Jim and Kendra Schofield have created a small 9-visitor dive resort in the middle of a protected Caribbean marine reserve, on a private island of 16 acres, part of the country of Belize in Central America. Being protected, the marine reserve is off-limits to commercial fishermen and cruise ships (hooray!). The reserve is located on Glover's Reef, which is--apart from the Maldives in the Indian Ocean--the best diving we have ever experienced. Having spent most of their lives on Long Caye ("Long Key"), the Schofields and their staff of PADI-certified divemasters know the reef like the backs of their hands. Being remote, there are not that many divers. For our book, this is the best Caribbean center we have visited.
The site ambience is truly laid-back and relaxed. If you are a PADI certified Advanced Open Water diver, you will experience great dives, no pressure, and truly experienced divemaster guides.
Off the Wall is most suitable for couples and families with children over 12 who are used to camping-style settings. (Sometimes children aged 10 to 12 can do the PADI Introduction to diving course.) Why camping-style? The resort is ecologically sound: Insofar as possible, Jim and Kendra use solar power, and a compostable toilet (no, it does not smell bad; it is not an Army latrine). There are three showers, all of which use rainwater heated by the sun. Meals are in a group setting, with Jim, Kendra, and the staff.
There are no TV's, bars, or other distractions. This is why it is so good for families. One can get to know one's children by playing card or board games with them after sunset.
This is a rare, precious, Mom-and-Pop dive center. You will not find this kind of resort elsewhere. The Schofields are genuine, authentic, positive, modest, knowledgeable, and kind persons. Also, one has to note their courage: they built this resort following the devastating Hurricane Mitch that wiped out the island's structures (along with huge swaths of Honduras and Belize). The landscaping is carefully thought through and implemented, and the Schofields had to put their backs to the wheel to make all this happen.
Other notes: (1) Bring the strongest insect repellent available. (2) Bring After-Bite and Calamine lotion if you are particularly sensitive to insect bites. (3) Jim and Kendra have an excellent list of materials to bring with you, including flashlights, batteries, etc.
Getting to and from: This is a three-step trip: (1) from your town to a hub that handles flights to Belize City; (2) from Belize City to Dandriga via a small prop plane on Maya Airlines; and (3) from Dandriga to the resort via boat. Usual guest changovers occur on Saturday boat trips (which also double as provisioning trips for the resort); any day other than that requires a $300 additional boat charter.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Off The Wall Dive Center is situated on a private island in the turquoise waters of Glover's Atoll. We are a small Eco-friendly, PADI 5 star Dive Center and Resort and offer Scuba Courses, Whale Shark trips and the best diving, snorkeling and fly-fishing in Belize, as well as kayaking and stand up paddling. Or, just come to relax and enjoy our white, sandy beaches and idealistic setting for getting away from it all. Our packages include Saturday boat transportation to and from our island, 7 nights accommodations in charming, ocean front cabanas, and all your meals. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Off The Wall Dive Hotel Glovers Reef Atoll
- Off The Wall Dive Center And Resort