was idyllic, and although it was a desert island, it had creature comforts, such as electricity, even internet if we wanted, and wonderful food every day! I was a novice diver, but Polly and Laura were excellent instructors, I couldn't have had a better introduction to diving. I felt very safe and every dive I was relaxed and enjoyed every moment. I now have my PADI open water qualification and hope to do more diving in the future. The whole week was full of amazing discoveries, not just underwater. The night sky on the island was spectacular, and shooting stars were easily spotted. We also spotted dolphins one day and everyone rushed out on the boat to swim with them. They really are spectacular creatures. My partner went on an early morning fishing trip whilst I prepared for dives, and took a kayak around the island. After dives, there were hermit crab races, and volleyball tournaments. One evening we noticed the 'string of pearls' phenomenon in the water by the dock and it was amazing to snorkel in that. It was like the night sky had fallen into the sea. It was such a romantic location, it was there that my partner decided to propose to me. It really was an unforgettable vacation.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Go now! It's amazing! Even if you haven't ever dived before, you will love it. Also, don't be put off by weather forecasts - the weather on the Caye is completely different to that reported for Belize City. The weather was fantastic. The only time it rained was whilst we were asleep.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We were helping Polly and her team on their various projects. Since I was doing my PADI for the week, I was limited on what I could do, but I definitely got to see first hand the great work they are doing, especially with trying to reduce the numbers of invasive lion fish.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent! 11 out of 10! It was better than I could ever have imagined.

review 26 Apr 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The people, the places and the experience. A fantastic trip of a lifetime

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Donít be fooled by appearances... Punta Gorda was truly wonderful, with fantastic people and a friendly atmosphere.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes very much so. Tourism is an important income stream at PG and the locals were very accommodation and never hassled you.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A real experience and trip of a lifetime. We met friends for life and experienced thing we may never get opportunity to experience again.

review 7 Feb 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Living on a secluded island with the ocean surrounding us for miles. Arriving at Tom Owens was magical, we couldn't believe how lucky we were. We were there for three weeks and we never stopped being amazed. Make sure you sleep at least one night under the stars in a hammock!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Bored of a regular dive vacation? Try this - everything else will pale in comparison. This is a great place to go for scuba divers who want to learn a bit more about what's under the surface. Polly and her team are fantastic. It doesn't matter if you're a first timer or a seasoned pro. If you're looking to do some sort of eco-diving then I'd def read up on what fish and coral life there is in the caribbean beforehand - it'll benefit you massively when you're out there. Otherwise you can study between dives and put what you've learnt into practise in identification, surveying and general enjoyment of recognising what everything is. Remember - you're on a small island in the middle of the caribbean. It's a tropical paradise, but there's limited electricity (generator) and fresh water (for showering etc) is precious. It's not 5* accommodation, but the sorts of people who would pick this aren't looking for that. As there's a constant breeze there's no mosquitos, humidity or oppressive midday heat - a blessed relief from when you're on the mainland.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

The whole set-up is very responsibly run. Locals make up part of the team, from dive crew, cooks, helping hands and boat drivers. Diving is done with the utmost safety and respect for the environment you're in.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was an unforgettable experience which I can't recommend highly enough. The sort of people we met were like minded and everyone got along brilliantly. I'd definitely recommend going for two weeks (or more!) if you can. It just means that when you return for the second week (you spend the weekends on the mainland) you have a chance to do all the things that you didn't get round to the first time!

review 29 Jun 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Diving.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Relax and enjoy it.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Great, I will go back.

review 13 Jan 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The diving! I'm still very new to diving so everything I got to see underwater was new and exciting. It really helped that Polly really knows her stuff and was able to guide us on very nice dives. Getting to see the large Moray Eel and Barracudas underwater was spectacular.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for long days enjoying yourself and lots of very, very good diving.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. All the staff on the island were local folks from Punta Gorda that the tour operator had been working with for a while.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

This is one of the best vacations I've been on and I would not hesitate to go diving with this company again or recommend it to a friend.

review 6 Dec 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Difficult to pick only one memorable moment. The whole experience was memorable. But here are some highlights. Being surrounded by an under-water Milky Way during a night dive when we experienced the String of Pearls. Connecting with Polly, the founder of the organisation and learning so much from her from becoming a much better diver to being able to identify so much marine life and being infected by her love and passion for the reef and the ocean. Continuously basking in the beauty of the sky and the sea on a beautiful tiny island. Feeling that I did my bit to help make a difference while relaxing and enjoying myself as a guest. Eating delicious food prepared by our excellent chef Brandon. Feeling safe and thoughtfully taken care of by Polly, our captain Roland and dive master Fabienne. Encountering dolphins and eagle spotted ray and nurse sharks. Never encountering any other divers than the ones in our little group. Making friends with lovely people. And having fun! Keep in mind that these are only the highlights. This vacation was a transformative experience.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't expect 5 stars accommodation but sheer island beauty and very very comfortable camping like situation. And know that by you supporting the operator, this will improve over time.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. Absolutely.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fantastic, fun, transformative experience.

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