TURNEFFE FLATS LODGE - BELIZE

 

TURNEFFE FLATS LODGE - BELIZE

Turneffe Flats has long been recognized as one of Belize's premier saltwater fly fishing, SCUBA diving and marine eco-tourism destinations. Located on Turneffe Atoll, the largest and most diverse coral atoll in the Caribbean, Turneffe Flats specializes in superior service for a limited number of guests. The lodge is ideally located to enjoy all of Turneffe's 250 square miles of expansive flats, coral reef and remarkably rich marine habitat.

Typical Length of Stay

Standard package is a six day / seven night package (Saturday to Saturday.) Partial week packages are available with some restrictions. Please call Yellow Dog for details.

Accommodations and Lodging

Turneffe Flats LodgeThe social center for Turneffe Flats is the spacious, air-conditioned main lodge. A pre-dinner gathering in the lodge for hors d'oeuvres and refreshments is customary, and the screened verandah is a wonderful place to enjoy the tropical evening with new and old friends. In 2011, Turneffe Flats completed construction on a new swimming pool area and deck complex, perfect for non-anglers as well as fishermen looking to relax after a day on the water.

Guests at Turneffe have a choice of three different choices for accommodations - all of which are the same price and included in the package rate.

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
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
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.

Food and Beverages

Meals at the lodge are a tasty combination of Belizean and American dishes served family-style in the large dinning area. Fresh seafood, local produce, and home-baked pastries are standard fare. Three delicious meals per day are part of the lodge package, and each morning you will awaken to fresh coffee or tea served on your private verandah.

The bar is well-stocked with premium liquor and offers a variety of wines as well as local Belikin beer. A bar tab will be kept over the course of the week, and you can settle your tab on your final day.

Fishing Information

Bonefishing is the mainstay of the fishing on Turneffe, and the atoll has miles of crystal-clear, wadeable flats. The atoll’s ocean-side flats, only five to fifteen minutes from the lodge, are some of the most picturesque flats found anywhere in this part of Central America. Anglers can sight-fish to large schools of tailing bonefish at all hours of the day. There are also smaller schools of medium-sized bones, and occasional large “cruisers” in the five-pound-and-larger range. The bonefishing is consistently good throughout the year and offers something for anglers of all experience levels. Novice saltwater anglers can expect to see hundreds of bonefish over the course of a week, a scenario that provides a great opportunity to learn the intricacies and nuances of flats fishing. Experienced saltwater anglers will find plenty of challenging fishing and opportunities to cast to large bonefish. Aside from the large ocean-side flats, bonefish also inhabit the mangrove-lined lagoons and flats in the interior of the atoll. While these fish are generally larger and at times take a fly more readily, the fact that they are constantly on the move makes casting accuracy important. The fishing in the interior of the atoll is mostly done from the bow of the lodge’s 16' Dolphin Superskiffs.

As far as permit fishing goes, the Atoll is home to an exceptional population of these elusive and difficult fish. Turneffe is one of a select group of saltwater destinations where you can experience the excitement of flats fishing for permit throughout the year, either from a skiff or while wading the ocean-side flats. Anglers serious about chasing these fish can expect numerous shots at 10 to 20-pound permit and occasional shots at fish in the 20 to 35-pound class.

Anglers wishing to fish for the “Silver King” can catch small, resident tarpon that inhabit the creeks, channels and lagoons of the Atoll throughout the year. The fishing for the larger, migratory tarpon begins in April and continues through mid-September. June, July, and August are generally the best months for tarpon fishing, as this is the season when most of the migratory fish in the 70 to 150-pound range are passing through. Each season, the lodge sees a few monsters in the 150-pound-plus range!

Boats and Equipment

Guides fish from 16-foot Dolphin super skiffs. The lodge offers top of the line rental gear and equipment from Sage, Hatch Reels, Simms and Patagonia, and sells small items such as flies, leaders, tippet and fly lines. There is a small, fully-stocked fly shop in the main lodge building.

Non-Angling Activities and Options

Turneffe Flats Scuba DivingFor non-anglers, the offshore atolls of Belize are consistently rated among the “world’s best dive destinations.” With pristine coral reefs, abundant marine life, and warm Caribbean seas, it’s easy to see why. Turneffe Flats is ideally located to take advantage of Belize’s best diving, and three dives per day plus a weekly night dive are standard for a dive package. Dive vacations can also include a day trip to Lighthouse Reef to dive the famous Blue Hole, Half Moon Wall, and Long Caye. Small dive groups of four to eight are the norm at Turneffe Flats, and the program emphasizes personalized service and maximum flexibility. PADI & SDI Instruction is available on-site, and the lodge offers a wide range of courses including Discover programs and Advanced Diver Certification.

For non-divers, Turneffe Flats has also developed a snorkeling and adventure package that over time has evolved into a diversified marine eco-tourism experience with multiple activities from which to choose. World-class snorkeling is a mainstay of this package with a number of different opportunities available. For wildlife enthusiasts, there have been over 60 bird species identified on the atoll, and looking for manatees and bottlenose dolphins is exciting and fun. Learn about the fascinating history of Turneffe and the people of Belize, from the Maya who fished and traded on the Atoll as far back as 400 A.D. to the pirates who used Turneffe as a favored hideout. Sign up for a Belizean cooking class or simply relax in a hammock under the coconut palms. The possibilities for this fantastic beach vacation are endless! The lodge’s “Atoll Adventure Guides” are informative and fun, and a 25-foot, twin-engine boat is at the lodge’s disposal, allowing you access to the atoll’s entire marine ecosystem. For non-anglers or those who simply want to mix things up, this is a very flexible package that is completely adapted to the desires of guests on a day-to-day basis.

How To Get There

International flights to Belize (BZE) go through Miami, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and Charlotte. The major airlines that service Belize are American Airlines, Continental / United, US Air, Delta, and Taca. Remember that it is necessary to arrive into the Belize City International Airport (Phillip Goldston International) NO LATER THAN 3:00 PM in order to make your boat connection to the Atoll. You will be met at the airport by a representative from the lodge and transferred to the Radisson Marina docks to meet the shuttle boat bound for Turneffe.

Arrival and Departure Details / Times

Scheduling the correct flight times in and out of Belize City is very important when booking a Turneffe Flats package. The lodge is accessed once a week via a private transfer boat, so it is very important that you arrive in to Belize City (BZE) in time to catch the boat out to the Atoll. On your arrival day, it is mandatory that you arrive NO LATER than 3:00 PM. (If you arrive later than that, you will have to overnight in Belize City at the Radisson Hotel, and then take the guide and staff boat out to the island early Sunday morning). On your departure day from Turneffe, you will not want to schedule a flight out of Belize City before 11:30 AM, as there is no guarantee that you will be back at the airport before 10:00 AM that morning. (The transfer boat typically leaves the lodge at 7:30 AM and arrives at the dock in Belize City at approximately 9:00 to 9:30 AM).

2013 Rates / Package Costs

The following rates are effective December 22, 2012 through December 28, 2013. Rates are based on standard Saturday to Saturday packages, and includes the Belize Resort and Sales Taxes.

Double Occupancy, Fishing and Lodging (per person):

  • Dec 22 (2012) - May 25 ------------------------------------------------------- $3,970.75
  • May 25 - Aug 31 ----------------------------------------------------------------- $3,645.25
  • Aug 31 - Dec 21 ----------------------------------------------------------------- $3,428.25
  • Dec 21 - Dec 28 ----------------------------------------------------------------- $3,970.75

Other Packages:

  • Single Angler Rate --------------------------------------------------------------- $5,711.30 - $5,819.80
  • Non-Angler Rate ----------------------------------------------------------------- $1,876.70
  • Atoll Adventure Rate ----------------------------------------------------------- $2,093.70
  • Diving Rate ------------------------------------------------------------------------ $2,337.83 - $2,554.33
  • Fish/Dive Combo Rate ---------------------------------------------------------- $3,808.00 - $4,133.50

* Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.

What's Included

  • Fully guided daily fishing (two anglers per boat and one guide)
  • All lodging at Turneffe Flats
  • Saturday airport pickup and boat transfer
  • Three meals daily including evening hors d'oeuvres
  • Coffee and tea will be available in the rooms
  • All GST's and taxes

What's Not Included

  • International flight to Belize City
  • Gratuities for guides and staff
  • Items purchased at gift/tackle shop and rental equipment
  • Liquor
  • Diving
  • $25 per person Belize fishing license
  • Additional transfer fees may be applicable on days other than Saturday

Travel Arrangements

Yellow Dog has a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or info@yellowdogflyfishing.com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.

Other Information

As the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean, Turneffe Atoll is one of the most productive and sensitive marine ecosystems in the Western Hemisphere. Through “1% for THE PLANET”, Turneffe Flats commits 1% of their annual revenue to Turneffe Atoll Trust (www.turneffeatoll.org) an organization promoting conservation and sustainability of coastal marine habitats in Belize and throughout the Caribbean.

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