Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#77170 - 12/15/03 10:35 PM Trip report
Malik Offline
Just returned from two weeks in AC and figured I ought to offer up some impressions to the forum:

Timing: we aimed for the gap between the rainy season and the tourist season, and pretty much nailed it (Nov. 12-26). Had some rain the first week but it didn't bother us (although the roads were wrecked); being two of a hundred or so tourists (as opposed to a thousand, maybe?) was quite nice. I will try for the same time next year.

Hotel: we stayed at the Conch Shell and were perfectly satisfied: simple, clean, and comfortable (although no a/c). Water pressure low but sufficient, no plumbing problems. US$300 for two weeks. Will stay there again.

Food: Our favorites: lobster burritos at Waraguma's and the seafood special at Big Daddy's. Debbie at Big Daddy's gave us the best dinners at the best prices, and was a delightful hostess besides. Now serving lunches, too. Tell her that her "crazy American doctors" sent you.

It was a fantastic first trip and I could write pages but I won't. We got around quite a bit, and I will cheerfully answer specific questions from anyone who wants to ask - email malik_sardonis@yahoo.com.

You may expect us again next year.


#77171 - 12/15/03 11:16 PM Re: Trip report
seashell Offline
Frankly, I'd rather you told us right here. It is always a pleasure to read about someone's trip to San Pedro. It is most especially a pleasure to read of the first timer's experiences.

You say you got around quite a bit. Like where? Like what? smile

Please tell.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#77172 - 12/16/03 11:22 AM Re: Trip report
yat Offline
Hi Malik,

I think many on the board would like to hear more about your vacation...like what tours you went on, what your favorite places were for live music, etc.

Sometime, on a rainy day, sit down and give us more information about your trip.

#77173 - 12/16/03 05:07 PM Re: Trip report
Malik Offline
OK, some highlights:

The only real problem we had with the Conch Shell was a persistant infestation of Canadians, including one rather cute one who took it upon herself to get me drunk and give me bad advice about women, another who regaled us with tales of Cuba as a lecher's paradise, and another who took great pleasure in dosing our snorkels with habanero sauce before our first trip to Hol Chan. Good times. The layout of the hotel made it easy to meet and hang with our neighbors (which, in the two weeks we were there, included representatives from six countries), moreso I think than a resort would have. Cholo's Bar next door can run late and loud but I didn't have any noise problems. I didn't have the corner room, though. The view was fantastic and the pier behind the hotel has a resident school of stingrays which were a daily treat to watch.

Belizian breakfasts served with Mexican talkshows are a good way to start the morning.

I ordered the lobster burrito at Waraguma's as a novelty - "lobster" and "burrito" being words that simply look strange together - and was amazed. The place is tiny, little more than a roof thrown over an alley, and the seating is, um, limited. But the hostess is sweet and cooks up a storm. We tried some of her other dishes and were pleased. I did order the chupacabra once - causing one of her local customers to snort Fanta through his nose - but she was fresh out. Probably just as well.

If Big Daddy's has had disappointing food in the past (as some locals indicated it had), please give them another try. We hit all the major restaurants in San Pedro and nobody put a larger meal or better seafood on our table for the price. Debbie is also very friendly and sweet and graciously endured outrageous flirtations from two silly American tourists, which ought to gain her a few extra points.

If you spot the Cookie Lady, chase her down...it's worth it.

I don't know what was living in the hole in the coconut palm south of town, but it had an enormous bladder and excellent aim.

Captain Morgans is worth seeing...they've sculpted their piece of the swamp into a pretty little resort. We rented a golf cart and splashed, crashed and floundered our way through a few miles of bad road (at least, we THINK there was a road under all that water and mud) down to the resort, then roared in like a couple of mud-sodden vikings and politely requested lunch. They were so relieved that we didn't try to jump in their pool that they didn't even mention the sticky footprints we left in the dining room. The food didn't compare to the restaurants in San Pedro, though, and I'd rather stay at the Conch Shell than at any of the resorts.

Had a fantastic time snorkling Hol Chan, Shark/Ray Alley, the Tuffy wreck, Tres Cocos, and a few other places during a beach-BBQ trip. Had a ball just snorkling off the pier behind the hotel. Mind the boats! And for those who might be leery of swimming with the sharks, I must report that onr of our Canadians (the cute one with bad intentions) did, in fact, get chomped by a nurse shark at Shark/Ray Alley. Based on her account, she deserved it, and my sympathies lie firmly with the shark. She was quite pleased with herself, too, and wanted to get pictures to email home before the bite faded. It barely broke the skin.

Barracuda, on the other hand, make me nervous. They never bothered us, though.

The Free Zone is disappointing - little more than five acres of dollar-store junk - but my friend was quite pleased with the load of Crown Royal he managed to ease back through the border. Why, though, is it so hard to find a mexican restaurant in the Free Zone? Amidst fifteen chinese places? Odd.

The Mayan Museum in Chetumal is quite nice and worth a look. They need to edit their "Animals of the Mayan World" video database, however. I know a boa constrictor when I see one, and that ain't no boa constrictor.

When passengers on your Tropic Air flight applaud after a smooth landing, don't ask why.

Visitors who have a medical background (or are willing to fake it...) might want to go visit the dean of the medical school. She is very nice and likes to talk to folks from back home (US).

I only saw one roach at Elvi's, but they only need one. I'd guess him to be about a half-pounder. I assume he's on staff.

Do not get drunk and confuse "Lupita's" with "La Puta's". Trust me.

It was a wonderful trip overall, and remarkably, we didn't have a single frustrating moment during the time we were there. If the town would just clean up the stray dogs and Canadians, it would be perfect.


#77174 - 12/16/03 05:27 PM Re: Trip report
Laguna Punta Offline
I have visited the Couchshell to see friends, and it is an ideal place "to go Belizian". Thanks for the heads-up regarding Big Daddy's, it's good to hear of improvement. PS. You don't need no stinking Air Conditioner in Belize this time of year...or hardly ever with a clear view of the tradewind.
Gone fishing!!

#77175 - 12/16/03 05:31 PM Re: Trip report
seashell Offline
Thanks for that Malik. Very satisfying report, except for the cracks about the Canadians. Watch that, eh?! smile
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#77176 - 12/16/03 05:36 PM Re: Trip report
Laguna Punta Offline
Canadians Rock!!! laugh
Gone fishing!!

#77177 - 12/16/03 05:42 PM Re: Trip report
Malik Offline
<grin> I can't help it if Canada sends disreputable ambassadors to Belize. At least they send cute ones, too.

#77178 - 12/16/03 07:29 PM Re: Trip report
skullyboy Offline
What a great report. I love it when somebody else has such a good time too.

#77179 - 12/17/03 02:06 AM Re: Trip report
seashell Offline
Well, OK, Malik, since you put it that way, I shall have to plead guilty. (wicked grin)
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

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