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#61269 - 01/13/03 01:26 PM Trip Report-Casa Tortuga
I am very sad while writing this, it means that I am sitting at my computer at home and no longer on AC. I miss it already. I could have easily stayed there for a month. 7 days was way too short.
We started our trip at Jaguar Paw for one night. Actually we were lucky to start our trip at Jaguar Paw, because they had some how lost our reservations. It wouldn't have been a big deal if there was just 2 of us, but there was 10 adults(5 couples) and they only have 16 rooms total. To make a long story short(oh, too late), they had enough rooms for us to stay anyway. For those of you who maybe looking to stay on the mainland, this place has beautiful grounds. It is very unique. We did a tour that they do not usually promote because of issues with the government, but if you ask, they will take you. We went inside the Crystal Caves, which you float on a tube(headlamps a must, but we turned them off once in awhile. Very cool feeling floating in the complete darkness). We also did some climbing and walking in the caves, which was an experience in itself.
The rest of the vacation was on AC at Casa Tortuga. We went snorkeling at Hol Chan and Sting Ray Alley. We went to Lamanai for one day and saw some Howler Monkeys and crocs. These tours were with Carlos Alejos. We just loved Carlos. I will miss his big mischievious smile. He fit right in with our group. One night he even stayed with us for supper and shared alot of stories about local people and everyday life on the island. I could have listened to him all night. We also went fishing, which was our one disappointment. We went on a very rough day(I don't know if we really should have been out there), but we still had fun. We had 2 boats and went reef fishing and we didn't come back with much. Maria(our cook that comes with the house) had to supplement our fish with shrimp. We did all the tours in the beginning of the week, so we had 3 full days for rest and relaxation and of course, shopping.
This was one of the most relaxing vacation ever. Casa Tortuga exceeds all expectations. Maria is an amazing cook, we never wanted to go anywhere else. We did eat at Calientes and Fido's, but nothing compared to Maria. We never had to tell her what we wanted, for we were game for anything. The only thing you had to do was give her a time when you would like to eat. This was a money saver too. I can't remember what we figured it cost per person for the week, but it was unbelievably inexpensive. Much less than having to go out and pick a place to eat. Saved us alot of time too, for this place has only to bathrooms. It could have gotten pretty tight in there if all of us were trying to take showers and get ready for a nights out. THANK YOU MARIA
The new pool. WOW! It is beautiful! We spent alot of time lounging, swimming, and partaking in some Beliken of course. A must while laying there is putting in one of Barefoot Skinny's CD. He is great and we had alot of fun with him at Fidos. We were unable to catch Category 7, but maybe some day. Do go see him!!
We knew we were spoiled when a local lady named Helen came up to us at our pool and asked if we wanted a full body massage. BINGO! The perfect way to end the perfect day we were having. 4 of us got a 1/2 hour full body massage for only $15 US each.(which reminds me, for all the newcomers, don't forget to ask if prices are US or Belize). To lay down beside a pool and look out through the Palm trees and look out into the sea while you are getting a massage-Unexplainable-Heaven. 2 of us also got our hair braided(perfect for wild hair). Helen was sweet. She told us that God had sent her to us, because with this one stop she would be able to pay for her children's books. She has 9 children. Yikes!! I don't know how many kids she had to pay books for though.
One other thing that we enjoyed was talking to the locals at the lagoon behind Casa Tortuga. There are a couple of crocs that live in there. We were able to get very close to the smaller one, and I mean very close. We also saw the big one a couple of times, but never very close. Probably a good thing.
I have to thank Maria, Carlos, Barefoot Skinny, and all of the beautiful, friendly people from San Pedro who made this vacation what it was-AMAZING!!!
Sorry this got so long. I tried to hit the hightlights. For those of you going for the first time, just go with the flow and San Pedro will do all the work for you. Adios

#61270 - 01/13/03 02:11 PM Re: Trip Report-Casa Tortuga
B_b_f_b Offline
GREAT REPORT. I've been searching for those crocodiles in AC for a year now and I've never been able to locate them. Going down on Saturday and I'm going to try where you were. Glad you had a good time.

#61271 - 01/13/03 03:49 PM Re: Trip Report-Casa Tortuga
KathyA Offline
Familytrip, I am also planning a trip to CT May31-June 7. I am the trip organizer and would really like to give the participants some idea of $$$. About how much did food prepared by Maria break down to per person? Thanks for your help.

#61272 - 01/13/03 04:22 PM Re: Trip Report-Casa Tortuga
Becky-bound-for-belize, the crocs out at the lagoon where we were at came out between 4:30pm and 5:30pm. The locals will tell you between 5-6pm everyday. When we "played" with one of the smaller ones it was 4:30-4:45. Some of the local boys lured it right up to the shore by throwing sticks and pieces of coconuts(pretending it was food) Bring some chicken with you. The crocs like chicken. One of locals told us to tie some chicken on to a long string and lure the larger croc closer. We didn't do it because we didn't have any chicken left. Maria's cooking was too good so there was no left overs.

Kathy-your group is in for a great treat, staying at Casa Tortuga! The break down as far as I can remember is the following: $350 for Maria alone, $300 for the initial deposit for groceries, then after that she would tell us when she would need money for more groceries. I think we put in an additional $250-$350. That would break down to about $7.15/person/day. There was only one day that we had one meal. The rest was at least 2 meals with 1 or 2 days of 3 meals. Not bad huh?? There was never a meal that had food left over, she some how knew how much to make. We always left the table very full. We also had dessert every night except for 1 night. A couple of times she make appetizers too. Get ready to stretch that stomach!!! We tipped Maria extra as a personal thank you. Her food was beyond compare!!!

#61273 - 01/14/03 09:05 AM Re: Trip Report-Casa Tortuga
o jackie Offline
Here are some pictures of the croc, they are right by the water tower,walk to the front of Banana Beach and look left to the tower.

#61274 - 01/14/03 10:52 AM Re: Trip Report-Casa Tortuga
B_b_f_b Offline
Wow, those pics are close up. I think I'm going to stay a little further back from them. I was running in the mornings when I was there so maybe that's why I missed them, this time I'll go around 5. Thanks for the great pictures.


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