Turneffe Island Resort
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to truly get away from it all? Try to imagine the Florida Keys 30 years ago or the Caymans 20 years ago... this is what Turneffe Island Lodge is like today! On Turneffe Atoll you can fly fish in an undisturbed saltwater paradise teeming with bonefish, permit and tarpon or scuba and snorkel in total solitude through crystal clear waters inhabited by the greatest variety of tropical marine life found anywhere in the Caribbean. You can dine on gourmet dishes prepared with freshly harvested coconut, succulent tropical fruits and fish, conch, stone crab, and lobster pulled directly from the sea. Even if you don't fish or dive, the secluded tropical setting of Turneffe Island Resort is enough to make you want to visit over and over again.
Turneffe Island Resort has a charming casual elegance and is the only resort on their 12-acre island, so there's plenty of elbow room. In addition, there are only 14 guest rooms, all of which ring the perimeter of the island to catch the cool ocean tradewinds.
The cottages and facilities were originally built in the early 1960's. They were modernized in the mid-1990's losing none of their old Caribbean charm. Each cottage has ceiling fans, air conditioning, private baths and a screened veranda that overlooks the Caribbean. The view is one of total tranquility with only a few palm-studded islands in the distance and, except for the occasional passing sailboat, absolutely no sign of the fast-paced world you left behind.
Turneffe Island Resort, the original fishing lodge on the Turneffe Atoll, has been recognized for over three decades as one of the Caribbean's premier destinations for bonefish, tarpon and permit. Beautiful clear tropical waters teem with healthy sea grass, feeding birds and many species of both inshore and offshore game fish.
The lodge's tiny 12-acre island home is surrounded by one of the most fertile marine ecosystems in the world. Beautiful poling flats are located on both sides of the entire atoll system, which is 30 miles long and 8 miles wide.
The productive interior flats, creeks, channels and lagoons are peppered by literally hundreds of mangrove islands scattered throughout the shallow interior of Turneffe Atoll. It's home to millions of baitfish, crabs and shrimp that serve as the first link in the undersea food chain.
The lodge is located on the southern end of the 30-mile long atoll in the heart of the most productive areas. There are no long boat rides to find rolling tarpon in the morning and the bonefish flats are only minutes away. To preserve this special fishery, the lodge has limited the number of anglers each week and rotates the flats to insure the fish stay hungry and happy. The lodge's patient and affable guides have years of experience fishing these waters.
The marine life of Turneffe Atoll makes scuba diving at Turneffe Island Lodge an adventure like no other dive destination in the Caribbean. The vastness and variety of marine life and coral formations are truly unmatched.
The atoll is a natural nursery for a wide variety of exotic fish, including the rare white-spotted toadfish, which is endemic to Belize. Other types of tropical marine life commonly seen by divers include eagle rays, playful dolphins, turtles, huge green morays, giant jewfish, nurse sharks, reef sharks, trunkfish, grouper, snapper, permit, and horse-eye jacks.
Turneffe Atoll covers over 300 square miles and has been described as a myriad of different dive destinations all bundled into one. The depth of the water and distance from the mainland of Belize creates excellent underwater visibility, normally in excess of 80 feet and often ranging up to 100 feet. Numerous mangrove islands together with complex tidal zones support the Caribbean's most abundant collection of marine life. Large pelagics, rays, turtles, eels, and schools of snapper, jacks and permit are commonly seen. The secluded, unspoiled environment of the atoll is a far cry from the major dive centers and popular fish destinations of the Caribbean. It is truly one of the last frontiers for divers and anglers alike.
But you don't have to be a fisherman or a diver to enjoy Turneffe Island Resort! There is excellent snorkeling along the nearby reefs for both experts and beginners alike. For those who wish to experience many of the same thrills as the divers, Turneffe offers instruction to beginning snorkelers. They too can pet a nurse shark, explore a sunken shipwreck, or play with a school of dolphins. Each snorkeling trip is a new and different adventure! Snorkel trips are scheduled each day and are located within minutes from the lodge. Whether you're diving, fishing or just relaxing, don't miss the opportunity for a wonderful afternoon of snorkeling at Cabbage Patch.
Back at the lodge, there's a large swim dock, a beachside volleyball court, horseshoes, ocean kayaks, a Sunfish sailboat and a gift shop for souvenirs. The lodge's full-service dive and tackle shop provides diving, snorkeling, and fishing instruction for interested beginners.
But if the pace gets to be too much for you, don't worry... just grab a cold Belikin beer or a delicious "Mayan Special" and force yourself to relax in a hammock by the sea. Before you know it, the afternoon will blend into a warm tropical evening and it will be time to enjoy yet another delicious fresh seafood dinner at wonderful Turneffe Island Resort!
Turneffe Flats Lodge
Located 25 miles offshore from Belize City, Turneffee Island is really a collection of over 100 smaller cays, which are surrounded by white sand, coconut palms and the blue water of the Caribbean. This beautiful atoll offers some of the best flats fishing and diving available in Belize. One of the best ways to experience this idyllic
tropical island is to base your vacation out of Turneffe Flats Lodge. Turneffe Flats has long been recognized as one of the world's premier saltwater flats fishing and SCUBA diving destinations... and its reputation is well-deserved.
Imagine waking up in your beach-front bungalow to morning coffee served on your veranda with 50 feet of white sand beach between you and a productive bonefish flat. You'll relish the sound of the sea breeze through the coconut palms and the unencumbered view of the surf crashing on the unspoiled coral reef.
The social center for Turneffe Flats is the newly remodeled and expanded main lodge where all meals are served. Here, a pre-dinner gathering for hors d'oeuvres and drinks is customary. The large breezy veranda is a wonderful place to enjoy the tropical evening. Sumptuous meals are served family style. Dinners feature fresh seafood, tropical fruits, fresh baked breads and homemade desserts. A full American-style breakfast includes eggs, bacon, sausage, omelettes, French toast, pastries, cereal, juice, coffee and tea. Lunch is taken on the boat or you can choose to return to the lodge for fresh fish, sandwiches, salads and fresh fruits.
Large guest rooms include central air-conditioning, ceiling fans, tiled floors, one queen-size bed and one single bed and a private bath. All rooms are on the beach and feature a panoramic view of the flats and reef.
For decades, Turneffe Atoll has been known as a premier flats fishing destination. Expansive oceanside flats offer miles of pristine wading areas, while the inner flats are best fished from the lodge's custom-built Dolphin Superskiffs.
The Turneffe Atoll is the largest of four coral atolls in the western hemisphere and is noted for its diversity of saltwater species. The availability of bonefish, permit and tarpon make Turneffe Flats one of the rare spots in the world offering a legitimate shot at a Grand Slam. In addition, anglers should be prepared for a wide variety of other fish species including jacks, snappers, barracuda and sharks.
Bonefishing at Turneffe Flats offers something for anglers of all levels of experience. Novice saltwater anglers can see hundreds of fish per day providing a great opportunity to learn the basics of flats fishing. Experienced saltwater anglers find plenty of challenges with larger singles and doubles. Beautiful oceanside flats are 5 to 20 minutes from the lodge and are some of the most wadeable and picturesque flats found anywhere in the world. While wading Turneffe's flats, you will cast to large schools of bonefish averaging 2-4 pounds, with some larger fish up to 10 pounds. This fishing requires stealth and casting accuracy and provides the added challenge many seasoned saltwater anglers relish.
Bonefish are present in good numbers throughout the year. These bonefish stay on Turneffe's oceanside flats most of the time where they consistently find prolific numbers of prey species such as crabs, shrimp and burrowing worms. As a result, these fish can become selective. This can be challenging fishing making the right tackle, flies, presentation and fishing technique very important.
Bonefish also inhabit the mangrove-lined lagoons and flats on the interior of Turneffe Atoll. These bonefish are generally larger and take flies more readily than the oceanside fish, although they tend to be more on the move, making casting accuracy more crucial. Fishing here is mostly done from the bow of 16' Dolphin Superskiffs. In addition, there is a long, wadeable flat immediately in front of the lodge allowing you extra fishing in the early morning or evening. Turneffe Flats has been named one of "The World's Best for Bonefish" by Dick Brown, (author of Fly Fishing for Bonefish) in Saltwater Fly Fishing Magazine.
Permit are plentiful at Turneffe and many guests come with them as a primary objective. Permit are found on the flats and bars throughout the atoll. Most of this fishing is done from a poled skiff. If you choose to pursue permit, you can expect plenty of shots at 10 to 20 lb. fish with some fish in the 30 to 40 lb. range.
In season, tarpon inhabit the creeks, channels and lagoons of the atoll. Most tarpon jumped are 60-90 pounds, with some fish in the 100-150 pound range. Most of Turneffe's tarpon fishing is limited to rolling fish. This fishing is quite seasonal as tarpon are migratory. Tarpon numbers begin to increase in the late spring and drop off in September or October with the peak tarpon months being June thru August. There are a few "resident" tarpon around Turneffe throughout the year. Fishing on Turneffe's picturesque flats is generally best in the spring and fall with tarpon joining the bonefish and permit in April, May and well into the summer.
With its extensive gin-clear flats ideal for foraging permit and bonefish and with the second largest barrier reef in the world providing some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world, the Turneffe Archipelago seems to have been custom-made for those that seek a variety of ocean activities in an absolutely beautiful Caribbean setting. Turneffe Flats Lodge contributes fine food, lovely air-conditioned bungalows, excellent guides and a friendly, service-oriented staff making this the perfect destination for couples, families and mixed groups of anglers and their non-angling families and friends.