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“My kind of diving” 4 of 5 stars
Review of White Sands Dive Shop

White Sands Dive Shop
North Island Road | Ambergris Caye, Belize, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
+501 226-2405
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Ranked #19 of 75 Activities in San Pedro
Type: Tours, Adventure
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Attraction details
Owner description: We are a PADI 5 star Dive shop in San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye in Belize. We teach scuba diving and certify divers as well as take divers to the reef for daily Diving and Snorkeling adventures.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Decatur, IL
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“My kind of diving”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2009

I spent a week with Elbert and his crew and did some outstanding diving (Feb 09). Friendly and courteous staff. The dive masters are very knowledgeable and good to work with. We had divers of various skill levels and the dive masters worked well with everybody.

The dive groups are relatively small, I think our biggest day was 6 divers. The 2 tank dive is back by 12:30 and with a first dive mulit level (max '80) and about an hour surface interval, a computer would be handy.

The dive boats are well maintained and well equiped but they don't have duck boards, so that requires a back flip entry and a side boarding ladder. However the dive masters are very good about handling your gear so it minimizes the effort on your part.

Excellent vis 100 ft+, water temps around 80, so with back to back dives the shorty was needed. The reef hasn't been over fished like some other developing nations so there's a pretty good selecton of fishlife. If you don't see some giant grouper, nurse sharks, turtles and rays, then you must have been diving in the pool.

While I was there the weather was perfect but I understand they can get shut out by winds. The worst time is for a few weeks in mid March bu then it clears up in April. The dives all go out through breaks in the reef, so too much wind and waves close down the "cuts" and you can't get outside the reef.

All in all helpful, friendly staff, small dive groups... my kind of diving and I'll be back to dive with them.

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Colbert, WA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“White Sands Dive Shop at Journey's End Resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2009

Elbert Greer’s White Sands Dive Shop is new to Journey’s End Resort (moved on site in January 2009) but he has to be one of the island’s most seasoned professionals, running dive operations on Ambergris Caye for 15 years. Knowledge, experience and a head for safety are key, of course, but Elbert adds easy-going island charm and hospitality to the mix, as well (he is from Memphis, after all). The owner of the island’s best restaurant, the Rojo Lounge (see review there), told us that Elbert is an expert naturalist below and above water, as well, having written a guide book on the birds of Belize.

My wife and I went on the White Sands snorkeling tour (I can’t attest to the scuba experience, other than positive, second-hand reports). The snorkel tour was definitely worth it. Although we had fun snorkeling around the reef a quarter-mile beyond the resort the next day, there was far more to see on the tour (and I saw them more clearly, as Elbert let me use a prescription lens mask at no extra charge). The tour takes in two sites in the marine preserve off the southern end of the island. A seasoned, friendly native guide led the way in the water, pointing out and naming sea life as we went. We figured that if we’re coming all this way (from Washington state), an underwater exploration was a must-do. It was a great experience, with nothing but good things to say about the White Sands Dive Shop!

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New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Amazing Diving Experience in Belize”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2009

We just returned from a week of diving in Ambergris Caye, Belize. While staying at Las Terrazas resort (which was fantastic), we discovered that the White Sands Dive Shop had just relocated to it's new home at the Journey's End Resort (sister resort of Las Terrazas) which was two minutes from the door of our condo.
After speaking with Elbert, we decided to book our dives with White Sands. We had visited many of the dive shops closer to San Pedro and just felt more comfortable with Elbert. From the moment we arrived the next day, we knew we had made a good decision. We took a refresher dive with Juan Carlos to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and saw a vast array of marine life including rays, nurse sharks, turtles, morey eels, blowfish, lobsters, crabs, and many varieties of exotic fish. We proceeded to take 7 more dives (including a deep dive to complete our advanced training with Junior, the dive instructor) with Juan Carlos, Sam, Solomon, Luis and Tony along the barrier reef just off the island's coast. The reef is incredible with many beautiful coral tunnels or swim-throughs that we thoroughly enjoyed.
Elbert also booked us a trip to the Blue Hole and Long Caye Reef run by the Amigos del Mar Dive Shop. We were picked up at our dock at 5:30 a.m. After picking up other divers and boarding the larger boat, we traveled 2 1/2 hrs to the Blue Hole. About half of the way there you pass the Turneffe Cayes which are spectacular. Finally, we arrived at the Blue Hole. Unfortunately, the visibility wasn't that great. we found it a little scary and it is a long boat ride (2 1/2 hrs). We did our lunch/surface interval at Half Moon Caye which was incredibly beautiful. If you go, be sure to visit the bird sanctuary (which Elbert strongly recommended). Because of the north winds (which rendered the conditions ideal near Ambergris Caye), the surf was too turbulent to dive at Half Moon Caye or the Aquarium which are the most popular dive spots for the additional dives of the day. We dove instead along Long Caye. It was nice, but not markedly better than the local reef at Ambergris Caye. The ride back was a little choppier and we felt a little seasick (we're not the best boaters). We arrived back around 6pm. In retrospect, if I had the choice to make over again, I'd opt for another day of diving with White Sands, rather than the long trip to the Blue Hole.
All in all, we don't think you can beat the reef and the staff at White Sands. They are meticulously careful, but friendly, enthusiastic and downright funny. Their boats are clean and in good working order. Their diving equipment has seen some use, but is very well maintained. Their prices are comparable to the other shops on Ambergris Caye.
We had a blast.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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