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“Bannister Island”
Review of Bannister Island

Bannister Island
Ranked #24 of 68 things to do in Belize City
Attraction details
Reviewed December 6, 2011

It is a nice little island that is still close to the port. Good excursion for cruise ship travelors to give you flavor of a tropical island, but yet still close enough to have time to shop. Nice beach area to get in the water. Free use of Kayaks to explore the nearby mangrove trees and search for Manitees. Always see huge star fish when out in the water in a Kayak. Reasonable food and good drinks avialable.

8  Thank MikeLoriUtah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (97)
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91 - 95 of 97 reviews

Reviewed December 4, 2011

Beautiful little island about 30 minute boat ride from the dock where the cruise ship tenders drop you off. Swim, kayak, eat and drink or just take a nap! Plenty of shade also!! Will definitely go to Bannister on my next trip to Belize!

5  Thank Lisa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2011

Great Tour with Mr. Big's. You have to wait for all the people to arrive, then a 25min boat ride to the island in the middle of the ocean near the barrier reef. Food and drinks are priced fairly. 5 beers for $17US, we had a lobster tail and fries for $12US and pina colada for $8US.

Our tour guide brought us to the barrier reef for snorkeling. he guided the tour never left our side. He was great. After snorkeling they offered Watermelon, Pineapple and Water! They were all very nice and sometimes funny!

5  Thank Nana811
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2011

We were looking for a cruise excursion in Belize that included a nice beach and a snorkel option. Coral Breeze Tours, with their affiliate, Hammerhead, filled the bill! We'd been to Belize previously and had seen some of the tourist sights, so wanted to just mellow out on a nice beach with decent food, beer and good service. I wanted the option of snorkeling, and my husband didn't care to join me.

After we were tendered to the Tourist Village (very disappointing), the sign in and organization at the Wet Lizard was very disorganized, and we felt some mounting trepidation. But once we boarded the boat that took us to the island, all was well. Mr. Biggs and James were great snorkel guides, and very knowledgeable about both the reef and Belize, informative and fun. We dropped the three people on the excursion who opted not to snorkel at Bannister Island; and a 10 minute break was provided for all others. I chose to stay aboard, not needing to use restrooms or craving a drink at 9 am. When all re-boarded, about 25 minutes later, we went to the reef. James swam around seeking good snorkeling spots while the boat followed him. The visibility was limited because it had rained that morning, and fresh water stirs up the bottom of shallow reef. We split the 15 or so snorkelers into two groups, each with a guide. I am a weak swimmer, so opted to stay at James' side, just in case I got into trouble. Well, that was a wonderful decision! I was not with any other family members or friends, so he was my "partner." He picked up rocks and let me hold pencil urchins, unusual starfish, etc. and pointed out all sorts of things to me that other snorkelers, 20-30 feet behind us, missed. Even with the poor visibility, I could tell that this is some spectacular reef. The fish were mostly indistinguishable gray creatures darting about; but the sea fans, corals, tube sponges were in some intense colors, even muted by the stirred up waters. I do want to go back there and snorkel the area again under better conditions!

After the snorkel excursion we returned to the beach island. Most people headed right to the wonderful bar, but I joined my husband and played in the water and sand. Seashells there were lovely, sand was white and soft, plantings around the island were spectacular, water was calm and warm. There was a shop, bar, showers, restrooms, restaurant, palapas with picnic tables, beach service. Food was a bit pricey, but we shared what the waitress described as typical Belizean meal, rice and beans with a piece of seasoned stewed chicken for $10. My husband loved the Belikin beer, their national brand. I understand that in the winter there can be 300-400 people per day on this island, but on our day, there were fewer than two dozen. It was strangely uncrowded, but I can't imagine a mob of 300 there! There are some sharp shells or coral or rocks in the mostly sandy bottom of the sea, so it's advisable to wear water shoes. Kayaks are available for free too. On the boat ride back to the dock where
the tenders are, we stopped for a manatee watch.. This was uninteresting to us as we live in Florida and get better views of sea cows frequently. I was a bit nervous about our timing. Most of the people in the excursion were on a different ship, sailing an hour and a half later than our ship. We got back to the dock about 20 minutes before the last tender to our ship left, which is a little too close for comfort for me. I expressed concern about the time during our manatee watch, and some of the passengers from the later departing ship were irritated with me. Oh, well!

It was really a wonderful day. Great guides, beautiful beach island, spectacular reef. I would book with them again in a heartbeat, especially off season.

12  Thank Snorkel-Bum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2016
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1  Thank Frederico E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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