Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#352885 - 09/30/09 08:37 PM Good times in AC 9/5-12/2009
kdskis2 Offline
As many of you know from my postings, our trip to Ambergis Caye was frought with accomodation issues being members of Inerval International and due to unforeseen circumstances with the resorts. First, we were at Belize Legacy which closed for remodeling, secondly Brahma Blue which closed due to generator issues, and finally at Reef Village.
To start off, we cannot say enough nice things about RV at their staff. After arriving on AC via Tropic Air (their new terminal is super nice) and my being appointed copilot we made a quick exit to the Lime across the street. J.D. (aka Shrek) and Derrick (aka Scotty) of Reef Village
were there to greet us. After drinking a few panty rippers, belikins and the native island shot( I was fooled into drinking Jagermeister by J.D.) we headed via golf cart to the resort to check in. Not only did we have a golf cart already arranged by J.D., but we also had groceries purchased by Derrick for our place. A super plus! Thanks, guys!
Our check-in was a breeze and instead of being in a 2br condo(which is what II confirmation had stated) we were treated to a 3br two story villa on the lagoon's edge for all of our troubles by the people at RV). It is was a beautiful Villa and close to pool/restaurant and activities with a beautiful view of sunsets too. Lauren made sure we had water containers and other needs as soon as we got in the villa as well.
Since we arrived so early we partook in the poolside festivities with J.D., Hans and Scotty. Mojitos were made by our bartender and Hans as well. Good job guys! We met more ineresting folks and also got to meet Sharon that day who arranged all of our excursions. Sharon was a super gal too, very friendly and just as gregarious as myself and regaled us with her tales of traveling through Europe the past month (she had just returned back to AC). Dennis Wolfe was the enterainment that nite, and we were pleased with the music and his style (which fit these southern travelers to a T).
We ate at Wild Mango that night and had our best ceviche of the trip there. Very nice restaurant and wonderful flourless chocolate cake to top off the evening.
Day 1: We spent pooling it, exploring the north of the island (we made it past Aji and Lazy Crock on golf cart and would have gone farther but our friends did not want to be as adventurous as we). We ate lunch at Palapa Beach Bar (another great ceviche location and fish tacos that were yummy) and hung out their for awhile. We ended up at Coco Loco's Beach Bar and pool (which is across from Reef Village by short walk). The drinks there were awesome and met some nice guys from TX there for their friends Bachelor Party. How come I did not think of this when getting married? ;)That night we ate at the Palm Restaurant at Reef Village and had another wonderful meal. Fresh fish and shrimp pasta dishes and a huge shrimp ceviche. The most for the money we had on AC and very good too.
On to Day 2: We met Chucky the next am in front of Coco Loco's Beach Bar for short shuttle ride to meet the captain Luis Nunez and his fine blue boat, La Gaviota. Pineapple was waiting for us once aboard and we took off for our daysail to Caye Caulker with stops at Shark Ray Alley on the way and Hol Chan coming back. We had a wonderful time aboard the "blue boat" La Gaviota. Luis and Chucky made sure we were comfortable and always with a rum punch in hand. We saw much sealife at both stops snorkeling (sea turtles, rays, nurse sharks and a variety of fish) and the biggest treat was the frolicking of dolphins along the boat when approaching CC. CC was pretty much deserted but we had a nice lunch of great ceviche, lobster burgers and lobster curry at the Beach Sports Bar with Lloyd the owner stopped by to chat and his cat Boo kept us company too since our little Boo was at home in the vet with illness. What a great day it was. We made arrangements with Chucky as we left the boat for a fishing/bbq lunch day for Wed. More of that later. That night we ate at Blue Lotus with a free boat ride provided by the restaurant across the lagoon. Brahma Blue's restaurant had generators, but the resort appeared closed and dark as we were told. The Indian seafood dishes there was wonderful. The garlic Nan was fantastic as was the grouper we enjoyed. It was nice to sit under the open aired Palapa restaurant and enjoy the stars and the breeze.
Day 3: Day of relaxation at Victoria House Beach. Thanks to all of you who reccomended this beach as it was the most lovely one we visited while on AC. We ate at Admiral Nelson's and had a Super Ahi Grilled Tuna topped off by Belikin Stout (my favorite of the Belikin beers) and continued to relax the day away on the beach in lounge chairs, in the water off the pier (nice clear water free of sea grass) and spotting rays from their. When we got back, we are more than likely booking a couple of nites here as the service, beach and restaurant are above par! Since we had such a fine lunch, we opted to pick up to Rotisserie chickens for $18 Belize and some more Belikin (best place to get it is at the Distributos as it is only $30 US for a case and you can return the bottles for a deposit). We had another deliscious dish at the villa of Belizean chicken and salad.
Day 4: We again met Chucky(great guy, Chucky is) at Coco Loco's Beach Bar and started our day on his boat for a full day of fishing, snorkeling and bbq'ng lunch. I caught one snapper, but thanks to my husband and other male friend, we were amply supplied with many more. After securing our catch for lunch, we ventured to Shell Beach on the southwest side of the island. The beach itself was beautiful and this is where Chucky proceeded to bbq us lunch with vegetables. It was served with fat tortillas and was delish. After eating and drinking more rum punch, we snorkeled some and headed back home with full bellies. The only downside to this day was that in the water at Shell Beach, were small white leaches which attached themselves to us as we were in the water. Has anyone heard of this? We could not swim there because of it.
That nite we made it to the famous Chicken Drop at Pier Lounge(highly recommend it as it is fun and you mingle with locals and tourist alike). Once there,we were treated to palm tree climbing and acrobatics by Coconut Leo before betting on our squares. The chicken drop platform is basically like a big bingo card surrounded by a fence. Someone volunteers to place the chicken on the board (after swinging it in the air and blowing on its bottom...I could say worse, but I am a southern bell, afterall.) People have placed bets on the numbers on the squares and whichever number the chicken drops its load (again, I am a proper, gentile woman who chooses not to swear on this board. lol) on, that number wins. We were fortunate to win the 3rd drop of the nite with a pot of $100 Belizean dollars and free drinks. We took our winnings to Caliente and had a nice meal of grilled lobster, pork, fish, and of course, more ceviche.:)
Day 5: Was another chill day in which my husband and I escaped by ourselves to the beach at Coco Loco's and then on to a dive with Amigos Del Mar Dive company. Alex (our dive guide extraordinairre) picked us up and the fun began. Alex was an awesome guide. Very attentive and set up all of our gear for us. This may be because we were the only two on the boat, but how sweet it was! We did rollovers(a first for me as I have always done giant strides) off the boat and dove Esmerelda Canyon where Alex guided us and pointed out numerous fish we had only seen in books. Alex was also able to mesmerize a nurse shark for a moment and rub its belly. We were not fast enough to do the same. Maybe next time?:) Our second dive was Victoria Canyons. I can't say enough about the diving off AC. More reef life than I have seen except in HI and Curacao. I highly recommend it for divers, new and old. Our max dive was 85 ft. We loved it! That nite, we ate at Wild Ginger and had the tasting menu. I cannot say enough about this meal. Well worth the $90 ($45 US) we paid as we received appetizers, soup, more appetizers, dinner and dessert. The whole meal was quality above the norm, the atmosphere was excellent and the drink (a basil mojito that we now will try at home on a regular basis). My favorite part of the meal was the sushi tilapia and chocolate mousse).
Day 6: We spent another relaxing day at Ramon's Village and had a picnic lunch of chicken salad sandwiches and Belikins. smile Our friends chose to eat lunch at the resort and said it was very good. That nite,we enjoyed second best meal of the trip at Sunset Grill on the lagoon where we fed the tarpons and I enjoyed the stone crab, hubby the lobster. Yummy. The tarpon feeding was an ending to a wondrful dining experience. Very exciting as they will literally jump out of the water to take the sardines that the restaurant gives you (first bucket free). We did not get any good pics of this as the sun had already set. Afterwards, we met our new fournd friends of RV (Sharon, J.D., Scotty) at the Lime for drinking, socializing and more fun. We met Walter the former Rastafarian who was super nice and would have stayed longer had it not been our last nite and our male friend who was tired.
Day 7: We bid goodbye to the wonderful RV, flew tropic air to BZE, where we picked up some One Barrel(the local rum), Drambuie, and Don Julio for a steal and headed back home wishing we were still there!
We will come back and we will be solo (just hubby and I) so that we can experience more adventure and the Ruins and cave tubing. And more of the island.
The highlights of the trip and must dos for anyone and us(for future time) on our list: Victoria House Beach, Reef diving with Amigos Del Mar, Red Ginger, Admiral Nelson's, Blue Lotus and Sunset Grill for meals, Palapa Beach Bar for drinks/lunch. RV for jam night, bar and accomodations, Pier Lounge for Chicken Drop and Ramon's and BC's for beach activity and local spotting, La Gaviota for day sailing.
Farewell til next time La Isla Bonita! You are in our hearts!
_________________________
Life is what happens when you are making other plans!

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#352890 - 09/30/09 08:54 PM Re: Good times in AC 9/5-12/2009 [Re: kdskis2]
Amanda Syme Offline
Fantastic story. Glad to hear it all worked out for the best and that you had a marvelous vacation.

Come back soon.

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#352891 - 09/30/09 08:59 PM Re: Good times in AC 9/5-12/2009 [Re: kdskis2]
blat Offline

great review, basically like ever trip down we make.

Next time go to El Fogon, Neri's and Blue Water

glad only bad part of the trip was white leech's, have to say... never had the pleasure

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#352893 - 09/30/09 09:23 PM Re: Good times in AC 9/5-12/2009 [Re: blat]
tacogirl Offline
Glad it all turned out well for you. I am not surprised JD was able to sneak in a Jager lol. I just emailed him and Sharon the link in case they have not seen it.
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#352905 - 09/30/09 10:05 PM Re: Good times in AC 9/5-12/2009 [Re: tacogirl]
collyk Offline
Fantastic trip report. Sounds like you had the sort of experience that will keep you coming back for years to come. Sharon, JD, Scotty and the whole crew are all great hosts. So glad that you had a great time and even more happy you chose to share it.

ps. Those white leeches are the scourge of the west coast.
_________________________
www.conchcreative.com
Belize Wedding Photography


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#352909 - 09/30/09 10:23 PM Re: Good times in AC 9/5-12/2009 [Re: collyk]
chunkyruth Offline
Sounds like you enjoyed the island to it's fullest! Great report.

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#352913 - 09/30/09 10:45 PM Re: Good times in AC 9/5-12/2009 [Re: chunkyruth]
2MILESNORTHOFCUT Offline
Glad you guys had a good time.

We Renamed (Shell beach) "Leach Beach" one time while visiting that area.

I guess the locals don't mind when the Leaches get on them as my local friend once told me "They can't kill you, Don't worry!!!".

Since then, I only swim on the front side of the Island, No crocs, no leaches, Only a rare bull shark once in a while eek

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#352920 - 09/30/09 11:39 PM Re: Good times in AC 9/5-12/2009 [Re: 2MILESNORTHOFCUT]
SimonB Offline
Originally Posted By: 2MILESNORTHOFCUT
I guess the locals don't mind when the Leaches get on them


Oh, they do mind them. Local friends of mine went back there this weeekend and were totally grossed out by the leaches.

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#352933 - 10/01/09 01:35 AM Re: Good times in AC 9/5-12/2009 [Re: SP Daily]
reaper Offline
Nice report! We told you so....hahaha!

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#353044 - 10/01/09 09:37 PM Re: Good times in AC 9/5-12/2009 [Re: reaper]
kdskis2 Offline
Thanks and Indeed! Well, we didn't mind the leaches that much...but I only got in to my knees. I wasn't about to have one in my nether regions, so no swimming for this gal!
_________________________
Life is what happens when you are making other plans!

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