Turneffe Island Resort

Picture this: You are stranded on a deserted island.

What are three things you would wish for?

While a toothbrush, food and water might be high on the list, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you were thinking along the lines of:

  • A luxurious, outdoor infinity pool
  • Gourmet meals prepared daily
  • And, of course, access to world-class scuba diving around The Great Blue hole

If your list consists of these three things (or something similar), then I’ve got great news…

Welcome To Paradise

Turneffe Island Resort in Belize is the perfect vacation getaway for thrill seekers and family and friends looking to kick back and relax. Nestled in “paradise,” Turneffe Island Resort is a private Island located off the coast of Belize, just 30-miles from the world-famous Great Blue Hole.

The 14-acre getaway houses 22 guestrooms, creating an intimate and uninhibited atmosphere. While the resort isn’t new (it’s actually 15-years-old), the property has just undergone some major renovations. The results are breathtaking, with entirely upgraded rooms, a luxurious spa, an outdoor bar by the pool, along with a gourmet dinning room with daily meals prepared by experienced chefs.

Turneffe Island Resort
View from above of Turneffe Island Resort

Luxury aside, this private resort is also known for its world-renowned scuba diving, fly fishing, snorkeling and breathtaking views. Turneffe Island Resort would be considered paradise for vacationers looking to really explore the Caribbean Ocean.

And with all-inclusive resort packages starting as low as $2,090 (per person), vacation goers can experience the “private-island life” at affordable rates.

Here are 5 highlights that I got to experience during my visit to this tropical paradise:

#1. Scuba Diving

Turneffe Island Resort
Scuba Diving at Turneffe Island Resort

With six dive masters, thirty-two diving sites and fifteen dives per week, Turneffe Island makes for the perfect scuba diving destination. Guests are able to dive deep down into some of Belize’s most lucrative depths and caves. Real thrill seekers even have the chance to dive 130 feet deep inside the Great Blue Hole to get glimpses of stalactites and rare sea creatures.

#2: Snorkeling

Turneffe Island Resort
Snorkeling at Turneffe Island Resort

I am by no means a pro at snorkeling, but I knew I couldn’t miss the opportunity to snorkel the perimeter of The Great Blue Hole at Turneffe Island Resort. Located on a geological wonder – the coral island of Little Caye Bokel – Turneffe sits at the southern elbow of the Turneffe Atoll.

A natural wonder formed centuries ago, Belize’s Turneffe Atoll was previously an oceanic mountainous peak. Over time, the peak sank to the sea floor, leaving a coral reef around its perimeter. Today, the Turneffe Atoll is the one of the largest and most biologically diverse coral atoll in Belize.

I felt like I had just stepped out of Finding Nemo after spending a few hours snorkeling around the island. I got to see fish I never knew existed, along with brightly colored coral and sea plants.

#3: Fly Fishing

Turneffe Island Resort
Fly Fishing at Turneffe Island Resort

I was thrilled when I found out that Turneffe Island Resort offers guests an extensive fishing program that includes the choice of four fishing boats, four experienced fishing guides and six fishing flats.

Turneffe has become famous for its fly-fishing, attracting anglers from around the globe. The fishermen on board help ensure that guests catch impressive fish like mackerels, snappers, permits, tarpons, and the occasional mighty bonefish.

Turneffe’s fishing program is also known for its “catch and release” policy and takes pride in respecting the Turneffe Atoll bioregion.

#4: The Helicopter Ride

Turneffe Island Resort
View of The Great Blue Hole from above

One of the most memorable activities during our stay at Turneffe Island Resort was the private helicopter ride. The views from the helicopter were absolutely breathtaking. Seeing the Island from above was a completely different experience. The ocean below appeared turquoise, mixed with shades of blue, and you could really get a clear glimpse of The Great Blue Hole.

The helicopter ride also made for a great photo op, as guests are allowed to take pictures during the tour. And for people with a fear of heights, I must admit that it’s not as scary once you are off the ground. In fact, I was so preoccupied with the views that I forgot about my fear of flying. The helicopter ride is a must!

#5: The Spa

Turneffe Island Resort
The Spa at Turneffe Island Resort

Finally, one of the main reasons we decided to visit Turneffe Island Resort was to relax on a private island in the Caribbean. After all of our activities, I decided to end the trip with a 90-minute hot stone massage at Turneffe’s spa.

Turneffe’s spa is situated in a villa overlooking the Caribbean Sea. There are two professional massage therapists and guests can choose from 12 different treatments (mani and pedis too!), along with a daily special. The massage oils and lotions were extremely calming and smelled like heaven. I had fallen asleep by the end of my massage, overcome with the feeling of inner peace and calmness.

Paradise Found

Photo Credit: Noa Enav
The sunset on Turneffe Island Resort captured by Noa Enav

Overall, my experience at Turneffe Island Resort was truly unforgettable. From the activities, to the lodging, to the meals, this private Island really is a slice of paradise in Belize that everyone should experience.

Being stranded on a deserted island really isn’t so bad after all!

https://youtu.be/Xb0V_sqq038

Eating and Drinking Before Diving

Everybody knows that it’s not a good idea to drink (alcohol) before going diving.  But, what happens when you eat a LOT of food before you go?

Remember how our moms always used to tell us to wait thirty minutes after eating our lunch/snacks/dinner/whatever before going back into the pool?  Back then I always seemed to have a super natural ability to detect when my mother was full of shit with her notes on what’s best for child rearing. That bit about how I shouldn’t go back to my fun swimming activities until the stroke of thirty minutes later was no exception.  Somehow science or natural selection successfully debunked that silly 30-minute-no-swim-rule over the years since I’ve been a kid and I do feel vindicated!  Well, I felt vindicated until scuba diving during a food mishap this last Summer while on vacation with my family.

It was after the first of a two tank dive afternoon that my kids reminded me that we all needed to go eat some lunch or we might all expire from Bataan Death March type malnutrition.  Being on the water does make you hungry!  So, we all decided to try out the menu at Ramon’s dive center/hotel/restaurant which is on Ambergris Caye in Belize.  The menu there looked really good and the food turned out to be excellent!  We were so hungry that I ordered what seemed at the time to others seated at the table, dishes from every part of the menu.  -I consider myself to be a food snob and really, every item that we ordered was exceptional and impressive…  So, I ate what I considered to be my fair share of what was delivered to our food huddle, A LOT OF FOOD!  That turned out to be a DUMB DUMB DUMB idea to eat so much!

Right after lunch I paid the check and gathered my Salty Dogs dive group in order to muster for our next diventure, the second tank exploration of our two tank afternoon.  I felt like a whale I was so full.  Miserable full.  Instead of concentrating on the fun of the upcoming scuba dive, slipping into a full-on food coma was all that was on my mind.  Oh, another thing to tell is that I like spicy food.  I mean I like really really spicy food.  Thai Hot when it’s appropriate!  At that lunch it wasn’t a Thai Hot day, but it was locally Belize grown chili pepper day.  Habaneros get hot, don’t they???  I screwed myself royally with that lunch.  Me being a glutton purchased me the life-like feel of what a manatee must go through when pregnant and experiencing a severe case of HEARTBURN!  Trying not to burp and throw up repeat chili offenders into my reg at 65 feet on that second dive of the day, reminded me that eating right before swimming AND scuba diving, should be managed properly by smart mom types and not by Gore-Garth type ravenous neanderthals like myself!  Remember to watch what you eat and drink before each dive.  Like my mother told me many times before, don’t do as I do, do as I say!

Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday.  She’s not around anymore to read this so, I think it’s safe to put down on the Internet for all to see here…  My Mom really did know best.  Happy Birthday Mom.  We sure do miss you!

 

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Green Moray Eel signs modeling contract off Grand Cayman

When on a dive vacation, one needs to dive!  In my family’s case, we need to dive A LOT!  Both of my kids along with my lovely wife and myself enjoy the hell out of the whole dive experience.  It’s a ton of fun to actually go diving but, it’s also exciting to think about and prepare for the next day’s/week’s/vacation’s dive.  Kind of like SCUBA Christmas Eve, the night before every dive.  I just love it and it makes me smile wide when my dive crew gets excited about the upcoming awesomeness as well.  If you don’t yet dive or haven’t yet finished up your Open Water Certification, BY ALL MEANS, get your rump down to your local dive shop and sign up for or finish your dive classes.  Or you can do like my family did, (except for my wife, she’s been Advanced Open Water certified for many years, even since before she met me – one of the reasons I married her, how cool to meet a chick that’s already dive certified right?!) get your Open Water dive certification in a warm water location!  We did ours in Belize which took about three days total with book work, watching PADI learning videos and practical dive training.  I’m not much of a cold weather guy, let alone a cold water guy so, the Belize option was absolutely perfect in so many ways for my sensitivities and needs!  If you’ve ever wished you could just jump in the aquarium and swim around with all your new cool colorful fish friends, Scuba diving might just be your ticket to adventure.

The following pics were shot with a SeaLife Micro 2.0 camera and SeaDragon 2500 Light.

We went diving with Marie and Menno from DiveTech.  -Great dive operator and people!

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Another great dive off the west coast of Grand Cayman!  This green moray eel was modeling for our camera…

We took the pics but not the following video, great catch on the video guys!  Check out what a Moray can do, he sets his chopsticks down and then goes to work…

Belize Prophecy movie trailer

I’m currently cutting my teeth on video editing.  Here’s a very quick editing session (very hard to tell, right?) output that I created with my own hands…  along with the help of Apple iMovie’s easy movie creating wizard and a GoPro video camera.  I have a lot to learn about splicing video but, I can see how it could grow into an addiction.  Very satisfying to take raw video and sound and then make something cool of it all.

Many thanks to our support team, lead by Mr. Ernest Leslie – PADI Scuba Instructor and friend at Ramon’s Village dive center on Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Do you know what I like better than my first day of video editing?  Scuba diving!!!  There are some other things that I’ve enjoyed even more as well.  😉

 

So, go grab some microwave popcorn, some Twizzlers and a friend and click and enjoy the movie trailer below that did NOT take the Cannes Film Festival or the Sundance Film Festival by surprise…

 

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