Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#36127 - 03/15/01 09:24 PM Trip Report
PamelaO Offline
Hi Everyone!!

What a fantastic week we had....too fast, but tons of pics and lots of great memories of our stay on Ambergris Caye!

Day One: Flew in to Houston from SLC then connected to Belize City. Next, ten of us on to Tropic Air. Very professional, fun flight, we actually got on an earlier flight which worked great. Two vans waiting for us at air strip...grabbed our bags and off to Banyan Bay. Banyan Bay is wonderful! Two bedroom units perfect for our group. Pool is beautiful. Dumped our bags and headed to the pier. The dive shop we used is located right at Banyan Bay...."Bottom Time Divers." They waited there for us so we could check in with them, take care of the paper work and plan our next day dives. "Bottom Time" is just our type of dive shop. Would use them again in a heartbeat. Small boats, usually just our 7 divers, never more than 10. ***I hope all divers donate the $1 per tank to the Recompression Chamber, thought this was a great idea. Grabbed a quick bite next door at Tropica and crashed!

DAY TWO: Beautiful day (is there any other on AC)? Water really calm, not much wind, made our first 2 dives, leaving at 9AM. Diving was fantastic, soooo good to be back in the water. Weather and visibility was so good, we signed up for 5:30 night dive! Night dive was fantastic. Went to Hol Chan. Lots of octapus, biggest rays I've ever seen on bottom. The current really kicked my butt though, I'm not 25 anymore!! I was struggling towards end with a little cramping, but what should I expect with 3 dives first day!??

DAY THREE: Back to the pier for another day of diving. This was probably my favorite day, the two sites were killer..."Amigo Wreck" and "Pillar Coral". Awesome!! We did our stop between dives at Shark Ray, did some snorkeling. Great snorkel, perfect day! Exhausted...sat in shallow end of pool, sooooo happy, and read about "Lamanai" and the "Blue Hole". Took the golf cart that night into town, ate at Fido's (great place, Rosie our waitress was a blast), Shrimp Quesdilla's and Key Lime Pie...life is good!

DAY FOUR: Up early and out to pier at 7AM. Went on the "Lamanai" tour with Daniel Nunez and Tanisha Tours! Thanks everyone for his name...Daniel is fantastic. I can't say enough good about his operation. This is a long day people. Be prepared, there is about 2 1/2 hours of travel both ways, an hour of it in a bus on a bit of a bumpy road, but it is absolutely fabulous. The ride up the river alone is worth the trip. Crocodiles, monkeys, orchids, bats, egrets, Daniel is a pro at spotting them all and stopping for a closer look. "Lamanai" is beautiful. The ruins are quite extensive, not Tikal, but very impressive. We enjoyed the day, but were totally beat by the time we got back to AC. So tired infact that we fixed us a peanut butter sandwich and fell asleep in the hammock by the water!!

DAY FIVE: Half of us went diving, the other half crashed by the pool...I was at the pool! Great day, lounging, reading, drinking Margaritas, soaking up the sun, took a walk down to "Victoria House". It is very nice. Beautiful beach, great pool (still like Banyan's better), upscale, I would recommend it. Took the golf cart (a must if you are not staying down town) and went to Sweet Basil's for a late lunch. Fabulous food, pasta with huge shrimp, artichokes and goat cheese (to die for),yummy Sangria, and ice cream with hot fudge! They close at 5PM, so it's a lunch deal....highly recommend it! Back into town picked up some groceries and ear drops and went to Ramone's and looked around. Ramone's is great and I think if I were younger looking for more of a party atmosphere that is where I would stay. It's more resorty, lots of people around, busy bar, they were having a beach BBQ, cute local girls dancing, beautiful moon through the palms, took a stroll down their pier. I could get used to this!!

DAY SIX: Up really early. On the dock at 6AM. We're headed to the "Blue Hole". The wind has really picked up and we are surprised that the trip has not been canciled. "Bottom Time" booked our trip with "Amigos Del Mar" dive shop. These guys were great also. What a boat ride!! Luckily we had all taken our Bonine, because we needed it. If Edgar hadn't been such an ace as a driver, well, let's just say it was high adventure. It took us a 2 1/2 hours to get to there, mainly because we took the longer route, behind Caulker and Chapel. But once we were inside the reef it was great. The Blue Hole was incredible. I loved it. There's is not a lot of marine life there, but we saw Bull Sharks and Reef sharks below us. The cave formations are really cool. There is only about 8-10 minutes bottom time, but it was a once in a life time deal! The next stop was Half Moon Caye, and I must say that I think that this might just be the most beautiful place that I have ever been. Absolutely breathtaking. Lunch and then two more dives as we made our way out of the reef. My favorite dive this day was at the "Aquarium". We saw 4 turtles, huge lobster and crabs, tons of fish, it was really fun. On the boat ride back to AC we say a school of dolphins, about 15, lots of picutre taking! We were pleased to see that the Bar and Grill area was finally open at Banyan, the workers had been working long hours trying to finish up...we had delicious huge cheeseburgers, fries, pina coladas and crashed!

DAY SEVEN: Oh no, where has the time gone??? We haven't been to Capricorn or the Jerk Pit, or.....well, I guess that will be another trip!! We relaxed by pool all day, taking in the spectacular view of the reef, a couple of us rented a little hobie cat and sailed down to Capt. Morgan and Mata Chica. (Had to check out the Temptation Island thing). We are pleased with our choice of the south end of the island, the north is a little to isolated for us. We like being able to get easily to town. Did the BBQ at Banyon Bay, it was really good, laughed hard, talked long, retold our dive stories, do we really have to leave??

DAY EIGHT: Yup, home again. Took a little longer than anticipated with Houston weather stuff...but we're in "no problem" slow motion mode. Thanks everyone for your input and help in planning our trip. We had a fabulous time. Anyone who wants any more information please feel free to E-mail me at PBO123@aol.com! Fell in love with AC, the breeze, the water, but most of all the people!! PS: WE NEVER USED MOSQUITO REPELENT ONCE, NOT EVEN IN THE JUNGLE!!!!

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#36128 - 03/15/01 09:49 PM Re: Trip Report
jlslks Offline
Great Report!!!!!
Makes me more excited Every report I read... Can't wait ( But I have To ) for July 1..So I'll just have to read the board and 'fantize".. JOHN
_________________________
JLS

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#36129 - 03/15/01 11:39 PM Re: Trip Report
Chloe Offline
Great report. It is truly amazing, how we all catch the magic of Ambergris, and the caribbean.
_________________________
Dare To Deviate

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#36130 - 03/15/01 11:43 PM Re: Trip Report
garfish Offline
SUPER DIVE REPORT !!! MAKES ME EVEN MORE ANXIOUS FOR MARCH THE 21ST !!!! like these current ones Marty !!

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#36131 - 03/15/01 11:48 PM Re: Trip Report
Bobber Offline
Pardon my ignorance, but can you give me a bit more info on "Amigo Wreck"? I guess I had heard the term a few times, but was under the impression there weren't any notable wrecks off AC. I guess what I want to know is, where, how big, and how deep?
I kind of got the wreck bug diving the Hilma Hooker in Bonaire, and will never again pass up a good wreck dive (like I pass up a dive anyway).
_________________________
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

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#36132 - 03/16/01 12:02 AM Re: Trip Report
lmarquis Offline
Sounds truly great. 52 days and counting for us!

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#36133 - 03/16/01 02:29 AM Re: Trip Report
munichchick Offline
Great Report! I was re-living our Blue Hole trip with Amigos del Mar. No choppy seas when we went and got to the Blue Hole in less than 2 hours. The Bullsharks came right up to our boat. Yikes. We are not certified yet so we snorkeled around the edge of the Blue Hole and there was the most beautiful healthy looking coral. We almost made it all the way around. Saw the Dolphins on our way there. Half Moon Caye! I thought I died and went to Paradise. What a beautiful Island. Than we went to see our land on Long Caye and snorkeled the Aquarium. I would highly recomend this day trip to avid Snorkelers. The Amigos guys where great! We stayed at Captain Morgan's and loved it since we like to be more remote. It was easy to get to town with the water taxi. Can't wait to get back to AC in June.

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#36134 - 03/16/01 03:44 AM Re: Trip Report
margarita Offline
Thanks for the fine report - I remember you asking questions before you left. Glad you had the kinda trip we all talk about!

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#36135 - 03/16/01 06:17 AM Re: Trip Report
Anonymous
i wanna go, i wanna go, i wanna go, i wanna go!!

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#36136 - 03/16/01 06:48 AM Re: Trip Report
seashell Offline
Bobber, Amigo Wreck is not a large ship wreck, it is a small cargo type boat that Amigos del Mar cleaned and sank a number of years ago. It moved during Hurricane Mitch and now lies wedged up against a coral formation with it's bottom buried in the sand. It's been completely gutted and there is nothing on the top deck. However, a bunch of nurse sharks and groupers hang out there and a huge green moray calls it home. It's a very nice inner reef dive that takes you to the wreck and you also get to interact more closely with the wild life.
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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