Showing posts with label dive in belize. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dive in belize. Show all posts

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The perfect Caribbean escape| A Day Well-Spent At Laughing Bird Caye National Park



The boat ride out to Laughing Bird Caye was not only short-lived but also exceptionally exciting. We departed from Placencia village and took a boat ride out to the island. I knew I was not only visiting an island but a protected one. I have visited other cayes in Belize such as the popular San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and the laid-back Caye Caulker but I had never visited an island that is also a National Park and a World Heritage Site, protected for its natural beauty.  

Laughing Bird Caye National Park is distinct from the other islands as it is a part of the famous Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System and it is a snorkeler's paradise. The natural beauty surrounding this island is sumptuous. In order to visit this paradise you must book a day tour with a licensed tour operator: our recommended choice is Splash Dive Center. Not only are the licensed guides friendly and informative, but also the BBQ grilled fresh on the island is a delightful lunch!

So, if you are still asking: what is so special about this island?  Well, let me describe to you the beauty.  Snorkel around the island and you will encounter a diverse and abundant marine life living below. The area is covered with a variety of coral reef habitats that sparkle and give life to other marine species. The island has a distinct elongate shape that forms a faro. A faro can be best explained as an angular atoll that is situated on a reef. The faro is elevated and encloses a central lagoon, which gives Laughing Bird Caye National Park its shallow waters surrounding the island.
If you are visiting the southern coast of Belize, there is much to experience on this beautiful island. The perfect Caribbean escape! The beach is formed by powdery unspoiled white sand, a heavenly and perfect texture. While on the day-trip we were told that the island earned its name due to the Laughing Gills that once populated the island. Today, Laughing Bird Caye is known as a nesting place for a variety of birds including
Brown Pelican, Green Heron, Melodious Blackbird amongst others that call Belize their home.



The northern end of the caye is a very busy rookery and for that reason it is off limits to the public.  The northern end of the caye is opened up one day each year for the annual cleanup by 100 or more school kids and volunteers organized by Splash Dive Center.

If you are visiting Placencia a day-trip out to Laughing Bird National Park will complete your visit to Belize!

Email Patty at patricia@splashbelize.com to find out more about this beautiful Gem!




Monday, 30 December 2013

Splash Dive Center: Exceptional Professional Service Year in Review 2013


The year 2013 has been a successful year for Splash Dive Center and we are grateful to each and everyone that continues to support us. As we approach the end of the year we look back on our accomplishments as a professional dive center located in Placencia, Belize. Splash Dive Center is more than just a regular scuba diving & snorkeling operator. We aim for excellence! Each year we continue to develop and grow and this is evident in the work we do daily and through our accomplishments.

Splash Dive Center continues to actively participate in Tourism Travel Shows across the world promoting the natural beauty of Belize. This year alone we attended 9 travel shows including The Canada Road Show jointly with the Belize Tourism Board. In May Splash Dive Center was presented by the Belize Tourism Board with the Tour Operator of the Year award 2012. Patricia Ramirez known to everyone as Patty started Splash Dive Center as a small but safe professional centered licensed tour operator in 2000. Today Patty continues to work alongside co-owner Ralph Capeling to offer only the best to its customers incorporating quality, creativity, and personalized tours.

We are enthused to reveal that Splash Dive Center is now a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Resort. Patty a certified PADI Course Director and SCUBA Instructor will continue to develop and grow the scuba diving industry in Belize. We are particularly pleased that two “graduates” of our Splash Kids Club are currently attending our first Instructor Development Course - every year we teach some local kids to dive free of charge as part of our commitment to the community.


PADI Five Star Instructor Development Dive Resorts meet all PADI Five Star Dive Resort standards and offer PADI Instructor-level training as well as Instructor Specialty courses. Splash Dive Center values highly the quality of PADI teaching materials and the rigorous standard of safety set by PADI.

Splash Dive Center has now exceeded our PADI targets for diver education for the fourth year in a row and recently received the PADI Green Star Award!

Join us as we continue in maintaining and developing highly professional scuba diving tours in 2014.





Saturday, 5 October 2013

Belize: Safe, Fun and Budget Friendly


Have you ever wanted to travel to a tropical paradise but had so many questions about the destination you are heading to?

Let Splash Dive Center, take care of you! Splash Dive Center is located in beautiful southern Belize: Placencia.

Placencia is known to be the most laid-back, tranquil environment in Belize, located just a short boat ride away from many of Belize’s well-known marine reserves such as: Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes, South Water Caye, Glovers Reef, Turneffe Atoll and Belize’s Barrier Reef.


Visit Splash Dive Center and meet with Patty, co-owner of Splash Dive Center, the most genuine and friendly person you can meet. Splash will become your home away from home.

Safety is Splash Dive Center’s #1 goal, a PADI resort facility, encompassing the most experienced and qualified staff in the region. Continue your diving education or learn to dive with a very professional Instructor. Sign up for some of the tours and package deals offered,  led by dive masters who are licensed tour guides who are both knowledgeable and make it fun.

A few of Splash Dive Center’s most famous ‘Big 6’ special dive packages include:

·       The GrandSlam

The ‘Big 6’ encompasses the very best of Belize’s underwater world, experience Belize!

Mix it up! Splash Dive Center also offers a range of inland tours, including but not limited to:

·      Monkey River Excursion
·      Cave Expeditions: ATM, Barton Creek

Concern about accommodation?
Accommodation in Placencia ranges from budget, mid-range, to high-end. A short list can be found below:
·      Budget
o   Sea Glass Inn - Placencia
·      Mid-range
o   Sea View Suites
o   Miramar Apartments
·      High-end
o   Laru Beya

We had the opportunity to dive with Splash Dive Center and can still remember the details of my vacation in Placencia, Belize. In simple words: it is more than a dive center: ‘it is home away from home’.

For more information on vacation packages visit www.splashbelize.com.

Start planning your stay by contacting Patty at patricia@splashbelize.com

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Your Top 3 ‘Must Visit’ Islands in Belize



Belize is a natural beauty filled with an array of diversity. In Belize islands are commonly called ‘cayes’, pronounced ‘keys’. This tiny English speaking country is certainly blessed with many beautiful and immaculate islands, which are but only a short distance away from one another. My top three must visit islands are: San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Laughing Bird Caye National Park.


San Pedro Ambergris Caye is known to be the largest of Belize’s offshore islands and the most developed island- here you can dive the Christ of the Abyss.  The town, San Pedro, is where you will find the most populated part of the island, equipped with an array of lodging, dining, shopping, and nightlife. The island is known as ‘La Isla Bonita’, translated in English as, ‘The Beautiful Island’, a nickname given by Madonna’s hit song, ‘La Isla Bonita’. Tours and activities on the island range from easy, moderate, to strenuous. Choose your adventure: have a relaxing sunset cruise with your loved one, or take a short boat ride out to the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, to snorkel or dive.  San Pedro is said to have been a Maya Trading Post, and the evidence of this exist today, be sure to visit the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site, and unfold the mysteries of the Mayas. With all this said, sure enough it is no surprise that this island has been rated the #1 Island in the world on TripAdvisor.


Take it easy and simply ‘Go Slow’ visiting Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker is located nearby to San Pedro Ambergris Caye, but it is a distinctive atmosphere to San Pedro- here be sure to dive the Hol Chan Marine Reserve for a great reef experience. Looking for paved roads? This cannot be found in Caye Caulker! Kick off your shoes and experience the island life, strolling on the sandy streets. This island has a laid back Caribbean vibe and is popular amongst backpackers, budget travelers and lately even honeymooners, looking for an island escape.  The friendly people of Caye Caulker gives Caye Caulker the nickname, ‘La Isla Carinosa’, translated in English as, ‘Charming Island’, and charming it is. Many locals as well as visitors enjoy the entertainment and swimming at ‘The Split Beach’, a narrow channel that has divided the Island in two. I definitely recommend experiencing the true meaning of Caye Caulker’s motto, “Go Slow”.


This upcoming ‘must visit’ island takes you to Southern Belize. Laughing Bird Caye National Park is located approximately eleven miles off the coast of Placencia Village, Stann Creek District. What is most unique about this island is that it stands on an elongated ridge of reef (faro). Due to its location and form it attracts an abundance and variety of coral habitats and marine life. Unlike, San Pedro Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker, this island is secluded, and uninhabited by humans. Laughing Bird Caye is a protected area and is also listed as a World Heritage Site. Diving, fishing, and snorkeling in this area, is a true natural marine experience that can easily be arranged through licensed tour operators such as: Splash Dive Center Belize.

Belize is a natural beauty and is filled hundreds of picturesque islands. However, if you are planning to experience Belize we do recommend visiting these top three ‘must visit’ islands.

Needing more information on Belize and its Islands be sure to contact Patty patricia@splashbelize.com  or visit us at www.splashbelize.com

Saturday, 17 August 2013

September a Festive Month- Independence Day and Jump Up Time

Independence Day and Jump Up Time

Belize: Adorned in Red, White, and Blue, the sound of the marching bands and the loud trumpets can be heard, commemorating the history of what has become Belize. Belize is the Land of the Free, and by listening to Belize’s many national, and historical September Celebration songs including Belize’s National Anthem, we can feel the vibration of the drums and the rhythm of the proud patriotic march.


Belize gained its Independence on September 21, 1981 and it was on this day that the Belizean flag was raised, and the Belize’s National Anthem song by all inhabitants, who proudly called themselves: ‘Belizeans’ for the very first time. Today, the entire month of September is packed with events, all aimed at celebrating Belize. This year September celebration theme is “Belize in you, Belize in me, Land of the Free!”

The Celebration began with the National Song Competition that was held on Saturday, August 10. On this day Belizeans gathered to participate in a three-song category competition: Junior, Patriotic, and Carnival. The winning songs will be used extensively throughout this year’s September Celebration.

Other popular historical events that will be taking place this year September includes: Carnival Mass Camp, Queen of the Bay Pageant, Carnival Queen and King Competition, St. George’s Caye citizen parade, Carnival Jouvert, Carnival Road March, and on the 20th midnight Belize Independence Ceremony and fire works display.

For many and myself included September is one of the best times to celebrate with locals and experience the patriotism of Belizeans. The Belize Carnival is one of the most colorful, energized, and creative, event in September. The soca and punta music on this day will have you shaking your bum as you view the bright, and picturesque costumes.  Plan on visiting Belize this September celebration and experience the festivities on this tropical Caribbean paradise. Be sure to check out the official Calendar of Events click here.

Learn more about Belize by contacting Patty at patricia@splashbelize.com and learn how you can be part of the celebrations!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Belize: Summer in December

Belize - Summer In December

Usually December means winter: one of the coldest seasons of the year. Fortunately this is not true for Belize. Belize is a tropical country all year-round! The average high in Belize during this time is is 80 F. (26 C.) and the average low is 71 F (21 C.).  Belize is the perfect escape from winter as it is a mere 2 hours flight from the United States of America.

Why not take a family winter vacation in the small tropical English-speaking land of Belize?

Who says that you cannot take a family dream winter vacation in the deep blue? The waters in Belize are warm and perfect for snorkeling or diving, even in December. Extend your summer days to December scuba diving, snorkeling, or just relaxing in the inner cayes near Placencia, Belize. Visit Belize’s Great Barrier Reef and the three atolls: Glover’s Reef, Turneffe, and Lighthouse.  You will surely not regret this winter vacation.

Forget about packing your sweaters and coats this winter and bring along your hiking boots or sundresses. Spend time on land exploring the natural beauty of the rainforest, the mysteries of the Mayan Temples, the largest cave system in Central America, and last but not least visiting the only Jaguar reserve in the world. With all the natural wonders found in this tiny country it is not surprising that 80% of the rainforest in Belize is under government protection. Belize is home to a diverse number of animals, birds, and other unique species.


As winter sets in the Northern Hemisphere many species of birds flock to warmer areas such as Belize. Why not join them?  If you enjoy birding I would definitely recommend visiting Belize. Belize covers 44.8% of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, uniting goals of conservation in the Central America Region and Mexico. Experience more than just the evergreens this winter in Belize.

Start planning your great winter escape today by contacting Patty at patricia@splashbelize.com


Summer in December awaits you in Belize!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Belize, A Melting Pot


Belize is incomparable to any other country I ever visited. While planning my vacation to Belize I was captivated by the diversity of cultures all in one tiny country. I can surely say that this was one of the many factors that influenced my decision to visit Belize over Costa Rica, which my husband and I were deliberating.

It is the locals that make a difference. Similar to many Caribbean countries the people are ‘laid-back’. Leaving the hustle and bustle of our everyday life took some getting use to. I had to constantly remind myself that we were here on vacation. As we entered the airport my husband and I were greeted by the rhythmic drumming, what we now know to be Garinagu music. The Garinagu music is a traditional music of the Garifuna culture. It didn’t take long for us to notice that the Garinagu were only one of the many racial ethnic groups that share the beautiful and natural land of Belize.

                                                                                    
The fact that Belize’s official language is English made our travels easier. This was surely a relief, as we were both able to interact more with the locals and not only experience the touristic side of the country. We later learned that although everyone understands and speaks English, many locals speak Belizean Creole (Kriol), which is best described as broken English. However, trying to eavesdrop on two locals conversing, sounds like mayhem.

Two Spanish-speaking countries, Mexico and Guatemala surround Belize; contributing tremendously to the prevalence of the Spanish language and the Mestizo culture. I was surprised by the intense flavors of many traditional mestizo foods such as the tamales, panades, and tacos, to name a few. Many cultural foods can be easily found at the markets, and is commonly sold by many street vendors. Traditional Mestizo foods are primarily made using corn. Corn is also a staple used by the traditional Mayas who we encountered in the village of Maya Center a small Mopan Maya Village on our way to Placencia, where we were heading.


We drove south to Placencia after leaving Belize City and we were greeted with a welcoming smile by many different faces. Heading to Placencia we passed by Belmopan, the country’s capital which happens to be near Spanish Lookout - an area inhabited by Conservative German Mennonites, who strictly use simple machines. While on the main road we were approached by a fast galloping horse and buggy driven by conservative Mennonites, this took us by surprise. Belize is truly a natural haven comprised of many racial ethnic groups who all contribute to the rich and diverse culture in Belize.

After arriving in Placencia, we instantly knew that we were in paradise. The sandy beaches and crystal blue waters made Placencia the perfect vacation getaway for my husband and I who had never been on a honeymoon. Belize is certainly a ‘melting pot’ of different racial ethnic groups working and living together in harmony.