Portofino is an upmarket beach resort located on a stunning, 100 metre-long private beach on the popular island of Ambergris Caye. The Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world lies just offshore, making this spot a true diver's paradise.
This beautiful, quiet haven is 9 kilometres north of San Pedro and just 20 minutes boat ride away from the town with its shops and nightlife. Its distance from the hustle of the town make it a popular choice for couples and family groups. Portofino prides itself on its personal guest service; the resort endeavours to deliver on its motto: "Come as a guest, leave as a friend". Staff are genuine, attentive and approachable.
The resort's in-house restaurant is highly regarded and there are several other excellent eateries in the area so you don't need to venture far if you prefer not to! There is a range of excellent accommodation with modern comforts to choose from including Beach Cabanas, Treetop Suites and the luxurious Portofino Mansion. The Portofino Beach Resort also features a freshwater swimming pool and offers free wi-fi internet to guests.
The barrier reef offers Belize scuba diving in small marine parks and diverse ecosystems. It is also possible to take daytrips from here to the more distant atolls such as Lighthouse Reef and its world-famous Blue Hole. There is so much to see on the barrier reef though that you may be tempted to just kick-back, relax and enjoy the diving close to home.
If you are looking for a high quality, intimate resort in an exquisite location with some great Belize dive sites at your fingertips then Portofino Resort is the ideal choice.
Note: A minimum of 5 nights stay is mandatory in Low Season. A minimum of 7 nights stay is mandatory in High Season and Peak Season.
2 tank scuba trips along the Belize Barrier Reef (Diving environment: beginner divers; Highlights: turtles, non-diving activities) at sites such as Amigos Wreck, Mexico Rocks and Cypress Gardens. One full day 3 tank dive trip to Lighthouse Reef (Diving environment: wall diving, healthy reefs, beginner & advanced divers; Highlights: great macro life/marine diversity, schooling fish/big pelagics), and the Blue Hole (Diving environment: caverns, advanced divers; Highlights:). Turneffe Atoll (Diving environment: wall diving, healthy reefs, beginner & advanced divers; Highlights: turtles, schooling fish/big pelagics) is available at an extra charge. No diving on days of arrival or departure.
Resort diving includes:
The 7-night package includes 4 days of local 2 tank reef diving and 1 day of 3 dives at the Great Blue Hole. The 5-night package includes 3 days of local 2 tank reef diving and 1 day of 3 dives at the Great Blue Hole. Boat rides to sites, experienced English-speaking divemaster (maximum 8 divers per DM), tanks, weights and weightbelts, diving tax, drinking water and hot drinks. Diving excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own):
Scuba equipment (approx. US$ 49 per day). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash only). Optional extras:
Extra dives, night dives, dive computer, dive insurance, soft drinks, and snacks. Dive upgrades: Special dive trips - Blue Hole (approx. US$ 283) plus marine park fees (approx US$ 40), Turneffe Atoll (approx. US$ 288). Prices for special dive trips are payable in advance. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
Resort accommodation includes:
Roundtrip local air tickets from Belize City to San Pedro, San Pedro airstrip Meet and Greet service, transfer to resort, welcome tropical cocktail. Bed, Continental breakfast, a la carte 3-course dinner, drinking water, hot drinks, internet access, and taxes.
Accommodation excludes (mandatory):
Single supplement on single travellers only, payable in advance.
This is a compulsory additional charge on single travellers for the sole occupancy of double/twin accommodation. Optional extras:
Lunch. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there:
Portofino Resort is located in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, 43 km from Belize City. In order for you to get to this destination, it is necessary for you to purchase a return flight ticket from Belize City to San Pedro. Flights can be arranged by the operator. The resort offers complimentary return resort transfers from San Pedro airport. For more information see our Belize travel information section.
Dive clubs and group discounts:
Available on request for 6 guests or more (not in Peak Season).
There is a range of room types at Portofino Resort and they are all next to the beach with full or partial ocean views. You can choose from 6 Beach Cabanas, 2 Beachfront Rooms and 4 suites - 2 VIP and 2 Colonial suites. There are also 2 Treetop Suites, a huge Honeymoon Suite, and a luxurious Beachfront Mansion built for families and small groups which sleeps up to 8 guests.
The Beach Cabanas and Beachfront Rooms are almost identical except that the cabanas are duplex single storey units whereas the rooms are on the lower floor of a 2-storey unit and adjoin each other.
The Colonial Suites are suited for 2 single persons as they are much larger than the cabanas, have 2 Queen-size beds and twin bathroom sinks. The VIP Suites are essentially a double cabana unit, and have 2 Queen-size beds and twin bathroom sinks. The Treetop Suites are elevated and similar to the Colonial Suites, except that they have a sofa and a king-size bed instead of 2 queen-size beds.
The Honeymoon Suite is elevated with glass frontage and terrific seaviews from its balcony. The suite is twice the size of the cabanas and has an additional whirlpool hot tub and sofa.
The Beachfront Mansion is a 2 unit double storey brick building. The ground floor unit has 2 bedrooms, a lounge and dining area, equipped kitchen, fully enclosed bathroom, and is suitable for up to 5 adults. The upper floor unit is similar but only suitable for 4 adults. The 2 units can be rented separately or adjoined into one.
All accommodations enjoy superb full seaviews, except for the Colonial and Treetop Suites which are 1 block back from the beach and have partial seaviews.
All units have:
Air-conditioning and ceiling fans
King size bed (except Colonial Suites which have 2 Queen-size beds each)
Mosquito nets and reading lights
Private bathroom with hot water shower, towels, toiletries & hair dryer
The scuba diving here is conducted in a relaxed atmosphere with no rushing. Divers are split into small groups on 3 boats depending on their experience so everyone can get the most out of their Belize vacation experience. Diving at Portofino is operated by Action Divers and consists of 2 dives per day at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm, and an optional night dive each day. This allows you to see the best of the immediate area. Atoll dives to the more remote sites are also available but require a full day. 1 day of atoll diving is included in the 7 night package.
The nearby dive sites are just 5-20 minutes away and include Hol Chan Cut, a natural channel through the reef, Amigos Wreck, an old sunken barge, Mexico Rocks, located nearly right in front of the resort, Mata Cut and Cypress Gardens, a reef with deep and narrow canyons.
Out in the atolls a different type of diving awaits, and discovering the Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef is highly recommended. Turneffe North is the atoll closest to Portofino and is easily accessible. Turneffe Elbow is located on the atoll's southern tip.
Local trips are conducted on 9 metre 150 HP motorised boats with ladders, a divemaster, tanks, weights & weightbelts, towels and drinking water. Full day trips to the atolls are conducted on Pro 48s with more facilities.
The dive centre has a store on the jetty for guest's scuba equipment, rinse tanks with a special tank for cameras, a shower and first aid kit. The resort staff will rinse and carry guest equipment during their stay.
Portofino Beach Resort boasts a beautiful private beach, as well as freshwater swimming pool, seaview restaurant and beach bar. Other facilities include daily house-keeping, free wireless internet, laundry and tour desk for island visits or cultural trips to the mainland.
Resort facilities include: Portofino Restaurant & Green Parrot Bar - Dive centre - Fresh-water swimming pool, uniquely designed with 3 levels and a sitting pool - Private beach - Sea canoes - Kayaks - Snorkelling - Thatched palapa hut for massage, scrubs, facials & nail treatments - Free wireless internet - Movie library - Guest computer - Fax - Laundry service - Baby cots & baby sitting service - Tour desk - Daily shuttle service to San Pedro
Activities on Ambergris: Snorkelling with nurse sharks and rays at Hol Chan; Deep sea fishing; Catamaran sailing to Caye Caulker.
Tour Activities elsewhere: Manatee Tours - getting up close and personal with West Indian manatees at the secluded Swallow Caye; Barton Creek canoe & cave system; Actun Tunichil Muknal Caves (pot-holing - swimming, trekking, climbing); River kayaking & horse riding; Cave tubing; Zipline.
Sightseeing tours: Xunantunich ancient Mayan city ruins; River boat visit to Altun Ha; Rainforest boat ride to visit Lamanai Mayan ruins with wildlife such as howler monkeys & forest birds; Belize Zoo.
Location: 6 Miles North, Ambergris Caye east coast central, Belize
The very popular Portofino Restaurant is located above the main building and its spacious balcony offers a magnificent view of the Belize Barrier Reef and the Caribbean Sea. Food is prepared with fresh local ingredients and is a blend of European dishes made with local flair and elements such as coconut cream, pineapple salsa, fresh seafood and lime dressings. As well as the A-la-carte menu, there are daily dinner specials and a vegetarian menu.
European and Caribbean fusion cuisine.
"A la carte" breakfast, lunch and dinner, with additional daily specials.
Fresh local seafood including lobster, steak and chicken.
Vegetarian menu. Other special dietary requests can be arranged with prior notice.
Soups and salads.
Light snacks and bites are available at the Green Parrot Bar.
Complimentary coffee service counter.
Lunch and dinner favourite samples:
'Classic Bouillabaisse Marseillaise': European influenced stew of fresh snapper, grouper and crab, fused with aromatic herbs and spices, toasted bread and homemade roux with a hint of Habanero peppers.
'Feta & Spinach stuffed Pork': Slices of rose-served pork tenderloin stuffed with blushed spinach and feta cheese, topped with homemade cranberry dressing, sweet potato & celery puree and wok sesame spinach.
'Zucchini & Eggplant Lasagna': Homemade lasagna stuffed with tomatoes, basil, Zucchini, eggplant topped with Parmesan cheese.
Home made bread, butter, cheese, marmalade, tropical fruit, orange juice, coffee/tea.
There is only 1 decompression chamber in Belize and it's located in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, which means staying at Portofino Beach Resort puts your within 10 km of the chamber. We recommend you take out your own scuba diving insurance.
The dive boat is fully equipped with life vests, VHF marine radio, cell phone, compass, a medic first aid kit and 1,280 litres of emergency breathing oxygen (good for 2 hours). One divemaster is provided for every 7 divers.
For non-diving related accidents there is a hospital and police station in San Pedro Town, 20 minutes away. The resort also provides first aid training for staff and maintains a medic first aid kit.
The resort reception has a safety box for guests' valuables and 24 hour premises security.
"The trip exceeded our very high expectations. Service was excellent in all regards. The travel logistics arranged by the resort were seamless; the hotel staff was extremely helpful and friendly. The dive master and shop operators were outstanding, highly competent, safety conscious, friendly, and helpful." - Dan Herms, U.S.A., 09 January 2017 ...