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“Hol Chan Snorkel Trip”
Review of Aqua Scuba Belize

Aqua Scuba Belize
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Attraction details
Owner description: Aqua Scuba is Belize's Ultimate PADI and SSI Dive and Tour Center. Aqua Scuba is proud to boast the newest and largest dive boats allowing us to accommodate individuals and groups with comfort and safety. We are your one-stop shop for all diving and leisure related activities. Aqua Scuba is affiliated with the Ambergris Caye’s top Resorts and we can assist with air and room reservations. Contact us today to plan your trip to paradise!
Reviewed August 16, 2017

We took an afternoon trip to snorkel the reef at Hol Chan Reserve and Shark-Ray Alley. The guides were excellent and pointed out different species of coral, fish and other marine life. Shark-Ray Alley was as advertised full of nurse sharks and rays and a blast to swim with. Overall a must do trip while in the Belize Cayes.

Thank Simon N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 28, 2017 via mobile

My friend and I emailed several dive shops prior to arriving in San Pedro to check packages and prices. We got a quick response from Blue Heaven Dive, who works with Aqua Scuba.

We are new to the dive world and had a great time. Originally we only had 6 dives booked, but after we finished those we wanted more.

Roy was the dive master who took us out on all 9 off our dives. He was very patient and shared his best practices to help us improve. You can feel the passion he has for what he does. He was attentive during the dive to ensure we were safe. It is plain to see he is very comfortable with the Belize dive sites, as he was a great guide under water and knew exactly where to take us. He pushed us to be better but didn't let us do anything we shouldn't. He also took us on a night dive. As a new diver, this came with a lot of anxiety, but he talked us through everything and made sure we felt comfortable. We had several divers that were at different levels of experience, Roy did a great job of balancing all the levels and making it a great experience for everyone.

Everyone on the staff took very good care of us and were extremely friendly. Ruben was very helpful in getting us set up with all of our gear and answering the hundreds of questions we had that followed. Someone was always there to help us from beginning of the dive to the end of the dive. The captain, Carlos, helping us get to the sites, picking us up when we weren't anchored, and helping us with anything we needed including getting in and out of the boat with all of our gear on.

We cannot recommend them highly enough. They will definitely be our first call when we head back to the island!

Thank Ashley T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2017

Firstly, As many people say; The Blue Hole isn't a great dive spot, you wouldn't know you were there unless someone told you and there isn't much to see. However, it's a bucket list item - so you have to go right? The other two dives are far better but really, for the price, maybe a flight over would be better.

I'm not rating aqua scuba for the attraction though. I'm rating them for the diving experience.

It's a two hour boat ride to the blue hole so once we got on the boat we just sat down and tried to avoid sea sickness as the journey out there can be a little rough. The equipment was all there but as we had boarded at Caye Caulker (not San Pedro where aqua scuba is based) we had had to send our sizes through. The equipment was everywhere and we just thought it best to keep out of the way. There was some fruit and a bit of bread served for breakfast.

When we got to the blue hole our divemaster began by telling us all the things we needed to remember and all the dangers involved. It was very helpful for refreshing our memories, especially about nitrogen narcosis - this was good. The Blue Hole dive is a 40 metre dive, this makes it on the limit of what you're able to do in recreational diving. You need to dive down very quickly to make the depth and then come up slowly.

As I'd only dived to 30 metres before and often have trouble equalising I was worried about the quick descent so let him know, he said I'd be able to have a 30 second head start to try and get as deep as I could. I also said my girlfriend was very nervous and would appreciate help. She's very calm once underwater but just likes to have piece of mind about her equipment and to know it's working and right for her. She hadn't dived too much at the time and just needed a little help. He also said that was OK.

The divemaster then announced that we should put our things on and jump in. At this point someone asked if we needed to check our equipment to which the response was "Everyone has had two hours to check their equipment so it should all be good". We found out that everyone's equipment had labels so you know who's was who's however they were all nicely hidden away and no one had told us this was the case. We put our things on and someone else asked if we needed to buddy up. "Sure, if you want" was the response. Safety didn't seem to be a huge concern, and if they had checked all our equipment for us that wasn't made clear, it did not set our minds at rest.

Shortly we got into the water. No one was checking my girlfriend at this point so I made sure to check she was OK as no one else was helping. We started to descend together before I started to have problems equalising as I had predicted. By this point my thirty second head start turned in to a thirty second handicap and everyone else was far, far deeper than I was. My girlfriend was told by one of the other instructors to go deeper and thankfully at this point he started to take care of her. The whole group descended and left me far behind. I felt fine but one rule of diving is always have a buddy and stay close to them. This had clearly gone out the window and if anything had happened to me then I would have been in a lot of trouble.

Luckily, everything was fine. I managed to get to get down to meet the group before ascending. We ascended slowly which was good and had a very long safety stop which again was good however my trust in the main instructor had diminished greatly.

The rest of the dive sites were great, we were then paired with the instructor who had looked after my girlfriend in the first dive who seemed a lot more attentive. We enjoyed them a lot. Lunch was also good on one of the Cayes so we managed to get off the boat.

The trip home was also good though the one toilet on the boat only locked from the outside meaning someone had to stand guard the whole time. If this person happened to be lacklustre at the job then someone would get to see you doing your business. This could be a good or a bad thing depending on what you're into!

Overall I'd rate the...
Dive sites a 4/5 - they were pretty good, blue hole was just a check box.

The safety a 2/5 - really should have done better, I didn't personally feel they cared about my safety. It was my own responsibility, that's fine, but you won't get a five stars that way and soon another company will take your business...

The boat a 3/5 - fix the toilet lock at least!

The staff a 3/5 - some were really nice, though apparently they were living off tips too (which was announced at the end of the trip). Either that was a lie and a way to get more tips or you just need to pay your employees... not good.

Value for money a 2/5 - the dive is 250USD for 3 dives. Yes, it's a two hour boat trip out there, but there were about 15 people on the boat which means you have 3750USD. According to the captain you only pay him and the divemaster, not any of the other poor employees so your other costs must be insane!

Thank SamPBarber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2017

This is the second time for me to do this tour. I did the same exact trip in November of 2016 and loved every minute of it. This time I was disappointed. When we arrived at the airport we were met as expected by a member of the Aqua Scuba team. We walked to the dive shop as before. When we arrived at the dive shop the lady at the desk was not overly friendly, nor was the man that seemed to be in charge. It was a very windy day and the dive conditions not favorable. We were told we would be doing one dive and then a snorkel. Most of you that are certified scuba divers will understand that we didn't travel all that way, pay the price we paid, and lug all of our gear to be told we were doing one tank dive and a snorkel. I nicely explained that this wasn't going to work. I explained that we would even do the same dive site 2 times if necessary. I understand the weather can not be controlled, however, I wish they would have cancelled or notified us before hand and let us chose instead of waiting until we got there to tell us what we were going to do. I realized after getting on the boat that perhaps the main reason they were trying to combine the 2 is because there were snorkelers on board and we were the only divers. They took us to Hol Chan Marine reserve for the dive. Our maximum depth was around 25 feet. There was a wave surge and diving this shallow can be a challenge with that. The dives were average but not exceptional. Our dive master named Gimer was excellent. I told him that he truly did give the most detailed dive briefing I have ever heard and I have over 100 dives. He is a free lance dive master so he doesn't work for them all the time, just if needed. We went to shark Alley for the surface interval which was fun. The second dive was about the same. Basically the whole thing was adequate and average with the highlight being Gimer. My husband and I will be returning in November for a week just to dive. The managers or owners or whatever knew this and still didn't try to give their best service. That being said I will be looking for a different place to dive with in November.

Thank TammyD89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 5, 2017 via mobile

Everything on the tour was fine, snorkeling, staff, food etc. We bought our tour from Carlos at caye caulker and were surposed to be picked up at CC and returned there as well. Unfortunately the captain of the boat refused to stop by CC on the way home, and dropped us off at San Pedro. We were walked to the water taxi and was bought a ticket for the boat. We had to wait 45 minuttes, and was charged a fee at 2½ $ pr person before the half hour boatride home. We returned CC at 6.30 pm instead of 4.30 as told. This was a really frustrating ending on an otherwise nice trip.

1  Thank Hanne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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