Belize offers some great options for families wanting to pursue fly fishing in addition to ecotourism programs. The small Caribbean country has access to some incredible saltwater fisheries and is home to a beautiful, tropical wilderness. Ready for the next family vacation to Belize? Here are four great destinations we can help you with:
Families looking to find a vacation offering both fantastic saltwater fishing, as well as terrific diving and eco-tours will be thrilled with what Turneffe Flats Lodge provides. The bonefishing at Turneffe Flats is some of the best in the world. Large numbers of bonefish can be found in the waters making it perfect for the beginner saltwater angler. Aside from the phenomenal bonefishing, permit also frequent the flats and juvenile tarpon can be seen feeding in the waters.
For guests seeking other activities besides fly fishing, the numerous atolls located off the coast are rated consistently among the “world’s best dive destinations.” Both PADI and SDI instruction are available onsite, and guests can attend courses to become diving certified.
Turneffe Flats even has whole programs designed to combine fishing and ecotours – the adventure package. These different options incorporate the rich marine life to cater to guests wanting to take a break from fishing or want to experience all that the vibrant Belizean ecosystem has to offer. These packages are completely customizable and are designed for guests’ needs on a day-to-day basis.
The private island located on the southern tip of Turneffe Atoll has access to secluded pristine and private fisheries. Guests who want to target bonefish and permit have excellent chances at landing both. Additionally, there are great opportunities for anglers who want to target tarpon in the channels and cuts of the atoll.
For guests who want to explore activities aside from fishing, Turneffe Island resort offers diving and snorkeling programs. Belize consistently ranks near the top, for “world-class” dive destinations. Guests can explore Lighthouse Reef, Blue Hole, Half Moon Wall, and Long Caye. For beginner divers, the lodge offers PADI instruction and certifications for every level.
Copal Tree Lodge has made its name by offering packages combining ecotourism with angling. For fishing, the lodge offers some of the best permit fishing in the world. And for families looking to combine phenomenal jungle resort activities, Copal Tree is second to none. Families can indulge in the lodge’s spa or pool, take the mountain bikes out, hike on some of the surrounding trails, or explore the waters via kayaks or canoes.
Intersperse non-fishing days, with days on the flats chasing permit and bonefish – or exclusively take part in the many non-angling activities the lodge offers. Aside from those activities listed above, guests can birdwatch, tour the resort’s farms or gardens, attend a river tour, or hike a nature trail. The surrounding areas of the lodge have great manatee watching as well as services offering jungle tours on the Rio Grande and Moho Rivers. Be sure to check out the local Indian villages and tour the Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun Mayan ruins. Lastly, for the more adventurous traveler, cave tubing through Tiger and Hokeb Ha caverns is extremely popular.
There’s a reason El Pescador is one of Yellow Dog’s most popular, family-oriented destinations. The lodge has access to amazing fisheries that hold permit, tarpon, and bonefish. With large numbers of fish, it’s the perfect option for anglers across the whole spectrum of ability. For guests who want a rest day from fishing or who would rather partake in one of the many, non-angling activities; there is diving, naturalist excursions, snorkeling, tours of Mayan ruins, beachcombing, trips to nearby San Pedro, and bicycling. The lodge owns sea kayaks, has its own volleyball courts, and can organize golf cart rentals for trips around the island or into town.
There’s no reason families can’t have the best of all worlds – packages that cater to world-class fishing but can also provide incredible opportunities for non-anglers alike. Belize is the perfect country for traveling families.
For more information on Belize lodges, trips, how-to articles, and more visit our Belize fly fishing page