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“What “Bahia Tortuga “ really means in Spanish…”

Bahia Tortuga Restaurant - Bar
Ranked #54 of 210 Restaurants in Isla Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $15
Cuisines: American, Mexican, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“What “Bahia Tortuga “ really means in Spanish…”
Reviewed August 5, 2013

It means…generosity.

For those of you who read my blog, OurManOnIsla.info, you’ll probably remember where I spent 4th of July this year. Right here at Bahia Tortuga with my good amigo, Sid Morris. After eating a couple of enchiladas at the bar, and jello shots started appearing from nowhere, well, that’s all I can recall about that celebration.

Wait, there was a live guitarist in the Performing Arts Center stage

There was a bartender pouring liquor down anyone’s awaiting mouth…like a momma bird…and THEN, that’s all I remember.

But, I digress, let’s get back to rewarding you for being curious about the title of this review.
Yes, my Spanish speaking aficionados, I KNOW what Bahia Tortuga literally means; and here’s WHY I define it differently.

My blog post (OurManOnIsla.info) describing our jaunt to Caye Caulker, more accurately, the return I will succinctly describe it here.

Two Water taxis, Three cabs, and One 10 hour bus ride. Overnight.

Not knowing if we would make it on the bus in Belize City, we didn’t make a reservation to stay a few days at the Bahia Tortuga – we had to gamble there would be a room available.

When we finally arrived back on Isla, the sun was just rising and we caught the first ferry ride across. Hungry. Beat down tired and getting cranky.

We showed up at Bahia Tortuga and it was dead still. As it should be at this ungodly time of the morning.

We pulled up two lounge chairs. Jilly was out like a light, while I needed to see IF there was even a room available to reserve. Jumped online, found their site and instantly made a reservation…then just closed my eyes.

I don’t know how long we were in those positions, but were awaken by a staffer who asked if we had been downstairs, which we had not. We were just trying to be invisible as the pool area where we were sitting is the centerpiece of the 4 guest rooms.

Moments later Bahia’s owner, Danny, came down and I started to explain what I was doing sleeping on his property at Rooster thirty…I did my best to be coherent and explain, to which he simply invited us into his home upstairs! Even though he had only seen me around town a few times and at his 4th of July celebration, it didn’t seem to matter. He set Jilly up on his couch extended the privileges of the property to us, and, without continuing on about his treatment towards us, THAT’S why it means “Generosity”.

About the actual property, if you closed your eyes, then opened them, you would have no idea where you were. ‘Cept maybe some millionaires compound. It’s like a man cave on steroids. A Saturday night man party? Throw up a stripper pole surrounded by a few poker tables in the Performing Arts Center and Presto!

OCD clean. Tastefully decorated and inviting. A high-class dock that just begs for company with it’s offer of serenity. It’s the kind of dock that a guy proposes at sunset to his girl. Or a couple of guys with a couple of beers and cigars say, and now truthfully, “It doesn’t get any better than this boys.”

Food choices are simple which is what you want when “beaching it” My choice? The cheeseburger. Freshly ground sirloin with NO fillers. Like a hamburger should be. Add hand-cut french fries made to order; what’s not to like?

Price point is high-value. If you wanted to step off property and explore the city, you surely can, however, if you choose not to, you wouldn’t be lacking a thing.

Location is convenient and central to everything. Don’t have a moto or golf cart for your stay? Step onto the curb, and you’ll soon hear a sharp, short “tweet!”

Raise your hand, say “Trenta pesos to…?” TO get anywhere in town (Centro) should never cost you more than that. Punta Sur may cost near double as it IS on the other side of the island.
You work hard all day, all week and all year.

For what it’s worth, don’t cheat yourself. You can read between the lines on that one folks.

Post script. Owner Rhonda suggested we trek to the top deck as the views are ridiculous, so, who are we to argue with ones' definition of "ridiculous"?

We did. And it. Is. Ree Dick You Lous. Take your camera. Why this space isn't being made available for special occasions...hint, hint.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank louiefrias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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359 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Medford, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“One of my favorites”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

Nice atmosphere varying entertainment great food. We had philly steak yummo and homemade hand cut fries. A must stop.

Visited July 2013
Thank Kyra_casaviveconfe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lufkin, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“The Grouper basket and margaritas are the very best on the island!!!!”
Reviewed August 2, 2013

American owned and very friendly staff, plus great music. And like I said in the title, the Grouper basket and margaritas are the very best on the island!!!!

Visited July 2013
Thank Matt214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Welcoming and friendly place.”
Reviewed July 28, 2013 via mobile

Awesome place! Danny and Ronda were like meeting long lost friends. Extremely friendly staff, excellent food and drinks. Super clean. One of the "coolest" bars on the island to beat the heat. The best "beach bar" we visited. Bring your old license plate for permanent display!

Visited July 2013
Thank BWM M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Very nice, very nice indeed!”
Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

We stayed two nights, following a same day booking. Rhonda was so very accomodating! Danny kept me entertained! Room was lovely, nicely equipped, comfortable bed. Room rate was amazing, wings are delicious, drinks just slightly more expensive than other places we've stayed but not overtly. Staff all very very nice and loved the 3 dogs that welcomed me every morning, we will be back again for sure!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank LaCondenada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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