Oct 18th, 2018
El Pescador Lodge & Villas on Belize’s Ambergris Caye masterfully combines a hardcore fishing lodge with a beautiful tropical resort. El Pescador Lodge is a venerable family run operation on Ambergris Caye near the small tourist town of San Pedro. El Pescador provides the perfect jumping off point for a bonefish, permit and tarpon focused adventure. It’s very rare to find a destination that will appeal to hard core saltwater fisherman, families and couples equally well. El Pescador offers the rare combination of great fishing, superb amenities and luxurious comfort that will appeal to all those looking for a tropical getaway. The lodge completed an extensive renovation in the summer of 2015 which has only served to enhance this already remarkable destination. The charming and bustling tourist village of San Pedro is only a seven minute boat ride from the lodge. Additionally, the large private lagoon behind the property is perfect for an unguided morning paddle, picnic or self-guided fishing session. With three swimming pools, loaner beach cruiser bikes, private villa options and a plentiful supply of bonefish, tarpon and permit, El Pescador remains one of our favorite locales in the entire Caribbean.
For more information please contact Dylan Rose at 800.552.2729.
Expert interview with Fly Water Travel’s saltwater destinations manager, Dylan Rose
1. El Pescador appeals to all levels of saltwater fly anglers, couples and families alike.
2. Private villa bookings offer an exclusive experience for small groups and families.
3. The lodge sits in close proximity to the bustling tourist town of San Pedro and is perfect for those interested in shopping or nightlife.
4. One of the best locations in Belize to chase a grand slam (catches of a bonefish, tarpon and permit in the same day).
5. Eco-tours and activities other than fishing are plentiful.
Where is the lodge?
El Pescador Lodge and Villas is located on the eastern shoreline of Belize’s Ambergris Caye, seven minutes by boat from the small town of San Pedro.
How do I get there?
Anglers access El Pescador by flying into the Belize International Airport and connecting with Tropic Air for a short 11 minute flight to San Pedro. From San Pedro, it is a seven minute boat ride to the lodge.
When should I go?
El Pescador is open year-round. February through May is prime time with September through November offering a fantastic secondary season. The lodge typically runs a summer/fall pricing special which can be great for chasing tarpon and is also easier on the budget.
Where do they fish?
The fishing program focuses on the flats, lagoons and numerous cays of northern Belize.
Who is best suited to visit this destination?
Anyone from first time fly fishers to ardent saltwater anglers looking to travel with companions or families with diverse outdoor interests.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
Accommodations at El Pescador are elegant and luxurious. Private villa upgrades can offer an exclusive opportunity to reside away from the main lodge. Units are complete with kitchens, private baths, living room areas, decks and adjoining swimming pools. Meals are a perfect blend of traditional Belizean and American cuisine with several options to choose from at each meal. Guests typically dine alfresco under warm Belizean skies.
What is the atmosphere of the lodge?
The lodge is typically bustling with guests and anglers. In the evenings, the music is on and the post fishing revelry gets into full swing. The staff is attentive, smiling and ready to help with anything guests need. The bar area features a pool table, foosball and plenty of lounge space for spinning fishing yarns.
Is the owner or manager on site?
El Pescador is a family owned and operated business. Management is always around and very helpful and the owners are sometimes on site. El Pescador is one of the only lodges that employs a dedicated fishing manager to help out with requests, plan the next day’s fishing and create accurate fishing reports. Casting lessons on the dock in front of the lodge occur every evening after fishing to help those in need brush up on their skills.
How do they fish?
Anglers fish two per boat with a single guide and take turns fishing. Purpose built panga style skiffs are specifically setup for fly fishing and the lodge offers an experienced staff of local guides.
What fish will I catch?
Bonefish, permit, tarpon, barracuda, jacks, snapper and snook are all available at El Pescador. The majority of bonefish are in the 1 to 2 pound class. The available fish species can vary greatly each day so we recommend anglers come to El Pescador prepared for anything and follow their guide’s advice on what fish to chase each day. Many times it’s a case of taking what the day gives you instead of pigeon holing yourself in to one species or another. Migratory tarpon may be present from late May to September. Guides are able to find bonefish on most days while on other days you may focus on schools of small permit. Sometimes it’s a case of patrolling the mangrove edges for snook or dredging a channel for laid up migratory tarpon. Our best advice is to have a frank talk with the fishing manager and your guide to make a general game plan, but then be willing to change the whole plan at a moment’s notice.
How many fish will I catch?
Conditions can be variable. Any time you hook double-digit numbers of bonefish, it’s a good day. Permit can be challenging so if you land one in a week, that’s a good performance. In season, large tarpon can be found which can be tough to catch but just one will certainly be a memorable experience. It’s best to come to Belize with a “throw at anything that moves” mentality rather than a specific species goal.
Is there wade fishing?
Most fishing is accomplished from the boat with a few opportunities to wade depending on your fishing desires.
How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?
There are productive bonefish zones within 20 minutes of the lodge. Depending on conditions, productive tarpon and permit areas can be in excess of an hour from the lodge. It’s a good idea to discuss your preferences of travel time with the on-site fishing manger when you arrive.
Do the guides speak English?
Yes. English is the first language of guides in Belize.
What are the guides like?
El Pescador’s guides are local Belizean captains with extensive training from the lodge and are experienced on their waters. It’s a good idea to let us help you match your fishing goals with a guide that best matches your desires and skill level.
What is the cost?
Please see the Rates and Details section of our El Pescador Lodge web page for the current rates: https://www.flywatertravel.com/destination/ElPescadorLodge
Does this trip combine well with other trips?
Yes, there are multiple lodges that combine well with a trip to El Pescador. Turneffe Flats Lodge, Belize River Lodge, Belcampo and Chaa Creek can all be combined easily and may offer a fantastic contrast in styles, experiences, and fisheries.
Will we see other anglers?
It’s common to see other anglers while fishing in this area. However, it is rare for fishing pressure to negatively impact your day.
Is there internet and cell service?
Wi-fi is available throughout the lodge and some mobile phone services do work. You’ll need to check with your provider. El Pescador is a great destination for those that need to stay in touch.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
Yes, El Pescador offers a full fleet of loaner equipment as well as having a well stocked fly shop on-site. In the event that you use flies and tackle provided by your guide, it will be added to your bill at the end of your week.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
Sage 9wt Salt is my go-to rod for this trip.
Are there other activities?
Yes, there are plenty of opportunities for snorkeling, diving, biking, kayaking and eco-adventures.
Are there special skills required?
Good casters will always benefit when fly fishing in saltwater.
What are the physical demands?
None. Good balance in the boat and casting proficiency always helps keep the score in your favor.
Are there health concerns?
The CDC is advising that pregnant women not visit Belize at this time.
What is your favorite memory of this trip?
My favorite memory was spending my anniversary here with my wife. Champagne, bonefish and warm Belizean hospitality, what could be better?
A nice permit from the waters surrounding Ambergris Caye.
The main swimming pool at the lodge is eexpensive and perfect for a post-fishing dip or a pool day.
The bar at El Pescador provides the perfect venue for anglers to spin stories and share their adventures with other guests.
Rooms at El Pescador are comfortable and rich in amenities.
The lodge sits on a beautiful beach overlooking the Caribbean sea.
El Pescador guides are some of the most professional and skilled in Belize.
Large migratory tarpon can be found in the summer months at El Pescador.