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Ayisha

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...3.) What did the beach situation look like? Is it a nice, gradual sand-slope to a wadeable, clear-sandy bottom (like kids play in, and some people hang out in), or is there iron shore? Any 'sand fleas' (I hear a lot about those regarding Roatan, but not Belize)?

4.) Did the topside on Ambergris Caye look like it had adequate entertainments for a spouse and little kid? Some touristy shopping, souvenirs, etc...?

You and your family might enjoy Placencia, which has beautiful, gradual sloping beaches, with children and adults playing and laying in and around the water.

We went in April 2019, and didn't have any issues with sand fleas, and I'm usually a magnet for them. I wore Sawyer's with Picaradin and my friend used Off with Deet when we went out at dusk (and remembered to use it), but I don't believe either of us got bitten. We were surprised at the lack of no-see-ums.

On Ambergris Caye in January 2006, I don't recall any issues with sand fleas either.

(Roatan is a different story. Most in our group of 14 had tonnes of bites with their low percentage (7%?) deet or no bug spray, except for the 3 of us with the old Cutters Advanced with Picaridin. Everyone was coming to us for spray by halfway through the week.) :D

Placencia is just a still up and coming beach town, but it has a long strip of shops with souvenirs, groceries, necessities, restaurants, and coffee/gelato shops.
It is also a day trip for you to get to IMHO the best diving Belize has to offer, which is Glover's. I of course love diving off of Lighthouse, especially Half Moon Caye, the Aquarium, etc., but Glover's reef is even better for the health and colour of the reef, as well as the abundance of large critters. Not as incredible as Jardines de la Reina, Cuba, but head and shoulders above most of the Caribbean. Thankfully it's far and off the beaten path, which helps to keep it healthy.

I haven't stayed on Glover's atoll, so I can't say how non-diving and child-friendly it is, but I suspect it's quite secluded with that much less for them to do, besides relax and explore, which just might be enough.

Hope that helps...
 

Titatom

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You and your family might enjoy Placencia, which has beautiful, gradual sloping beaches, with children and adults playing and laying in and around the water.

We went in April 2019, and didn't have any issues with sand fleas, and I'm usually a magnet for them. I wore Sawyer's with Picaradin and my friend used Off with Deet when we went out at dusk (and remembered to use it), but I don't believe either of us got bitten. We were surprised at the lack of no-see-ums.

On Ambergris Caye in January 2006, I don't recall any issues with sand fleas either.

(Roatan is a different story. Most in our group of 14 had tonnes of bites with their low percentage (7%?) deet or no bug spray, except for the 3 of us with the old Cutters Advanced with Picaridin. Everyone was coming to us for spray by halfway through the week.) :D

Placencia is just a still up and coming beach town, but it has a long strip of shops with souvenirs, groceries, necessities, restaurants, and coffee/gelato shops.
It is also a day trip for you to get to IMHO the best diving Belize has to offer, which is Glover's. I of course love diving off of Lighthouse, especially Half Moon Caye, the Aquarium, etc., but Glover's reef is even better for the health and colour of the reef, as well as the abundance of large critters. Not as incredible as Jardines de la Reina, Cuba, but head and shoulders above most of the Caribbean. Thankfully it's far and off the beaten path, which helps to keep it healthy.

I haven't stayed on Glover's atoll, so I can't say how non-diving and child-friendly it is, but I suspect it's quite secluded with that much less for them to do, besides relax and explore, which just might be enough.

Hope that helps...

Agree with Ayisha's observation on diving at Glover's atoll. It is more remote and therefore, the reef is relatively healthier. We stayed at Off the Wall Dive Eco Resort, ran by a couple from Oregon. I liked the resort but mind you - it is an ECO resort. No A/C, but the cottages are well appointed. There are electric fans. At night, each room is provided with a solar powered lamp. No ensuite bathrooms. Internet is limited as they use solar power. They store power during the day to use at night. Rinse water is brackish. They provided bottled water for drinking and refills. Food was good and so is the dive op. There is another place to stay next door but it is more of a 'camp'. As far as activity goes, dive,, eat, sleep, dive, snorkel, read....... Bottom line, I enjoyed the diving. Don't have much problem with the food and accommodation. Did not get bitten much by mosquitoes (and I am a magnet to those). The owners are superb!
 

mcohen1021

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I don't know what happened to Aggressor's Cuba boat. Hopefully someone else can update us on this.

@Dan - I think I found the answer:

We have spots available on the March 14-21 2020 booking on the Jardines Aggressor II. With the current restrictions on US Citizens travel to Cuba this might be your last chance to dive here for a long time. This is the return booking for the Wine Divers, a fun international group from USA, Argentina and France. We booked before the new restrictions were in place, so you can be grandfathered in with us. The Aggressor fleet is prohibited from selling this charter any more to US citizens, but you can contact them directly and asked to be added to our booking. They will handle the rest.
 
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ScubaSkeeter

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Thanks for your kind words. I enjoy making the films. :)
Hi Dan, this is an enticing report and the vids are well done, thanks. Wondered if you noticed any elk horn coral?
 
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Dan

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Hi Dan, this is an enticing report and the vids are well done, thanks. Wondered if you noticed any elk horn coral?
Unfortunately not. Last time I saw some in Bonaire, around 1000 steps dive site in 2006.
 

cleung

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Great reports. Now that you have dived both the atolls as well as up in the Amergis area, if you were traveling just with divers, would you have preferred to stay at one of the resorts around the atolls rather than up in Amergis then, just to get closer to perhaps better diving?
 

Dan

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Great reports. Now that you have dived both the atolls as well as up in the Amergis area, if you were traveling just with divers, would you have preferred to stay at one of the resorts around the atolls rather than up in Amergis then, just to get closer to perhaps better diving?
Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I would like to be closer to the Atoll areas. Just not sure about the noseeum bit during not so windy day.

When I was in Utila, they were horrible. I would not come back there again, nor to Roatan, unless on liveaboard.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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