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Caye Caulker Dive Shops

Arizona
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Caye Caulker Dive Shops

My wife and I are spending a week in Caye Caulker in early July. We're PADI open-water certified and plan on diving a few days as well as taking in some mainland excursions. I've seen at least 3 dive shops listed in Caye Caulker - Paradise Down, Frenchie's and Belize Dive Services. Has anyone used any of these shops and if so, how was your expereince? Thanks.

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Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker
2,503 Reviews
Caye Caulker, Belize
Belize
Belize
Central America
orange county, ca
3 posts
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1. Re: Caye Caulker Dive Shops

ok, talk about frustrating...i just posted a detailed response, which required me to create an account and then promptly lost the response...

anyway, i have used each of those dive shops and each has something different to offer. for variety of dive locations, belize diving services is the best bet. for friendliness, all of them are pretty equal. for comfort on long trips (eg, blue hole or elbow), paradise down has by far the nicest boat, but for hol chan or more local spots, any of them will do. for safety, i'd also say paradise down was the most conscientious, at least it was as of the last time i was there last year. although they were looking to sell the shop at that time, i wouldn't think anything had changed. in fact, we're heading to caulker tomorrow and paradise down will still be my shop of choice.

Europe
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2. Re: Caye Caulker Dive Shops

Paradise Down is the best. The most knowledgeable and reasonable, and the best-maintained boat.

Arizona
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3. Re: Caye Caulker Dive Shops

We're back from our trip and we ended up trying 3 different dive shops - Paradise Down, Frenchie's and Belize Dive Services. There is a 4th shop (Big Fish) but we didn't try them. We thought they all did a pretty good job. The divemaster's were all professional and safe. Some of course were more outgoing than others, but all were courteous. We tried Belize Dive Services first. We had not dove in a couple of years and they were very good at making sure we were comfortable getting back in the water. We probably would have used them again, but we wanted to dive the Blue Hole and Turneffe Elbow and they were not going there this time of year.

We used Paradise Down the next day for a Blue Hole trip. They definitely have the best boat (even has a bathroom). This was nice as it was somewhat choppy that day on the open water between the atolls and the barrier reef.

The 3rd day we tried Frenchie's as they were the only one going to the Elbow that week. They have a smaller boat, but it was calmer that day and the ride was fine.

In summary, if you want a smaller group diving, then Belize Diving Services and Frenchie's would probably fit the best. If you're going to one of the atolls and the seas are bumpy, then you might like to be on the Paradise Down boat. You should be treated well by all 3 shops.

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Belize
Belize
Central America
Belize Diving Services
Belize Diving Services
925 Reviews
Caye Caulker, Belize
maryland
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10 posts
14 reviews
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4. Re: Caye Caulker Dive Shops

paradise down has the biggest boat which make a difference in running out to the outer reefs if the water is rough.

HOWEVER, we were there in march and had some bad experiences with PD. without going in to all the details my wife got seperated from the group do to actions from an inexperienced diver and I was not very happy with their response. the trail guide did not even realize that they were missing !!

the next day (we were not with them on this day) they had some problems coming back in thru the reef and several people were thrown overboard including one into the prop. serious injuries and two people were evacuated by chopper (thanks british air force) to belize city.

we were happier withh belize dive but thier boat is not as nice; did not use frenchies

Boston...
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5. Re: Caye Caulker Dive Shops

Whatever you do, I would strongly advise against using Belize Dive Services. Yes, they are reputable as you will see from other posts on this forum, but the true test of a customer-oriented business is when things do not go as planned...

I signed up for three days of diving with Belize Dive Services in advance of my trip to Caye Caulker. On the first day out, the motor on the boat broke and we had to return to the shop and our day was ruined. As a goodwill customer service gesture, I kindly requested that we receive a discount on our future dives or have them pay for a day of diving with another operator if their boat was not fixed by the next day. This is standard, for example, in the airline industry when there is a mechanical problem. The owner, an American from Colorado, responded incredibly rudely to me, asking me what I know about running a business, and one of the divemasters even walked by and muttered, "Stop being cheap" under his breath.

Go with Frenchie's instead! We used them the following two days and they were fantastic!

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Belize
Belize
Central America
Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker
2,503 Reviews
Caye Caulker, Belize
Menlo Park...
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6. Re: Caye Caulker Dive Shops

I have only used Frenchie's, and only on 2 occasions; one dive on the local reef and one trip to Turneffe. Both were excellent dives, good crew, fun divers, great lunch on board the longer trip, very pro. The guy who ran the desk has an attitude, but he didn't go out with us. I'd use them again.

Tucson, AZ
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7. Re: Caye Caulker Dive Shops

This is a very helpful post -- thank you! And, thank you todhe for reporting on your experience. How was the flight from AZ? We'll fly out of Tucson -- should we stop in Dallas or Houston? Went to French Polynesia this year -- the flight seemed to last for days (and that was just eight hours!). It's not like that flying from AZ, is it? Thanks! :)

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Tucson
Tucson
Arizona
Dallas
Dallas
Texas
Houston
Houston
Texas Gulf Coast, TX
San Francisco
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8. Re: Caye Caulker Dive Shops

Well, whatever you do, stay away from Big Fish dive center in Caye Caulker. They had faulty equipment, and diving the blue hole with a faulty regulator was pretty terrifying. I ended up with second faulty regulator on a subsequent shallower dive later in the day, and another person on our trip also had a faulty regulator for that same dive.

I still have nightmares about it.

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Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker
2,503 Reviews
Caye Caulker, Belize
Bradenton, Florida
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9. Re: Caye Caulker Dive Shops

These are all really old messages!

Elgin, Texas
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10. Re: Caye Caulker Dive Shops

I absolutely 100% agree with the "inannamouse" post from June 6, 2009. STAY AWAY FROM BIG FISH DIVE. My husband and I did 3 days of diving with them in which time they flat-out lied to us and, due to their lack of knowledge and coordination, also botched the first dive of an expensive full day, 3 tank dive. You can read my full review by searching Big Fish Dive on Trip Advisor.

We did not work with any other dive shops in Caye Caulker, but we did work with Ecologic Divers in San Pedro (on Ambergris Caye) on a previous trip and would highly recommend using them. For Blue Hole or Turneffe Atoll trips, try Amigos Del Mar in San Pedro - they'll pick you up at the Caye Caulker Water Taxi dock.

If you want a good diving experience, do NOT use Big Fish Dive.

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Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker
2,503 Reviews
Caye Caulker, Belize
San Pedro
San Pedro
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye
Belize Cayes, Belize
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