As I'm going to be 40 in February (gulp!) I thought I should mark the occasion by doing something life affirming and youthful. So we're looking at doing a PADI course.
I know that the diving in Belize is supposed to be pretty good. Does anyone have any experience of the diving and quality of the Dive schools in Belize (and anywhere else in Central America for that matter)?
do the blue hole over by the cayes - hammerheads etc. I didnt get a chance to as I hadnt got enough experience at that stage but I have vowed to go back. Stay on caye caulker and do dome snorkiling with reef sharks and massive rays. The island is wicked!
Otherwise try off the mexican coast - Playa Del Carmen (although this is too busy)
Or some of the Honduran Islands are supposed to be the best diving in the world (and cheapest too)
If you just want diving I would advise to go to Borneo - Sipadand and Mabul Islands - most spectacular place i have EVER been. Incredible.
Very jealous of you off diving - it aint much fun here in ireland - can see an inch in front of your face and its frrrrreeeezing
I don't dive, but a friend of mine does, and here's what I observed from my time in Roatan, Honduras (an island in the Carib off the mainland).
My friend said the diving was incredible. He said that dives he did there were nicer than the dives in Cozumel or any of the Caribean islands he's been to. The coral reef is amazing and beautiful, almost untouched. The only problem he noted was the lack of sea life - there aren't too many fish around, which we were told by a local was due to increasing temperatures in the sea water and local fishing.
It is apparently a very inexpensive place to dive, with a tank going for $US 30 or two tanks for $US 50. PADI open water certification (4 days) can be gotten for around $US 250.
There are some places (specifically I remember a place called Sueno Del Mar (there's a tilde above the n is sueno, by the way) that has packages for hotel and diving. It was a nice looking hotel, though if you want you can find cheaper places.
I did this with my gf 2 years ago and loved it. belize is amazing. we dove with frenchies, and they were pretty great. we stayed on caye cauker while we got certified, which is an amazing little island. After that we went inland and explored caves. pretty great. I would love to keep going back to belize, but there are so many other places to explore...
a better place to get aquainted with belize would be -http://www.belizeforums.com/
here's frenchies -http://www.frenchiesdivingbelize.com/