Turneffe Flats has long been recognized as one of the top flats destinations in the world. The 250 square mile property is located 30 miles from the mainland. Target species are bonefish, permit and tarpon and a possible “Grand Slam.” This setting is Ideal for all skill levels throughout the year. Non-anglers can enjoy many levels of PADI certified, SCUBA diving and dive the famous “Blue Hole.” Snorkeling, marine ecotourism or the “ATOLL Adventure” package, are other options. Turneffe Flats specializes in superior service for a limited number of guests. Accommodations include 8 beach cabanas, the 3-bedroom Reef Villa or the larger 3-bedroom Garden Villa. All are conditioned and newly renovated. You can fish right outside your door. This destination books well in advance as this is an annual trip for many anglers.
Accommodations and Lodging
The accommodations include eight large seaside guest rooms plus two large three-bedroom villas. The seaside rooms have a panoramic view of the Caribbean and Turneffe Atoll reef. The Reef Villa is located on the beach with a wonderful view of the reef. The Garden Villa is set back from the beach with a wonderful view as well. All rooms are air-conditioned and most are furnished with one queen size bed and one single bed. All rooms have private bathrooms.
Beach Cabanas: Eight spacious, air-conditioned, individual guest rooms are located directly on the beach, and all offer panoramic views of Turneffe’s nearby coral reef. All of the rooms are furnished with two queen-sized beds, and each room has a large private bath with two sinks and a shower. All of the beachfront cabanas have recently being upgraded, renovated and enlarged.
The Reef Villa is a three-bedroom villa with common area. This option offers a large beach area in front and perhaps the best view on the island. The common area includes a sitting area with satellite television and a small kitchenette without cooking facilities. This Reef Villa bedroom has two queen beds and the other two rooms have one queen bed and two single beds respectively. All bedrooms have their own private bathrooms.
The Garden Villa is also a three-bedroom villa with a larger common area. This building is set slightly back from the beach but has wonderful views of the manicured grounds and the Caribbean. The Garden Villa’s spacious common area is a great gathering area for friends and family. Satellite television and a small kitchen area, without cooking facilities, compliments this room. The Garden Villa has three nicely appointed guest rooms, each with a private bathroom.
They pride themselves in providing quality dining complete with fresh fruits, fresh seafood and fresh baked pastries. Meals are served family-style in the main lodge, and are a tasty combination of Belizean and American dishes. The coffeepot in your room will be prepared and ready to go.
A breakfast of fresh fruit, cereal, eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage and fresh baked goods is served from 7:00-8:00 a.m.
Lunch at the lodge, is served between noon and 2:00. Guests will have the daily option of returning for lunch or taking a packed lunch. Hors d’ oeuvres and cocktails are served at 6:15.
Dinner, at 7:00, is the big meal of the day. Entrees vary from seafood, chicken, pork and beef.
Please inform us of any dietary restrictions in advance, before departure.
Bar: The bar is well stocked with at least Scotch, Bourbon, Gin, Rum, Vodka, Tequila, Vermouth and several liqueurs. In addition, they have red and white wines as well as local Belikin beer. Liquor, beer and drink setups are not included in your package price. Individual tabs are kept, and you can check on your tab at any time during your stay.
The Turneffe Atoll is remote and strikingly beautiful with crystal clear waters alive with a wide diversity of marine life. Plentiful bonefish, permit and tarpon make Turneffe Flats one of the rare spots in the world where you have a legitimate shot at a Grand Slam. In addition, there are a number of other game fish resident to the area creating a unique diversity of saltwater fly fishing options.
Bonefish: Turneffe bonefish are plentiful, both on the ocean side flats and in the mangrove-lined lagoons. Bonefish are resident on the ocean side flats all months of the year. On an average day on the reef flats, any time of year, you will see and fish to hundreds of bonefish in the 3-5 pound range with shots at bigger fish, some over10 pounds. These fish tend to be in large schools; however, there are ample singles and doubles if you are interested in more challenging casting. Bonefish on the inner flats and lagoons are not as numerous, but on average are larger.
Permit: Many anglers come to Turneffe Flats to pursue permit. Permit are plentiful and are found on the bars and flats throughout Turneffe. You can expect plenty of shots at 10-20 pound permit with some fish in the 30-40 pound class. Turneffe permit may be more plentiful than in other areas, but they are just as challenging to catch!
Tarpon: The tarpon migration is generally from late April through September although there are some resident tarpon around throughout the year. Most tarpon jumped are 60-90 pounds with some huge fish of 150 pounds or more. Most of the tarpon fishing is to rolling fish from the bow of the skiffs.
Other Game Fish: The ocean side flats abound with other species, as do the lagoons, creeks and channels. Barracuda, jacks, mutton snapper, sharks, jack crevalle and cubera snapper are also available and add to the angling experience. They recommend that you come prepared to at least try for some of these other species during your stay.
Turneffe Guides: All of the guides are English-speaking Belizeans with extensive knowledge of all of the water they fish. Several have been guiding on the flats for more than three decades. They are accomplished boatmen and fly casters. They will gladly help you with the technical aspects of saltwater fly fishing if you desire assistance. Two anglers generally fish with each guide, although private boat/guide packages are available.
Proximity: Some of the best flats are located literally minutes away from the resort. As a result, long, rough boat rides aren’t necessary. They do fish the entire Atoll and some of the bars, creeks and lagoons may be a 30-40 minute run. The proximity of the fishing is such that it is very feasible to fish for tarpon and permit in the morning, for example, and boat to the ocean side flats for a full afternoon of bonefish. There is also a flat right outside the doors of your cabins that is home to a large school of bonefish and an occasional permit.
Fishing Schedule: An average fishing day at Turneffe Flats is about 8 hours; however, this is quite flexible. During tarpon season, many anglers opt to start shortly after sunrise and take a rest during the day. If you are a real hard-core angler, you can wade the flats in front of the lodge early in the morning, go out with your guide for the day and come back to the lodge flats and fish until sundown.
Wading: The ocean side flats are firm bottomed and make for easy wading for even the most novice angler. These flats have sharp corals and shells and it is imperative you come with good wading boots. Most of the inner flats are fished from the bow of the custom-built 16-foot Dolphin Super Skiffs poled by the guide.
Fishing License: The Belize Fishing License is available at the lodge for $10 a day, $25 for the week. It is paid when guests settle their bill on Friday.
Jan 1 – May 25 $3,971
May 25 – Aug 31 $3,645
Aug 31 – Dec 21 $3,458
Dec 21 – Dec 28 $3,971
- Double occupancy
- Two anglers per guide
- Saturday – Saturday
- Partial Week Packages are available with some restrictions
- Single Supplement Packages (private fishing boat, guide and room) are available on request.
Remember Fishermen’s Spot Travel services are always FREE to you! You never pay more than what you would pay if you booked directly with the lodge.
- All Meals
- Guides (one per two anglers standard)
- All land and sea transfers
What’s Not Included:
- Airfare to and from Belize City
- Belize Fishing Licenses
- Personal expenses like flies, rental equipment, fly and gift shop purchases, etc.
- Gratuities for guides and staff
Gratuities for staff are at client’s discretion. We suggest:
- Fishing Guides: $10-$25 per angler per day for shared boat and $20-$50 per angler per day for private boat.
- Dive Staff: $10-$20 per diver per day (this covers all dive staff)
- Atoll Adventure Guides: $10-$20 per guest per day.
- Lodge Staff: Kitchen staff, housekeepers, waitresses, luggage handlers, etc. $80-$100 per guest per week.
How to get there
Belize is the northernmost country in Central America. Bordered on the North by Mexico, on the West by Guatemala and on the East by the Caribbean Sea. Fly into Goldson International Airport in Belize City, Belize (Airport Code: BZE)
Arrival: They ask that all flights arrive no later than 3:30pm. You will pick up your luggage, clear
Customs and exit the airport. As you exit Customs, a Turneffe Flats representative will meet you and transport you to the Radisson Hotel Marina. At the Marina, you will be notified of the boat’s scheduled departure time, which varies according to guest arrivals. There are restaurant/bars at the hotel for lunch or a beverage while you wait to leave for Turneffe Flats.
Boat Trip to Turneffe: The trip by boat to Turneffe Flats takes approximately 90 minutes. You will travel through several offshore cayes, the Barrier Reef, across open ocean, and then through the Turneffe Islands to Turneffe Flats.
Departure: You will leave the island on Saturday morning at approximately 8am, after a light breakfast. On the departing Saturday they can accommodate any flight scheduled at 11:30 or later. For guests with mid-late afternoon departure flights, they can arrange a half-day tour of a Mayan Ruin or The Belize Zoo with a local tour operator.
In addition to their saltwater “infinity” pool, there is a very nice area to swim and snorkel in front of the lodge and they recommend that everyone take a little time during his or her stay to do some snorkeling. They have a limited supply of snorkeling gear and it is best to bring your own. If you do wish to rent equipment, this is best arranged through the reservation office prior to your arrival. They have two Ocean Kayaks available for your use.
Sightseeing, superb snorkeling and SCUBA diving are other reasons people visit Turneffe Flats. You may want to set aside some time for snorkeling, and they do offer combination fishing and SCUBA diving packages The “Atoll Adventure Package” is very popular with non-fishing partners and offers a fully guided daily activity such as snorkeling, sightseeing, shelling, dolphin and manatee searches, or bird watching.
They can help arrange tours of the many points of interest in Belize either before or after (Usually after) your stay at Turneffe Flats. These arrangements are best made prior to your departure with the reservation office or through your booking agent.
Explore the wonders and the beauty of the Turneffe Atoll. This is unique marine eco-adventure experience featuring snorkeling, birding or one of several other fun and informative activities. Or, if you are so-inclined, you can stay at the resort and lounge on our beach. Every day offers a great new adventure and a perfect opportunity to relax – that’s what our Atoll Adventure is all about.
Atoll Adventurers choose from a variety of daily, guided activities led by one of our experienced Atoll Adventure guides (Abel Coe pictured), all of whom are informative and fun. Our 25 foot canopied boat is at your guide’s disposal for exploring the reefs, mangroves, creeks and lagoons that make Turneffe the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean. Snorkeling is one activity that you will want to experience with Turneffe’s world-class snorkeling featuring warm Caribbean waters, a myriad of tropical reef creatures and incredible coral structures. Our guides are masters at helping everyone feel comfortable in the water and beginners can learn to snorkel on our sandy shore before visiting the reef. With at least 60 species of birds at Turneffe, birding is another highlight. You may also want to tour the atoll looking for manatees and dolphins or enjoy an afternoon kayaking. Our Atoll Adventure Program is a very flexible and is tailored to fit the particular interests of each group.
Turneffe has a fascinating history, including Mayan fishing and trading settlements dating to 400 A.D. Turneffe was also a favored hideout for the notorious pirate, Blackbeard. For most guests, learning about the history of Turneffe as well as the fascinating history of Belize is one of the more enjoyable parts of their visit. Our top Atoll Adventure guide, Abelino “Abel” Coe, was born and raised in a Mayan community in Southern Belize and his first language was Maya. Abel is an avid student of Mayan history and he is well-versed Belize’s history. Days with Abel are informative and fun. He knows the flora and fauna of Turneffe intimately and is very adept and finding all of the interesting things. Abel is an excellent snorkeler and makes his guests feel comfortable visiting the underwater wonders at Turneffe.
There are several Atoll Adventure tours for the group to enjoy including those listed below.
- Snorkeling Tours
- Manatee & Dophin Tours
- Flats Walking Tour
- Turneffe Birding Tour
- Sea Shell & Starfish Tour
- The Maya and Turneffe
- Sea Kayaking
- Mainland Tours
- Crocodile Tour
- Lighthouse Atoll – Snorkeling and Birding Tour
- Evening Island Tour
- Belizean Cooking Class