ReefCI
Scuba & Snorkelling • Eco Tours • Nature & Wildlife Tours
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About
Feel the thrill of swimming with a whale shark, the excitement of spearing the invasive lionfish, and the satisfaction in helping the marine environment. ReefCI trips are a unique opportunity to protect the reef ecosystem by directly participating in our ongoing marine conservation projects! Learn to dive or further your dive qualifications; everyone contributes regardless of their experience. Help us monitor coral reef, commercial fish species, swim with a majestic whale shark, and capture the invasive lionfish! ReefCI offers a unique one-of-a-kind marine conservation diving experience; an all-inclusive Monday-Friday diving and marine conservation trip on a small private island surrounded by the Caribbean Sea situated on the Belize Barrier Reef. It is a great place for those wanting to enjoy their holiday/vacation in a natural setting, while diving and making a difference through our hands-on marine conservation programs. World class diving, plentiful home cooked food, and fun friendly people await you!
Placencia, Belize
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(53 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
252 reviews
Excellent
228
Very good
16
Average
3
Poor
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Terrible
2

Charles V
7 contributions
Feb 2021
From start to finish this was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. Firstly, when booking Anthony did an excellent job providing plenty of information and responding to questions quickly.

I stayed for 3 weeks with between 10-15 volunteers. The island is run by a very talented team who are all very knowledgeable in their areas and enjoyable people to be around. I was slightly sceptical as to what the food would be like since it was described as a “plant based diet”. However, it couldn’t be further from that. Chef Alex is a very talented cook and there was always a wide variety of dishes and meats. Alex clearly takes a lot of pride in his cooking as every meal was spot on with a lot of effort and flavour put in. I stayed in 1 of the cabanas and enjoyed the simplicity of it. While on the island I completed Open Water and Advanced. OW was 1 on 1 and ADV 2 on 1, as a result a very good level of teaching. I would say that if you are there for multiple weeks then consider using one of their books to study the theory on the weekend rather than being ripped off by PADI e learning. Despite diving 3 times a day we rarely dove the same sites as they have access to a lot of dive sites. The dive masters were all very knowledgeable with the sites and took safety seriously especially with spearing the lionfish. The boat captain JR navigated some rough conditions very well, especially when returning to the mainland.

All in all I would highly recommend REEF CI for a place to relax and escape from life. It is also an excellent place to undertake courses as it is excellent value for money and they are done in very small groups. There is also no pressure to go out diving, you can stay in a hammock or go free diving or whatever else instead.
Written February 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mark w
6 contributions
Dec 2021 • Solo
Staying at ReefCI was one of the best things I've ever done. I had originally only planned for 1 week but I fell in love with diving and the island and couldn't resist staying for a second week! All of the staff are great guys and I hope I keep in touch with them all, a special mention goes to Dude the island dog who everyone wanted to take home. My instructor for both weeks (open water and advanced) was Worm and he was great fun to be around, and very supportive if I had any issues / struggled with anything!

As everyone on here has mentioned; the food was amazing, Alex and the guys in the kitchen outdid themselves for every meal. Thursday night was a big celebration, there was a massive feast with lots of alcohol flowing; they even made a birthday cake for my friend who had joined for week two!

One thing to note is that there isn't any WiFi on the island and no hot water. No one i was with found this an issue; at first it might sound a bit extreme but you will embrace being cut off and use the cold showers to refresh you after each dive. Another thing worth noting is that the beds and rooms aren't the comfiest. However, it's a coral island in the middle of the sea so I wouldn't have really expected more! Even so, you won't be spending much time in your room as the days are long and the company is great, so no issue here!

If you get the chance to go here please do as you will meet some amazing people, eat some great food and of course learn to dive in some of the most beautiful reefs I have seen!
Written January 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

urmom l
1 contribution
Jul 2021 • Solo
I Absolutely loved my stay here! but, throughout all of the great memories and amazing things I was able to do, I’m writing this review to talk about the food.
Yes. The food.
I honestly can not express my deep love for the magical cuisine I was able to devour on that island
if jesus is real, he was the one blessing that food
I think I met god while I was stuffing my face.
I assure you while you are visiting you may question whether or not your are pregnant.
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything more delicious.
My mouth was watering, my toes were curling, my eyes were rolling back into my head.
Buckle your seatbelts boys and girls because this food is going to make you question whether or not your taking hard drugs right now, actually no, its better than drugs its the damn near the best thing you will probably ever consume.
My taste buds went to heaven and back.
The reason I woke up everyday was to eat that food,
I’m a very picky eater but I swear I questioned my existence.
The chefs Bol and Alex are gods. Food gods. They were handcrafted humans created by some higher beings. I shall never forget the the incredible feeling I had during every meal.
I was able to scuba diver in the belize barrier reef, but when someone asks me what my favorite part of the trip was, it was eating, it was devouring, the fantastic, incredible, perfectly cooked meal.
I would sell my soul to eat that food again. Just a sliver, just a singular taste.. once more…
Written August 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gene C
Philadelphia, PA6 contributions
Mar 2022 • Solo
The Reef CI Invasive Lionfish program was an amazing week of diving on Belize’s barrier reef. The small island that you stay on during the program is gorgeous with lots of hammocks to lounge on pre and post dive. There is a volleyball court for the nightly games of volleyball. I stayed in a cabana which was very basic, but spacious - it does get a little warm even with the fan on. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was prepared by the chef, Alex, and his team - every meal I had was delicious. Alex and his team were always smiling and singing in the kitchen. The group of divemasters were very friendly and very professional (the dives were well planned). The divemasters were great tour guides during the dives and pointed out different fish and interesting structures. The lion fish spearing was a great experience, the divemasters were very patient and helpful underwater to teach how to properly spear the lionfish without damaging the sponges or coral.

This was an amazing trip that anyone that dives would thoroughly enjoy.
Written March 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Monica K
Nosara, Costa Rica6 contributions
Apr 2021
My daughter and I were fortunate to be able to participate in this amazing adventure not only to see incredible sea life, but to also help give back to preserve our ocean habitats. We dove 3 times a day and saw beautiful coral, a variety of fish species, eels, sharks, dolphins, rays, etc. We also got to spearfish lion fish, a very invasive species that is decimating the native fish life and impacting the coral reef.

The staff was knowledgeable, passionate about what they do, helpful, and very friendly. The treated us like special guests. The food was amazing, cooked by a local gentleman that takes pride in what he cooks.

This trip exceeded our expectations!
Written April 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Talia S
1 contribution
Dec 2019
Tom Owens Caye was one of the most rewarding and spectacular weeks I've had in a long time. The staff is incredibly professional, fun, warm, and energetic! I only wish I would have booked an additional week! On the island everyone is on a similar schedule/routine between diving, eating, sleeping, relaxing, reading, (and for some playing volleyball and soccer with Mordy!). I would definitely recommend this experience for anyone looking for a week away with no distractions (i.e cell service), focused energy towards the ocean and diving, and meeting a great group of travelers.
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marisa
Springfield, MO27 contributions
Dec 2020
We loved our experience at Reef CI! The accommodations are artistic and unique, and the food was incredible. The chef was able to accommodate my dietary restrictions and it was delicious!
The dive sites were so beautiful and full of tons of varieties of fish and coral-- even when we went snorkeling from right off the island!
We enjoyed participating in marine conservation and spearing invasive lionfish.
The staff are very knowledgeable and I was glad to learn about the marine life while on the island.
Sam was the best diving instructor I've ever worked with. He also seemed to be able to read the ocean and know exactly where to go to see magnificent marine life. Seeing an endangered loggerhead turtle was so exciting!
All of the instructors/dive masters were very experienced and professional. Sam and Aiara were especially very in tune with their divers and knew exactly what to do to make each dive as great as it could be!
The trip was very relaxing and it was nice to have all the details taken care of for us! I hope to come back soon!
Written January 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

StephenJ
2 contributions
Mar 2022
I volunteered with ReefCI for the better part of the week to help with reef conservation efforts (mainly lionfish spearing) and get my advanced open water certification. We stayed on a beautiful, remote island about 15 miles off the shore where we did our dives. ReefCI was great throughout the entire process! They were easy to coordinate with prior to arrival and were incredibly accommodating and hospitable during our time there. The reefs, of course, are beautiful and there is much to see in terms of aquatic life. What really made the trip special was the staff on the island- the dive instructors, the cooks, the support team- who were supportive, amicable, and a ton of fun to hang out with! For someone who is looking to gain or improve diving skills while taking part in meaningful conservation efforts on a quiet island with some great people (a bit of a run on, I know) then this organization is for you! Would recommend and will be volunteering again in the future. Thank you for everything ReefCI!
Written March 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jenniva V
1 contribution
Feb 2021 • Solo
I went to reef ci only intending to receive an open water certification, but because of how comfortable and exciting my instructor (Matilda Ellison) made it I went on to get a couple more certifications. Matilda was thorough and comforting. She kept me at ease the entire time and her love for her job was very apparent. I highly recommend others go to her for PADI instruction!!
Written June 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

James R
2 contributions
Nov 2019
After a dive trip way back in 1997 returning to Belize was always a plan. Reef CI is basic as others have described but for me that was a huge positive. I stayed in a cabana. I washed from a barrel and dived when the bell rang. I found the diving to be well led and all divers were checked out before going to depth. If you broke a rule regarding pre-dive activities (such as having a beer at lunch) you didnt get to dive. I saw this happen on one occasion. Extremely relaxed with a great emphasis on reef education, fish ID, crustations and any other subjects you could wish for. The staff were extremely knowledgeable. The kit is well used but I wouldn't say it is of poor quality or shabby. All in service and I didn't see any issues relating to poor kitduring my 2 week period. I would go back in a heartbeat.

If you are looking for luxury pick another trip. But if you are wanting a purely diving experience without the hassle of a having to do anything other than forget the world for a few weeks and dive this is perfect. Stunning location, excelent staff and great diving. Food was also spot on.
Written August 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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ReefCI (Placencia) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go