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#41713 07/05/01 07:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
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Returned Saturday from a week in Paradise! My boss had a banner across my office door saying "Reality Sucks". Boy, is she right! Anyway, here's a brief summary of our week in San Pedro....
There were 4 couples in our group and we stayed at Casa Tortuga. It was a beautiful villa with exquisite furnishings. There was no air conditioning, but we really didn't miss it with a breeze from the ocean and ceiling fans in every room. The main selling point of the villa is the wonderful cook Maria. Fabulous dishes, beautiful table settings, pina coladas and rum punches - we couldn't have asked for more. We also saved alot of money by eating in, but we had no reason to - her cooking was better than any restaurant. We did a few lunches at Celi's and Elvi's - good food, good prices. The beach at the villa was very nice, but we really couldn't walk out into the water. We swam and snorkeled off the pier, it was just fine.

We rented two golf carts and explored the island - this is the only way to do it. Took the ferry across the cut to Palapas for a drink. Explored north and south of town and got acquained with San Pedro. The next day,we went snorkeling to Hol Chan and Shark Ray alley - went with Alfonso and swam with the sharks. He also got us some fresh lobster from a fisherman and delivered it to the villa - only in AC! The following day we went on the Altun Ha tour with Carlos - he was a super guide with lots of interesting information. The trip was very special for our group because one of the guys proposed at the top of the ruins. We got it all in videotape! We spend the next couple days relaxing - some bicycling, swimming, etc. Some very nice American staying at Casa Caribe volunteered to take us out to the reef and we did some more snoreling. Everyone was so nice in San Pedro - local and visitors alike. Spent some time learning the punta from Rosie at Fido's and of course did the chicken drop. THe highlight of our trip was cave tubing on the mainland. Went with Carlos again (#1 guide in my book) - took 1 hour by boat to Belize City then about a 1 hour van ride to the rain forest. We got our tubes and hiked through the rain forest for about a hour to the caves. I can't even begin to describe how beautiful it was! Well worth the time and money. We went from total darkness in the caves to light streaming through the trees. Spectacular! We loved Belize - every part of it. I read ealier on the board where a guy said he enjoyed it but wouldn't go there if it were his only vacation for the year and he had saved for it. Well, it was our only vacation and we scrimped and saved. We read and knew what to expect (we knew there wouldn't be pristine beaches and little commercialism). AC exceeded all our expectations and our trips to the mainland were a pleasant surprise. Next time, we'll take two weeks and do the mainland one week and AC the second. We fell in love with Belize and the people - we're already trying to figure out how soon we can afford to return!

#41714 07/06/01 10:03 AM
Joined: Feb 2001
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Sabby,

Thanks so much for the excellent trip report. It was nice to hear about your experiences on the mainland as well as your time on AC. Was your cave tubing excursion expensive? Is it realistic as a day trip or not?

#41715 07/06/01 10:47 AM
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Sounds like you had a blast! We're going in Aug..31 days and counting!! What is the name of the outfit you did the cave tubing with? How many hours does it take and was the price reasonable? Thanks!

#41716 07/06/01 02:41 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
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Like they say, another one hooked. Sounds like a great time. Where did you go cave tubing? I did not have opportunity to do that on my first visit and definitely want to do it next time.

#41717 07/07/01 09:07 AM
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Thanks for all the responses! Cave tubing on the mainland was definitely worth the cost - we paid $130 per person U.S. This included everything - even lunch. The only thing extra was the tip. Our guide picked us up at 7:00 a.m. and we returned at 5:00 p.m., so it can definitely be done as a day trip. There are many caves to explore, so next time we may spend some time on the mainland before going to AC. Our guide was Carlos and he operates Suya Tours. He was terrific, one of the best parts of our trip. He also did our Jungle River/Altun Ha trip. If you stay at Casa Tortuga, he will automatically come by the villa your first night to arrange tours if you want. He is good buddies with Alfonso, who took us snorkeling. You can also reach Carlos through Alfonso, who has a web page. They watch out for each other (something businesses in the US could learn from).Missing AC already......

#41718 07/07/01 11:48 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
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Great report!! I definitly want to try cave tubing next time!! Isn't Rosie at Fidos a trip?? She kept us laughing the whole time!!!
Peace, Susan


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