Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#375031 - 04/30/10 12:59 AM April 4/18 - 4/25 with pics!
njcfm Offline
I figured I'd post my trip report incase anyone was interested:

Diving:

Ramons Diving - Unprofessional, unorganized and the only person that was friendly was Rick the manager. Dive Masters rarely gave any information about the dive and it took alot of questioning to get the name of the dive sites we visited. After a day of asking they finally agreed to go to the dive spots we actually wanted to go to.

Tuffy/Toffee - nice spot, smaller fish, saw multiple large turtles

Hol Chan - Night dive, Lots of rays, lots of sea lice

B&D - Awesome site, long dive, Barracuda, turtles, nurse sharks, large eagle ray, and a pod of dolphins at the end.

Eagle Ray Valley - 6 or 7 eagle rays, lots of marine life overall

Esmeralda - Awesome spot to end our trip at, 10+ nurse sharks, very large morays (I got into a fist fight with one, luckily my camera took the brunt of the attack) otherwise it was a gorgeous dive site with huge canyons and lots of life.

picture i got right before the eel bit my camera confused


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Belize Diving Adventures - Small operation, VERY Personal, Ines was the DM we worked with and she was above and beyond the most professional, helpful, and friendly Dive Master we have ever dove with. We ran into her multiple times throughout the week and she was always happy to talk and answer questions about the island/places to eat/dive spots/etc.. I plan on suggesting their operation to everyone that asks.

TackleBox - Technical dive, lots of canyons to swim through, i flew through air and Ines the DM was kind enough to share her air with me so we did not have to end the dive early. Ines gave me advice on how to improve my consumption and it really helped!

Paradise Valley - beautiful site, lots of deep canyons, tons of marine life.

Ines heard we wanted to go to the blue hole and she basically made it happen, she got Ramons to contact amigos del mar and put us and another group onto the trip. She also met up with us at 5:30am to ensure that the DMs on the trip were aware of my air consumption, they agreed to provide me with a 100lbs tank which enabled me to enjoy the deep dive and the following reefs. I personally thanked Ines and the Amigos Del mar DMs for helping out and taking care of me, it is rare that people go out of their way to take care of the customer.

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Amigos Del Mar - We did the Blue Hole trip with them, large group but they spilt it up between all of the dive masters. The DMs were professional, friendly and willing to help/work with anyone that had any issues. Alex, Mike (with the off centered tattoo on his back), and George were our favorites all of them were very friendly and very good dive masters.


Blue Hole - it is a deep hole with big stalagtites and sharks.

Aquarium to eagle ray wall- Gorgeous reef, we saw a 13ft hammer head shark, the colors and life were amazing, awesome dive spot

Half moon wall - another great spot, tarpon, turtles, lobsters, countless types of fish.

They broke us up into smaller groups so we wouldn't be hearded like cattle. The DMs were very professional and did not touch the marine life or disturb a thing. I was very impressed.

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Food:

Ramons/pineapples:
-Breakfast was great, everyday.
-Lunch was ok
-The one dinner we ate there we were not impressed with

Lilly's Treasue Chest:
-AWESOME CeViche'
-Creole Conch - not chewy at all, perfectly cooked
-Stuffed Snapper - very flavorful, great dish

Elvi's Kitchen(so good we ate there twice):
-Terrific Service, Gilmar our waiter made great recommendations and went above and beyond on service. We were lucky enough to have Gilmar both times and again he went above and beyond.
-Margarita Shrimp - great dish, tons of flavor
-Curried Shrimp - very good, perfect amount of spice
-CeViche' - very good, perfectly "cooked"
-Creole Seafood Special - everything and anything ontop of a bed of coconut rice, so good, so flavorful and filling. Perfect dish to end the vacation.
-Coconut Shrimp - very good
-Plaintain encrusted calamari - terrific breading and terrific calamari, perfect starter.

Amigos Del Mar (blue hole trip):
-Stewed chicken - yummy even the feet
-Rice and beans - perfectly cooked
-coconut pie - some of the best i have ever had

Caliente:
-Al Mojo De Ajo - very good, filling
-Coconut battered Chicken - soooo sweet like candy

Sunset Grill:
-Snapper - very good, again very flavorful
-Fish burger - surprisingly good
-We fed the tarpons, it was fun even though both of us ended up with cuts, my advice is not to tease the tarpons actually give them the fish!

Street Vendors in San Pedro (near the jaguar club):
-rice and beans and stewed chicken - surprisingly good, unfortunately it was a little cold.. ended up giving most of it to the dogs that run around everywhere

Caramba's:
-Whole Fish Mayan style - perfect spices, not hot but spicy
-Blackened Fillet - tons of flavor, perfectly cooked, very good
-King Crag Legs - very good, perfectly cooked.

George's Kitchen:
-Grilled fish, rice/beans - very good, small local place south of Ramons.

Ras Safari:
-AMAZING Chicken, make the trip it is 110% worth it. Good old Reggae, ice cold beers, amazing chicken/rice and beans!

==================================================

Bars:

Tacklebox:
-Wednesday night(i think) - horrid music, unless you are in your 40s and love 90s/2000 dance music.. I couldn't wait to leave.
-Saturday night - very quite low key, much better music

Pier Lounge:
-Chicken drop, wednesday night - bet on a chicken ****ting on your number, unique i'll give it that. A local female was a little to into it, she pushed me out of the way when i was making too much noise near the chicken, apparently she needed to win and i was preventing it.

Purple Parrot(at ramons):
-Tony is great, very friendly and very helpful.
-always low key, never really busy

BCs:
-great live music
-great music all the time (solid old reggae to bruce to sublime to beres hammond)
-ice cold beers

My advice - Drink Belikin Stout, it is a much better stout than the regular Belikin is a pilsner/lager. At the start of the week pick up a case from the beer distributor (near ramons) and drink all you want, you'll have to pay a deposit for everything but it is still worth it.


Overall it was an awesome week, we loved ambergis caye and felt safe the entire time we were there. At one point there was even military present (not sure why).

Here are some pics from the trip:





Feel free to ask any questions

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#375041 - 04/30/10 02:34 AM Re: April 4/18 - 4/25 with pics! [Re: njcfm]
seashell Offline
Thanks for sharing. So glad you enjoyed and you also got some great pics.

You saw a hammerhead!! I'm so freakin' jealous I could just . . .
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#375050 - 04/30/10 04:39 AM Re: April 4/18 - 4/25 with pics! [Re: seashell]
azbob Offline
Excellent report. Called it like it was!! Thanks!
_________________________
"Hold on Tight To Your Dreams" ELO

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#375057 - 04/30/10 06:19 AM Re: April 4/18 - 4/25 with pics! [Re: azbob]
LaurieMar Offline
Love the food report, thx..

SS, I once was snorkeling at Poipu Beach, Kauai when I was a teenager. Saw a hammerhead almost face to face. I almost had a heart attack!

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#375090 - 04/30/10 05:27 PM Re: April 4/18 - 4/25 with pics! [Re: LaurieMar]
sweetjane Offline
nice, well written, informative report. cool pics! we got back 2 am last night - head foggy, heart heavy. we prob saw you at derrick's benefit laugh overall, sounds like another great time had in belize!

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#375122 - 04/30/10 10:29 PM Re: April 4/18 - 4/25 with pics! [Re: sweetjane]
seashell Offline
Wow Laurie! smile

I've been very near quite a few hammerheads, but that was in SE Asia, not Belize . . . so I'm jealous, jealous, jealous.
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#375123 - 04/30/10 10:40 PM Re: April 4/18 - 4/25 with pics! [Re: seashell]
divingcowgirl Offline
Awesome report and pics! Glad you had a nice time!
_________________________
Take the road less traveled

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#375132 - 05/01/10 12:18 AM Re: April 4/18 - 4/25 with pics! [Re: divingcowgirl]
tacogirl Offline
Great report love the pics. Glad you made it to Berklee Bandwagon fundraiser thanks to Jonathon (our neighborhood Watch president)
_________________________
tacogirl Facebook, Belize Life Linked In - Belize info & images https://www.facebook.com/tacogirl


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#375243 - 05/02/10 02:12 PM Re: April 4/18 - 4/25 with pics! [Re: tacogirl]
njcfm Offline
Here is the hammerhead picture my fiancee' got, not very good but at least it confirms it was indeed a hammerhead:



as for the trip, and belize as a whole, we loved it and we would love to make the trip back, hopefully sooner than later.


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#375292 - 05/02/10 10:36 PM Re: April 4/18 - 4/25 with pics! [Re: njcfm]
seashell Offline
Sweet!!
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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