Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#105716 - 07/05/05 11:50 PM Reflections-first visit to SP
splecs Offline
I just returned home from my first visit to SP and thought I'd give a brief report since people said they wanted to hear good and bad. I had a lot of both during my trip.

1) Fishing-small disaster-As I have already posted, my guide got swithched the day before I left for SP. Once I got down there, it did not get much better, the new guide was at least 30 minutes late everyday and clearly did not want to take us on the flats. I have fished a lot in the keys and really didn't want to chase barracuda, but that's what we did alright. Kind of a waste of my time. He also showed up one day and said he was going to take us snorkeling, since the tide was not good for tarpon. didn;'t even have poles in the boat!

2) hotel-we stayed at the sunbreeze and for where our location was, i thought it was great. Really nice hotel. great pool, GREAT restraunt and great message (be sure to see Karen if you go).

3) SP-San Pedr was an interesting town. The H20 and the outlying areas were beautiful and next time I will stay at a further out resort like Captain Morgan's. SP just didn't do it for me. The nightlife was ok. After trying several bar, we kept coming back to Fido's or the tackel box. What was disturbing was almost everywhere we went we were approached about drugs or young prostitutes. The working people of San Pedro were very friendly and accomodating, but being on the streets was worse than NYC. We had to stay in Fido's or go back to the hotel not to be asked if we wanted cocaine or young guatamalen girls.

We had a good time in Belize, but there are a lot of things I would do different if I go back.

#105717 - 07/06/05 02:13 AM Re: Reflections-first visit to SP
seashell Offline
splecs, no offence intended, but you were already agitated about the fishing guide situation. I believe that you went in with the wrong attitude, therefore, I'm not surprised that you were disappointed.

As for you not enjoying SP, so be it. It's not for everyone. What remains is that you would still return and stay up island. It's all good.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#105718 - 07/06/05 10:14 AM Re: Reflections-first visit to SP
wanta be gammy Offline
Ok, thanks for the information but is there anything that you really enjoyed that you can pass on. We are going in August for our first trip and don't want to waste time doing things we shouldn't. We do like to snorkel but not dive. Are there any tours or resturants you can recommend. We like to go to different "out of the way" places, unlike Cancun etc. We don't drink so the "bar" thing is not really for us. Thanks for all the info you can provide.

#105719 - 07/06/05 11:32 AM Re: Reflections-first visit to SP
Strange. I often hear about people being hassled to buy drugs, and I agree it's unpleasant. But in nearly four years I doubt if I've experienced it more than half a dozen times, and always apparently for "soft" drugs. And just twice have I been approached by pimps.

One good thing about SP and Belize in general is that when you say "no" they usually accept it and go away. Same for the little kids selling beads etc on the beach, though usually turning them away makes me feel very guilty. If you want hassle try Egypt or some of the other Central/South American countries. There it's like a swarm of flies that you can't swat away. Belize is much more gentle.

In my view SP night life for tourists is dominated by, almost synonymous with, bars. Not what I'm used to back home, but not surprising in a place like this. If you want something else, bring it with you. SP isn't a concrete jungle like Cancun, but it's still largely populated by non-Belizeans here either for a holiday or escaping life elsewhere.

#105720 - 07/06/05 12:09 PM Re: Reflections-first visit to SP
SimonB Offline
It might be an idea to send your observations on to Town Council (sptb@btl.net, Mayoress Elsa Paz).

Sometimes when you live here you don't see that kind of activity. When you're known as a local you only get approached by people new to the island that are trying to sell drugs so it doesn't happen that often.

I've yet to be approached by pimps, I didn't even know they were cruising the beaches. A nice violation of their civil rights may be in order.

These scum give everyone on the island a bad name but if tourists don't pass on their experiences to the powers that be little will be done.

#105721 - 07/06/05 03:25 PM Re: Reflections-first visit to SP
Hightide Offline
We've been to SP 5 times in the last year and only once were approached to buy drugs, never any pimps or prostitutes. The time we were approached it was late on a Sat. night and a guy came up to our golf cart with a really lame stick (branch?) of marijuana. We said no thank you, he backed off, we drove away. No prob. We live in a small town (pop. 5000) and even though it's a great, safe place, still unsavory characters and unsavory things going on. Sounds lame, but just saying 'no' worked. Still think SP is better than 99.9% of resort / island destinations

#105722 - 07/06/05 06:08 PM Re: Reflections-first visit to SP
LaurieMar Offline
No offense to anyone, but Fidos and Tacklebox are my least favorite places to go. I have not once been approached for drugs in five trips down. Nothing would be worse than Jamaica for that!

#105723 - 07/06/05 06:21 PM Re: Reflections-first visit to SP
Hi LaurieMar,
I have to agree with you about Fidos and Tacklebox. (I will go to Fido's occasionally to see some special entertainment...)
And, in all my time in Belize, I was NEVER approached by anyone for drugs. In fact, I only ever heard one of our guests say that they were, and that was a couple of years ago.
Hope you are well,

#105724 - 07/06/05 06:39 PM Re: Reflections-first visit to SP
CrackerLarry Offline
We've been approached several times, but my experience is that SP has the most polite entrepreneurs I've ever run across. A smile and a no thanks always got a return smile and a no problem. Not pushy at all. Just trying to make a living. Much easier to get away from than the timeshare sales people.

As Pedro said, most other developing countries it's like a swarm of flies that won't go away. In Jamaica they wait in line to argue with you. Not so in SP.

I live in rural Geargia and the local drug problems are worse here than I've seen in SP.

The flip side is that there is a market for it that must be supplied. I've known of people who've planned vacations based on the availability of good weed. A lot of middle class people get high and that's what they want to do on vacation. If SP or anywhere else really cracked down on marijuana sales, a lot of their tourists will go elsewhere.

#105725 - 07/06/05 06:47 PM Re: Reflections-first visit to SP
splecs Offline

I understand what you are trying to say (I think) but it had nothing to do with a wrong attitude. Unless you mean, expecting what you pay for is a wrong attitude. My opinion, and minw only, is that the guide I went out with likes to take people to catch whatever is easiest for him and not to go after what we specifically asked for. we did not expect success, just the right effort. I think his trips are designed for people whom fishing is an extra thing to do on thier vacation.

As for my comments about drigs and prostitutes, others need to not be so defensive about SP. You ask for honest assesments and when you get it, you attack those who had it. I wasn't interested in whether or not anyone else liked fido's or the tackelbox. My experience this weekend was that those were the two places we did not get harassed tyo buy cocaine or be set up with young girls. We did however get that in Crazy Cannucks, the sportsbar (forget the name), Jaguars and several other. To get defensive and pretend that this is not the case is simply naive. It is all over SP. That does not mean its not a fun town or a great place to go/live. My opinion however is that if someone doesn't do something about it, it will become like jamica. Now my group was several single, somewhat (30's) guys out for a fishing trip. Maybe we looked like that was what we were after (we were not), but it was pervasive. They might not appoach older folks or amrried couples. Not sure, just telling you what I experienced.

rhomdanj-There was a lot to love about SP. As I mentioned , i thought our hotel, the sunbreeze was wonderful, close to town, very clean, great staff (including massage). I also really liked the Palapa bar. a little out of the way but very relaxing and a wonderful view. Estelle's for breakfast could not have been better. we ate there everyday and the food was to die for. Dribing the golf cart up north was really neat as well. we stoped off and the hammock house and had a beer and chilled upstairs in the hammock for a couple of hours. And lastly, the people who worked the island were extremely hospitable. If you asked for directions somewhere, they wouldn't tell you, they would walk you there. very nice people.

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