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Dive Review of Isla Marisol Resort in
Belize/Gloverís Atoll

Isla Marisol Resort: "Sublime, overpriced.", Feb, 2020,

by Mary Adams, MD, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 27 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 11443 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 2 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Maryís Undercurrent review of Isla Marisol
February 2020

I signed up online for a week-long stay, Wednesday-to-Wednesday, including 17 dives. Captain Douglas fetched 3 of us in Dangriga for the hour-long open boat ride to Gloverís Atoll and Isla Marisol resort. There, we met Letitia and Mora, resort managers and dive masters. Lety showed us around the tiny rustic resort, which has 11 one-bedroom cabanas and one 2-bedroom bungalow. There is a dining room with space for about 30 people, and a really nice new over-water bar. Water supply is from rain, and Mora said they have a desalination plant, but I did not see it. Electricity is via solar panels and diesel generator. Mora said windmills do not hold up in a salty environment.

My cabana was perfectly comfortable, with 2 full-size beds, ceiling fan, and a veranda with clotheslines. There is an air conditioner, but I did not use it. The bathroom was functional, but I discovered after my first dive that I got only about 60 seconds of hot water, just enough to de-salinate my hair and body between dives. The door locks and screens were all rusty, so there was no actual cabana security, but nothing bad happened. Isla Marisol must spray for bugs, I saw only one brown beetle, few gnats and no mosquitoes or no-see um bites. I didnít discuss that with Lety or Mora, but I suspect DDT is in use in Belize. There were very few birds in the palm trees or mangroves.

Food was about as mediocre as Belizean food can get. I think Belize sells the chicken breasts and thighs & drumsticks to a foreign market, leaving Belizeans with the necks & wings. There was pineapple and watermelon (not as ripe as I expected) and papaya, and all the starches. My package included ďsnacks,Ē but all I ever saw was bananas, orange juice, and lemonade. I glimpsed a box of Snickers bars arrive on the Saturday supply boat, but we guests never saw one. Desserts were uniformly mediocre - dry cakes, cookies, and ďpies.Ē Food was sustaining, and there was enough of it, but I think I paid for much better. We did get lobster twice, which unfortunately is wasted on me. When in Belize, I eat what is placed in front of me and give thanks and tips.

Dive operation was lots of fun, especially with only 3 divers per outing. We boarded the Mountain Lion or the Marisol Tarpon boat (twin 200-hp Yamahas) for a 5-10-minute ride to the dive sites on the outer walls of the Atoll. After a dive briefing, we back-rolled into the water and descended. Visibility ranged from 50 feet to spectacular. Most dives were slow drifts in an easy current along or on top of the wall. My max recorded depth was 81 feet, averages 35-50 feet. After 50 minutes and safety stops, Captain Douglas moved the boat close to us, we handed up our weights, tanks, and fins, then climbed the ladder. Douglas and Mora refilled our tanks between dives. Seas were mostly pretty calm, but there were a handful of wild rides in 3-foot seas. I took a bonine for breakfast every day.

The dive shop has several locked cages for storing gear between dives. Rinse capability was spotty; sometimes there was water at the dock shower, mostly not, and there was only one half-filled barrel for rinsing wetsuits. I left mine salty and brought them home salty. My tiny GoPro went to my cabana between dives for a sink dunk.

I was counting fish for REEF surveys most of the dives, and observed a moderate number of species and mostly small populations, except abundant creole wrasse, redband and striped parrotfish, yellow snappers, and bar jacks. The reef condition was good at most dive sites, but there were a couple sites where all the corals were dead. Long Caye Wall was the worst. I saw only a handful of nurse sharks, and a few magnificent turtles - loggerhead, hawksbill, and green. I wish I could convince the whole world that a live turtle in the ocean is worth $2000 to this scuba diver.

The DMs were hunting for spiny lobsters during most of the dives, and were moderately successful. Apparently there is a spiny lobster season.

Gloverís Atoll has a marine protected area inside the Atoll. Mora admitted that the Belize Wildlife authority has trouble enforcing fishing restrictions in the protected areas. There is a Wildlife Conservation Society research station on Long Key. I did not visit it, wish I had. Another diver did visit it and reported its capabilities.

There were a couple of snorkelers early in my stay. They were disappointed in the snorkel services. They paid (I think I heard) $75 to be taken a quarter-mile from the resort for what they said was poor snorkeling. I snorkeled around the resort under the mangroves, the bar and the boat docks, and I saw some interesting small sea life, two spotted eagle rays (!!), and a moderate amount of plastic trash of course.

Overall, February 5-12 on Isla Marisol was a fine, if overpriced, diving week.
Websites Isla Marisol Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cuba, Bonaire, Cozumel, Florida Keys, Clearwater FL, Bimini, Roatan, Kona, North Carolina, Flower Garden Banks, Caymans, Palau, Chuuk, Turks and Caicos.
Closest Airport BZE Getting There Fly to BZE, then Dangriga. I traveled by land from Belize City to Dangriga.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 50-minute bottom time, 3-minute safety stop.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Captain will hand your camera down to you, and lift it into the boat after. No camera or mask buckets on boat.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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