Turneffe Flats has long been recognized s a premier saltwater fly fishing, scuba diving and marine ecotourism destination. Located on Belize’s Turneffe Atoll, the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean, Turneffe Flats Lodge specializes in superior service for a limited number of guests. They are ideally located to enjoy all of Turneffe's 250 square miles of expansive saltwater flats, healthy coral reef and remarkably rich marine habitat.
Turneffe Atoll is approximately 30 miles due east from Belize City, Belize.
For years Turneffe Flats has been known as one of the Caribbean's premier saltwater fly fishing destinations. The diversity of their saltwater flats fishing sets them apart from other destinations and the opportunity to catch bonefish, permit and tarpon on a given day makes Turneffe Flats one of the rare spots to pursue a "Flats Grand Slam," the landing of all three species in a single day.
At Turneffe Flats, you will be guided by experienced, knowledgeable, English-speaking guides. With an average of more than 20 years guiding on the flats, their fly fishing guides are some of the most experienced and dedicated flats guides in the Caribbean.
Bonefishing is a mainstay of the fly fishing, with miles of crystal clear, wadeable flats. While wading Turneffe's extensive turtle grass flats, you will sight fish to large schools of bonefish as well as smaller groups and singles. These fish average 3-5 pounds with some 8-12 pound fish. Bonefishing is consistently good throughout the year.
Fishing the ocean-side flats at Turneffe offers something for anglers of all levels of expertise. Novice saltwater anglers see hundreds of fish providing a good opportunity to learn the basics of saltwater fly fishing. Experienced anglers find plenty of challenging fishing, particularly fishing to the smaller schools and larger singles.
Bonefish also inhabit the mangrove-lined lagoons and flats on the interior of the Turneffe Atoll. These bonefish are often larger and take flies more readily than the ocean-side fish, although they tend to be on the move and casting accuracy is crucial. Fly fishing for these bonefish is mostly done from the bow of their 16' Dolphin Super skiffs.
For the past decade, increasing numbers of saltwater anglers have developed a serious interest in the elusive permit. Turneffe Flats is one of a select group of saltwater destinations where you can experience the excitement of flats fishing for tailing permit with a reasonable opportunity to catch one. On the bars and flats within the Turneffe system, you can expect plenty of shots at permit averaging 10-20 pounds. You can also expect to see some 30-40 pound permit. Permit fly fishing at Turneffe is primarily done from the bow of one of their Super skiffs, although there are some wading opportunities for permit. Their permit fishing is also consistently available throughout the year.
Because tarpon are migratory, they are somewhat seasonal. Although some tarpon are around throughout the year, Turneffe’s prime season generally begins in April and continues to mid- October. June, July and August are usually the best months for tarpon fishing. There are a few "resident" tarpon around Turneffe throughout the year. Most of their migratory tarpon are in the 70-90 pound range, but you may see a few 150-200 pound monsters each year.
Turneffe’s fishing schedule is as flexible as possible. A standard day's fishing is about 8 hours. Generally the fishing day begins after breakfast and ends in the late afternoon, getting back to the lodge well before dark for safety purposes. During tarpon season, many anglers wish to begin fishing shortly after sunrise and take a rest during the day. There is a long, productive flat right in front of the cabins that allows the hard-core anglers a chance to fish from sunup to sundown. With rare exception, all fish at Turneffe Flats are released.
You will be given the daily option to take your lunch or return to the lodge for the noon meal. Lodge management will coordinate your day's fishing the prior evening, i.e. guide, time, what type of fishing, and whether you wish to return for lunch or take a lunch.
You will fish from tiller-driven 16' Dolphin Super skiffs that were custom built in the U.S. These are comfortable boats with a nice casting deck, rod holders and dry storage.
There is a very nice area to swim and snorkel in front of the lodge and we recommend that everyone take a little time during his or her stay to do some snorkeling. The lodge has a limited supply of snorkeling gear, however, it is best to bring your own. If you do wish to rent equipment, this is best arranged through the lodge’s reservation office prior to your arrival. They also have two ocean kayaks available for your use.
Turneffe Flats also operates a full SCUBA diving program. Diving Packages or combination fishing and diving packages are available. A Discover Scuba Class is available for non-divers interested in trying some diving. They also offer an Atoll Adventure Package, which provides daily-guided activities such as snorkeling, sightseeing, dolphin watching, and bird watching. This is a very enjoyable option for non-angling partners. The lodge can help arrange tours of the many points of interest in Belize either before or after your stay at Turneffe Flats Lodge. These arrangements are best made prior to your departure and Fly Water can help you with these activities.
Accommodations and Meals:
The social center for Turneffe Flats Lodge is their centrally air-conditioned main lodge, which includes a dining area and bar. A pre-dinner gathering for hors d'oeuvres, drinks and conversation is customary. The large breezy verandah is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the evening. The gift shop is also located in this building.
The lodge accommodations include eight large guest rooms located on the beach plus two large three-bedroom villas. Their sea-side rooms have a panoramic view of the Caribbean and Turneffe Atoll reef. Turneffe Flats Reef Villa is located on the beach with a wonderful view of the reef. The Garden Villa, the newest and most deluxe accommodation, is set back from the beach but enjoys a fantastic 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.
Turneffe Flats prides itself 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. Entrees vary from seafood, chicken, pork and beef.
Arrival Information: To get to Turneffe Flats Lodge you need to make flight arrangements to Belize International Airport. The lodge itinerary is Saturday to Saturday. All guests need to arrive in Belize before 3:30 PM on Saturday. You will be transported to the Princess International Hotel Marina. At the Marina, you will be notified of the boat’s scheduled departure time, which varies according to guest arrivals.
Getting to the Lodge: The trip by boat to Turneffe Flats takes approximately 90 minutes.
Departure Information: You will leave the island on Saturday morning at approximately 8:00 AM. From the Belize City marina you will be transferred to the airport. Please schedule your flight home after 11:30 AM.
Day 1: Arrive Turneffe Flats Lodge
Days 2 – 7: Six full days of guided fishing
Day 8: Depart Lodge
Typical Daily Schedule:
The coffeepot in your room will be prepared and ready to go.
7:00-8:00 AM: Breakfast of fresh fruit, cereal, eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage and fresh baked goods is served.
12:00 PM-2:00 PM: Lunch at the lodge is served. Guests will have the daily option of returning for lunch or taking a packed lunch.
6:15 PM: Hors d' oeuvres and cocktails are served.
7:00 PM: Dinner, the big meal of the day, is served.
2019 Rates: $3,990-$4,490 per person plus taxes for a 7 night/6 day package
Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, guided fishing/diving/atoll adventure, dive tank, weights, belts, round-trip transportation between Belize City and the lodge
Not Included: Airfare, accommodations and meals in Belize City (if needed), staff & guide gratuities, fishing equipment rentals, dive equipment rentals, alcohol, $40 Blue Hole entrance fee