Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#85182 - 04/25/04 05:47 PM Trip report for April
diamonddawn Offline
Before I begin, thanks to everyone on the board for providing such useful information in preparation for our trip. It was wonderful!!

Overall: The weather was spectacular. The island was beautiful and the people were so, so, so friendly. By the end of the week, we couldn't go anywhere without running into someone we'd met earlier at a restaurant or on a dive or at a bar.

Lodging: We stayed at Casa Teresita (about an 1/4 mile north of the cut). The house was beautiful, spacious, and had its own dock and palapa. We were a 3 minute walk to the Palapa Bar and Sweet Basil. It was just far enough from town to provide peace and quiet and close enough that you could ride your bike ($5/day), walk the 1/4 mile to the cut and catch a taxi ($2.50US) or take a 5 minute water taxi into town. Caye Management did a great job setting us up here. We had a couple stay at the Cloisters and they enjoyed their condo too. It's just a few doors south of Sweet Basil.

We also stayed a Sunbreeze our first night there. It is right in the center of town and very nice.

Food: The food was fantastic. We only had one meal during the 8 days that I wouldn't consider above and beyond wonderful. Our favorite spots were: Elvi's (Caribbean Chicken), Carambas (seafood), Estels (breakfast on the beach), Fidos, Sweet Basils, and Hamiltons.

Diving: We used Amigo del Mar for the week (11 dives for 6 divers). They were extremely professional and very accomodating. Their crews were wonderful and the dives were great. I would DEFINATELY recommend taking the Blue Hole trip with them. It was by far 3 of the best dives we've done and their boat was large enough to make the trip comfortable. During the week we saw gray sharks, nurse sharks, eagle rays, sting rays, moray eels, crabs, tarpon, snapper, baracudas, and a ton of schooling fish. We enjoyed Shark Ray Alley too but warning...there are a ton of novice snorkelers there bumping into everyone and everything.

Transportation: We had no trouble getting to and from the island by plane. We rented bikes from Joe's Bike shop ($5/day), walked, took taxis ($2.50) in town, and took water taxis ($5 per person). One note: I wouldn't fly with Maya Island Air again. We had people coming in on different days and made several trips to the airport to pick everyone up and our wedding documents. Their office personnel were the only people on the island who were borderline RUDE to deal with (again...on multiple days so I know it wasn't one particular person). We had pre-booked flights or I would have changed to Tropic. Same price and Tropic's waiting area was much nicer.

Wedding: Our wedding was perfect with the ocean and Banyon Bay as the backdrop. Rev. Simpson and Kay Scott (photography) were both a blessing ensuring that everything went off without a hitch. Dulce (who Kay recommended) did a great, affordable job with our flowers.

Other thoughts:
1) We never felt unsafe anywhere at anytime on the island. Locals were very helpful with directions and food suggestions. Our group really enjoyed visiting and mingling with the locals about life in Belize.

2)I was confused when I'd read some posts that the island had become too "Americanized". Convenience items were available but I would still consider it VERY rustic (which we enjoyed).

3)Restaurant food was more expensive than we'd expected ($10-15 for an entree was average but the quality was well worth the money).

4) If you are going to buy beer, go to the distributors just south of Ramon's.

5) Grocery stores-"American food" (i.e. Lucky Charms-$7, frozen pizza-$8, etc.. was very high because it has to be imported. "Real food" items (i.e. fruit, eggs, bacon, etc..)was very inexpensive. We fed everyone breakfast for the week on less than the cost of a box of Lucky Charms. The fruit was fresher and had a better flavor than anything you can get in the states.

6) Overall, spectacular trip!!

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#85183 - 04/25/04 06:01 PM Re: Trip report for April
NYgal Offline
CONGRATULATIONS and thank you for sharing smile

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#85184 - 04/25/04 07:02 PM Re: Trip report for April
Barbara K Offline
Glad to hear all went well!
_________________________
www.barbsbelize.com

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