Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#37326 - 04/11/01 05:58 AM second time around....
mendi Offline
Well, I returned from my first trip to AC and loved it so much that I am planning to come back (possibly in a few days!). All the information I got from this board was so helpful and I felt like I had a great sense of the island before I even arrived. I was expecting to love it and it surpasssed my expectations. I traveled with two of my girlfriends and we had the most amazing time. We stayed at Tropica (great, great, great, can't say enough about our time there- Gary the owner is so accomodating and personable- we loved it!) and Banana Beach, which was also very nice and had a great layout. The beach down by those two resorts is one of the best and the bars at Tropica and Mata Rocks make good, strong rum punch.
We went to Lamanai through Seaduced and found our guides to be funny, very well informed about the history and sights, and full of energy (even at 7am when they pick you up). We rented sea mice (cool little boats) from Barefoot Watersports, which were a lot of fun, and also took their resort dive course so we could scuba dive while we were there. Roberto (the dive instructor) was incredibly patient and an excellent teacher so we all felt very comfortable underwater. I recommend renting an underwater camera so you can get good shots of the beautiful coral and fish while you are down there (you can rent one through Barefoot Watersports).
We went and saw Barefoot Skinny three times, at Fidos and Ramons, and he was a blast. Very cool guy and make sure you buy a CD b/c you will miss the music when you get home. Also make sure you visit his wife Elizabeth in Fidos courtyard b/c she makes the most unique and beautiful jewelry (I am getting a heap of compliments on a stunning silver and cats-eye necklace I bought from her).
As for food,two of our favorites were Jambel's Jerk Pit and Elvi's Kitchen. Service at both was very attentive and friendly, and the food was decently priced and very good. A highlight of the trip was taking a boat out to Capricorn on our last night and feasting on seafood platters, the best crabcakes we have ever had, and a fantastic wine list. Dessert everywhere we went was usually Key Lime Pie and my favorite was Fido's, although my girlfriends choose Elvi's to be supreme.
The clubs are fun, It's not a crazy scene- it's just a good time with lots of cool, friendly people. I liked that locals and tourists party together at the same spots. It's a small island so you end up seeing lots of the same people throughout your stay, which makes it more fun and when we left, we felt as if we were leaving friends.
One thing I can not emphasize enough was the kindness and friendliness of the people of San Pedro. It is a genuine warmth that they have and it makes you feel at home from the moment you first arrive.
I loved it so much that I am planning another trip...I just got home two weeks ago and was offered a new job that doesnt start until the end of April so I am looking into heading back down next week. I will probably be on my own this time, but as there is so much to do and everyone is so friendly, I think it will be just as great the second time around...
belize it!

[This message has been edited by mendi (edited 04-11-2001).]

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#37327 - 04/11/01 12:17 PM Re: second time around....
jlslks Offline
mendi..........
Great report....Now I can't wait !!!
81 more days ,NO, only 12 weeks---That sounds shorter...Marking the calender every day...Keep the reports coming in, it helps with the wait.Hurry July 1...............
John
_________________________
JLS

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#37328 - 04/11/01 03:30 PM Re: second time around....
jackieo Offline
Great trip report, looking forward to the second one. Going solo in August, cannot wait. About how much money did you spend? Do not mean to be nosy, just do not want to be short. This message board is the greatest information spot. It really helps with trip planning.Thanks.

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#37329 - 04/11/01 04:28 PM Re: second time around....
B_b_f_b Offline
Wonderful report. I can't wait, 23 days and counting, can't wait to check out all the places you referred to, I am going to use Seaduced to do my Laminai tour. Thanks for all the great tips.

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#37330 - 04/11/01 05:46 PM Re: second time around....
mendi Offline
Jackieo, no problem, you aren't nosy- just curious. I had no idea how much to bring with me last time. We split the hotel 3 ways for the week and it ended up being $260 each, which we charged. I ended up spending about $700 cash over the week. The only other thing I charged was my Tropic air flight (about $85), I paid cash for everything else. Considering how much we did, I was surprised we didn't spend more. Lamanai was $125 each, which I think was worth it when you consider that it is an entire day trip, and they have breakfast and lunch for you and all the belikins and rum punch you can drink, all day. By the way, because there are limited opportunities to use the restroom, my advice is to pace yourself accordingly if you plan on drinking a lot
The resort course for scuba diving was $125, snorkeling trips are from $25 and up depending on if you take a half day, full day, etc. We took half day trips for $25. Next time I think I might also try a day trip out to Caye Caulker to snorkel which I think is around $50? not sure about price for that one.
If you want to parasail (I didn't but my friend did) it's about $50. Renting Jetboats (seats 4) is about $175 for an hour and Renting sea mice (seats 2 but more fun if you each get your own) was around $60 per hour.
Food was very reasonable, the most we spent on a meal was $80 US each and that was for our last dinner at Capricorn, and we had a full dinner, w/ appetizers, entrees, dessert and wine and it was less $$ than we expected and a definite highlight of the trip. Most places were about $10-20 US for dinner with beers and drinks. Ramons has a BBQ on Tuesday nights that is like $25 US each which was way overpriced but Barefoot Skinny was playing that night so all was not lost. Most BBq's are cheaper than that. We were surprised at how reasonable the food was and when you throw in all the alcohol, we spent a lot less than we thought we would.
Definitely rent a golf cart and explore the island (US$60 for 24hrs)or you could get some exercise and rent a bike (we chose the cart).
Have fun!

[This message has been edited by mendi (edited 04-11-2001).]

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#37331 - 04/11/01 11:09 PM Re: second time around....
munichchick Offline
Great Report! Can't wait to follow your footsteps. Would you say the Barfoot Iguana is the most happening dance club or did you like others better?

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#37332 - 04/12/01 12:26 AM Re: second time around....
mendi Offline
munichchick,
Actually we never made it to Barefoot Iguana. It looked like it was closed on slower nights of the week. Towards the weekend I think everyone goes there but we never got there- we pretty much stayed in town. Lots of people we met said it was a blast and the night before we left everyone went to Iguana's to watch mud-wrestling, which I heard was really fun but we were in a food coma after Capricorn and went right to sleep. We spent most of our nights at Jaguar and Fido's and Big Daddy's, all of which were good depending on the night. When are you going to AC?

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#37333 - 04/12/01 03:12 AM Re: second time around....
Mary and Scott Offline
Mendi...great report! Would love to hear more about your stay at Tropica.We are going back down in the fall (September) and we are trying to decide between Paradise Villas and Tropica. Is the beach accessible by walking in at Tropica or is there a seawall and you have to enter the ocean by pier? Their pool looks great! Were you able to get a good room? Are most rooms oceanfront? Sorry for so many questions! You can e-mail us directly at mlbwsm@aol.com. Again, thanks for the great report!
_________________________
Mary and Scott

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#37334 - 04/12/01 07:16 AM Re: second time around....
mendi Offline
Mary and Scott,
will e-mail you @ your aol account...
Tara

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#37335 - 04/13/01 12:08 AM Re: second time around....
KOZ FROM DENVER Offline
mendi great report...keep them coming people...2 more months....8 more weeks....51 more days...

whhhhaaaaa hoooooooooooooo!!!!

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